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Articles of United Kingdom

Corporate Watch

Written by Cecilia Helland on Sunday, 04 May 2014. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 2, Articles of United Kingdom, Right bottom - 8st

Unmasked: The city institutions given privileged status in the controversial Royal Mail flotation.

Hundreds of City institutions registered interest in Royal Mail shares in the run up to one of the most controversial privatisations this century – Read the full story here

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS 2014

Written by Cecilia Helland on Sunday, 04 May 2014. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 1, Articles of United Kingdom, Left 2 - 3st

Media Freedom Hits Decade Low.

Freedom of the Press 2014 was made possible by the generous support of the Leon Levy Foundation, the Jyllands-Posten Foundation, and the Hurford Foundation.

Freedom House also gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Free Press Unlimited, the Lilly Endowment, and the Schloss Family Foundation.

Read the Report - FREEDOM OF THE PRESS 2014

Britain's hospital bed crisis is second worst in Europe

Written by Cecilia Helland on Thursday, 17 April 2014. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 1, Right 1, Articles of United Kingdom, Main 5 - 3st

Only Sweden – which has invested strongly in community care – has fewer hospital beds per head, says the study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Read the full story at Daiily Mail - Britian has lost an estimated 50,000 hospital beds over the past decade

Britons are web's big spenders

Written by Cecilia Helland on Tuesday, 05 November 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 4, Articles of United Kingdom, Right bottom - 8st

How £1 in every £5 spent in the UK is via computers, phones and tablets.

Some 18.3% of all retail spending is made via the internet

Britons predicted to spend £20.4bn on the web before Christmas

Switch to online is affecting high streets with major chains vanishing

Big sellers include food mixers, iPads, and Sir Alex Ferguson's book

Read the full Story

David Cameron's latest threat against the free press

Written by Cecilia Helland on Wednesday, 30 October 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 1, Articles of United Kingdom, Left 2 - 3st

David Cameron warns UK could act against papers publishing Snowden leaks.

It's not the first timeRead the story

UK – Taxes

Written by Cecilia Helland on Monday, 14 October 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 1, Articles of United Kingdom, Right bottom - 8st

Middle-class families are paying a 73% top tax rate and losing on average £1,300 a year.

Britain should introduce a ‘flat tax’ system to stop middle-class families from paying punitive rates, a leading business representative said yesterday.

Read the full story at Daily Mail

MI5 chief Andrew Parker warns of Islamist threat to UK public

Written by Cecilia Helland on Thursday, 10 October 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 3, Articles of United Kingdom, Left 2 - 3st

Thousands of Islamist extremists in the UK see the British public as a legitimate target for attacks, the director general of MI5 has warned.

Read the full story at BBC

EU financial transaction tax illegal, say lawyers

Written by Tony Harkén on Wednesday, 11 September 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 2, Articles of United Kingdom, Right bottom - 8st

Imposing a financial transaction tax (FTT) in 11 European Union member states would be illegal, according to the bloc's lawyers.

Read the full story at BBC

UK camping market benefited from the recession

Written by Tony Harkén on Wednesday, 20 February 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 2, Articles of United Kingdom, Main 6 - 3st

With more consumers switching to holidays in the UK, the UK camping market has received a boost in the number of holidays taken as a result of the recession.

Camping and caravanning refers to holidays that use tents, trailer tents, touring caravans, caravan holiday homes, park homes and motor homes as accommodation.

Holidaymakers may own or rent their equipment and can travel to their destination carrying their tent or towing their caravan or trailer tent.

Alternatively, they can stay in caravan holiday homes (statics) or tents that are already in place at the camping or caravanning park.

While camping and caravanning operators are always at the mercy of the 'Great British Weather', such holidays have proved particularly popular throughout the recessionary period.

This has boosted positive perception and leaves the sector in a strong position compared to more expensive options as both consumer confidence and consumer spending struggled through 2011-2012.

Forest Holidays, Haven, Parkdean, Park Resorts and the Camping and Caravanning Club have all seen increased sales year on year.

By volume, the largest segment of the market is camping, a position it has consistently held over the last five years. Average expenditure on such holidays is, however, lowest across the segments.

One in three people report having been on a camping or caravanning holiday in the last three years. In the three years to January 2011, 18% of adults report having camped in a tent while 14% have stayed in a static caravan/'holiday home'.

More niche choices include (but are not limited to) using a towed caravan (4%), a motor home (3%) and 'glamping' (1%).

The three most popular attitudinal responses are - "They are ideal for families", "They are good value for money" and "They are a good way to explore the 'great outdoors'.

For more information on the UK camping market, see the latest research: UK Camping Market

UK steel industry led by Tata Steel Europe

Written by Tony Harkén on Monday, 11 February 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 3, Articles of United Kingdom, Main 7 - 3st

Demand within the UK steel industry, both locally produced and imported, totalled 10 million tonnes per year in 2011, compared with 14 million tonnes six years ago.

This is a major; almost 30% fall in real consumption, whereas value sales remained virtually unchanged.

The industry's fortunes depend on activity in the construction and automotive industries, among others, and also on the price of inputs such as iron ore and coking coal. Demand from these industries contracted as the financial crisis took hold in 2008-09. Steel prices then plunged in 2009-10 as demand dried up in the wake of the financial crisis.

In 2012, Britain's steel industry was given a double-barrelled boost as two major announcements set fires roaring in the UK's industrial heartlands.

The first saw the re-lighting of the blast furnace in Teesside, as steel production resumed at the Redcar site after shuddering to a halt in 2010.

The second was a plan by Tata Steel to pump £800million into the steel industry in Wales, including Port Talbot, over the next five years.

The top four companies have a combined market share of 68% (an industry is considered to have high concentration when this figure is over 70%). Despite only displaying a medium level of concentration, this industry is clearly monopolised.

The dominant market player (Tata Steel Europe) accounts for 58.7% of total industry revenue. Therefore, it can be argued that the industry is highly concentrated towards one company.

At the end of 2012 there were around 480 companies producing basic iron and steel on UK soil. 56% of them were micro-sized producers mostly serving as subcontractors for larger manufacturers, but there were also 15 large companies which supplied the industry with much-needed economies of scale.

Concentration remained high, with the 15 largest firms capturing the dominant 83% share of total industry earnings in 2012.

The UK steel and iron industry is expected to record 1% annual revenue growth over 2013-2018, along with recovering manufacturing volumes and resuming demand for metals, both at a national and international scale.

The strongest growth is anticipated in the developing world, with the CIS countries and Latin America rapidly recovering from the collapse in demand caused by the economic crisis.

For more information on the UK steel industry, see the latest research: UK Steel Industry

British industrial output saw a 1.1% increase in December

Written by Tony Harkén on Sunday, 10 February 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 2, Articles of United Kingdom, Main 7 - 3st

British industrial output, which includes energy production and mining, rose more than expected in December, although oil field shutdowns drove the biggest quarterly fall since early 2009, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The rise of 1.1% - which includes figures for energy production and mining - was higher than many economists' predictions of a 0.9% rise.

Within that, manufacturing output climbed 1.6% on the month in December after a fall of 0.3% in November.

Industrial production was 1.9% lower in the fourth quarter of 2012 than in the previous three months, the biggest fall since the first quarter of 2009.

That was a slightly bigger decline than originally shown in the GDP figures, although the ONS said the latest number would have a negligible impact on its first GDP estimate.

In the last quarter of 2012, lower factory output was a key reason for a contraction in Britain's economy that brought it within sight of its third recession in four years.

There have been some tentative signs of an economic recovery at the start of this year, while policymakers also increasingly doubt the ability of more quantitative easing to lift demand.

The goods trade deficit shrank to 8.897 billion pounds from 9.275 billion pounds in November.

Why Poles love coming to Britain

Written by Tony Harkén on Thursday, 07 February 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 1, Articles of United Kingdom, Right bottom - 8st

The Polish have been settling here since the war, impressing us with their work ethic and desire to integrate.

No wonder their language is the most widely spoken after English.

Read the story at The Telegraph

Thirty-two top tax cheats get over 150 years behind bars

Written by Tony Harkén on Tuesday, 22 January 2013. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 1, Articles of United Kingdom, Right bottom - 8st

The top tax criminals of 2012 have been sentenced to a combined total of 155 years and 10 months behind bars, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announced today.

Over 30 of the UK’s top tax cheats are being publicised on Flickr as part of HMRC’s current Tax Evasion Campaign.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said:

“The Government is committed to closing in on tax evaders. Collectively the 32 criminals have been sentenced to more than 150 years. Most people play by the rules and pay what they owe, but HMRC is cracking down on those who don’t.

"We hope that publishing these pictures will help get across that it always makes sense to declare all your income, and tax dodgers are simply storing up trouble for the future.”

HMRC’s top tax criminals of 2012 can be seen here

Tell HMRC about customs or excise fraud, or tax evasion here


Notes to editors

1. A tax evasion campaign has been launched by HMRC as part of the Government’s £917 million investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011-12. This has been added to with a further £77 million over the next two years, which was announced in December's Autumn Statement. This will aim to raise an additional £7 billion each year by 2014-15 www.gov.uk/sortmytax

Taxes United Kingdom

Written by Cecilia Helland on Sunday, 25 November 2012. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 1, Articles of United Kingdom, Right bottom - 8st

The UK has historically been a popular holding company location as a commercial gateway to Europe.

From a tax perspective, there is a strong treaty network, a dividend exemption, an exemption from capital gains on disposal of shares, and no WHT on dividends, although the previously high headline rates and complex legislation has deterred some groups.

Commercially, the UK offers stability, both politically and economically, and has extensive links with the rest of Europe. Whilst the UK work force is well educated, the level of linguistic skills is often limited to English. The key sectors for the UK include construction and property, financial services and media and entertainment.

With a free health service and good schools it can attract high-caliber expatriates. As the cost of living in the South is high, expatriates will expect high remuneration packages. In terms of IP, the UK has a favorable, Although complex, R&D tax regime which offers generous tax deductions and credits, the magnitude of which depends on the size of the group. This is currently under review and it is expected that the regime will be changed with effect from April 2013 to be more favorable for larger groups.

Corporate taxation

The headline rate of corporation tax is 24% from 1 April 2012 (26% prior to this date). The Government has announced its intention to reduce this by 1% each year for the next two years bringing this down to 22% by 1 April 2014.

 

Source - Grant Thornton

Member States and Commission must manage spending better

Written by Tony Harkén on Wednesday, 07 November 2012. Posted in United Kingdom, Main 3, Articles of United Kingdom, Main 7 - 3st

The 2011 accounts present fairly the financial position of the European Union and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year.

Revenue and commitments were free from material error. However, payments were affected by material error, with an estimated error rate of 3.9 % for the EU budget as a whole.

The level of error remained similar to 2010 when it was 3.7 %.

Download the report here

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