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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

BBC News - UK

David Miliband 'deeply concerned' for Labour's future
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 03:24:52 GMT

The former foreign secretary says the party is 'further from power' than any time in the last 50 years.

Maps reveal schizophrenia 'hotspots' in England
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 01:17:24 GMT

GP prescriptions reveal patterns of the mental illness.

Foo Fighters to headline Glastonbury 2017
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:26:14 GMT

The American rock band confirmed their Saturday night slot during a secret gig in Somerset.

HMRC rejects tax avoidance criticism
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 02:46:36 GMT

Chair of the Treasury select committee questions tax office approach to avoidance investigations.

London terror arrests: Met charges five teenagers
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:24:03 GMT

The five males, aged between 15 and 19, were arrested in London on Monday.

MP tackles football's breastfeeding taboo
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:04:47 GMT

SNP MP Alison Thewliss wants all football clubs in Scotland to declare their stadiums breastfeeding-friendly.

Scottish Labour's Dugdale pledges to work 'tirelessly' for union
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:03:05 GMT

Scotland's Labour leader will pledge to work "tirelessly" for the union in any independence vote.

Rory McIlroy: Golf with Trump was 'not endorsement'
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:46:12 GMT

Rory McIlroy says a round of golf with Donald Trump on Sunday was not intended as an endorsement of the US president.

Footballer hit by lightning in Highgate United match remembered
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:37:06 GMT

A stand will be named after Tony Allden, 50 years after he was killed by lightning during a match.

DUP confirms 435,000 Brexit donation
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:06:14 GMT

The DUP confirms it received a Brexit donation of about 435,000 from a group of pro-union business people.

City homes 'least affordable since 2009'
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:03:43 GMT

The affordability of homes in Scottish cities has hit its worst level since 2009, according to a new report.

Smuggled rare ploughshare tortoises go on display for first time
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:39:22 GMT

Ploughshare tortoises go on show at Chester Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

Six Nations 2017: Dylan Hartley first on England teamsheet - Eddie Jones
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 19:19:13 GMT

England captain Dylan Hartley was the "first name on the teamsheet" for Sunday's Six Nations match against Italy, says boss Eddie Jones.

Claudio Ranieri 'very sad' for Leicester City fans
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:50:52 GMT

Former Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri meets fans and speaks briefly to reporters at his house.

Claudio Ranieri: Five things we'll miss about former Leicester manager
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:00:43 GMT

From his jovial press conferences to his famous "dilly ding, dilly dong" catchphrase, BBC Sport looks back at what we'll miss from Claudio Ranieri after he was sacked as Leicester manager.

UKIP's Carswell denies blocking Farage knighthood
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 07:54:54 GMT

UKIP?s only MP Douglas Carswell has denied blocking a knighthood for his former leader Nigel Farage.

Mindfulness to help children's mental well-being in schools
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:58:07 GMT

Over 5,000 teachers in the UK are trained to teach mindfulness, says the Mindfulness Initiative.

Haunting images of WW2 London's 'archive of destruction'
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:27:23 GMT

Stark and haunting images of the aftermath of German attacks on 1940s London.

Leicester City's Claudio Ranieri sacked
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 23:40:59 GMT

Manager Claudio Ranieri is sacked by Leicester City, nine months after leading them to the Premier League title.

Jeremy Corbyn 'disappointed' by Copeland by-election result
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:55:06 GMT

The Labour leader has vowed he will fight on, and hailed his party's victory in Stoke.

BBC News Channel
Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:41:12 GMT

BBC coverage of latest developments

Yoga in kilts is a cheeky success for Scottish pair
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:46:14 GMT

A video of yoga being done in kilts in a cold forest in Highland Perthshire has become a viral hit on social media.

Blackpool Viagra Hotel name change sparks 'weirdo' fears
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:35:28 GMT

The seafront hotel boasts it will keep guests "up all night" - but some worry it will put off families.

Newspaper review: By-election fall-out and diesel warnings
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 23:33:05 GMT

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is under the spotlight again after the party's loss in Copeland.

'The pips are squeaking!'
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 21:44:16 GMT

A selection of independent shopkeepers with distinctive shops explain how they will be hit by business rate revaluation in England.

Sticks and hankies
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:33:39 GMT

Eccentric? Perhaps a little. Just don't expect a cast of Willy Wonka types.

What mummy really thinks
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:05:31 GMT

A Glasgow mum is a social media hit with her tongue-in-cheek accounts of "really dull" family life.

Fake dates
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:58:33 GMT

Anna Rowe is calling for a law change after being duped by a man with a fake profile online.

Labour problems
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 11:10:41 GMT

Labour's defeat in Copeland illustrates three inter-linked problems facing the party.

On the run
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:36:46 GMT

Beating up love rivals and trying to get a job are among the myriad reasons given by offenders for going "on the run".

Don?t be a dinosaur
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:37:05 GMT

Technology advances mean work will never be the same again, say industry experts.

Britain?s jihadists
Wed, 22 Feb 2017 13:29:17 GMT

At least 800 people from the UK have travelled to support or fight for jihadist organisations in Syria and Iraq, according to British officials. But what do we know about them?