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News Tag: Government

October 29, 2011

Occupational pension contributions fall to 54-year low

by Kay Mitchell
According to a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people paying into an occupational pension has slumped to a level not seen since 1956. Last year, there were 8.3 million people contributing to an occupational pension (3 million in the private sector and 5.3 million in the public sector). This represented the lowest figure for 54 years ...

October 20, 2011

German Government slashes economic growth forecast

by Kay Mitchell
The German Government has today slashed its growth forecasts for the euro zone’s largest economy. The Government said it now expected the economy to expand by 1% in 2012, down from an earlier estimate of 1.8%. Meanwhile, this year’s forecast has been lowered slightly to 2.9% from 3%. Its downgrade comes just a week after Germany’s leading economic institutes cut their growth forecasts for ...

October 12, 2011

Welfare changes will lead to big rise in poverty

by Kay Mitchell
According to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), Government welfare changes will mean there will be 3.1 million children in poverty in the UK by 2013. Typical families will see their annual income fall by around £2,000 by the year 2013, warned the IFS, pushing 600,000 more children into poverty. The independent financial research organisation said the ...

UK unemployment soars to 17-year high

by Kay Mitchell
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed UK unemployment rose sharply in the three months to August – rising to a 17-year high. The ONS said unemployment rose by 114,000 in the three month period to 2.57 million, taking the unemployment rate to 8.1% - higher than forecasts. In comparison, unemployment in the US stands at 9.1%, Japan’s unemployment rate is ...

September 30, 2011

German unemployment hits lowest level in 20 years

by Kay Mitchell
Official data has revealed unemployment in Germany dropped to its lowest level in more than 20 years in September. The country’s unemployment rate fell from August’s rate of 7% to 6.6%. Unemployment now stands at 2.79 million – the first time since 1992 that the jobless total has been below 2.8 million. It was also much better than economists had expected. The country’s ...

CBI urges Government to boost housing market

by Kay Mitchell
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is calling on the Government to launch new initiatives to boost the ailing housing market, suggesting it could help economic growth. The business lobby group wants Chancellor George Osborne to launch the fresh initiatives in his autumn statement, which will be delivered later this year. In a speech to the CBI North-East Annual Dinner last night, ...

Japan’s industrial output increases in August

by Kay Mitchell
Japan’s industrial output recovered further last month after a record drop in March due to the earthquake and tsunami. Disruptions caused by the twin disasters resulted in carmakers being forced to halt production as a result of parts shortages. However, it looks as if the situation continues to improve after output rose by 0.8% last month compared with July, figures from the Finance ...

September 9, 2011

China’s inflation rate eases in August

by Kay Mitchell
Inflation in the world’s second largest economy eased last month after reaching a 3-year high in July. According to the National Statistics Bureau, consumer prices rose by 6.2% in August on an annual basis, compared with 6.5% the previous month. Several other economies throughout the world are battling with higher inflation, particularly in Asia, which are the result of soaring food costs. A report ...

August 9, 2011

China’s inflation rate gathers pace in July

by Kay Mitchell

August 8, 2011

Swiss Government holds emergency meeting as franc rises

by Kay Mitchell
The value of the Swiss franc continues to rise today as investors regard it as a safe haven amid the economic turmoil. Today, the US dollar hit an all-time low against the Swiss franc, while rising against the euro to 1.0917. A report from the Bloomberg news agency suggests the franc is higher this year against 16 major currencies Earlier this year, ...

July 18, 2011

FSB calls for VAT cut

by Kay Mitchell
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging the Government to cut the rate of VAT in core sectors of the economy. The suggestion comes after the FSB’s latest Business Confidence Report, which saw a sharp fall in sentiment during the second quarter. VAT was raised to 20% earlier this year to raise billions of pounds to trim the deficit but, according to the ...

July 1, 2011

China manufacturing growth slows further

by Kay Mitchell
Manufacturing activity in China eased last month, two separate surveys have revealed today. Firstly, the official China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) said its purchasing managers index (PMI) fell to 50.9 in June from May’s reading of 52 – the lowest level since February 2009. The reading was also lower than expectations of a reading of 51.5. Secondly, the HSBC China Manufacturing PMI also ...

June 30, 2011

Public sector workers protest against pension reforms

by Kay Mitchell
A 24-hour strike is underway in the UK as public sector workers protest against pension reforms. The Public and Commercial Services (PCS), which is Britain’s largest civil service union, as well as three teaching unions, are protesting against changes to their pensions. The industrial action will result in Britain’s worst strike for decades and will affect every person in the ...

June 28, 2011

Greece hit by further 48-hour general strike

by Kay Mitchell
Protesters have gathered on the streets of Athens today as a 48-hour general strike commences, which will see the country come to a virtual standstill. Apart from the metro, no public transport is operating as many people opt to join the fourth general strike called this year by the country's two largest unions. The general strike is set to disrupt the majority ...

June 23, 2011

Single parents will suffer most from benefit cuts

by Kay Mitchell
According to the Fawcett Society, the gender equality charity, lone parents are set to be squeezed by the Government’s austeirty measures, which include cuts to benefits and tax hikes. A report by the Society explains the public service cuts will result in lone mothers losing an average 8.5% of their income after tax by 2015. This compares with 7.5% for ...

June 21, 2011

IMF warns Spanish Government to reduce spending

by Kay Mitchell
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned the Spanish Government to continue with its efforts of cutting public spending and reducing unemployment. Like many other Governments across the globe, Spain is taking steps to reduce the deficit but the IMF warned the economy still faces "considerable" risks. In an annual report, the Washington-based Fund said: “The repair of the economy is incomplete ...

UK borrowing falls in May

by Kay Mitchell
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today revealed UK public sector borrowing fell slightly last month. According to the ONS, public sector borrowing fell to £15.15 billion last month compared with £16.46 billion in May last year. The figure was lower than analysts’ expectations of £15.75 billion and was attributed to an increase in taxes – which includes the VAT rise in ...

June 20, 2011

Government cracks down on uninsured drivers

by Kay Mitchell
With immediate effect, motorists will be forced to declare if their car is off the road if they want to avoid buying insurance. The measures are part of the Government’s efforts to clamp down on uninsured motorists. In the past, drivers had to be caught driving with no insurance to be charged and prosecuted. From today, drivers with a car off the road must ...

June 10, 2011

Government launches back to work scheme

by Kay Mitchell
The Government has launched its new “Work Programme”, which aims to get people off benefits and back to work. The scheme will see mainly private companies trying to find work for claimants in the UK. The moves are part of the coalition Government’s welfare crackdown which is designed to make a life on benefits “no longer an option” – first announced in ...

June 8, 2011

Moody’s: UK’s top-notch rating at risk

by Kay Mitchell
Credit rating agency Moody’s has today said Britain’s AAA rating is at risk if growth remains weak and the Government’s budget deficit reduction plans fail to meet target. The announcement sent sterling below €1.12 for the first time in four weeks and also lost ground against the US dollar. Weak economic growth has led many analysts to doubt the Government’s ability to meet ...