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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.

Corbyn to meet shadow cabinet on Syria
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 03:04:23 GMT

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is due to meet his shadow cabinet to discuss possible air strikes in Syria amid deep splits in the parliamentary party.

Senior Tories consider bullying claims
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 04:30:31 GMT

Senior Conservatives are due to meet to discuss allegations that a youth organiser bullied a young activist who apparently took his own life.

Tax on sugary drinks backed by MPs
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:40:24 GMT

A tax on sugary drinks should be introduced as part of a "bold and urgent" set of measures to tackle child obesity in England, MPs say.

HS2 section to open six years early
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:00:36 GMT

The proposed high-speed rail link between Birmingham and Crewe will be opened six years earlier than planned, in 2027, Chancellor George Osborne says.

'Sexting' damages set legal precedent
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:02:37 GMT

Compensation has been awarded to a victim of 'sexting' for the first time, the BBC has learnt.

'Davis Cup is my most emotional win'
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:26:27 GMT

Andy Murray says securing Britain's first Davis Cup for 79 years is a more emotional experience than winning Grand Slams or the Olympics.

Cost of 'paupers' funerals' rising
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 05:01:11 GMT

The cost to local councils of so-called "paupers' funerals" has risen by almost 30% - so why are they footing the bill for more and more of the ceremonies?

Chief constable spends last day in job
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:26:48 GMT

Scotland's chief constable Sir Stephen House is due to step down, after 35 years as a police officer.

GP funding is 'robbing the poor'
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:25:31 GMT

GPs in deprived areas are not getting the funding they need to tackle health inequalities, according to research commissioned by the Scottish government.

Parents 'avoid mental health talks'
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:39:57 GMT

More than half of parents in England have never spoken to their children about stress, anxiety and depression, a survey suggests.

Fostered children 'get better grades'
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 01:05:01 GMT

Children in foster care make better educational progress than vulnerable children who remain with their birth parents, research suggests.

Many roads 'have no mobile coverage'
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 01:19:51 GMT

More than 4,500 miles of UK roads have no mobile phone coverage, analysis by the RAC Foundation suggests.

'Proud Brummie' Malala unveils portrait
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:14:09 GMT

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai says she is "proud to be called a Brummie" at the unveiling of a portrait in her adopted city.

Princess Charlotte photographs released
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 13:13:25 GMT

Kensington Palace releases two new photographs of Princess Charlotte taken by her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge.

I'll never fight 'fraud' Haye - Fury
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 22:30:06 GMT

New world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury says he will never fight David Haye after the latter cancelled their fights in the past.

Scotland Women 10-0 Macedonia Women
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:15:09 GMT

Jane Ross scores four times as Scotland go top of Women's Euro 2017 qualifying Group 1 by thumping Macedonia 10-0.

Complicated Fury gatecrashes big-time
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 22:30:03 GMT

Often outrageous outside the ring, Tyson Fury showed his intelligence inside it to totally out-box Wladimir Klitschko, writes Ben Dirs.

I'm not going anywhere, Corbyn says
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:08:03 GMT

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insists he is "not going anywhere", despite reports of potential coup plots against him by Labour MPs.

'No majority yet' for Syria strikes
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 18:23:58 GMT

The defence secretary says there is not yet a Commons majority for air strikes in Syria, as Labour's leader says he is deciding whether to give his MPs a free vote.

Witness request in Tory bullying probe
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 13:39:07 GMT

The Conservative Party urges anyone with information about claims of bullying within a Tory youth wing to get in touch with its investigation.

Labour 'war' and Tory 'scandal'
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:07:51 GMT

Internal party politics is again played out on front pages, which report Labour divisions over Syria and the row over bullying claims within the Conservatives.

VIDEO: Thousands at London climate protest
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 16:09:54 GMT

Thousands of campaigners join a day of global marches to demand that world leaders tackle climate change.

VIDEO: What happens when you die alone?
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:44:39 GMT

Graham Taylor, from Lewisham Council, explains what happens when someone dies without any next of kin.

VIDEO: 'I'm glad that Grant Shapps resigned'
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 17:41:31 GMT

Ray Johnson, father of Elliott Johnson, has welcomed the resignation of Grant Shapps amid claims he failed to act on allegations of bullying.

VIDEO: Prince Harry falls off horse at polo
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 23:52:59 GMT

Prince Harry lost his seating from a polo pony as he played in a fundraising match in South Africa.

VIDEO: Scam victim: 'It's like being a puppet'
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 15:50:04 GMT

The victim of an online romance scam tells how she got sucked into giving a stranger money.

VIDEO: Crowds gather for Stop The War demo
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 14:20:36 GMT

Actor Mark Rylance joins Stop The War protesters in London and explains his opposition to air strikes in Syria.

VIDEO: Dog-abuse teenagers targeted online
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 12:28:30 GMT

Kent Police warns people posting abuse online to teenagers who tortured a dog that they could face prosecution.

Christmas shopping by numbers
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 00:03:56 GMT

Unpicking the numbers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Deselection fear hangs over Corbyn's critics
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 03:55:06 GMT

Is Labour about to return to fratricide of early 80s?

'Davis Cup win can inspire a nation'
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 19:12:19 GMT

Andy Murray and team can inspire next generation

A legacy of fry-ups and red postboxes
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 00:11:37 GMT

The country attached to fry-ups and red postboxes

The woman behind Queen Anne's reign
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 12:56:24 GMT

New play looks at the woman behind Queen Anne's reign

Fury v Klitschko: Ringside reaction
Sun, 29 Nov 2015 04:46:15 GMT

British underdog Tyson Fury 'proved everyone wrong'

Who is Grant Shapps?
Sat, 28 Nov 2015 17:56:01 GMT

The rise and fall of former Tory minister Grant Shapps