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Monthly Archives: December 2009

Public sector borrowing hits record high in November

The UK’s public sector net borrowing reached £20.3bn in November which is the highest monthly figure since these figures were first started in 1993. This figure compares with the £15.5bn which was recorded in November 2008. This is according to figures published by the ONS this morning.   According to the Pre Budget Report the chancellor is expecting total public … Continue reading

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Fall in claimant count unemployment

There was a fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, otherwise known as the claimant count, in November according to the ONS today. In fact the number fell by 6,300 over the previous month to give a total of 1.63 million out of work. This is the first monthly fall in this measure since February 2008.   The … Continue reading

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Big rise in UK inflation

The CPI annual inflation rate rose to 1.9% in November following a rise of 1.5% in October. This increase was faster than expected and was mainly due to changes in transport prices, with the largest effect coming from fuels and lubricants. In this category, prices rose by 2.8% between October and November this year but fell by a huge 8.3% … Continue reading

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Missing tax costs the UK £40bn a year

HM Revenue & Customs published a piece in the printed Pre Budget Report called Protecting Tax Revenues 2009. In this they projected that there was a “tax gap” of 8%, which means of the total tax which they would expect to receive they are unable to get their hands on 8%. And, 8% is not a trifling matter, as it … Continue reading

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New windfall tax for apple growers

After next year the government will be scrambling to raise money anywhere it can as well as making swingeing cuts on spending. Additional tax on bank bonuses has already been announced, but other sectors may eventually be drawn in, such as the energy sector.   Since the Treasury refused to give a detailed breakdown of spending cuts following the Pre … Continue reading

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Shock cut in bingo duty

A reduction in bingo duty from 25% to 20% was the centrepiece of yesterday’s Pre Election Manifesto – sorry, Pre Budget Report – presented by chancellor, Alistair Darling.   Whilst it’s true that the chancellor had all the room to manoeuvre of a man holding a wake in a telephone box, he actually played safe by doing ….well…..doing virtually nothing. … Continue reading

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Public sector to be hit

Mr Brown has just launched an attack on public sector pay which he describes as “excessive”. He announced the government’s paper on smart government, saying: “It cannot be right that taxpayers fund 300 local authority officials who have salaries over £150.000 or that in total over 300 staff across public sector bodies are paid more than £200,000.”   How is … Continue reading

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International investment collapses in 2009, says OECD

International mergers and acquisitions are forecast to decline by 56% in 2009 compared with 2008, the largest year-on-year decline since 1995. This estimate is based on OECD analysis of data for international M&A activity up to 26 November 2009.   This fall is largely due to the 60% decline in value of cross-border merger and acquisitions (M&A) by firms based … Continue reading

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The world is trapped in a global savings glut

So starts an article published last week by Robin Wells on the guardian.co.uk website. The title of her article is: Big savers got us into this mess, as well as big spenders.   She starts by saying that the global savings glut is the source of our economic problems as well as an obstacle to our recovery and claims that … Continue reading

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2009: A Review of the Economic Year

This is the title of a talk given by Spencer Dale, Chief Economist at the Bank of England yesterday in which he discusses the policy response to the economic downturn, evidence that the economy has stabilised, and the prospects for 2010 and beyond. In it he notes that the MPC’s interest rate decisions have acted to improve companies’ cash flow … Continue reading

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