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Consumer: The figures that you will need to keep an eye on this year


Now we've said our goodbyes to 2013 and welcomed in the new year, what better time to get your life on track? So look out for these eight figures that are sure to have an impact on your finances in 2014:


The maximum amount you can invest in a tax-free Isa investment in the 2014-15 tax year.

You can hold all of it in a stocks and shares Isa, or put up to £5,940 in a cash Isa and the rest in the stock market.

Remember to use this year's allowance before the end of the tax year -- it's £11,520 overall, with up to £5,760 in a cash account.


That's how much the basic State pension will go up in April, bringing it to £113.10 a week.

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Pensioners benefited from the fact that September's inflation figure, on which increases are based, was 2.7%.


The weekly rise in Jobseekers Allowance that the unemployed will receive on April 6.

It goes up from £71.70 to £72.40 a week.

January 31

The deadline for self-assessment tax returns.

In 2014 this will be very important to any families that are claiming child benefit if there is someone earning more than £50,000 in the household.

They will have to repay some of the child benefit they claimed in the 2012-13 financial year in tax.


The amount you can earn in the 2014-15 tax year before you pay income tax.


The salary level at which you become a higher rate taxpayer from April 6.

Every pound above that will be taxed at 40%, although your precise situation will depend on your personal allowance, and how it is adjusted for company-provided benefits such as medical insurance.


The percentage to which unemployment must fall before the Bank of England raises interest rates.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney announced this in the summer when it seemed the figure wouldn't be reached before 2016. However, a few strong months for the UK economy mean that the number of people out of work could fall below the threshold sooner rather than later.

Currently, it stands at 7.4%, and could now easily go below 7% by the end of 2014.

That won't mean an instant interest rate rise, but it brings the date when your mortgage costs will rise closer.


The number of times a payday lender will be allowed to extend one of its short-term, high-cost loans and the number of times it will unsuccessfully be allowed to retrieve the cash from a borrower's account before giving up under new rules due in July.

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So, what's your story? Let us know if you have any consumer concerns. Contact: cmcneilly@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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