Business news 15 May 2024

Wage growth steady but unemployment climbs. New deal for Working people. Going green,  ‘some way to go’ on inflation, markets, insolvencies, pensions, HMRC & more business news that we thought would interest our members.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Wage growth steady but unemployment climbs

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that while the unemployment rate increased to 4.3% between January and March, pay rises, excluding bonuses, remained at 6% despite predictions of a decline. Liz McKeown, director of economic statistics at the ONS, said that once inflation was taken into account, “real pay growth remains at its highest level in well over two years.” The report also shows that the number of jobs on offer dropped by 26,000 to 898,000 between February and April. The number of unemployed people per vacancy rose to 1.6 in Q1, up from 1.4 between October and December 2023. The ONS said: “Although this ratio remains low by historical standards, it does demonstrate a slight easing in the labour market, with vacancies falling alongside rising unemployment.” The number of people claiming benefits rose to 1.5m in April, with this up 29,300 compared to April 2023. The rate of people considered economically inactive – those aged between 16 and 64 who are not in work or looking for a job – dipped slightly to 22.1% in Q1.

Labour stands by the New deal for Working people

After hours of talks with the unions, Labour reiterated the party’s “full commitment to the New Deal for Working People as agreed in July.” “We will continue to work together at pace on how a Labour Government would implement it in legislation,” the statement says. Unions are also reportedly happy with how the meeting went.

Government urged to help small businesses go green

Banking association UK Finance is calling for billions in taxpayer-funded grants to be distributed to small firms to support the drive for net zero and boost job creation. The association wants the Government to issue vouchers worth £5,000 to SMEs to cover the cost of investing in new plant and equipment, as well as energy-saving measures. UK Finance also suggests linking loan guarantees and start-up loans to “carbon-reduction activity.” The association is urging banks to produce guides and offer financial products to support SMEs in sustainable action. David Postings, UK Finance’s chief executive, noted research showed that appetite among SMEs to make big carbon-cutting decisions dropped between 2021 and 2023, from 27% to 19%.

BoE economist: There is ‘some way to go’ on inflation

Huw Pill, chief economist at the Bank of England, has said it is “not unreasonable” to think rate cuts could be on the horizon but warned there is “some way to go” in keeping inflation under control. He said that while policymakers may consider cutting interest rates in the coming months, there is “still some work to do” on the cost-of-living crisis. Speaking at an online event organised by the ICAEW, he noted: “It’s important to recognise we can cut bank rate, while still leaving some restriction in the system.”


Yesterday, the FTSE 100 closed up 0.16% yesterday at 8428.13 and the Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 0.03% at 5080.29.

Overnight in the US the S&P 500 rose .48% to 5246.68, the Nasdaq rose 0.75% to 166511.18. The pound is currently worth $1.2605 and €1.1637. Brent is at $82.70, Gold is at $2370. The FTSE 100 is up 0.43% at 8464 and the Eurostoxx 50 is up .1% at 5085.

Overall global equities are headed for fresh records, following on the heals of the tech led rally in the US as optimism builds that todays US inflation report will support the case for Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts.

Ministers urged to scrap City trading tax

Ministers should consider removing the 0.5% stamp duty on share trading to revive Britain’s struggling stock market, according to Peter Jackson, CEO of Paddy Power-owner Flutter. Mr Jackson believes that scrapping the tax could boost liquidity and encourage more shares to be traded. He said: “The more shares that are traded, if you’re an investor looking to take a position in the company, you’re more confident to take a bigger position because you need to get in and out without disturbing the share price.” He went on to highlight that the US, Germany, and Australia do not charge a tax on share trading, while Spain and France do not impose stamp duty on shares of companies worth less than €1bn.

‘Excessive’ regulation has hurt the City

Rupert Lowe, the business spokesman for Reform UK, says the imposition of excessive regulation and the rise of executive regulators has hurt the City. He argues that the number of bodies with a regulatory function in Britain is “simply extraordinary,” with their size and scope “expanding all the time.” He highlights that the City is overseen by the Bank of England, the Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, arguing that “the reporting lines between the bodies are often unclear, with duplication common.” None of these bodies, Mr Lowe argues, “takes overall responsibility for the catastrophic decline of London’s capital markets.”

Raspberry Pi

Cambridge based tech firm known for its beginner-friendly coding computer has said it is considering a London IPO over the Nasdaq.


Experian reported that revenue rose to $7.10 billion in the year ended March 31, from $6.62 billion a year earlier. Pretax profit jumped to $1.55 billion from $1.17 billion. On the back of the results, Experian upped its full year dividend to 58.50 US cents from 54.75 cents. “For FY25, we expect further strategic progress and expect to deliver organic revenue growth in the range of 6-8%. We also expect good margin expansion, in the range of 30-50 basis points, at constant currency,” said Chief Executive Brian Cassin.


Burberry reported profits down by more than a third as the UK fashion house says the “backdrop of slowing luxury demand has been challenging” and is expected to remain so in the coming months. Revenues came to £2.97 billion for the year to 31 March, down 4% but flat if exchange rate effects are ignored and in line with analyst forecasts. As well as the £400 million share buyback completed in the year, a full year dividend of 61.0p has been proposed

US Producer Prices

The US Producer Price Index jumped more than expected in April, putting up another potential roadblock to US interest rate cuts anytime soon. US PPI, a gauge of prices received at the wholesale level, increased 0.5% for the month, higher than the 0.3% Dow Jones estimate, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday. However, the March reading was revised from an initially reported 0.2% gain to a decline of 0.1%.


US President Joe Biden has hiked tariffs on key Chinese imports, including electric vehicles, microchips and steel. “China’s unfair trade practices concerning technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are threatening American businesses and workers,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the People’s Republic is “flooding global markets with artificially low-priced exports”. In response, President Biden has directed the US trade representative to increase tariffs on $18 billion of imports from China. The tariff rate on electric vehicles will increase to 100% in 2024 from 25% currently.

China vowed to take “resolute measures”without providing any further details on what that would mean.

Over 75% of savers at risk of falling short in retirement

Over three-quarters of pension savers are accessing their pots early, putting them at risk of running out of money in retirement, warns Scottish Widows. Analysis shows that 78% of people raided their pension before the age of 65, pocketing an average of £47,000 in cash. Taking a lump sum early can also make it difficult to restore the pot to its previous level. The Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) is triggered when a lump sum is taken, reducing the annual amount that can be contributed to pensions.

Tax office callers spend 798 years on hold

Analysis by the National Audit Office (NAO) shows that waiting times for those calling HMRC have doubled between 2019/20 and 2022/23. Taxpayers spent a total of 798 years – or 7m hours – waiting on hold to speak with HMRC during the 2022/23 tax year, up from 3.2m hours in 2019/20. The average waiting time increased from 11:24 minutes to 13:48 minutes over the same period. The report also highlighted that 72% of calls received were due to ‘failure demand’- calls caused by HMRC’s process failures or delays, customers chasing progress on their cases or customers having encountered errors. HMRC has shifted its focus away from phone services and towards digital support, saying that many queries can be resolved quickly online. Dame Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee said: “‘By law, taxpayers must engage with the tax system. But for its part, HMRC’s performance in picking up the phone to customers has hit an all-time low.” She added that HMRC “must hear the frustration of taxpayers and make more realistic plans to improve customer service and deliver value for money.” Gareth Davies, head of the NAO said: “HMRC’s telephone and correspondence services have been below its target services for too long.” In response to the report, HMRC said it is making progress in improving customer services and additional funding has been confirmed by the Government.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Administrator – FRIENDSHIP ADVENTURE LTD.
Appointment of Administrator – HOMEBROOK LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – FRONT LOOP LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MYBUILDER PLUS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SAM SMALL RECRUITMENT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KILNER CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ARC CONSULT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – IMD SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – EXTREME AGILE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – THE FILM FESTIVAL DOCTOR LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – FUNCTION 22 RECRUITMENT LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – GJA PROPERTY LTD.
Appointment of Liquidators – DATAGLOBE CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – STONEGATE YARD LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – S J MOGER LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – MABEL TOPCO LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – STONE FLOW LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – YPG PEMBROKE STUDIOS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PINEWOOD HOUSE MOTOR CO. LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ATLANTIS MEDICARE PLAS ELERI LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SAHASRAKSHI SERVICES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – MW PARTRIDGE & COMPANY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – HOLMAN CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CHURBA ENGINEERING LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – KRPG LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – PLIC (ACTON) LIMITED

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 last one was particularly deadly for suppliers fand we are still seeing elevated insolvencies as businesses struggle.

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!

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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.