Business news 9 November 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

BoE Governor hawkish on rate cuts. Real pay has not grown for 17 years. Poll says Starmer more likely to cut taxes than Sunak.  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

BoE Governor hawkish on rate cuts

The Bank of England Governor told an event in Ireland on Wednesday that it was still too early to talk about cutting interest rates in the UK, explaining that fiscal policy would have to be restrictive for some time to come. That said, Andrew Bailey said he was optimistic that inflation would be back at the 2% target in around the two-year horizon. Speaking at a conference hosted by the Central Bank of Ireland, Mr Bailey dismissed market bets on reductions by the middle of next year. He said: “The market of course will reach a view, it has to reach a view on the future path of interest rates, I totally understand that. But we are very clear we are not talking about that. It is really too early to be talking about cutting rates”. His comments come just days after the Bank’s chief economist, Huw Pill said it was “not unreasonable” for investors to bet on a rate cut by next summer.

PwC: Real pay has not grown for 17 years

British workers are predicted to miss out on £17,000 in lost growth in real pay by the end of this year, according to analysis by PwC. A sharp slowdown in real income growth is expected to leave living standards at 2006 levels. The UK economy has suffered a severe slowdown due to a series of shocks, including the 2008 financial crisis. Nominal pay growth has reached record levels this year, but inflation has eroded most of the benefit. PwC forecasts that inflation will decline to 4.6% by the end of the year, but will not return to the Bank of England’s 2% target until the end of 2025. PwC also predicts muted economic growth, with GDP rising 0.5% this year and next.

Starmer more likely to cut taxes than Sunak – poll

Voters now believe Sir Keir Starmer is more likely to cut taxes than Rishi Sunak, according to a major poll. Some 52% of the public link the Conservatives to higher taxes, compared to 42% for Labour. Additionally, 77% of voters believe they would be stung for either the same amount or even more tax if the Prime Minister is re-elected. The poll puts pressure on Rishi Sunak to ease the burden on families, with a clamour for relief at this month’s Autumn Statement. Liz Truss has warned her successor to remember the party’s true-blue roots and led calls for action. The poll also reveals that 52% of voters think they pay too much tax, while only 8.2% think they pay too little.

John Glen ‘alarmed about UK tax burden’

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury is alarmed at the UK’s tax burden, which is on course for a post-Second World War high. John Glen said he sympathised with his colleagues’ concern over high taxes, but stressed that the country’s debt also needed to be paid. “Debt interest spending in 2022 to 2023 was £112.1bn; that’s more than 6% of GDP. That’s higher than any G7 nation. Those are the facts. They’re unpalatable facts, but they can’t be avoided.”

BoE’s Bailey warns against regulatory fragmentation

Andrew Bailey urged greater co-operation on setting international regulatory standards at a conference in Dublin. The Bank of England Governor warned that the world economy experienced a fracturing during the pandemic when the supply chain system was shocked. Further fractures occurred through the Russian conflict with Ukraine and Brexit, which he said had led to a reduction in the openness of the UK economy. Fragmentation brought instability to financial markets, Bailey went on, and also increases the cost of market functioning. Instead of succumbing to pressure for fragmentation, the better approach would be the “strong articulation of a common public policy objective in terms of financial stability, accompanied by effective co-ordination and co-operation.”

Legal AIs negotiate NDA without human involvement

Two robot lawyers have successfully negotiated a contract without any human involvement. Two artificial intelligence bots created by lawtech firm Luminance read and analysed a real Non-Disclosure Agreement between the company and proSapient, one of Luminance’s clients. While the process itself was fully automated, the AI recorded any changes made so the entire process could be supervised by a human. Jaeger Glucina, chief of staff and MD at Luminance, said: “AI represents a new, more efficient chapter in the future of legal work and one that could change the game forever.” However, she agrees with Law Society president Nick Emmerson’s position that AI will probably never be able to master the art of negotiation or “fully replace the function of legal expertise provided by legally qualified professionals.”

Rail Strikes

The train drivers union, the RMT has put a deal with the Rail Delivery Group to its members  which would include a backdated pay rise for 2022 and job security guarantees.

Taylor Wimpey

Taylor Wimpey expects to report top-end operating profits despite a challenging market as consumers grapple with high mortgage rates. The housebuilder reiterated full year UK volumes guidance in the range of 10,000 to 10,500 homes, but said due to a focus on optimising price and cost discipline, it now predicts operating profit to be at the top end of the guidance range of £440 million to £470 million. It said the balance sheet remains strong and the firm continues to expect to end the year with net cash between £500-£650 million.

WH Smith

WH Smith hailed “another year of significant progress”. Revenue in the year ended August 31 rose 26% to £1.79 billion from £1.40 billion a year prior. Pretax profit jumped 75% to £110 million from £63 million.


China slipped back into deflation in October, highlighting the work officials have in reviving still-sluggish demand in the world’s number two economy. The consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, fell 0.2% on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The index had been unchanged year-on-year in September and edged up 0.1% in August.

Lights, Camera, Action!

The actors union ended it’s 118 day strike after they  reached a tentative agreement with studios. Their proposed three-year contract includes higher minimum wages, a “streaming participation” bonus and protections against studios’ use of artificial intelligence. More than 60,000 members of the union went on strike in July, joining screenwriters who had downed pens two months earlier.

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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.

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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


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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.

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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!

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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.