In one of the classic understatements of the year so far, new finance minister George Osborne has just announced his findings that the British economy is in a dire state and there will be difficult times ahead. Osborne’s revelation came as the government sat down to take action on tackling the record budget deficit. Osborne took up the role of Chancellor after the center-right Conservatives joined with the center-left Liberal Democrats to form the country’s first coalition government for more than half a century, as the Labour Government wound up 13 years rule.
Britain has barely limped out of the worst recession since World War Two, and the new government is under pressure to show their pre-election promises to reduce spending and raise taxes to cut a budget deficit running at more than 11 percent of GDP were not hollow. The coalition already pledged to significantly accelerate the reduction of the deficit in the next five years, cutting £6 billion pounds ($8.75 billion) from non-frontline public services during the current financial year. George Osborne is expected to unveil his emergency Budget on June 22 as the new coalition Government attempts to overcome the appalling state of the economy inherited from Labour.
Meanwhile on the home front, news from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) is that mortgage borrowing by house buyers is on the increase, with the number of loans made to home buyers rising by 25% between February and March, to reach 45,000. First-time buyer borrowing rebounded faster than that by existing home owners, according to CML who also went on to warn that mortgage rationing might continue indefinitely unless the new government helped lenders raise finance.
The latest news on the small business front has shown decrease in UK business insolvencies last month. On a year to year basis, it was shown that
the total number of insolvencies fell by 15.1% in April compared with the same month last year, 2,274 in April 2009 down to 1,818 in April 2010.
Businesses that fell into the medium sized category were found to have suffered the most in April. Companies employing between fifty to hundred workers being the most vulnerable. [Read more…]