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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.


Woolf steps down from abuse inquiry
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:44:22 GMT

Fiona Woolf is to step down as the head of an inquiry into historic child sex abuse, she has told the BBC.

Warmest UK Halloween on record
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:28:19 GMT

This year's Halloween is the warmest on record in the UK, with temperatures reaching as high as 23.5C, breaking the previous record of 20C.

Bodies found after fireworks blaze
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:09:28 GMT

Two bodies are found in the wreckage of a blaze at a fireworks warehouse in Stafford.

Labour win police commissioner poll
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:03:45 GMT

Labour's Alan Billings wins the by-election for the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, following the resignation of Shaun Wright.

Life term for puppy farm murders
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:44:30 GMT

An 82-year-old man is jailed for life for murdering his partner and her daughter who he shot at close range at his puppy farm in Surrey.

Junior doctor admits child sex abuse
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:54:06 GMT

A junior doctor working in paediatrics admits sexually abusing boys as young as 12 and possessing images of abuse.

Trauma of man who found family dead
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:59:40 GMT

The neighbour of a family of four found dead in their Bradford home says he sees the father's body every time he tries to sleep.

Two missing after fireworks blaze
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:57:03 GMT

Two people are missing and a man has been arrested after a major blaze at a Stafford fireworks warehouse that left two people in hospital.

Ofsted 'will not win' on popularity
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:50:17 GMT

Ofsted is unlikely to win any popularity contests, the chief inspector has admitted in a speech.

Harris loses conviction appeal bid
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:38:29 GMT

Entertainer Rolf Harris loses the first round of a legal challenge against his conviction for indecent assaults.

Banks may be forced to boost reserves
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:10:02 GMT

British banks may have to hold more funds to guard against the risk of a future economic downturn, the Bank of England has proposed.

Police boss in gross misconduct probe
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:00:00 GMT

A police chief will face an internal charge of gross misconduct after an allegation of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Government to 'retire' some WW1 debt
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:00:00 GMT

The UK Government has said that it will 'retire' £218m of the UK's £2bn First World War debt by refinancing bonds originally issued by Winston Churchill.

'Family test' for policies outlined
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:41:31 GMT

All policies will be measured against the impact they have on the formation and support of stable families, ministers say.

Double contest for Scottish Labour
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:54:36 GMT

The Scottish Labour party is now seeking both a new leader and a new deputy leader following the resignation of Anas Sarwar.

Wheelchair drag driver handed ban
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:42:09 GMT

A woman who was caught on CCTV dragging a man in a wheelchair behind her car is handed a two-year driving ban.

Bend It Like Beckham set for stage
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:07:57 GMT

A musical version of the hit 2002 British comedy film Bend It Like Beckham is to open in the West End next year.

Dench and Watson honoured in LA
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:57:08 GMT

Actors Dame Judi Dench, Emma Watson and Robert Downey Junior are among the stars honoured at the Britannia Awards hosted by Bafta in LA.

Dispute over IRA rape claim letter
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:34:01 GMT

A lawyer says Maíria Cahill wrote to the IRA complaining her allegation of rape had not been investigated thoroughly enough. Ms Cahill says her letter has been misrepresented.

Man pleads guilty to pensioner death
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:17:13 GMT

A 41-year-old man pleads guilty to the unlawful killing of pensioner Bertie Acheson, 72, in his Coleraine home in April 2012.

Bid to halt chief's pay-off fails
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:32:37 GMT

A last ditch bid to stop a pay-off for Pembrokeshire council chief executive Bryn Parry-Jones fails.

Man killed partner in fear of demons
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:31:14 GMT

A man cut his partner's throat to save her from a "fate worse than death" because he thought demons were about to break into their home in Ceredigion, a court heard.

NHS Grampian chief to stand down
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:34:45 GMT

The chief executive of NHS Grampian, which has been embroiled in a staffing controversy, announces his early retirement.

14,000 submissions to powers talks
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:38:38 GMT

The commission set up to discuss further devolution to the Scottish Parliament has received more than 14,000 submissions.

Wrong-way collision driver jailed
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:03:48 GMT

A motorist who drove for eight miles in the wrong direction on the A1(M) motorway before colliding with a police car is jailed.

Plane turns back after part falls off
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:07:03 GMT

A plane bound for Egypt with 237 passengers on board turns back to Gatwick after part of the aircraft falls off.

Rooney fit but Falcao out for derby
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:40:25 GMT

Wayne Rooney is fit and will start for Manchester United in the derby with City but Radamel Falcao remains out through injury.

Predictions: Lawro v Rachel Riley
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:10:15 GMT

BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on Countdown co-presenter Rachel Riley.

Westwood has hole-in-one on PGA Tour
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:16:51 GMT

Lee Westwood posts a hole-in-one in a second round 65 to move into third, three shots behind Billy Hurley III, in Kuala Lumpur.

The nuclear attack on the UK that never happened
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 01:50:46 GMT

In 1982, a secret Home Office exercise tested the UK's capacity to cope with a massive nuclear attack.

The channel that's spiced up French TV
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:06:31 GMT

For years the French media was set in its ways but a newcomer, BFMTV, has shaken things up - so what's the secret of its success?

Is the traditional metal key becoming obsolete?
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:26:40 GMT

Keyless systems are taking over in cars and hotels. Are we heading towards a keyless life?

Miliband in English buses pledge
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:56:12 GMT

Ed Miliband promises that a Labour government would grant cities and regions greater powers to improve bus services across England.

'Do more' to tackle aid corruption
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:11:34 GMT

The UK government is not doing enough to tackle "petty corruption" in countries to which it gives aid, a report by a scrutiny body says.

End 'robotic' drugs policy - MPs
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:45:37 GMT

MPs back calls for a review of 40-year old legislation on drug misuse - as a row breaks out at the top of the coalition over drugs laws.

VIDEO: European Scrutiny Committee
Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:03:44 GMT

The committee questions the UK Commissioner-designate Lord Hill

VIDEO: Is too much praise bad for children?
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:53:57 GMT

A new report says teachers who give struggling pupils too much praise in the classroom could be doing them more harm than good.

VIDEO: A sea of red poppies from the air
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:53:46 GMT

Footage taken from the air above the Tower of London shows the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red made up of thousands of ceramic poppies to mark the centenary of the start of World War One.

VIDEO: Policies face 'family-friendly 'checks
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:59:41 GMT

All new government policies in England now have to undergo a test to check whether they help families.

VIDEO: What happened to Remploy workers?
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:35:50 GMT

A year after the last Remploy factory closed, Nikki Fox looks at what has happened to former workers - and what options are available to them

AUDIO: UK benefits 'magnet' for migrants
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:47:21 GMT

Deputy mayor of Calais claims UK benefits are a "magnet" for migrants.

VIDEO: Poppy hijab for Remembrance
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:02:27 GMT

A young fashion designer from London has decided to mark Remembrance Day by creating a special "poppy hijab" for Muslim women.

VIDEO: Lab for world?s worst animal viruses
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:10:15 GMT

A look around a new lab at Pirbright Institute in Surrey, where the world?s most contagious livestock viruses will be kept.

VIDEO: Sixty years of British animation
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:44:04 GMT

It has been 60 years since the animated adaptation of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' - the first British animated film.

Exploring the lure of dark tourism
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:36:28 GMT

The morbid attractions of dark tourism

What are Remploy workers doing now?
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:13:29 GMT

How former Remploy workers struggle to find work

Moving house: Nightmare or life-affirming?
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 01:34:14 GMT

Is moving house a nightmare or life affirming?

Quiz of the week's news
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:05:44 GMT

What did Robbie's wife tell him to stop singing during labour?

Tips for a disability-friendly Halloween
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:07:46 GMT

Tips for a disability-friendly Halloween

Global tax rules 'need tightening'
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:09:43 GMT

Global tax rules 'need tightening'

VIDEO: Meet the accidental stormtrooper
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:08:53 GMT

How one man's luck landed him a place in cinema history

Timothy Spall: How I became Turner
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:59:56 GMT

How Timothy Spall created 400 artworks for his latest film

'It's business as usual in Austin'
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:40:29 GMT

F1 star on turning up the pressure in his title fight

Labour 'wipeout' and Ebola threat
Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:18:38 GMT

Labour 'wipeout' and Ebola threat make the headlines