Archive for the ‘News’ category

Oil Reaches The Watershed Price Of $100 Per Barrel

February 1, 2011

As hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in cities across Egypt demanding the resignation of the current President, Hosni Mubarak the price of oil has continued to rise. In London, crude prices reached $101.08. Although the Suez Canal is still operational, traders fear that the continued standoff between the president and the people of Egypt will interfere with the main supply route for crude.

Yesterday, David Cameron made it clear that the Treasury had to find a way to reform the tax system so that fuel duty goes down when oil prices go up. At present the government takes around two thirds of the price of petrol as tax. Current fiscal policy dictates that fuel duty rises annually, by (at least) the rate of inflation. This policy seems unworkable, especially when the government’s austerity measures start to pinch the less than prosperous taxpayer.

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D-day for Tuition Fee debate

December 9, 2010

The controversial issue of raising tuition fees in England to £9,000 per year will be voted on in the House of Commons today after weeks of student protests and political debate.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who yesterday addressed the nation in attempt to quell public and political rebellion, has proposed that tuition fees for UK students triple from £3,290 to £9,000 a year.

The proposal has generated a great deal of anger from the public as it is felt that the Liberal Democrats have turned their back on their pledge they made during the general election to vote against fee increases.

Whilst Liberal Democrat Party Leader Nick Clegg is standing by the coalition’s decision, deputy leader Simon Hughes has voiced his disagreement with the tuition fee hikes claiming he will rebel against the coalition agreement:

“I have a duty to listen to my local party members and my supporters in my constituency, and they have asked me, on this occasion, to rebel against and break the coalition agreement,” he said.

In addition to the fee increase, further anger has been caused over the proposal that new fees will only apply to students in England. Welsh students will not have to pay the higher rate, even if they study at university in England.

Over 20,000 protesters are expected to descent on Westminster today and anarchist groups have threatened to ‘shut down’ the capital.

The debate is expected to begin the House of Commons today just after midday GMT. The duration of the debate may be no longer than five hours, after which MP’s must cast their votes.

Cameron To Secure Economic Recovery With New Plans

October 25, 2010

With all the cuts that the coalition government are making, many of us could be forgiven in thinking that the UK might just slip back into a double-dip recession.

However, Prime Minister David Cameron will today explain how he proposes to nip this bud of fear in the neck by announcing a business strategy which is aimed at fortifying Britain’s economic recovery.

The strategy will be aimed at economic growth and will reveal a national infrastructure plan which includes growth targets. The plan has already found enormous support with around £200 billion of backing.

The strategy will be introduced at the Confederation of British Industry and presented to attendees by Cameron, deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg and the business secretary, Vince Cable. It is thought that the prime minister will say that the new plan will “transform our fortunes” post-recession.

The government is not only battling against a weak economy, but also criticism from their opposition that they have not sufficiently explained how they intend to stabilize UK economy. With news that the GDP is slowing (from 1.2% in Q2 to 0.4% in Q3), a firm recovery plan is what many people were waiting for.

Rent Costs At A Two Year Peak

October 6, 2010

The average cost of renting in the UK has risen by 1.4%, soaring to a two-year high as more and more Britons want to rent with the cost of buying being so unaffordable at present.

People are seemingly putting their plans to buy on ice as the current economic outlook is so unsteady. Not only this but lenders are making it more and more difficult for prospective buyers as the deposits that are demanded pre-buying are dramatically increasing and banks are unwilling to lend money.

The general consensus is that housing prices are falling and will continue to fall for the next couple of years so at present, prospective buyers are biding their time.

The renting price has been creeping up since the beginning of the year and the cost has gone up, on average of £47 a month. This is an increase of 5.8%.

A rise of 1.4% translates as an average of £851 a month in rent. This is the highest level since November 2008. These results were found by a property website and the findings suggest that whilst in a few areas the price of renting is going down, on average, the price is on the up because the demand is up.

Because of the ever-increasing demand for rental properties, there are now 38% fewer properties available than there were in May 2009.

Would You Make a Claim?

September 9, 2010

Would you make a claim against your employer if you had an accident in the workplace that wasn’t your fault?

In Britain and many other countries (the US, Australia to name a couple) consumers are more confident than ever when it comes to their rights.  OK, so they may not be as happy to splash their cash on the high street just yet but when it comes to claiming compensation and their rights it seems that everyone is now an expert.

Critics argue that this culture of claiming is verging on an aggressive attack on many sectors and businesses that otherwise provide excellent services.

However, others weigh up that ordinary people do have rights and if they have suffered as a result of negligence on the part of someone else, they are entitled to their compensation.  There are claims services for every purpose today – from standard injury claims to more complex clinical negligence claims.

Safe Havens Back Down

August 26, 2010

The yen, the US dollar and the Swiss franc all fell in this morning’s early trade – can you see the pattern?

Yes, all three are traditionally seen as ‘safe havens’ in an otherwise rocky market – yet today investors headed away from them on the back of healthier commodity increases.

Meanwhile the Japanese authorities are still rumoured to be thinking about intervening on the yen’s strength.

Also in the news: central banks are meeting at the US Fed’s mountain retreat to talk about the state of the global economy.  Is it recovering well enough?  Are we on the edge of another cliff, about to tumble back into recession?  Do we need to print more money to give things a boost?  These and other key topics are likely to be discussed.

Ireland’s Credit Rating Downgraded

August 25, 2010

Standard & Poor’s, the leading credit rating agency, has downgraded Ireland’s rating to AA- from AA.  It has also increased the projected net debt of GDP to 113 which is quite a jump from last year’s debt which was around 65% of GDP.

The news comes as another blow to Ireland, which is struggling to recover from the effects of the recession, having had its formerly booming property market collapse.

Since then it has been consigned to the unpopular PIIGS group – the euro zone nations that have threatened to drag down the entire euro currency zone.  Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain have all been tackling severe public debts.

Britain, whose debts are stiff competition for any of those nations, is able to avoid quite as much blame, being as it is not a euro currency nation.