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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.

Consider Syria IS strikes, MPs urged
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:22:26 GMT

MPs should consider allowing Britain to bomb Islamic State targets in Syria, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.

RAF repatriates more UK Tunisia dead
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:06:17 GMT

The bodies of nine more Britons killed in the Tunisian beach attack are due to arrive back in the UK on an RAF aircraft.

Irish singer Val Doonican dies
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:17:41 GMT

Irish singer and TV entertainer Val Doonican dies aged 88.

BBC to cut more than 1,000 jobs
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:07:21 GMT

The BBC is to cut 1,000 jobs after a 150m shortfall was discovered in its licence fee income.

New 'veto' announced for English MPs
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:04:50 GMT

The government unveils plans to give MPs from English constituencies a new "veto" over laws affecting England only - but Labour calls it "cynical" and an "outrage".

Family probed before 'Syria exit'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:20:28 GMT

A house owned by a Luton family that may be in Syria was raided and a woman was stopped at Heathrow a day before 12 members left the UK, the BBC discovers.

Limited ferries as Calais reopens
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:15:32 GMT

Limited ferry services resume between Dover and Calais after a strike by French ferry workers caused three days of disruption across the Channel.

Woman accused of IS membership
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:38:54 GMT

A woman is charged with encouraging terrorism and being a member of Islamic State.

Sampson 'so proud of England heroes'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 05:49:27 GMT

England boss Mark Sampson says his side deserve to head home as heroes after suffering a semi-final defeat by Japan.

Lion tamer defends animal show
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:04:35 GMT

The man behind an animal show featuring performing lions and tigers denies his animals suffer in captivity.

Thousands without power after storms
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:20:04 GMT

Up to 40,000 properties in the North East were left power when violent storms struck on the hottest day of 2015.

Serial killer Tobin slashed in jail
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:13:46 GMT

Convicted serial killer Peter Tobin is taken to hospital after being slashed in HMP Edinburgh.

Regatta teams' 'mystery melting oars'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:09:48 GMT

The hot weather may be the cause of the "mysterious case of melting oars" at Henley regatta, say organisers.

Star Wars toy sale 'most unusual'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:04:13 GMT

A collection of thousands of Star Wars toys and memorabilia is tipped to fetch 50,000 at auction later.

US firm to create 289 jobs in Derry
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:59:38 GMT

Two hundred and eighty nine jobs are being created in Londonderry by a US-based internet company.

Man jailed for murdering NI ex-wife
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:10:48 GMT

An Australian man is jailed for a minimum of 22 years for murdering his estranged wife, who was originally from Northern Ireland.

Bullying 'endemic' at hospital
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:59:20 GMT

A "culture of bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour" affects staff at all levels in one unit of Wales' biggest hospital, an inquiry finds.

Ex-slaughterman cleared of sex abuse
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:32:06 GMT

A former slaughterhouse manager is cleared of child sex abuse in Wrexham in the 1980s.

Tunisia attack Scots repatriated
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:06:23 GMT

All four Scottish victims of the Sousse massacre in Tunisia are among nine bodies being returned to the UK on an RAF flight, Downing Street confirms.

Lightning storm across Scotland
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:06:21 GMT

A dramatic thunder and lightning storm lit up many parts of Scotland overnight.

Goldfinger crime scene 'challenging'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:36:00 GMT

A week-long delay in realising a notorious criminal had been murdered has left police with a "challenging" crime scene, a senior detective says.

'Vicious' fox traps eight people
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:20:44 GMT

A "vicious" fox traps eight people inside a sports club for three hours, biting one woman and chasing a cyclist into a field.

'McLaren are a mess' - Jordan Q&A
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:50:15 GMT

Hamilton must improve to be an F1 great & McLaren are "badly managed" - Eddie Jordan answers your questions. Explosively.

Blatter says he has clean conscience
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:03:46 GMT

Fifa president Sepp Blatter says he has a clean conscience and anyone who calls him corrupt should be sent to jail.

US makes Fifa extradition request
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:17:23 GMT

The US has asked Switzerland to extradite seven Fifa officials arrested on corruption charges in May, Swiss authorities say.

Young people facing 'housing exile'
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:34:44 GMT

Many young people are being forced to leave the communities they grew up in because of a lack of affordable housing, a cabinet minister is to warn.

Sickness benefit shake-up considered
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:11:43 GMT

Plans to scrap part of the UK's main sickness benefit under welfare savings are being considered, a leaked Whitehall paper seen by BBC News suggests.

Airport decision by end of 2015 - PM
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:25:30 GMT

David Cameron promises a decision on airport expansion by the end of the year and denies being "bullied" by anti-Heathrow expansion colleague Boris Johnson.

VIDEO: Westminster Hall
Sun, 13 Jan 2013 19:59:35 GMT

MPs are taking part in debates on topics including development goals and Iran's nuclear programme.

VIDEO: 'I still think I'm a lucky one'
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:13:59 GMT

Martine Wright, Paralympian and survivor of the 7/7 attacks on why she thinks losing her legs was part of her fate in life.

VIDEO: Storms and hail as UK heatwave breaks
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:11:58 GMT

Heat and humidity in the atmosphere on the hottest July day recorded in the UK ends with dramatic storms across the north of the country.

VIDEO: 'This is a risky move for the BBC'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:39:22 GMT

The BBC is "taking a risk" by releasing the data on how many people avoid paying the licence fee, says media commentator Steve Hewlett.

VIDEO: NSPCC: Police still in 20th Century
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:25:00 GMT

Police forces in England and Wales have been strongly criticised for the way they deal with accusations of child abuse and neglect.

VIDEO: UK family of 12 'travelled to Syria'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:24:40 GMT

A family of 12 from Luton, including a baby and two grandparents, is feared to have travelled to Syria after going missing.

VIDEO: Sir Nicholas Winton 'saved my life'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:28:03 GMT

Lord Dubs, a Czech-born British Labour Party politician, recalls how Sir Nicholas Winton rescued him from the Nazi regime.

VIDEO: Who cares for child migrants to UK?
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 07:16:01 GMT

Some UK local authorities say they are struggling to cope with the large increase in the number of children seeking asylum.

VIDEO: Dealing with death in special schools
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:15:54 GMT

How a school is helping children with learning disabilities understand death.

From Gazza to Bassett: 25 years of tears
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 03:23:32 GMT

Memories of Italia 90 after England's own goal

What's it like to live near an airport?
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:39:44 GMT

What's it like to live near an airport?

What links a reporter and the robot apocalypse?
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:27:40 GMT

Why are people linking a newspaper reporter and the robot apocalypse?

'Best lightning storm ever' witnessed
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 10:53:40 GMT

Images of the "best lightning storm ever" seen in northern England

Why are we having another Budget?
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:01:05 GMT

What might lie ahead in next week's budget?

A new symbol for the toilet
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 09:42:57 GMT

The search for a new map symbol for the toilet

England 'grabbed nation's attention'
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 03:23:11 GMT

How England's female footballers grabbed the nation's attention