Contactless payment systems on the way
From next year supermarkets customers in the UK will be able to pay for their goods via a contactless payment system with the Co-op the latest major UK supermarket to sign up to the program. These cards, which are issued by Barclaycard and Visa, simply allow customers to pass their card across a sensor which will take their details and automatically deduct money from their accounts. No PIN numbers will be required for sales under £15 although sales in excess of this figure will need to go through the "normal channels".
It will be interesting to see how the public react to these contactless payment systems because ultimately, as with the Oyster card on the London Underground, they are commonplace in other areas of the UK economy. It will also be interesting to see whether the growing number of supermarkets currently looking to sign up to the system will push other retailers towards this efficient and relatively cheap, at least for retailers, payment system.
We have seen the introduction of various contactless payment systems in the past although many of these have fallen by the wayside due to a lack of public confidence. Whether this particular move, backed by Barclaycard and Visa, is different remains to be seen.
Cabinet ministers embarrassed by expense leaks
As the Labour government appears to be lurching from one disaster to another there have been a number of damaging expenses leaks in relation to Cabinet Minister spending. It is reported that a number of senior ministers and the Prime Minister have made a variety of expense claims which while perfectly legal and within the regulations will cause outrage amongst UK voters.
Childcare changes leave providers at “breaking point”
02/06/2015 Childcare providers in England have claimed that the system is at “breaking point” thanks to plans to double the amount for free provision for three and four year olds. Childcare providers are under massive pressure as the current allowance of 570 hours a year for three and four-year-olds is set to be doubled for working parents. Trailing this system has now been brought forwa...Read More
UK petrol prices could rise 15p a litre in 2010
The Petrol Retailers Association has set the cat amongst the pigeons with a suggestion that UK petrol could rise by up to 15p a litre purely and simply because of tax changes and a continuing upward trend in the price of oil. Aside from the fact that the VAT has now returned back to 17.5% there is further speculation we could see an increase to 20% after the election. The government is also set to...Read More
British Gas to reduce bills by 7%
Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has today released plans to reduce the average gas bill by 7% which will save UK households on average £55 a year. The company has confirmed the reduction will be implemented immediately and will benefit nearly 8,000,000 families in the UK who have seen their monthly budgets stretched of late. So why has British Gas chosen now to reduce its bills? This annou...Read More
Will front-line services be hit by council budget reductions?
While a number of councils in the UK have decided to cut their back-office spending in order to try and maintain front-end services there is no doubt we will see cost savings and reductions in front-line services in the short to medium term. There is no way that councils in the UK can afford to spend the same money on frontline services as they have in the past. The problem for UK voters is the...Read More