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Audit Commission scrapped as austerity drive intensifies

The Audit Commission, the body responsible for tackling public waste, has become the most high profile victim of the Government’s war on the bloated public sector after being accused of squandering taxpayers’ cash. Ministers stepped in to abolish the £200 million-a-year body following a decade of “shocking” excess which culminated in staff enjoying days out at the races and life coaching at public expense.

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What next for the pound?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The strength of sterling is a major issue for most businesses and households. As the pound has dropped in value against other major currencies like the dollar and euro, travelling abroad has become much more expensive. Imported goods have also pushed up basic prices for British firms and consumers. UK exporters, however, have welcomed the weaker pound as it makes their goods cheaper to foreign markets.

 

Inflation expectations hit two-year high

Wednesday December 1, 2010

Britons' expectations for inflation in the coming year picked up to 3.3 percent in November, the highest in more than two years, a survey by Citi/YouGov showed. November's reading is up from 3.0 percent in October and well above the Bank of England's 2 percent inflation target.

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Avoid the Triple Effect of the VAT rise

By the time you read this, the Government will have implemented the rise in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, but many of you will still be struggling with some of its implications. Announced in the Chancellor George Osbourne’s Budget, the rise on 4th January 2011 represents one of his key policy changes introduced to try to reduce the country’s budget deficit. This contrasts sharply with the previous Government’s policy to reduce VAT to 15% for a limited period, to stimulate growth; in other words asking consumers to buy their way out of recession. While this turnaround has forced many organisations to rethink marketing and policy strategy – the good news for the finance and AP departments is that this latest VAT change (the third over a period of 26 months) has meant that many organisations feel that they are well versed in how to cope.

Fears of double dip fade as Britain records better than expected growth figures of 0.8 percent

Thursday, 25th November 2010

Fears of a double-dip recession faded last night as Britain continued its stronger-than-expected recovery. The economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of the year thanks to a rebound in exports, official figures showed.

It was slower than the 1.2 per cent growth for the previous three months but was still welcomed by experts who said it showed the recovery was on track.

However, hard-pressed families are cutting back their spending in a worrying sign that the pace of recovery could slow further in the coming months.

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