Government Initiatives

Universal Credit criticised by spending watchdog

The Government's welfare reform programme - Universal Credit (UC) - has suffered from 'ambitious timescales' and 'weak management', according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

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New planning rules put town centres first

An extension of planning and development regulations to make better use of empty buildings will revitalise UK high streets and rural towns, the Department for Communities and Local Government has said.

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Plastic bag charge worth £90 million to Scottish economy

Charging shoppers for single-use bags in Scotland could generate £90 million for the economy, a report by the Scottish Government says.

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Help to Buy mortgage guarantee details confirmed

The second stage of the Government's Help to Buy scheme will not be available to second-home buyers, Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed.

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Red tape regulation cuts continue

Simplification of health and safety laws and employment tribunals are to be included in ongoing measures to cut business red tape regulations, business minister Michael Fallon has announced.

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Scottish SMEs encouraged to innovate and collaborate

Businesses in Scotland are being urged to focus on innovation and work more collaboratively in order to expand and create economic growth.

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Bank lending falls by £300m in Q1

Net lending by banks under the Government's Funding for Lending Scheme fell by £0.3 billion in the first quarter of the year, data from the Bank of England shows

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Northern Ireland businesses urged to complete rental survey

Occupiers of up to 50,000 business premises in Northern Ireland are set to receive letters asking for their rental information as part of the Government's drive to evaluate business rates and taxes.

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Universal Credit trial roll-out begins

The Government's 'radical reshaping' of the UK benefits system got underway today as Universal Credit began for jobseekers in the North-West of England.

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Employers to design own apprenticeship schemes

Employers will be able to design and develop their own apprenticeship standards and qualifications, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced.

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