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Latest website and industry news at a glance..
Budget 2013: 'UK government should build more homes'
Date: 03/11/2013

Boosting homebuilding and infrastructure spending should be the main goal of the forthcoming Budget, according to business lobby groups.

The CBI and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) want tens of thousands of new homes to be built to create new jobs and provide affordable homes.

But they say that the government should stick to its plans to cut borrowing.

However, the BCC says that the government should borrow more if there is no growth within six months.

The BCC is advocating a range of measures, including the building of 100,000 new homes, which it says will cost almost £30bn over three years.

John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said: "If within the next six months there is no prospect of growth... you might have to consider actually borrowing more money but you should only do it to fund areas that the market would forgive."

Building confidence

The CBI says £2.2bn should be moved from current spending to "high-growth areas". Some of this money should be used to build 50,000 new affordable homes, which it says would create 75,000 jobs.

The group also wants more investment in roads and infrastructure and a cap on business rates.

The CBI said money could be found from savings within government departments as well as sales of land and property, and insisted there would be no need for further borrowing.

Tax incentives should be provided to encourage the refurbishment of existing properties, the CBI added.

CBI director general John Cridland told the BBC the plan would address a range of problems: "We need Housing Associations to be freed up going forward to build the affordable housing needed.

"If we want nurses and firemen to be able to live in London we need to build these homes. You create construction jobs - and jobs for young people because these are entry-level jobs - and you build confidence."

He said the government should stick to its fiscal plan, but that these measures were also needed to boost the housing market and would benefit first-time buyers, those trapped in negative equity and those looking to refurbish their homes.

Last month, the CBI said that the UK would avoid falling into a so-called triple-dip recession.

The group believes that the UK economy will grow by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year, after the economy shrank in the last quarter of 2012 - the first period in what some feared might be another six months of negative growth.

Spending debate

The suggestions come as the coalition partners continue to debate whether the government's austerity plans are the right course for the current flat economic conditions.

Both Prime Minister David Cameron and his Chancellor, George Osborne, are determined to keep to their plans to rein in spending.

On Monday, the former defence secretary, Liam Fox, a Conservative, called on the government to freeze the level of public spending for five years and spend the money saved on cutting taxes and the deficit.

He wants all public spending frozen - as against the current freeze for Whitehall departmental budgets.

He is also urging an end to the ring-fencing of certain budgets, including the NHS, schools and universal benefits such as the pensioners' winter fuel allowance.

The Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is also against ring fencing, although for different reasons.

He told the BBC that protecting some departments intensified the burden on others: "When you have 80% of all government spending that's ring-fenced it means all future pressures then come on things like the army, the police, local government, and skills and universities.

"So... you get a very unbalanced approach to public spending... I think as a long-term approach to government spending, it isn't very sensible."

George Osborne will announce the Budget on 20 March.

.. read more

Portsmouth administrators rack up £2.2m in fees
Date: 02/28/2013

PKF ADMINISTRATORS have racked up £2.2m in fees for their work on the collapsed football club Portsmouth FC, according to the latest creditor report.

The administrators have incurred the £2.2m of fees in time costs for the period 17 February 2012 to 2 January 2013. This is for 7,295 hours of work which is an average of about £297 an hour.

However, the administrators have managed to draw £775,000 so far following approval from a creditor committee. At the end of the administration the administrators will decide on the percentage of their fees to be repaid with that figure needing creditor committee approval before it can be drawn. 

The club entered administration for the second time in two years on 17 February, with PKF partners Trevor Birch, Ian Gould and Bryan Jackson appointed.

Fees for the six months ending 2 January 2013 amounted to £851,671 for 2,905 hours of work at an average hourly rate of £293 per hour.

The administrators are currently awaiting a court hearing which will determine whether a rescue deal will be viable through a sale to the Portsmouth Supporters Trust (PST).

The administrators said in the latest creditor report that "if a sale can't be achieved a liquidation is the most viable option."

PST has funded some of the trading costs amounting to £244,061. However, preferential claims so far come in at about £52,000 and unsecured creditor claims are about £35m, which £11.4m as football creditors.

In a football insolvency, football creditors such as players, managers and other clubs, are paid first and in full.

Other costs highlighted include solicitor fees for Pinsent Masons which for the year come in at about £1.24m and £79,000 for George Davies, who acted for the Professional Footballers' Association, on negotiation of player wage deferrals and agent fees.



Read more: http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2251286/portsmouth-administrators-rack-up-gbp22m-in-fees#ixzz2MDIYWmB7 

.. read more

What makes a good temp?
Date: 03/17/2012

With the economic situation still having a massive bearing on the jobs front, temporary work could be a lifeline, but is it for everyone?

If you are considering temporary work, what can you do to make sure you’re the one Recruitment Consultants think of first when a new assignment comes in? Is temping really for you?

Sell yourself in a professional way to your recruitment agency.
When an agency are looking for a dependable temp, tell them why you are good. Are you flexible? Versatile? Quick at picking things up? Do you have the skills that are required? Easy to get along with? Are you available at short notice?

Sell yourself to the recruitment consultant as you would in a job interview: make a list of your previous jobs and highlight key accomplishments and skills you’ve gained.

Understand how recruitment agencies work.

Picture the scene; A company have a problem, it may be that they have an increased workload, a project that needs to be completed ASAP or a key employee has gone off sick. The want someone with relevant skills to help them. This is where you come in.

Think of yourself as a mercenary!
You have skills that are transferable; you have the experience that would benefit the Company. You have good communication skills. You have the skills that are needed, you are good at creating and developing relationships, you are available at short notice. You can help them!

Be flexible in every way you can!
Flexibility is the key to being a successful temp. It’s not just about being flexible in terms of when you start on a new assignment, either. If you want the work to keep coming your way, you need to be flexible in terms of the rate you’re paid for short term assignments; and the role you have.

How keen are you to get work?
What can you do if, on a Friday afternoon, you find yourself without an assignment or any work for the following Monday? Perhaps you are considering temping whilst looking for your ideal permanent role?
It seems clear that if you go the extra mile to get the work, by keeping in close contact with your consultant and contacting the agency on a regular basis, you’re more likely to be successful in ensuring the money keeps coming in. Remember, be persistence.

Will temping look bad on your CV?
We are often asked about this point. Some people do not want to temp as they believe it will detract from their stable work history. Our advice is to keep on working (if that is what you want/need) Gain more skills, gain more experience on different computer packages and more business sectors. If you have been temping for some time, group your experiences together and list your key skills and experience. Good employers will understand.

What happens next?
Many of the temporary people we work with at Ba Recruitment, we have known for some time. We have developed relationships with people we have found dependable and versatile. However, we are always looking for good people. It’s up to you to develop a relationship with your agency and whilst you are temping a good agency will always keep you in mind when a suitable permanent jobs comes in.

Happy job hunting!

.. read more

News From The BBC

BBC News - UK

The latest stories from the UK section of the BBC News web site.


Ebola fight hit by aid cuts, MPs warn
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:20:17 GMT

Cuts in the amount of health aid the UK provides to Liberia and Sierra Leone have "compromised the fight" to stop the spread of the Ebola virus, MPs warn.

Over 500 GP practices 'risk closure'
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:52:57 GMT

Hundreds of GP practices are at risk of closure because of the ageing workforce, doctors' leaders say.

Fry: Drugs different to abuse cases
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 03:37:54 GMT

Actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry says there is a "huge moral difference" between historical drug use and cases of sexual abuse.

BNP expels ex-leader Nick Griffin
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:41:39 GMT

The British National Party says it has expelled its former leader Nick Griffin, accusing him of trying to "destabilise" the party.

First Glastonbury tickets go in 14 minutes
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:07:57 GMT

Today 15 thousand coach and ticket packages have been snapped up twice as fast as last year, but don't worry the rest go on sale this Sunday.

UK universities slip down rankings
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:53:55 GMT

Three UK universities lose their place in the top 200 of a global higher education league table while elite universities hold their ground.

Young people 'lack workplace skills'
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:32:47 GMT

Young people lack workplace skills such as communication and team working, a study among employers suggests.

Thousands of under-18s drink-driving
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:47:03 GMT

Police records show 6,558 under-18s were caught drink-driving between 2008 and 2013, according to figures from 43 police forces across the UK.

Call for universal credit delay
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:15:31 GMT

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calls for a major UK welfare reform to be put on hold in Scotland.

HK protest at London Chinese embassy
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:34:37 GMT

Demonstrators gather outside the Chinese embassy in London to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

Lord Hill faces second 'EU grilling'
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:11:32 GMT

The UK's candidate to join the European Commission, Lord Hill, is summoned to a second hearing of MEPs to assess his suitability for the job.

Horowitz to write new Bond novel
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:54:48 GMT

Anthony Horowitz, best-selling author of the Alex Rider teenage spy adventures, becomes the latest writer invited to pen a new James Bond novel.

Rare leopard reared in bathroom
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:27:53 GMT

A rare clouded leopard is hand-reared in the bathroom of a zookeeper after being abandoned by its mother.

Executive 'to go into red' warning
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:57:14 GMT

The Treasury has been formally warned that the Northern Ireland Executive is on track to go into the red by the end of this financial year.

Remains found in Disappeared search
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:35:13 GMT

Human remains have been found in a County Meath bog by a team searching for an IRA victim missing for almost 40 years.

'Horrific' care nurses struck off
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:16:51 GMT

Two nurses whose care led to "avoidable harm to vulnerable patients" at an Abertillery care home are struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ex-ministers attack M4 relief road
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:49:00 GMT

Two former environment ministers criticise Welsh government plans for an M4 relief road south of Newport.

Universities hold world rankings
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:35:56 GMT

Four Scottish universities rise up the Times Higher Education world rankings despite the UK coming under pressure from overseas competition.

Scotland supports green energy fund
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:21:05 GMT

Economic development agency Scottish Enterprise is putting 450,000 into an international fund which supports renewable energy projects.

River body confirmed as missing Alice
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:18:58 GMT

A body found in a west London river is that of missing Alice Gross, the Metropolitan Police confirm.

Drunken minority of fans criticised
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:10:55 GMT

A senior officer policing Hillsborough at the time of the 1989 disaster says "a substantial minority" of fans had "too much to drink" before entering the ground.

Arsenal 4-1 Galatasaray
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:08:43 GMT

Danny Welbeck scores his first senior hat-trick as 10-man Arsenal beat Galatasaray 4-1 in the Champions League.

Caterham to race on despite bailiffs
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:33:44 GMT

Formula 1 team Caterham pledge to compete in this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix despite bailiffs visiting their base.

Players sue in World Cup pitches row
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:18:16 GMT

Top players file a lawsuit claiming sex discrimination over synthetic pitches at the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada.

Why are chicken, lamb, pork and beef the 'normal' meats?
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:17:53 GMT

Why is there so much conservatism when it comes to eating particular meats?

How Bosnia is helping Cyprus find peace
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:07:53 GMT

In the 1960s and 1970s, hundreds of Cypriots disappeared. Now, with the help of a laboratory in Bosnia, there is a renewed effort to find out what happened to them.

Why Japan's sunny beaches are deserted
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 21:35:44 GMT

For much of September, Tokyo basked in temperatures of 25C or more. In most countries there would be a rush for the beach, but not in Japan.

Cameron pledges tax cuts 'for 30m'
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:57:59 GMT

David Cameron says a future Conservative government would cut taxes for thirty million people as he delivers his party conference speech.

Ex-Tory donor to give 1m to UKIP
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:31:01 GMT

Former Conservative supporter Arron Banks is donating 1m to UKIP after joining the party.

House price boom 'helps migrants'
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:07:09 GMT

Migrants gain an advantage over UK workers because they will share rooms in high house price areas, says David Willetts.

VIDEO: House of Commons
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:28:07 GMT

MPs vote by 524 to 43 in favour of UK military action against Islamic State in Iraq.

VIDEO: Missing girl's family make appeal
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:21:30 GMT

The family of a 15 year-old girl who has been missing from her home in Bristol for a week have made an emotional appeal for her to come home.

VIDEO: 'Mr Nobody' ups UKIP offer to 1m
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:10:15 GMT

Former Conservative supporter Arron Banks has announced that he will donate 1m to UKIP.

VIDEO: Body found is Alice Gross, say police
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:42:23 GMT

Police investigating the disappearance of missing 14-year-old schoolgirl Alice Gross are now treating it as a murder inquiry after a body was found in a west London river

VIDEO: HK protest at London Chinese embassy
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:35:30 GMT

Demonstrators have gathered outside the Chinese embassy in London to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

VIDEO: Zookeeper rears leopard in bathroom
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:20:39 GMT

A rare clouded leopard has been hand-reared in the bathroom of a zookeeper after she was rejected by her mother.

VIDEO: How do PM's tax figures weigh up?
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:31:39 GMT

David Cameron has pledged to cut taxes for thirty million people if the Conservatives win next year's election, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the combined cost of the tax changes would be 7.2bn by 2020.

VIDEO: Remains found in Disappeared search
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:46:46 GMT

Human remains have been found in County Meath by a team searching for an IRA victim missing for almost 40 years.

VIDEO: Girl gets 3D-printed prosthetic hand
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:41:02 GMT

A five year-old girl from Inverness who was born without any fingers on one hand has become the first in the UK to be fitted with a bionic limb made using a 3D printer

The strange world of super-specialist cutlery
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:21:52 GMT

The strange world of super-specialist cutlery

In pictures: A journey through 19th Century Brazil
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:10:41 GMT

19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman

Warsaw Uprising: 'There were flames everywhere'
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:22:31 GMT

RAF veterans who risked their lives to help Polish resistance

Can antidepressants treat cancer?
Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:25:02 GMT

Can antidepressants treat cancer?

Laureate role 'rooted' poet in city
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 05:24:50 GMT

Poet Warsan Shire finds her place in the city

'Election starts here' - front pages
Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:54:25 GMT

How the papers view David Cameron's conference speech