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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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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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The last Labour government introduced the Time to Train scheme which enabled any employee with more than 26 weeks service to request time off work to undertake training of any sort. Whilst on the surface that seems reasonable in practice the new right raised a lot of issues not the least being the fear that if a […]

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Citizens of Czechoslovakia awoke to find that the Soviet Union and its main allies in the Warsaw Pact – (Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, and Poland) had invaded overnight in order to crush Prime Minister Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring political liberalisation reforms. Hundreds of people were killed or wounded and several members of the liberal Czechoslovak […]

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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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I think it’s imperative that people get off their butts and travel. I say this because I believe the old dictum that travel broadens the mind. And what this world needs more than anything else right now is “mind broadening”. Travelling to a country gives you a chance to experience life as others live it, […]

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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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University tuition fees could be replaced by a new “graduate tax” under new proposals put forward by business and skills secretary Vince Cable.  He proposed that the government would pay fees directly to universities instead of lending money to students to cover the cost and then having them pay these loans back by an extra […]

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Despite all his tough talk when he was in opposition as the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor, since becoming Business Secretary in the Coalition Government Vince Cable has been singularly unable to get banks and building societies to open their wallets and start lending to businesses or individuals. There is no doubt that Dr Cable is […]

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One of the constant complaints of British businesses and individuals is the huge amount of outdated laws and irritating regulations they face. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today issued a call to arms against pointless regulation and unnecessary bureaucracy, and is inviting the public to have their say about how they want the Government to […]

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As criticism of Tony Hayward grows and with President Obama throwing his toys out of the pram with increasing regularity, many people are wondering what this shows us about the leadership qualities – or lack thereof – of both men. But who is to blame for this disaster? This post has grown from several comments […]

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The Institute of Directors has today called on George Osborne to consider and adopt seven “keys to success” which they say will need to be delivered by the Chancellor in the forthcoming emergency Budget. By adopting the 7 keys to success the IoD say that the Chancellor would help accelerate economic recovery. However failure to […]

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Before the recent election all the three main parties were saying that they “had no plans to increase or extend VAT”. In fact the Labour Party actually ruled it out, but then they knew full well that the chance of them being in power, even with Lib Dem support, was fairly negligible. So it proved. […]

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Just over a year ago I wrote about the visit to the Isle of Man undertaken by Vince Cable, then Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor who today was appointed Secretary of State for Business and Banking in the new Conservative – Liberal cabinet. Despite having been a stern critic of the island, calling it a tax […]

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As everyone must now know, Gordon Brown has finally set the date for the General Election for 6th May 2010. After recent months of a “phony war” the electorate finally has its chance to vote on the record of the Labour government in general and of Gordon Brown in particular. But not everyone realises that […]

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We now have official confirmation of what we have all known for months, if not years, the UK General Election will be held on Thursday 6th May. Since he bottled out of an early election following his unopposed “coronation” as Labour leader and thus also Prime Minister, it was clear that Gordon Brown was going […]

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Some 100,000 employees of the state owned British Steel Corporation (BSC) caused the shut down of the company’s furnaces in protest at what they called a “derisory offer” of 6% pay increase from their management. The strike quickly spread to privately owned steelworks. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher condemned the strike – called by the Iron […]

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