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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: 

.. 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.

Brittan abuse inquiry 'fully justified'
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 17:13:45 GMT

The Met Police investigation of a rape allegation against the late Lord Brittan was "fully justified", a review by a senior officer from another force says.

Storm Imogen set to lash parts of UK
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 01:07:23 GMT

Parts of Britain will be hit by high winds and heavy rain on Monday as Storm Imogen moves in, with Channel ferry services already cancelled.

Ireland 16-16 Wales
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:52:19 GMT

Ireland let a 13-point lead slip as Wales fight back to draw a compelling Six Nations match in Dublin.

Crunch talks on Holyrood finance
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:03:43 GMT

Crunch talks between the Scottish government and the Treasury on the financial arrangements to accompany the Scotland Bill will resume later.

Doctors' union irresponsible - Hunt
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 13:18:04 GMT

The health secretary and union leaders clash ahead of another junior doctors' strike, in a long-running dispute over pay and working hours.

Man charged with terrorism offences
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 22:24:01 GMT

A 19-year-old man who was arrested at Stansted Airport is charged with terrorism offences.

Police investigate pupils over sexting
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:01:36 GMT

Officers are warning teenagers of the dangers of sending intimate texts and messages after more than 100 pupils were investigated last year.

Call for more powers for BBC Scotland
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:14:27 GMT

BBC Scotland should be given more power over commissioning and budgets to tackle fears the broadcaster has a "London bias", MSPs have urged.

Warning about 'inflated' broadband costs
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:28:48 GMT

British manufacturers are paying 'inflated' sums to secure fast enough internet access, according to EEF - the manufacturers' organisation.

'Infestation fears' over rubbish heap
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:01:48 GMT

Hundreds of rubbish bags mysteriously dumped on derelict land last year could take another 12 months to remove, the Environment Agency says.

Benefit brake 'could boost migration'
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:17:12 GMT

David Cameron's EU benefit plans could cause a surge in migration before the "emergency brake" is applied, Tory eurosceptics warn.

Brooklyn wins best film award
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 21:36:17 GMT

Brooklyn is named film of the year at the Evening Standard Film Awards, beating frontrunner 45 Years.

Tesco sorry for 'awsome' babywear gaffe
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 11:11:27 GMT

Supermarket chain Tesco says it will brush up on its spelling and grammar after making two mistakes in a single pack of baby clothes.

In pictures: Clowns go to church
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 19:06:28 GMT

Clowns from across the globe join church goers in east London to celebrate the life of the father of clowning.

No communication on new deal - Terry
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 19:05:30 GMT

Chelsea captain John Terry says there is "no communication" between him and the club over a new deal.

Touchdowns, Beyonce & chicken wings
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 12:48:54 GMT

Who are the key players and celebrity fans? How many hotdogs will be sold? Here is all you need to know for Super Bowl 50.

Wales frustrated after bruising encounter
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 22:13:46 GMT

Frustration abounded after Ireland and Wales fought out a nerve-wracking 16-16 Six Nations draw, writes Richard Williams.

Tenants 'will be priced out of homes'
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 13:23:32 GMT

Plans to make better-off social housing tenants in England pay more rent could force thousands out of their areas, according to new research.

Jail 'rethink' over mothers with babies
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 14:44:09 GMT

The PM calls for a rethink of the prison system in England and Wales as figures show 100 babies spent time behind bars with their mothers last year.

Sugar tax 'not taken off the table'
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 11:51:33 GMT

The prime minister "has not taken a sugar tax off the table", Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tells the BBC.

Weekend prisoners and a migrant 'sting'
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:43:02 GMT

Monday's papers focus heavily on the government's plans to overhaul prisons, while an undercover investigation by the Sun identifies the alleged "Mr Big" who, it says, is helping to smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK.

VIDEO: Flying Scotsman loco back on track
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 09:35:02 GMT

Flying Scotsman, one of the world's most famous locomotives, has returned to the West Coast mainline.

VIDEO: Storm Imogen
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 14:59:13 GMT

An Amber wind warning is in place ahead of Storm Imogen which will hit parts of the UK on Monday. Philip Avery looks at the potential impacts.

VIDEO: London bus blown up for film stunt
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 13:26:48 GMT

A double-decker bus explodes on a central London bridge as part of a stunt for an upcoming movie.

VIDEO: Hunt blamed for doctors' low morale
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 11:58:39 GMT

Jeremy Hunt acknowledged junior doctors' low morale but told Andrew Marr that the BMA was to blame for their concerns over contracts

VIDEO: The strange game of Shrovetide football
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 08:15:22 GMT

Shrovetide football is once again returning to the streets of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, but what's it all about?

VIDEO: Finsbury Park mosque opens to visitors
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 20:05:11 GMT

Finsbury Park mosque opens to visitors as part of the nation-wide Visit My Mosque Day.

VIDEO: Chinese wedding photos - in London
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 06:29:23 GMT

BBC News meets a photographer who specialises in taking pre-wedding photos of Chinese couples in London, a growing trend.

VIDEO: Prison rethink for mothers with babies
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 08:15:34 GMT

David Cameron has called for a review into the treatment of pregnant women in prison in England and Wales.

How the British and Americans started listening in
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 01:31:13 GMT

How did the Five Eyes come to work together?

The potato farmer who made millions
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:27:20 GMT

The potato farmer who swapped bankruptcy for making millions

Why do mobile phones still work in jail?
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:22:51 GMT

Why are illicit mobiles still in prisons?

Steroids sold illegally via Facebook
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:21:00 GMT

The illegal side of bodybuilding

Junior doctors row: Should we care?
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 00:06:15 GMT

Fundamental issue at heart of saga and why it matters

Brexit worries at the Irish border
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 01:01:20 GMT

If UK leaves EU, what happens on both sides of Irish border?

Leicester to win title says internet
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 19:07:45 GMT

Leicester can win the Premier League, says the internet