Business news 1 February 2024

Bank of England kept rates on hold. Starmer to make business an equal partner. Small firms struggle to find workers.  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Breaking – The Bank of England kept rates on hold at 5.25%

Small firms struggle to find workers

The majority of British businesses, especially smaller companies, are facing challenges in filling job vacancies, according to a survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation. Around 70% of employers reported a shortage of candidates, with the problem being more severe outside of London. The survey found that over 80% of companies with 50 or fewer staff are struggling to fill positions, compared to 67% of large businesses and 57% of medium-sized companies. Neil Carberry, CEO of the REC, highlighted the need for support from agencies to address the issue. The confederation warns that if the worker shortage crisis persists, it could cost the UK economy up to £39bn annually from 2027.

Starmer to make business an equal partner

In a speech to business leaders today, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will pledge to make them his “equal partner” in government, stressing that Labour is now the “party of business.” Sir Keir will launch a five-point plan for business and pledge to get to the bottom of Britain’s productivity problems. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has named 15 company bosses as advisers on his business council in 2024 as Rishi Sunak struggles to repair his party’s relationship with the corporate sector.

Chancellor warns of limited scope for tax cuts

Jeremy Hunt has warned that he may have limited scope to cut taxes due to a growing debt pile and pressures on the NHS. Cabinet colleagues urge him to “go big” with cuts in the spring budget to win over voters. However, major structural weaknesses in the economy may limit his ability to make significant tax cuts. The Institute for Fiscal Studies declares this parliament as the “biggest tax-raising parliament since records began” while the TaxPayers’ Alliance suggests that reducing the tax burden to 30% of GDP or less would boost economic growth. John O’Connell, chief executive of the group, said: “At the upcoming budget, the chancellor should set out a strategy to bring down the tax burden over time and implement immediate tax cuts to give taxpayers some well-earned relief.”

Former Siemens head urges Labour to invest in low-carbon economy

Labour’s proposed investment of £28bn a year in the low-carbon economy is an absolute minimum, according to Jürgen Maier, the former UK head of Siemens. Maier, who is advising Labour on transport and infrastructure, said massive investment was needed to rebuild the UK economy and make it fit for the future. He urged Labour to stand firm on its £28bn commitment, stating that it is the right decision for the future of the country. Leading economists and business experts support this view, warning that without strong investment in green infrastructure, the UK will fall behind international rivals and experience further economic decline.

Fraud prosecutions of directors fall by almost half

Charges against company directors by the Insolvency Service dropped by almost half last year, despite an increase in corporate fraud during the pandemic.

US Fed holds interest rates steady

The US Federal Reserve has kept its benchmark interest rate steady, but has hinted at future rate cuts. The central bank’s ratesetting federal open markets committee stated that it does not expect to reduce the target range until it has gained greater confidence in inflation moving towards 2%. Its Fed funds rate will therefore remain in the range of 5.25% to 5.5%. Investors anticipate the Fed’s first rate cut to occur in March, with expectations of at least 1.5 percentage points of easing this year.


Boeing reported better-than-expected earnings although it declined to offer guidance as its chief executive believes “now is not the time” to set out forecasts. Boeing is dealing with another wave of safety issues, in the wake of a mid-air incident on an Alaska Air Group flight earlier in January, which saw the blowout of a door plug on a 737 MAX 9 jet.


Vodafone turned down a revised merger proposal from French telecommunications company Iliad for the Italian subsidiaries Iliad Italia and Vodafone Italia, Iliad SA. Iliad SA had made a merger proposal to Vodafone on 18 December 23.

HMRC accused of underestimating the true cost of tax breaks

HMRC has been underestimating the cost of tax breaks by billions of pounds due to incorrect forecasting, according to the National Audit Office. The NAO stated that official forecasts did not account for the fact that tax reliefs boosted growth, resulting in billion-pound shortfalls for the Treasury. The NAO warned that HMRC and the Treasury were not monitoring the tax relief system closely enough to assess its cost effectiveness. Additionally, HMRC had underestimated the level of error and fraud in the R&D tax credits scheme for years, the NAO said. It called on HMRC to ensure that this mistake is not replicated in other reliefs and to make a step-change in how they assess whether tax reliefs achieve their economic objectives.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Liquidators – R.E. WILCOCK SURVEYS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – TJB CAPITAL LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CAWDOR ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – E P DEE AND SON LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – FLODATIX LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – LEANCODERS SOLUTION LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MEDEXANTE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – AMET TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – REDSPOT PROPERTIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WILLIS BUSINESS SYSTEMS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CMO CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ISIGHTDATA LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – LUACHRA LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – 10TH AVENUE CONSULTANCY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – J.P. COMMERCIAL KITCHENS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DKG BUSINESS CONSULTING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – ADEPT SOFTWARE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – NADIA SINGH LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – E KACZMARSKI LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CLOUDCY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DB IT CONSULTANCY SERVICES LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ABILO JOINERY LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – TAPLIN HEATING & PLUMBING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ROKET POWER LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – OPITECH LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – OPERATIV LTD
Appointment of Administrator – NEPTUNE RUM LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – IWI.EARTH LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ASHGROVE (SWANSEA) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – LAVELLS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HOUSE BASE DEVELOPMENTS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – DELAWN LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – WALNUT HOLDINGS LIMITED
Winding up Order (Companies) – WELCAP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RHC IMZADI LTD.

Why should you become a CPA member!

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid, since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for some time to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. And we provide credit information so you can monitor and assess your key customers.

Unlike other credit management companies, we offer our members a fixed annual subscription regardless of how high the debt value maybe!

Just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Do you have a commercial late payer that is causing you grief? Use CPA’s no-win, no-fee, commercial debt recovery service!

If you have a particular business customer who is late paying and causing you sleepless nights, why not offer it to CPA for purchase on recourse?

CPA’s collection department will then pursue the debt. We will be liable for any costs incurred and then when we have recovered the debt, we will pay you the net principle debt recovered less our percentage.

Once you have enjoyed that success then you can consider the more cost effective membership which includes our Overdue Account Recovery service and Status/Credit reports as well as a range of other complimentary services.

Just call  020 8846 0000 and ask for Godfrey Nelson or Cris Shirley (business hours) or email today.

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.


Get compensated for previous late payments

Have you been paid late by business customers in the last six years?

Maybe you no longer work with them. Under legislation, you are entitled to  compensation you for those late payments you have suffered.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Claim late payment compensation (LPC) from former business customers who paid you late in the last six years!

CPA (LPC) Recoveries is using our bespoke software and decades of experience to do just that for our clients

Check our compensation calculator to see how much your business could be owed!

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.