Unemployment falls yet again
The FSB has welcomed the fall in unemployment by 82,000 to 2.51 million. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility has said that it is likely to peak at 8.2 per cent, which may mean further job losses. National Policy Chairman, Mike Cherry was interviewed on the BBC News Channel and called for a National Insurance Contributions holiday for all micro firms across the UK to incentivise firms to take on staff. Read the comment, and coverage in the Guardian.
FSB increases pressure on FSA to resolve mis-selling scandal
Mike Cherry spoke to the Independent highlighting the problems that small firms that have been mis-sold complex financial products continue to face. He spoke of how six months after the initial ruling from the FSA that mis-selling took place, that there had been little movement. In other news, the British Bankers Association announced that business facing financial hardship as a result of paying the swap agreements can contact their bank to get payments suspended.
Increase in business failures
The FSB has urged the Government to do all it can to help start-up businesses to make sure they survive more than three years. New figures show that four in 10 firms created since the credit crunch have gone out of business. Read the comment in the Daily Mail.
Cabinet Ministers discuss FSB response to Autumn Statement
The Chancellor, George Osborne MP, noted the FSB’s positive response to the extension of capital allowances in the Autumn Statement during Treasury questions. During a debate on the economy, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP mentioned that we were broadly positive to the Autumn Statement, and Michael Meacher MP cited us as highlighting the need for growth.
Energy Bill welcomed
Energy Secretary Ed Davey MP mentioned that we welcomed the Energy Bill during Energy and Climate Change questions. During the Committee Stage of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, Business Minister Michael Fallon MP quoted our initial response to the announcement on employee ownership, while shadow BIS Minister Ian Murray MP noted the concerns we have about the detail of the proposal. Ian Murray also mentioned our support for the Groceries Code Adjudicator to have the power to levy fines from its introduction, which has now been included in the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill.
Government must encourage exporters
During a Lords debate on the Heseltine Report, No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth, Lord Heseltine mentioned us while talking of the need to encourage businesses to export. Lord Northbrook mentioned that we welcomed the report, but noted our concerns over the current make-up of LEPs. The Earl of Lytton mentioned our surveys in the context of small businesses facing a disproportionate burden when it comes to regulation.
Save our Christmas lights
Watch videos of the FSB team in action talking to people about our save our Christmas lights campaign in Newington Green in London, Holt in Norfolk and in Cambridge. People have also been sending in lots of photos of their business dressed in festive spirit via Facebook and Twitter and is hosting pictures and videos on Tumblr.
Help to develop English, maths and science qualifications
Cambridge Assessment is looking to gather views from employers about English, mathematics and science courses taken by 16-year-olds before they enter employment. The findings of a short survey will be used to inform the development of future qualifications.
Health and safety guidance review
The Health and Safety Executive has commissioned an external review of 'What guidance is out there' in relation to the workplace health and safety regulations. It wants small businesses to complete a simple mini-questionnaire that should take no longer than two minutes.
Changes to the Youth Contract
Employers will now be eligible for the Youth Contract (worth up to £2,275) for any 18-24 year old they take on that has been on out of work benefits for six months. To be eligible previously, an employer could only hire an 18-24 year old after nine months of them claiming benefits.
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