NEWS

The latest from Balance for Business

Shortage of workers pushing up pay

A report by the Bank of England’s regional agents has revealed that recruitment difficulties have “intensified” and are above the normal level in several parts of the jobs market, prompting wage growth to edge up, a trend which is expected to accelerate in 2018. The findings have been supported by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, […]

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SMEs fear VAT shake-up

Up to 600,000 small businesses could be affected by a change in rules requiring firms to charge VAT on goods and services. Currently, companies with a turnover of under £85,000 are exempt, but there is speculation the Chancellor will lower the threshold to companies with a turnover of up to £43,000. Mike Cherry of the […]

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Mayors unite to call for new programme of devolution

Britain’s seven regional and city-wide mayors have met for the first time and issued a united call for the government to significantly increase the pace and scale of devolution.   Click here for full article  Click here for related articles

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HMRC to stop accepting credit cards

HMRC is to stop accepting credit cards from next year following a government crackdown on excessive charges. From January, “rip-off” fees charged to consumers by companies and government bodies when they pay by credit card will be completely banned in the UK. HMRC said the move means it will be unable to absorb the cost […]

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Hammond prepares to scrap rates rise

Philip Hammond is ready to drop plans to increase business rates by 3.9% in the Budget this month in a move which could save small firms across England and Wales £1.1bn. The Chancellor is reportedly prepared to shift rates increases from the RPI to the CPI, which currently stands at 2.9%. This was due to […]

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FCA plans to give savers more protection

The Financial Conduct Authority has reviewed the limits for compensation for savers who invest in schemes that go bust, announcing that up to £85,000 of your investments will now be protected under the financial services compensation scheme, up from £50,000. Crowdfunding investors and investments in peer-to-peer lenders will not be covered by the change, which […]

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Insolvencies on the rise

Government statistics show applications for IVAs have reached their highest level since they were introduced in 1987. There were 15,523 IVAs recorded in England and Wales in the third quarter, rising from 13,290 in the same period a year ago. The spike comes amid a 10.6% increase in wider insolvencies since the end of June. […]

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Study: SME insurance market declined in 2016

A recent study by Research and Markets has revealed that the SME insurance market declined in 2016, after four years of growth. SME spending on insurance was down 22.7%, with gross written premiums falling 9% to £6.4bn. The report identifies a drop in the number of companies with five-nine employees as a significant factor: “The […]

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Interest rates up for the first time since 2007

The Bank of England has voted to increase UK interest rates for the first time in more than a decade. Interest rates were adjusted from 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent in a bid to keep a lid on inflation. The last hike took place in July 2007. The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) […]

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SMEs losing faith in government support

The latest Enterprise Index Research from Smith & Williamson has found that 65% of business leaders are losing faith in government business support plans as the impact of Brexit begins to bite. Guy Rigby, head of entrepreneurial services at Smith & Williamson welcomed initiatives such as the Scale-Up Taskforce and the Patient Capital Review but he said, […]

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