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Ask people what the term “personal development” means to them and most will answer in relation to their career or employment development. Only when you ask for further examples might they start to talk about developing personal relationships. In truth the term applies to anything that will enrich your life, financially or otherwise; bring you […]

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The UK now levies the highest taxes on flying in the world. In less than 20 years the tax (Air Passenger Duty or “APD”) has risen from £5 for flights within Europe and £10 for outside Europe to between £13 and £184 per person depending on distance and class of travel.  In 2011-12, APD raised […]

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Almost before George Osborne sat down after delivering his 2012 Budget speech, many of his own Conservative MPs – on the back benches and in the cabinet – were putting up howls of anguish at some of the measures, such as the so-called “pasty tax”, the “granny tax”, taxes on caravans and listed buildings, and […]

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The Office of Rail Regulation is threatening Network Rail with massive fines if the company – responsible for the rail infrastructure throughout England, Wales and Scotland – doesn’t take action to ensure that targets for punctuality and service delivery are not met by the end of 2014. In 2011 almost 14 million passenger journeys were […]

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I honestly cannot believe the cack-handed way in which the government has sought to defend George Osborne’s proposed tax-relief cap for charity donations. Worse still they have attempted to do so in a manner that displays a total lack of understanding on how tax relief for charities actually works. It isn’t rocket science guys – […]

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Watching George Osborne’s 2012 Budget speech on TV I cringed at some of the ideas that he came up with, not because they might not have points to recommend them, but because Osborne didn’t seem to realise that they gifted the opposition, the media, and some of his own party, opportunities to mock and attack […]

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Everyone knows that the Greek economy is in meltdown and has been for some time. Frankly it is a scandal that Greece was ever allowed into the Euro. At the time everyone knew that the figures provided could not be right, but unlike the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, there was no little boy […]

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A de Havilland DH16 (pictured) belonging to the British Aircraft Transport & Travel Company (“AT@&T”) took off from Hounslow Heath Aerodrome inaugurating the world’s first regularly scheduled airline service between London and Paris, Le Bourget Airport. Although situated near to modern-day Heathrow Airport, Hounslow Heath, which started life as a grass airstrip used by the […]

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Anyone with even a passing interest in the relationship between politician and newspaper publishers has knows for many months that it was only a matter of time before the inept cover up of the illegal practices carried on by, or on behalf of, the News of the World would unravel. So it has proven this […]

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It’s over a year now since I pointed out that it is actually in the best interest of the British taxpayer for banks (or any other business) to pay large bonuses to their staff. It isn’t hard to see why this should be so and so I’m rather surprised that neither the media nor Government […]

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On Monday the Institute of Directors (IoD) launched the first ever Corporate Governance Guidance and Principles for Unlisted Companies in the UK. Unlisted companies make a major contribution to UK economic growth and employment. However, the corporate governance needs of unlisted companies have, to date, been relatively neglected by governance experts as well as by […]

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It has been obvious for many months now that the Irish economy was in deep, deep trouble and no one really believed that the Irish government could possibly manage to get the country out of the mess without the sort of help that Greece was forced to accept earlier this year. So it is that […]

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I think most people accept that the comments made by Lord Young, that the majority of UK citizens had “never had it so good” were in fact true. Despite the recession most people are benefitting from low interest rates but if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have lost or […]

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Government Ministers are drawing up plans to replace the existing means-tested and contribution-based system with a new flat-rate pension to replace the current basic state pension, the second state pension and pension credits. The proposals are that from 2015 every person will be entitled to a pension of £140 a week. This is a significant […]

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As more businesses take steps to move their tax residence from the UK and as many workers in the financial sector leave these shores because of high levels of personal tax, the UK Chancellor must urgently review the competitiveness of the UK tax system or risk prolonging the recession. Almost all commentators, economists and tax […]

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In a new paper contributing to the debate about higher education funding, the Institute of Directors (IoD) argues that a graduate tax is the wrong policy solution and would damage the UK’s tax competitiveness. Nor would it solve the problem of widening participation. The IoD urges the Government to opt for an extension of the […]

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Before the general election the business community made it clear that from their point of view the three areas of prime importance that any new government had to address were Deficit Reduction, School Competition, and Regulatory Reform. They expected action on these during the first 100 days of a new government so as to demonstrate […]

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The UK Coalition Government have today proposed a number of initiatives designed to reduce the burden of bureaucracy and red tape for business.  Proposals from the Department for Business include the re-publicising of the Your Freedom website, a “beefing up” of the Regulatory Policy Committee’s role and the provision of greater detail on the nature […]

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Following the unseemly debacle surrounding Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury (and some of us remember similar issues many years ago in the Guinness/Distillerstakeover) the Takeover Panel have launched a review into certain aspects of the regulations concerning takeovers and have invited comments. Here are mine. Any changes to the Takeover Code must ensure that the UK […]

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Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, has today launched the coalition government’s consultation paper A Strategy for Sustainable Growth. In doing so he stated: “This government has put decisive action on the fiscal deficit at the centre of its agenda. Business in the UK cannot prosper while the risk of a […]

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