Government Initiatives

More must be done to soften impact of business rates rise

Plans for curbing the effects of increases in business rates, due next April, are not sufficiently far-reaching, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said.

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Let business fuel the recovery, government told

Businesses must be given the freedom to create jobs and to drive the economy, a leading business group has said.

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Keep apprenticeships affordable, says CBI

Apprenticeship wages should not be set at such a level that they price people out of training, it has been argued.

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Chancellor considering plans to broaden SME lending

The Chancellor, Alistair Darling is looking at ways of enabling small and medium-size firms to borrow money from sources other than the major high street banks.

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Questions over government help for SMEs

The level and nature of the support that the government offers SMEs has come under examination in a new study.

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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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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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