Thursday 2 January 2014

Thursday, January 02, 2014 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, January 02, 2014 with No comments | Labels:

The CBI, Britain's biggest business lobby group, says "Pay your workers more"
John Cridland, director-general of the CBI, Britain's biggest business lobby group, criticised many of the 240,000 companies he is paid to represent for failing to pass on their new-found prosperity to employees. He told employers – whose FTSE 100 bosses are paid 136 times the national average – that they must ensure that all citizens benefit from the recovery. The GMB union warns that the real value of national average earnings has fallen by 14% since the start of the recession in 2008. Real earnings have dropped by more than 20% in London, with workers in Hammersmith and Fulham experiencing a 49% decline. By contrast, the average FTSE 100 boss collected £3.7m last year. Just three months ago Cridland attacked the Labour leader Ed Miliband’s plans for an increase in the minimum wage as a "real setback for Labour's pro-enterprise credentials". He said many companies could not afford to pay employees more than the £6.31 minimum wage for adults, and £5.03 for those aged 18 to 21. Miliband has said he will offer companies tax breaks if they commit to paying workers the living wage, which is set at £7.65 an hour. GUARDIAN

Energy costs 'deliberately inflated' by £150 per household
The so-called Big Six, British Gas, SSE, E.ON, EDF, npower, and Scottish Power, paid £4bn more for power than market rate, according to shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint. She accused the companies of paying over the odds to increase profits in other divisions of their companies or doing deals that were bad for customers. She added: "The time has come for a complete overhaul of our energy market. Labour will break up the big energy companies, put an end to the secret deals and force them to do all of their trading on the open market." Energy UK, which represents the big six suppliers, disputed the figures. TELEGRAPH

What economic recovery? Only one in 50 people believe things are better for them
The TUC survey looked at how people felt about the recent claims by Chancellor George Osbourne that ‘Britain’s economic plan was working.’  Out of 1,600 people polled many saw recent austerity measures as necessary but more than half wanted services that had been cut to be restored. The news will come as a blow to the Government which has been busy assuring voters that as the economy improves in 2013 and 2014 it will slowly be felt by everyone. TUC general secretary, Frances O'Grady said: ‘Voters accepted austerity as unpleasant medicine. But now they are realising that what they thought were the unpleasant side effects are what the Chancellor sees as a cure. Recovery seems to mean food banks, zero hours and pay cuts for the many, tax cuts and pay growth for the few at the top.’ DAILY MAIL

'It's a rip-off that makes Wonga look like Santa Claus': 300,000 of Britain's poorest people live at least 1km from a free ATM
There are 269 low-income areas with no free ATMs inside a 1km (0.6-mile) radius – with half of the most excluded people living in South Wales and the North. The people who relied on cash machines charging a flat fee were often poor - meaning they were disproportionately affected for taking out small amounts of cash. Labour MP Frank Field, who advises the Government on combating poverty, condemned the charges which range from 75p to £10. DAILY MAIL

Isas were launched 15 years ago to encourage saving. Today the worst cash Isas pay out £1 on £1,000 invested
Britain's biggest banks have paid as little as £1 interest on every £1,000 saved in the worst cash Isas of last year. Barclays, Halifax and Santander had the three worst-paying accounts over the past 12 months. Each gave just 0.1per cent to loyal customers. Incredibly, state-backed Halifax and Lloyds have eight rotten Isas in our list of the ‘dog’ accounts which you should ditch today. Our analysis of almost 100 accounts showed that 15 Isas from large banks and building societies (ranked on rates for £1,000) paid between just 0.1per cent and 0.5per cent. Isas were launched nearly 15 years ago to develop and encourage the savings habit through tax breaks. Savers have piled a huge £225billion into these accounts, with £15billion going in during the past 12 months. DAILY MAIL

Barclays boss admits it could take 10 years to rebuild public trust
Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins said the series of scandals that have rocked the banking system, including the mis-selling of payment protection insurance and Libor fixing, had damaged the bank's reputation over the long term. "Trust is a very easy thing to lose, and a very hard thing to win back. In my view it will takes several years – probably five to 10 – to rebuild trust in Barclays," he said. GUARDIAN

Quarter of Help to Buy deals are struck in London and South-East
Business Secretary Vince Cable today warned against “a recovery based on property inflation” as it emerged that a quarter of Help to Buy deals are being struck in the property hotspots of London and the South-East. His warning came as David Cameron trumpeted a huge rise in the number of housebuyers getting help with deposits through the flagship scheme launched in October. Mr Cable added: “What I want to see in the New Year is a real economic recovery based on British industry and exports of goods and services, not an artificial and temporary recovery based on property inflation.” EVENING STANDARD

Rail fare rise of 2.8% comes into effect while wages continue to stagnate
The chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement in early December that the regulated fare price cap of RPI inflation plus 1% was being changed to RPI plus 0%. The increase is the smallest rise in four years, according to the pan-industry Rail Delivery Group. But campaigners say that fares are rising three times faster than incomes. Jason Torrance, policy director of sustainable transport organisation Sustrans, said "The chancellor's move to bring an end to the inflation-busting fare rises we've seen over the last decade shows a recognition that rising transport costs are a barrier to economic recovery... but salaries aren't increasing by anywhere near the level of inflation. If transport remains so prohibitively expensive, we will continue to restrict travel choices and opportunities to access essential services and employment." BBC NEWS


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