Welfare state under pressure
As the UK government has mentioned on numerous occasions, the inability of many people in the UK to take up full-time employment due to the benefits system will be rectified over the next four years. The government is set to announce £25 billion in welfare budget cuts with an emphasis on reducing dependence upon benefit payments and making employment, whether this is part-time or full-time, more attractive for every person in the UK.
There is no doubt that over the last decade the number of people in the UK dependent upon benefits has increased dramatically as has the number of people employed by the public sector. It is common knowledge that over 50% of the UK workforce is employed by the public sector either directly or indirectly. When you also take into account the massive pension liabilities built up by the previous Labour government, with final salary pension schemes still commonplace in the public sector and almost extinct in the private sector, there is no doubt that the authorities were pushed into a corner.
We are now starting to see the major difference between the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, something which could split the UK electorate down the middle at the next election.
Is the government set to means test bus passes?
A report by the Local Government Association has today caused outrage among pensioners and pensioner support groups with the indication that means testing for free bus travel for pensioners could come into play in the short term. Local authorities believe that the £1 billion free bus pass scheme is a waste of taxpayer's money with more and more middle-class pensioners owning their own vehicles an...Read More
Energy bills set to rise in the future
In another blow to UK consumers and businesses, it has been revealed that UK energy prices will have to rise in the future in order to "pay for investment into nuclear energy". It is no secret that the UK government has been looking to expand the nuclear side of the power generation system in the UK with little or no success to date. However, a government minister has confirmed that the cost of in...Read More
Online sales growth show signs of slowing
Figures just released from IMRG Capgemini show that the ongoing growth in online sales continued in February 2009 with a 13% increase over the corresponding period last year. This comes at a time when the general retail sector is in sharp decline although there have been signs of many consumers switching from the off-line market to the online arena. However, there was a significant fall in online...Read More
Matalan posts 5.9% Christmas sales rise
Discount clothing store Matalan has this week announced Christmas sales figures which were 5.9% higher than the corresponding period last year. This announcement from a company which has had its own difficulties in the past has further muddied the water on the high street with a number of very different trading statements coming to the fore over the last few weeks. While a number of companies have...Read More
When should you review your own financial situation?
As we approach the New Year more and more people in the UK will be looking to review their own financial situation and address any potential issues. However, while it would be wrong to suggest that we should all review our financial situation on a monthly or even half yearly basis there is a need to respond to the current economic environment. Even though the UK economy has shown signs of improvem...Read More