News in brief

A pressure group opposed to insurance premium tax (IPT) is steppingup its battle to get the Government to scrap it, amid rumours thatChancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown is seeking to increase the levyfrom the current 5% when he opens his Budget box this month. Some Citysources are predicting a rise of up to 1%. Project director Philip Allottsaid: "If the insurance levy increase went through, it would mean theaverage family having to pay an extra #15 a year to insure their cars andhomes.