UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Reuters Investigates:

This is going to hurt

Photo

In Britain, the coalition government is readying its “comprehensiveAUSTERITY-BRITAIN spending review” later this month. Rather than get caught up in chasing which government departments or bodies will be cut, two of our reporters focused on a single council – in this case, the City of Birmingham, which happens to be the biggest local authority in Europe – and explored what it’s doing to prepare for the change ahead.

For a lot of people, the most visible sign of cuts in Britain will be at a local level, as services are pulled back and jobs are lost. In the leadup to the spending review details,  lobbyists in London have been doing great business. Check out their tactics for survival – although if you’re worried about your government contract but haven’t done anything about it, you’re probably already too late.

from MacroScope:

Some good econ reads from the Blogosphere

Photo

From the econ blogosphere:

UK BUDGET
-- The libertarian Adam Smith Institute says here that the UK government should look at every government job, programme and department, and ask whether they are really needed. "Do we really need new school buildings....? Should taxpayers really stump up for free bus passes, or winter fuel and Chistmas bonuses for wealthy pensioners?"

CHINESE FX
-- VOX publishes this post from senior research fellow Willem Thorbecke of the Asian Development Bank on China's latest move on the dollar peg. "China's action may facilitate a concerted appreciation in Factory Asia, helping the region redirect production away from western markets and towards domestic consumers."

from The Great Debate UK:

Vauxhall future is headache for Mandelson

Photo

jb2- John Bowker is Reuters’ UK transport and defence correspondent. The opinions expressed are his own -

Lord Mandelson was in buoyant mood on Thursday night.

The future ownership of British car-maker Vauxhall had finally been decided. U.S. giant General Motors agreed to sell its European unit -- which includes Vauxhall -- to Canadian car parts maker Magna and its Russian backers. According to Mandelson, this was good news for the Vauxhall's 5,000 British workers as it removed the uncertainty over their futures. Everyone can get back to work making cars and live happily ever after.

Out of work: Useful resources

Photo

Losing your job can come as a massive shock, even if it is something you have been worrying about for months. The latest figures show that for the first time in over a decade the number of people out of work has risen above two million.

If you are one of them, you probably want to find a new job as quickly as possible. Here are a number of useful resources to help you.

Unpaid overtime anyone?

Photo

It’s widely acknowledged to be bad for your health but millions do it, even without getting paid for it. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) said on Thursday the number of people working hours they are not paid for is at its highest level since 1992.

Five million worked unpaid overtime last year because of a “long-hours” culture and concern that the economic downturn is putting their jobs at risk. The largest increase in workers carrying out unpaid overtime occurred in London, followed by the east Midlands and eastern England.

Would you take a pay cut?

Photo

A small but growing number of companies are considering asking their workers to take a pay cut as a means of cutting costs without having to fire anyone.

In the latest example, three unions representing steelworkers at Corus have offered to take a 10 percent cut across the company’s entire UK workforce of 25,000 for six months in an attempt to save one of the last remaining steel factories in Britain — the plant at Llanwern in Newport, South Wales.

Job crunch Britain: how have you been affected?

Photo

Net job creation in the UK has almost stopped as employers feel pessimistic about prospects for the economy, the latest quarterly Labour Market Outlook survey by KPMG and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has found.

The balance between the proportion of employers looking to increase staff levels over the next three months and those expecting to cut has fallen from +41 in autumn 2007 to +2 in autumn 2008 – the lowest figure recorded since the survey began in spring 2004, according to the Payroll and Human Resources Newsletter.

Of the 721 employers surveyed, 83 per cent anticipated that Britain’s economic condition would further deteriorate this autumn and only one percent said they thought there would be an improvement.Respondents felt more optimistic about their own organisation though, with only 25 per cent believing that things would get worse.

Work for dole?

Photo

purnell.jpgWork and Pensions Secretary James Purnell wants long-term job-seekers to work for their state benefits.

If they have been jobless for a year, they will have to do four weeks of community work with a government-backed private or public body. After two years, they will have to take a full-time job.

  •