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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.

Drivers get 10-minute parking leeway
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:44:01 GMT

Drivers will get 10 minutes' grace before being fined if they stay too long in council-owned car parks in England, the government announces.

End 'fixation' with A&E wait target
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:28:16 GMT

The four-hour waiting time target for NHS accident and emergency units across the UK should be downgraded as it is distorting priorities, experts say.

Green MP calls for SNP alliance
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:02:42 GMT

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas calls for a "progressive alliance" with the SNP as her party holds what it says is its largest ever conference.

Science 'squeezed out of primaries'
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:34:27 GMT

Science is being squeezed out of English primary schools, with a third not providing the recommended two hours of teaching a week, research suggests.

Man in court on Becky murder charge
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:14:42 GMT

Nathan Matthews, stepbrother of Bristol teenager Becky Watts, appears in court charged with her murder.

MPs face curb on expenses payments
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 17:53:36 GMT

MPs will be banned from claiming expenses for dinners, TV licences and pre-23:00 taxis after May's election.

Cameron hits back after coward claims
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:06:11 GMT

David Cameron denies claims he is running scared from a head-to-head TV debate with Ed Miliband, as the BBC Trust rejects the DUP's appeal to be included.

Man 'critical' after work incident
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:36:09 GMT

A man is in a critical condition in hospital after a workplace incident at a fuel company in Belfast's Harbour estate.

Keane summonsed in road rage probe
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:32:14 GMT

Football star Roy Keane is summonsed to appear in court over an alleged road rage confrontation with a Greater Manchester taxi driver.

Banker lost job 'after risk fears'
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 21:42:15 GMT

A banker who claims he lost his job after raising concerns about his employer will have his case heard at a full employment tribunal hearing after losing a preliminary hearing.

Mirror 'insult' over hacking denial
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:06:45 GMT

Mirror Group Newspapers "added insult to injury" by giving a "deliberate impression" it had not engaged in phone hacking, the High Court hears.

Gift Horse trots in Trafalgar Square
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 13:04:56 GMT

Gift Horse, a skeletal sculpture which displays a live feed from the London Stock Exchange, has been unveiled on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Comedy books win Blue Peter awards
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 12:58:29 GMT

The Spy Who Loved School Dinners and The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff win 2015's Blue Peter Book Awards, as young readers celebrate World Book Day.

Pair injured in Poleglass shooting
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:53:32 GMT

Two men in their 30s are injured after being shot in the legs in Poleglass on the outskirts of west Belfast.

BBC rejects DUP's TV debates appeal
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:12:35 GMT

The DUP's Nigel Dodds says the BBC Trust's decision to reject the party's appeal to take part in TV election debates "defies belief".

Soldier deaths review backs decision
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:47:49 GMT

A decision not to prosecute anyone after the deaths of three soldiers from overheating on a training exercise was the correct one, a review finds.

Leader survives confidence vote
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:49:16 GMT

The leader of Wales' biggest local authority survives a vote of no confidence insisting he is proud of his achievements in office.

Rangers on brink of new era - King
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:44:22 GMT

Dave King says Rangers are on the brink of a "new era" as he states over 20m will be needed to stabilise the club.

Armed police 'stopped' drink drivers
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:25:39 GMT

Armed police officers have stopped drink drivers and helped search for missing people, MSPs are told.

'Wrong body' cremated at MEP funeral
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:20:10 GMT

The body of a man was cremated by mistake at the funeral of an MEP with an almost identical name, the BBC understands.

Facebook boast traps Tesco robber
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 12:23:29 GMT

A robber who boasted on Facebook about his plans to raid a supermarket is caught red-handed by police.

Cisse accepts FA spitting charge
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:30:38 GMT

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse accepts a Football Association charge of spitting at Manchester United's Jonny Evans.

Murray 'unlikely' to play doubles
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:59:57 GMT

Andy Murray says he is "unlikely" to play doubles in Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against the United States in Glasgow.

Fifa ethics boss 'won't take orders'
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:27:17 GMT

Fifa's new ethics chief Cornel Borbely says "nobody will interfere" with his task of tackling corruption.

How did WW2 change the way people dressed?
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:39:26 GMT

Why coupon clothes were not drab - the Imperial War Museum explores what Britain wore in the 1940s.

How Iran's feminist genie escaped
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:21:02 GMT

Iran's 1979 revolution may have handed ultimate power to an ayatollah - but for women it had plenty of positive side-effects.

The number of old people in the UK killing themselves has fallen. Why?
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:29:05 GMT

Once elderly people in the UK were the most likely to take their lives, but now they are at lower risk than the middle-aged.

Three-child benefit limit considered
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:44:28 GMT

The Conservatives are considering limiting child benefit to three children, which could save 300m a year in the long term, BBC Newsnight learns.

Clegg calls for 'Cornish Assembly'
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 07:49:14 GMT

The Liberal Democrats say they would offer the people of Cornwall a new assembly which would get new powers to run local services.

Ex-MP denial after police search home
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 16:41:38 GMT

Former Conservative MP Harvey Proctor has denied being part of any "rent-boy ring" after police searched his home.

VIDEO: Science and Technology Committee
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:46:11 GMT

The Committee hosts a "Voice of the Future 2015" event

VIDEO: App guides blind people on the Tube
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:32:30 GMT

A new trial on the London Underground is designed to help blind and partially-sighted people get around independently using wireless technology.

VIDEO: Classic Ford Mexico car stolen
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:56:54 GMT

Police have released CCTV footage of a ram raid car theft in Surrey

VIDEO: BoE under investigation for fraud
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 22:40:29 GMT

The SFO is investigating the Bank of England after allegations that the process under which it lent to banks during the financial crisis was "rigged".

VIDEO: Scotland election battle 'wide open'
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:27:08 GMT

Labour is vowing to "fight every step of the way" in Scotland despite polling suggesting the party could face a near wipe-out at the hands of the Scottish National Party.

VIDEO: Meningitis: 'No one should go through this pain'
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:42:55 GMT

The parents of a girl who lost part of her limbs after catching Meningitis B are supporting a campaign to speed up introduction of a vaccine against the disease.

VIDEO: Stepbrother charged with Becky murder
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 23:20:45 GMT

Nathan Matthews, the stepbrother of missing 16-year-old Becky Watts, has been charged with her murder, Avon and Somerset Police have said.

VIDEO: 'Nothing suspicious about my son'
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 20:56:10 GMT

The father of a Pakistani man who has been convicted in the US for plotting attacks in several countries says that there was "nothing suspicious" about his son.

VIDEO: Prince's warning about ivory trade
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:30:53 GMT

The Duke of Cambridge gives a speech warning over the risks to elephants from poaching and illegal trade.

VIDEO: Can marketing change your vote?
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:50:11 GMT

Can the right packaging change your vote?

VIDEO: Child star with Down's syndrome back on TV
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:50:20 GMT

Child TV star with Down's syndrome on life away from home

The legend's sister who beat the men
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:07:16 GMT

Pat Moss: The F1 legend's sister who beat the men

The man who posted himself to Australia
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:58:45 GMT

The man who posted himself from London to Australia

Quiz of the week's news
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:00:48 GMT

Who hasn't banned selfie sticks yet?

The strange things in Ladybird Books
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:01:34 GMT

The often strange world view of Ladybird Books

Fears over UK Sunni-Shia divide
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:05:31 GMT

Fears grow over tensions between UK's Sunni and Shia

Could Manchester pioneers save NHS?
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:06:20 GMT

Could the pioneering Greater Manchester plan save the NHS?

Parking grace period and debates row
Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:38:38 GMT

Parking grace period and debates row attract headlines