Wriglesworth Paper Summary 2nd December 2013

Business/Economic:

CBI says that midsized companies (50-499 staff, turnover £10-100m) are driving recovery by creating more than their share of jobs and growth. The CBI wants the Treasury and Department for Business to help them obtain finance through private placements, retail bonds and loan securities, to help them contribute and extra £20bn to the economy by 2020. FT p4

Government is planning to boost Britain’s Business Bank with an extra £250m and give it a permanent HQ in Sheffield, reports Daily Telegraph. B1

The strength of the British economy is drawing envy from the Eurozone as investors from around the world size up the opportunity presented by its  recovery. India sees UK as ‘corridor to the west’ from Asia, due to language affinity, and Italy comments that UK is increasingly seen as technology as well as financial hub. Germany remains unimpressed, commenting that UK is blowing up a property bubble that will end in tears. FT, p3

KPMG report says that Britain is still the favourite tax regime of quoted companies, but warns that the debate over tax avoidance and risk of reputational damage is likely to deter investment in the UK. FT, p3 

British Industry warns government that green taxes are pushing it to ‘crisis point’ and making UK plants at competitive disadvantage to European rivals, and urge government to extend their pledge to roll back green levies on households to manufacturing plants, FT p1

David Cameron seeks to cast himself as China’s commercial ally in Europe by backing Beijing’s calls for a free trade deal with the EU in spite of scepticism about China’s readiness to open up its own markets.  FT, p1

Property:

Planning approvals for new homes increase by a third, as housebuilders capitalise on tougher rules that favour developers if councils reject their plans. (House Builders Federation), FT p4

Personal Finance:

Middle classes (earning between £31-42k) can’t afford to save: four in five haven’t started a nest egg for their children (report by Demos think tank). The report also said three-quarters had ‘irrationally’ optimistic views about their finances, believing they could leave their child a property or assets worth £50k. The Chancellor is urged to use this week’s Autumn Statement to reward long-term saving and sensible financial planning rather than offer short term ‘sweeteners’. Daily Mail p11

More than 1000 care home residents died thirsty between 2003-12, FOI figures reveal. Daily Telegraph p1

OECD figures show UK children languishing behind key international competitors such as China, South Korea and Singapore in English, Maths and Science, despite spending more on education than many other countries. Labour blamed by Coalition. Daily Telegraph p1

Sudden surge in property crime alarms police chiefs. North-South divide revealed by figures with police in North West facing challenging increases in crime. The Times p1

Recruitment and HR:

The tight link between economic growth and employee compensation has not broken says Treasury, in briefing designed to counter Labour’s charge that ordinary families are not benefitting from the recovery. Ahead of the Autumn statement, officials have demonstrated that although the rise in typical living standards has fallen behind the growth of GDP, the amount companies are paying employees has kept pace. The costs of shoring up defined benefit pension funds is the most important reason employers did not have the money to raise take-home pay. FT, p2

City job vacancies hit 7 month high. (Astbury Marsden), FT, p2

Other:

Technology is leaving children unable to use pencils, Daily Telegraph p13

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