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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: http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2251286/portsmouth-administrators-rack-up-gbp22m-in-fees#ixzz2MDIYWmB7 

.. 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.


League tables branded a 'nonsense'
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:41:04 GMT

Scores of England's top private schools are expecting to be at the bottom of the secondary school league tables, following confusion over International GCSEs.

Too many women in jail says minister
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:57:33 GMT

The number of women being sent to prison should be halved, says Justice Minister Simon Hughes.

Earthquake recorded in East Midlands
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:15:50 GMT

An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.8 has been recorded in the East Midlands, the US Geological Survey reports.

'No interest' in care insurance
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 06:00:02 GMT

There are no plans for any insurance products to help people plan ahead for their care needs in old age, leading firms tell the BBC.

Ex-MI5 head warns of anti-terror plan
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:09:11 GMT

Government plans to give universities a legal duty to prevent people being radicalised could impact upon freedom of speech, a former MI5 head says.

MPs to quiz Chilcot over Iraq delays
Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:16:45 GMT

The head of the Iraq Inquiry is to be questioned by MPs next month about why its report is to be delayed until after the election.

NHS satisfaction 'risen significantly'
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:39:10 GMT

Satisfaction with the NHS has "risen significantly", according to analysis of the influential British Social Attitudes survey.

Fishing boat missing in Channel
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:12:08 GMT

Two lifeboats and two helicopters are searching the English Channel for a boat reported missing in the Strait of Dover.

DfID criticised for agency oversight
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 04:07:27 GMT

The Department for International Development has been accused of "unacceptably poor" oversight of a UK-funded development agency.

'Coalition talks role' for Tory MPs
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 21:20:29 GMT

Backbench Conservative MPs expect to be given a key role in any coalition talks involving their party after the next election, BBC Newsnight understands.

Miliband in Scots 'Home Rule' pledge
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:24:18 GMT

A "Home Rule Bill for Scotland" would be introduced within the first 100 days of a Labour government, according to the party's leader.

McDonald's boss steps down
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:18:51 GMT

McDonald's boss Don Thompson steps down after two and a half years in the job, as the company struggles with a declining customer base in its home market.

Tesco recalls 'foul smelling' drink
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:33:04 GMT

Tesco recalls its blackcurrant and apple squash drink after accidentally adding a flavouring with a "strong odour" similar to garlic.

'Dippy' makes way for blue whale
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:15:01 GMT

London's Natural History Museum is re-modelling its entrance, moving out the famous Diplodocus skeleton and moving in the bones of a blue whale.

Star Wars toy sells for £18,000
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:01:58 GMT

A Star Wars fan sells a collection of Star Wars figures - including one item for £18,000 - to raise the cash to buy a house.

Police warning to drivers over snow
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:35:05 GMT

Police advise motorists to take extra care due to heavy snow in some parts of Northern Ireland.

Tweet taunts Labour over Sinn Féin
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:20:25 GMT

The Conservative Party taunts Labour over claims that the party had discussed a post election coalition with Sinn Féin.

Rapist Evans claims 'fresh evidence'
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:37:03 GMT

Rapist Ched Evans says he has "fresh evidence" which he hopes will get his conviction overturned.

Pembs chief dispute 'cost £150,000'
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:01:10 GMT

Pembrokeshire council spent more than £150,000 in legal fees over Bryn Parry-Jones dispute, claims councillor.

Snow causing 'hazardous conditions'
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 21:25:29 GMT

Wintry weather is causing hazardous conditions across many roads in Scotland after the evening rush hour escaped major disruption.

Inactivity 'as serious as smoking'
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 00:27:01 GMT

Fifteen medical organisations have jointly called for radical action to improve levels of physical activity in Scotland.

Bill 'for millions' over rail chaos
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 21:39:41 GMT

Network Rail issues Thames Water with a "multi-million pound bill" after leaks and a burst water main forced the cancellation of 1,000 trains.

Asda van crashes into bus stop queue
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:02:13 GMT

A supermarket delivery van ploughs into a bus stop injuring three people, one of them seriously.

Vallverdu expected Murray reunion
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:12:27 GMT

Andy Murray's former coach Dani Vallverdu says he expected to face the Briton for the first time at the Australian Open.

Seattle star repeats himself again
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:25:13 GMT

Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch answered every reporters' question on Wednesday with, "You know why I'm here".

Sheff Utd 2-2 Tottenham (agg 2-3)
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 22:30:13 GMT

Tottenham set up a Capital One Cup final date with Chelsea at Wembley on 1 March with Christian Eriksen's late goal.

The twins of Auschwitz
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:04:40 GMT

On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, survivors of experiments on twins recall their treatment at the hands of SS doctor Josef Mengele.

?We nearly dropped Churchill?s coffin?
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 01:24:16 GMT

On 30 January 1965, millions of people watched the funeral of Winston Churchill, but what was it like for the soldiers who carried his coffin?

Future of News: News v Noise
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:48:55 GMT

A vision of how we might get our news in the future, from the BBC's director of news James Harding.

NHS 'crisis guidelines' spark row
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:41:13 GMT

David Cameron and Ed Miliband clash in the Commons over the NHS amid a row about new guidance to hospitals about declaring "major incidents".

BBC rejects DUP's TV debates demand
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:49:32 GMT

The BBC has rejected the DUP's demands to be included in the TV election debates.

Peer sorry for 'Auschwitz' comment
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:18:20 GMT

Ex-Plaid Cymru leader Lord Wigley apologises after comparing the Trident base in Scotland to Auschwitz concentration camp.

VIDEO: Public Administration Committee
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:31:54 GMT

MPs hear about the civil service's ability to respond to future challenges.

VIDEO: Warnings as snow hits parts of UK
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:26:36 GMT

BBC correspondents report from the areas of the UK which are worst hit by the snow.

VIDEO: Beavers allowed to stay in wild
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 16:50:49 GMT

Beavers living on the River Otter in Devon will be allowed to remain living in the wild, if free of disease.

VIDEO: Post-war blocks get listed status
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 23:29:22 GMT

Fourteen office blocks, including one nicknamed the hanging gardens of Basingstoke, have been given protected Grade II* listed status.

VIDEO: Doubt over serial killer conviction
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 17:03:04 GMT

The foreman of a jury which convicted a serial killer tells the BBC he now believes the Colin Norris is innocent.

VIDEO: Search for a care home: Video diary
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:13:11 GMT

Mary Pike records a video diary about finding her mother a new care home after a fee rise forced her to move.

VIDEO: Widower reunited with wife's voicemail
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:30:13 GMT

Stan Beaton hears a voicemail greeting from his wife, who died of cancer more than 10 years ago, which he thought had been deleted and lost forever.

VIDEO: Female jihadists 'drawn in online'
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:07:13 GMT

The BBC's Frank Gardner speaks to a woman who works with the UK government to tackle the growing problem of women from western Europe going to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

VIDEO: Glitter cries in court over images
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 19:00:36 GMT

Gary Glitter has broken down in tears while giving evidence at his trial for alleged historical sex offences, as Daniela Relph reports.

Will the UK's gas holders be missed?
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 01:46:38 GMT

Will the UK's iconic gas holders be missed?

Rae Morris: The pop star who wanted to be a waitress
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 01:54:12 GMT

Meet Rae Morris, the pop star who wanted to be a waitress

Care in the UK: The costs you face
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:00:17 GMT

Use our calculator to find out the costs you may face

What does your fridge reveal about you?
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:00:26 GMT

What the contents of your fridge say about you

Lasers reveal clues to lost treasure
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 01:36:18 GMT

Seeking clues to King John's lost treasure

The new banks you cannot speak to
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 02:02:00 GMT

The new banks you cannot speak to

New rules for rape cases - papers
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 06:10:54 GMT

New rules for rape cases feature on front pages