HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has made an extra £1bn in tax from so-called ‘high-net-worth individuals’ (HNWI) with over £20m in assets, following a voluntary compliance exercise. Continue reading
According to recent research, three out of four small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that degrees are worth less now than they were 10 years ago. Continue reading
Unemployment in the UK fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million in the three months to May, taking it to the lowest level in nearly six years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Continue reading
Baines Jewitt is renewing its sponsorship of a County Durham rugby club, who are continuing to go from strength-to-strength. Continue reading
UK inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose unexpectedly in June, to 1.9 per cent, up from May’s 1.5 per cent and the biggest monthly increase since October 2012. Continue reading
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has criticised the Government’s “unambitious” broadband programme, calling it “not fit for purpose”, and has called for market reform and a new approach to rolling out rural coverage. Continue reading
Research has revealed this week that, not only do big firms owe small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) huge aged debt but that the ones who don’t use them as suppliers are wary of doing so.
Figures published this week show that SMEs are owed nearly £40bn as a result of late payments, meaning that their debt has grown to £39.4bn, from £30bn last year.
Bacs Payment Schemes, which facilitates financial transactions between businesses, said that 60 per cent of SMEs were experiencing late payments, with the average company waiting for £38,186 in overdue cash. Meanwhile, one in four SMEs admitted that if the amount it was owed grew to £50,000, the company would be faced with bankruptcy.
The Government wants to force companies to publish information about their payment terms in an effort to shame big businesses into paying suppliers on time as part of its Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill.
Ministers also plan to work with the Institute of Credit Management to strengthen the voluntary prompt payment code, which more than 1,500 firms have signed. The Code could involve an online rating system for late-payers.
Meanwhile, there are many big firms that do not do business with SMEs for various reasons, despite mounting pressure from the Government. In fact, new research shows that just 12 per cent of procurement managers in large concerns said they are planning to increase the number of contracts issued to SMEs.
The study attributed their reticence to the perceived “financial instability” of SMEs, combined with fears over non-compliance with standards and regulations.
However, some managers admitted that there were benefits to working with smaller companies, saying that they were flexible, efficient, and better-located than larger organisations in many cases.
The Bank of England’s new Deputy Governor, Nemat Shafik, suggested that higher interest rates may be on the Bank’s agenda soon, telling members of the Treasury Committee that the task of managing a smooth exit from very low interest rates would rank amongst her biggest challenges in her role of Deputy Governor for Markets and Banking. Continue reading
Growth in manufacturing output slumped 1.3 per cent in May, the biggest decline since January 2013, according to official figures released yesterday (8 July), while the wider measure of industrial output also decreased over the month, falling by 0.7 per cent. Continue reading
The Confederation of British industry (CBI) has warned that UK firms face millions of pounds in compensation bills because of a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) that said workers should be paid commission even when on holiday. Continue reading