There are those political cynics that claim that when Tony Blair stood down three years ago, he was well aware of the financial train wreck waiting his natural successor Gordon Brown around the next bend. And the same people might well now be saying that Gordon and his well known cohort Alasdair can’t wait to hand over the keys of numbers ten and eleven Downing Street to anyone who will take them
Because who ever gets the keys will also inherit a financial deficit of around £150 billion. The only way to live with, never mind reduce such a deficit, is to make yourself highly unpopular, both with the people who voted for you and against you. Political analysts now predict that whoever wins the election are looking for a comparably short term stay in power, unless some kind of unprecedented financial miracle occurs. We live in hope.
A recent survey taken over 1,400 companies, still suggests that small firms remain reluctant to go to banks requesting funding. Of the companies surveyed, it was discovered that less than twenty percent of respondents applied for new credit in February and March, with only half being successful., Sixteen percent of the companies surveyed who were holding bank loans said their cost had risen in February and March.
Operators of the South-eastern franchise, Britain’s first high-speed rail service, the Go-Ahead Group will be eligible receive a continuation of the government subsidy they have received for the next four years. The continuation has been granted due to the non-completion of expected property developments around Stratford and Ebbsfleet stations, after the group won the tender in 2005. Although Go-Ahead reported an increase in passenger traffic and turnover of eight percent in the first three months of the year, they are reporting profit growth of at least ten percent for the same period.
Recent figures released by the British Franchise Association (BFA) show that, despite the recession, the franchise industry in the UK has grown in 2009. The sector’s revenue increased by £400 million pounds to £11.8 billion in 2009, with the number of franchise systems active in the UK increasing by seven form 835 to 842 . The number of employees working for franchise based operations, according to the BFA figures fell by 2,000 during 2009 to 465,000 including both full-time and part-time workers. On average, it was reported that franchises reduced the number of full-time staff, while hiring more part-time staff in 2009. [Read more…]