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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.

Leaders in last-ditch bid for votes
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:17:06 GMT

Party leaders and candidates are making a last-ditch grab for votes on the final day of campaigning before the general election polls open.

Former leading IRA figure shot dead
Tue, 05 May 2015 17:30:59 GMT

Police say they do not believe dissident republicans are to blame for the "cold-blooded murder" of a former senior IRA figure in Belfast.

Queen meets Princess Charlotte
Tue, 05 May 2015 16:54:20 GMT

The Queen has met her new great-granddaughter Princess Charlotte for the first time at Kensington Palace.

Strike 'could delay 999 responses'
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:00:11 GMT

A 24-hour strike by some ambulance staff may lead to delays in responding to 999 calls, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service warns.

UKIP hopeful suspended over threat
Tue, 05 May 2015 20:33:48 GMT

A UKIP candidate is suspended after being filmed apparently threatening to shoot his Conservative rival.

Diet drugs led to boxer's death
Tue, 05 May 2015 14:54:32 GMT

The death of a boxer who collapsed after a "white collar" match was partly caused by a fat burning drug, an inquest concludes.

Top Gear pun investigated by Ofcom
Tue, 05 May 2015 11:57:31 GMT

Top Gear's use of the word "pikey" is being investigated by watchdog Ofcom, after a complaint was rejected by the BBC Trust.

Pregnancy op blunder woman given 8m
Tue, 05 May 2015 15:31:52 GMT

A pregnant woman left brain damaged after her heart was accidentally punctured during an NHS operation is awarded an 8m compensation pay-out.

Two SNP members suspended after demo
Tue, 05 May 2015 18:00:06 GMT

The SNP suspends two party members following scuffles at rally held by Scottish Labour leader and comedian Eddie Izzard in Glasgow.

Mental health spending cuts forecast
Tue, 05 May 2015 16:56:15 GMT

Mental health trusts in England are forecasting significant cuts to their funding over the next four years, figures seen by the BBC suggest.

'Syria-bound' couple held in Moldova
Tue, 05 May 2015 20:21:15 GMT

A British couple believed to have been travelling to Syria with their four children have been deported from Turkey and detained in Moldova, the Foreign Office says.

Gambaccini to write bail memoir
Tue, 05 May 2015 16:48:12 GMT

Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini says he has written a memoir about the 12 months he spent on bail, before being told he would not face charges over historic sex offences.

'Ludicrous' yellow lines criticised
Tue, 05 May 2015 12:35:35 GMT

A set of double yellow lines less than a metre long in Bristol is branded "ludicrous" by residents.

Man leaves holiday cash in will
Tue, 05 May 2015 13:05:21 GMT

A man leaves a group of his friends 3,500 in his will, with the condition they spend it on a holiday.

Parties clash in NI Leaders' Debate
Tue, 05 May 2015 21:45:35 GMT

Northern Ireland's five biggest parties clash over the issues of welfare reform and same-sex marriage in a BBC TV election debate.

PSNI step up patrols and checkpoints
Tue, 05 May 2015 17:21:44 GMT

There will be more checkpoints and patrols by police in Northern Ireland to counter a "severe" dissident republican threat.

Gum 'may have played role' in death
Tue, 05 May 2015 16:21:01 GMT

Chewing gum "may have played" a role in the death of a Carmarthenshire teenager, an inquest hears.

Inquiry call after hi-tech collapse
Tue, 05 May 2015 15:39:29 GMT

The Conservatives call for an independent inquiry into the role of ministerial advisers after the collapse of hi-tech firm Ideoba.

Final day of campaigning in Scotland
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:52:41 GMT

Politicians will be campaigning across the country in the final push for Scottish votes before polling begins.

Alcohol price case at European court
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:53:47 GMT

Plans for a minimum price for alcohol in Scotland are due to be heard by judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

NHS trust has most 'never events'
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:11:08 GMT

A hospital trust at the centre of a police probe into data manipulation had more serious patient safety breaches than any other in England, it emerges.

Help for heads over radicalisation
Wed, 06 May 2015 01:49:24 GMT

Head teachers worried about protecting students from being radicalised are being offered seminars by their union.

Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid
Tue, 05 May 2015 21:01:43 GMT

Juventus beat holders Real Madrid 2-1 in an absorbing first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie in Turin.

'Untouchable' Cook angers Boycott
Tue, 05 May 2015 12:28:21 GMT

England captain Alastair Cook believes he is "untouchable", according to former Test skipper Geoffrey Boycott.

Vonn break-up 'brutal' for Woods
Tue, 05 May 2015 18:32:58 GMT

Tiger Woods says the end of his relationship with US Olympic skiing champion Lindsay Vonn has been "brutal".

Miliband disputes borrowing claims
Tue, 05 May 2015 20:02:14 GMT

Ed Miliband tells the BBC he does not agree with suggestions the public debt would be higher under a Labour government if he wins Thursday's election.

I will put country first - Cameron
Tue, 05 May 2015 16:55:42 GMT

David Cameron pledges he will put the country first if his Conservative Party fails to win an overall majority on Thursday.

Clegg in second election warning
Tue, 05 May 2015 15:45:41 GMT

The UK could have a second general election by Christmas if either Labour or the Conservatives try to form a minority government, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg warns.

VIDEO: Finance Bill second reading
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 20:08:15 GMT

MPs pass the Finance Bill at second reading.

VIDEO: Are houseboats congesting canals?
Tue, 05 May 2015 20:51:31 GMT

With high rent prices in London many are deciding to live on the water.

VIDEO: Election 2015: The view from Kirkcaldy
Tue, 05 May 2015 22:54:01 GMT

Kirkcaldy, once a Labour stronghold, has become a new battleground for the SNP.

VIDEO: What matters to a single parent?
Tue, 05 May 2015 22:48:58 GMT

Hannah Bacon is a single parent from Cheltenham who is recovering from a recent operation.

VIDEO: Party leaders push core messages
Tue, 05 May 2015 15:30:07 GMT

With less than 48 hours of campaigning left, party leaders are focused on their core messages.

VIDEO: 'Why I pay women for sex'
Wed, 06 May 2015 02:05:58 GMT

"Ben" is a 30-year-old single man, who lives in London, works in PR, and regularly pays for sex.

VIDEO: The day London celebrated end of WW2
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:33:44 GMT

Sgt Dorothy Hughes recalls the day London celebrated the end of WW2 in Europe

VIDEO: Bennett: 'People tired of tactical voting'
Tue, 05 May 2015 22:02:14 GMT

Election 2015: Green Party leader Natalie Bennett appeals to voters who are tired of tactical voting to vote Green.

VIDEO: Royal baby boost to lace shawl firm
Tue, 05 May 2015 15:45:58 GMT

Two East Midlands companies are dealing with a big surge in demand for their products after the birth of the royal princess.

Worst things parents can say to exam teens
Wed, 06 May 2015 00:51:16 GMT

The parents' guide to what not to say to teenagers

What CAN'T you do in a polling station?
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:18:02 GMT

What can't you do in a polling station?

Remembering the Lusitania
Tue, 05 May 2015 23:09:34 GMT

A remarkable story of survival at sea

The bittersweet world of mental health online
Wed, 06 May 2015 00:10:57 GMT

Can social media really help with mental health?

Been and Gone: The woman who was Rosie the Riveter
Wed, 06 May 2015 00:07:14 GMT

The woman who posed as Rosie the Riveter