Business development

Warning on business energy contracts

Electricity providers have been told that they could face an official investigation into their competition practices if they persist in asking firms for large advance deposits.

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Pay rises slip to record low

Average pay increases offered by UK firms have dipped to just 1 per cent, the lowest figure since records began.

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Tax breaks would boost 'value' of operating leases

Tax breaks that are available to profitable businesses when buying equipment should be extended to those SMEs that take out new operating leases.

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Upturn in business confidence heralds 'end' of recession

A surge in confidence among business professionals could suggest that UK is about to emerge from the recession.

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Government urged to fund more apprenticeships

The government needs to provide extra subsidies for apprenticeship schemes if unemployment among young people is not to become entrenched.

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Stakeholder pensions could be approaching 'obsolescence'

Sales of stakeholder pensions have fallen by 28 per cent in the last year, prompting speculation that the schemes are nearing the end of their usefulness.

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Fall in tax receipts means VAT to rise as planned

There seems no prospect that the cut in VAT will be extended beyond the planned end of the year reversion to the old rate after it was revealed that tax revenues have fallen sharply.

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Government broadens its trade credit insurance scheme

The government has amended its trade credit insurance top-up scheme so that more businesses can take advantage of it.

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Recession pushes green policies down the business agenda

Smaller businesses are devoting less attention to green policies as they cope with the economic downturn, a new survey has revealed.

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Tax plans would help high streets recover

The Chancellor has been urged to drop VAT on energy efficient domestic appliances in a scheme that would mirror the car scrappage programme.

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