A new study from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has shown that the UK’s retailers experienced strong growth in sales during October thanks to a fall in inflation. Continue reading
In a bid to raise private investment to improve the country’s road infrastructure, the Government is to consider a two-tier Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), with a lower rate for those avoiding motorways and other main routes. Continue reading
Lending to businesses will be at its lowest level since 2006, falling by 4.6 percent to £429bn this year, the fourth consecutive annual decline, with small businesses bearing the brunt, according to a recent report. Continue reading
According to the Future Homes Commission, a body set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), up to 300,000 homes could be built every year in the UK by using council pension funds.
The proposal entails pooling some of the assets in the largest 15 local government pension schemes to provide a £10bn housing fund, which would lead to economic growth and lead to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs without touching a penny of government money.
The year-long study, created by the Commission, has been met with approval by Housing Minister Mark Prisk, who described the proposals as innovative and interesting.
A similar approach to the one proposed is already being pioneered by Manchester City Council, which is working with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) to build 244 homes.
The city council will release land into the joint venture at fair market valuation and GMPF will inject £25m to pay for building work. Both partners will then receive a capital payment on the sale of houses and an annual revenue return.
Describing the current housing market as “dysfunctional”, Chair of the Commission, Sir John Banham, has said that local government could become the leader of new development by using their assets and powers to create the type of mature, sustainable, mixed tenure communities that Britain needs and that institutional and international investors want to invest in
The Commission’s report, called Building the Homes and Communities Britain Needs, looks at various ways of building high quality, affordable housing in the UK.
Other proposals include greater use of brownfield land for development, greater focus on the design of homes, and a more pro-active role by local councils.
The business information site that has replaced the Business Link and DirectGov websites and which aims to provide “simpler, clearer and faster” access to government services, has been slammed by users within days of its launch last week. Continue reading
Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, has warned that the UK and other major economies will remain weak until the banks have sufficient capital to absorb future losses from bad debt, as their current “insufficient capital” will deter them from lending to individuals and businesses. Continue reading
At a Downing Street meeting later today Prime Minister David Cameron will promote a supply chain finance initiative that is designed to deliver up to £20bn in cheaper finance to suppliers and could slash the interest rates on working capital for small businesses. Continue reading
A survey from Markit published today says that the current state and outlook for household finances in the UK has improved and that the squeeze on consumer spending, which is a major contributor to the economy, is at its weakest for two years. Continue reading
According to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the amount to tax that went uncollected grew in 2010-11 to £32bn, up from a revised figure of £31bn the year before. Continue reading
According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the level of unemployment in the UK fell by 50,000 in the quarter to August, taking the number to 2.53 million, the lowest since the spring, giving a jobless rate for the UK of 7.9 percent from 8.1 percent the previous quarter. Continue reading