Spain suffers cut from Standard and Poor's
Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's has today reduced the credit rating on Spanish national debt from AAA to AA. This is a major blow for the Spanish economy and the Spanish government and comes amid signs that the Greece debacle is now affecting other European economies. Yesterday we saw Portugal suffer the indignity of a credit rating downgrade and experts believe more downgrades are on the way.
The ongoing problems within the Eurozone have impacted upon the euro itself which has come under significant selling pressure over the last few days. Despite the fact that only a few days ago it looked highly unlikely that any European country would default on its national debt, the chances of this happening have increased dramatically over the last 48 hours. There is also concern that the global economy could be impacted by the debt problems within Europe and we could move back towards another worldwide economic downturn.
Even though the UK stock market was fairly steady today, compared to yesterday, we did see significant falls in France, Germany and Spain and there is growing concern amongst investors. Despite the fact that the German authorities appear to have been dragging their heels regarding a solution for the Greek debt problem, it was the German government who today called for a "speeding up" of negotiations between the Greek government, the IMF and the European Union.
Pay rise for apprentices planned
06/10/2014 Vince Cable will today announce plans to raise the apprentice minimum wage by £1.06. The Lib Dem Business Secretary is due to announce the rise at the Liberal Democrats annual conference in Glasgow later, and the move is known to be backed by the Conservatives. If cleared by regulators, it could come into effect by October this year. According to the government’s website, appren...Read More
Airlines complain to European Union about passenger compensation
Airlines including British Airways and Ryanair have today complained to the European Union regarding draconian measures which the authorities are looking to use to ensure that airlines reimburse passenger accommodation costs as well as the cost of the travel tickets for those affected by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud. This has further inflamed a situation which was on the verge of anarchy wi...Read More
Is this really the worst recession for 100 years?
When children's secretary Ed Balls decided to comment upon the UK economy many were primed for a disastrous public relations stunt. While Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling have been firm in their belief that the UK is not moving into a depression, Ed Balls seemed to suggest that comparisons with the 1930s US downturn were valid. This now brings into question Gordon Brown's recent "slip of the tong...Read More
Reform think tank recommends 1 million public-sector jobs cuts
The Reform think tank has today issued a report which recommends that the UK government should reduce employment numbers within the public sector, specifically the NHS and the police, by 1 million in order to save £27 billion a year. The 15% reduction in headcount is a number which no political party is willing to commit to because ultimately it could be a significant vote loser as we approach th...Read More
John Lewis reports sales down 6.6% compared to same week last year
Weekly sales figures from John Lewis may have given the retail sector more hope than ever before but there are concerns that the reversal of a double digit sales reduction the week before last may only be a temporary reprieve. While there will no doubt have been some pick up due to the 2.5% reduction in VAT we have also seen a number of high-profile sales at stores such as John Lewis, Marks & Spen...Read More