Business news 21 November 2023

James Salmon, Operations Director.

Pub insolvencies jump 66%. Insolvency firm expects double-digit growth. 500,000 out of work due to unhealthy lifestyle. ‘Far too early’ to talk about rate cuts. .The PM on tax cuts  And more business news that we thought would interest our members.

Pub insolvencies jump 66%

New figures reveal that the number of pub and bar insolvencies has risen 66% in the last year. Data published by UHY Hacker Young show the number of pub and bar insolvencies increased from 438 to 725. The firm’s Peter Kubik said the number is a “worrying sign” given that “operators need to be busier than ever just to break even”. Kubik added: “The sharp rise in costs in the last eighteen months has been the final push into insolvency for many pub businesses, which were saddled with COVID-era debts. After enduring a huge drop in revenue during the pandemic, pub and bar companies are desperate to turn a profit. Instead, as we run up to the festive period, high inflation and interest rates is making this impossible for many owners.”

Insolvency firm expects double-digit growth

Insolvency firm Begbies Traynor Group expects double-digit growth for the first half of the financial year. The group predicts a 13% increase in revenue and adjusted operating profit for the six months ending 31 October. The increase in company insolvencies has also benefited the group, with its insolvency teams remaining busy. BTG has made several acquisitions in the first half of the financial year, including Banks Long & Co and the insolvency team from Jones Giles & Clay. The group remains confident in delivering market expectations for the full year. Executive Chairman Ric Traynor stated, “We have had a good half year with encouraging activity levels across the group, resulting in double-digit growth in both revenue and profitability.”

Nearly 500,000 out of work due to unhealthy lifestyle

A new report reveals that nearly 460,000 people in the UK are unemployed due to the consequences of health-harming products, resulting in a loss of £31.1bn from the economy. The report, commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), the Obesity Health Alliance, and the Health Alliance (AHA), highlights the impact of smoking, alcohol, and obesity on employment and the economy. The analysis shows that 289,000 people are not working due to poor health caused by smoking, while 99,000 are unemployed as a result of illness caused by alcohol, and 70,000 are unemployed because of weight-related health conditions. The report calls for regulation to protect public health and reduce the consumption of harmful products.

‘Far too early’ to talk about rate cuts – Bailey

The Bank of England governor warned on Monday that it was too early to declare victory over inflation asserting that there was more work to do to bring inflation back to its 2% target. Addressing an event in London, Andrew Bailey said policymakers needed to be alert to the threat that previous increases in the cost of food and energy would have knock-on effects on prices and wages. “Food prices tend to be very salient to consumers and closely linked to inflation expectations, so the evolution of food prices will matter for wage growth looking ahead,” Bailey said. “While the inflation data for October released last week were welcome news, it is much too early to declare victory. Inflation remains too high, and we need to make sure we get it all the way down to the 2% target.” Meanwhile, forecasters at Bank of America say the Bank of England will not be able to reduce interest rates from their 15-year highs of 5.25% until February 2025, with rates to come down by a full percentage point to 4.25% during the year. The view contrasts with money markets which have been betting on a cut to interest rates by June next year after inflation fell by more than expected to 4.6% in October.

PM on Tax cuts

Rishi Sunak kept the promise of tax cuts alive on Monday but reflected the Chancellor’s emphasis over the weekend on discipline and sound money. The Prime Minister said: “Now that inflation is halved and our growth is stronger, meaning revenues are higher, we can begin the next phase and turn our attention to cutting tax. We will do this in a serious, responsible way based on fiscal rules to deliver sound money and alongside the independent forecasts of the Office for Budget Responsibility.” He added: “It will take discipline and we need to prioritise. But over time, we can and we will cut taxes.” It remains unclear whether there will be any cut to income tax in the Autumn Statement on Wednesday, with both the PM and Jeremy Hunt leaning more towards a reduction in business taxes. A cut to stamp duty has also been ruled out as this too could prove inflationary. A decision on inheritance tax cuts is also expected to be pushed back to the Spring Budget.

Tax policy guided by perception, not logic

The director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Mark Littlewood, says in the Telegraph that inheritance tax has been caricatured as a tax that simply “penalises the unworthy children of the super-rich” but the truth is rather different. The rich can mitigate the tax better than those who have merely done reasonably well, and the complex IHT regime ensures their children are made to suffer regardless of their circumstances. It’s the “optics” of the tax that seem more important to politicians than whether it raises revenue fairly, Littlewood says. “Abolishing or lowering IHT won’t supercharge the economy overnight. But it would be a step towards making the tax system simpler and more straightforward. That should be enough of a reason to embrace such a change. But if no such move is forthcoming, it will reinforce the idea that the main preoccupation of politicians is what taxes look like, not what they actually do.”

Government borrowing up

UK Government Borrowing in October was higher than expected, largely pushed up by higher benefit payments, official figures show. Borrowing – the difference between spending and tax income – was £14.9bn, the Office for National Statistics said. That was up £4.4bn from a year earlier and the second highest October figure since monthly records began.

However, government borrowing is running 15% below official forecasts. The budget deficit in the first seven months of the fiscal year was £98.3 billion, £16.9 billion less than the OBR had forecast in March.

Chancellor urged to tackle ‘unacceptably poor service’ at HMRC

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has called on Jeremy Hunt to accelerate plans to improve HMRC’s performance amid growing frustration about poor service and long delays. The tax office is currently struggling under an 18-month backlog of correspondence and delays as thousands of staff continue to work from home. The ACCA urged Mr Hunt to use Wednesday’s Autumn Statement to announce further funding to help resolve cases quicker. Over half of ACCA’s accountants blamed HMRC for hurting the productivity of their business.

Scotland to avoid recession, experts predict

Scotland’s economy is expected to avoid recession, with forecasts from the EY ITEM Club predicting growth in the coming years. The think-tank projects a 0.3% growth in 2024, followed by an acceleration to 1.3% in 2025 and 1.5% in the following year. The report suggests that unemployment will not significantly rise and that the economies of Edinburgh and Glasgow will outperform the rest of Scotland. However, sentiment among businesses and households remains fragile due to high interest rates and inflation.

Lenders seize control of Cazoo

Bondholders have taken control of online motor retailer Cazoo as the company struggles under £649m of debt. Cazoo’s value has slumped more than 99% since it went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021. The debt for equity swap will dilute chairman and founder Alex Chesterman’s shareholding from 24% to less than 2%. Holders of $630m (£503m) of Cazoo debt will receive $200m of new bonds and shares “which will represent 92%” of stock in the company, the company said in a market statement. The company is currently valued at $14m.

Diageo GB boss blames high duties for rise in weaker beers

Diageo GB, the owner of Guiness, Smirnoff Vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky, has blamed Jeremy Hunt for the growing trend among brewers to reduce the alcohol content in their beer in order to pay less tax. The rate of alcohol duty went up by 10.1% in August. Nuno Teles, managing director at Diageo GB, said: “Changing the alcohol content in beers because of a reaction to the tax, I don’t think it’s the right approach. I put myself on the side of the consumer – why should the consumer be now confronted with [this] because of taxation? I think it’s very sad to see the Government taking advantage of duty the way they are. I don’t think by increasing the taxation, you’re going to boost the economy.”


US markets closed higher on Monday, helped by a 2% rise in Microsoft shares, with the majority of sectors extending recent gains.  Overnight the DOW rose 0.58%, the S&P 500 rose 0.74%. and the NASDAQ rose 1.13% to  22 month high. Both Nvidia and Microsoft climbed to fresh peaks amid a revival of the artificial-intelligence bid and zoom rose on better than expected sales. The US dollar dropped to an eleven week low at $1.253 against the pound.


Investors are trying to get co-founder Sam Altman back and the board out amid a staff revolt lead by a open letter to the board from 700 of 770  employees. Microsoft, his new employers, are said to be willing to allow the u-turn.

Latest Insolvencies

Appointment of Administrator – LOCK TAVERN LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – OBSGYNCARE LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – EAST LONDON PUB CO LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – CLAPHAM TAVERN LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – GUN TAVERN (SPITALFIELDS) LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – SAMRIDDHI LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DAVID FUTTER ASSOCIATES LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – EAST LONDON TAVERNS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CRCG LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ROSARIO SOFT LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – O’ DONOGHUE CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KAARI LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – KAMARA SPORTS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – GARFORTH PROPERTIES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – DELTAPLEX LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CHILLY WIND LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – PPCJ CONSULTING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CONNECTING BUILDINGS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – APYROUS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – CURATECH CONSULTING LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – OLVER ENGINEERING SERVICES LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – CA JOHNSTONE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – QUADRANT SERVICES LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – RAVELSTON PUBLISHING LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – LY GRILL LTD
Appointment of Liquidators – 3M TOUCH SYSTEMS UK LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – EDISTON HOMES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – K-TOUCH LTD
Winding up Order (Companies) – GET ONBORD LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – FOXTROT REALISATIONS LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – PETER WHITE (PETRO-CHEM) LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ZEBRA FOOD LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – FUCHS MANAGEMENT LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – ICAPTURE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – SHIPLAKE HOMES LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – CONVIVIA MATERIALS LTD
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – FORGE BAKEHOUSE LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – DARREN ANDREWS DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED
Petitions to wind up (Companies) – MK SUPERSTORES LTD
Appointment of Administrator – PAINTBOX GROUP LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BARRY KAYES CONSULTING LIMITED
Appointment of Administrator – PAINTBOX BANBURY LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – ZARIERE LIMITED
Appointment of Liquidators – BROWNS UK HOLDINGS 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.

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


Get compensated for previous late payments

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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!

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