Businesses want the government to cut the deficit as its number one priority, and they also want whoever wins the election to scrap the planned rise in national insurance. That is according to the organisation that represents the country's smaller and medium-sized businesses, The British Chambers of Commerce. They say that far more of their members think raising VAT would be far less damaging. This comes amid reports that both Labour and the Conservatives are edging towards a 20% rate of VAT to cut the deficit. We ask David Frost, Director General of the Britsh Chambers of Commerce what he believes the best solution to this problem is.
Public Sector Jobs
According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, one in three public sector employers plan to shed jobs within the next three months. Defence and public administration jobs are particularly at risk and redundancies loom for many. Despite this, overall job losses during this recession have not been as bad as predicted, partly because of unexpected flexibility from both employers and employees. John Brazier, Managing Director of the Professional Contractors Group tells us what he makes of the CIPD's assessment of public sector jobs cuts.
Japan has held onto its position as the world's second biggest economy behind China - but only just. Official figures show that the economy grew by 1.1% from October to December 2009, which was better than expected. We ask Dr Linda Yeuh, fellow in economics at Oxford University, why the Chinese economy did not surge ahead of Japan as it was expected to do.
Boiler Scrappage Scheme
There is enough money to keep the car scrappage scheme going for another 6 weeks, and a similar new scheme has recently been set up by the government. The boiler scrappage scheme gives those who dispose of their old ones £400 towards a new boiler. To date, almost 55,000 vouchers for boilers have been taken up, with a further 70,000 still available. Fraser Winterbottom from the Energy Saving Trust tells us why the scheme is worthwhile, when not much CO2 is saved due to the production of new boilers.
Award-winning business and financial news, with Andy Verity, Dominic Laurie, Mickey Clarke and...