The decline and fall of a British institution
March 26, 2018
The High Street scene is changing as more and more big-name retailers put up the shutters. Woolworths and BHS are no more than a fond memory, and in the last few years other prominent retailers have followed their path into oblivion.
The key to avoiding failure is detecting problems early
March 19, 2018
It seems like stating the obvious but the earlier you recognise a problem the easier it is to solve. That goes for business as well as many other aspects of life and it is the central message in an advice booklet recently published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW).
OTS proposals ask the question – can VAT be simplified?
March 6, 2018
In 1973 Value Added Tax was introduced to coincide the UK’s accession to the Common Market, replacing Purchase Tax which had by that time become rather complex. It was hailed by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Anthony Barber, as a simple tax which 'will avoid some of the ridiculous anomalies that were part of the purchase tax system.' With hindsight this statement is laughable.
Artificial intelligence, inequality and the economy
February 19, 2018
Artificial intelligence or machine learning is about to revolutionise the way we work just as much as the invention of the microcomputer changed our workplaces in the 1990s. Computers and robots that are able to learn from their experience will, over the next ten years, take over the jobs, not only of the unskilled...
Workplace Pensions – a burden or a benefit?
February 5, 2018
The Pensions Regulator’s 2017 report on the progress of the workplace pension/auto-enrolment scheme. There are signs that employers are coping very well with the scheme and take-up rates among employees are high. Several reports prepared by large institutions in the pensions industry are a little more cautious.
The Carillion case – what can be learned?
January 22, 2018
On 15 January one of the UK’s largest companies, Carillion, entered compulsory liquidation, putting at risk the livelihoods of 43,000 workers and 30,000 subcontractors. The newspapers, radio, TV and political parties reacted immediately with many and varied claims, some of them inaccurate or exaggerated.
The Government’s Industrial Strategy: how will it benefit your business?
January 18, 2018
Running to nearly 250 pages the recently published White Paper 'Industrial Strategy' is a weighty document. It explores the UK's economy, highlighting four areas which it calls ‘Four Grand Challenges’ leading on to describe five key policy areas which form the ‘Strategy’.
A family affair: can the family business save the economy?
December 15, 2017
Chief Economist of the Bank of England concludes that the solution to the UK’s sluggish economy lies in the hands of its family businesses.
HMRC breaks records with its tax take from compliance activity
December 11, 2017
HMRC’s latest annual report revealed the overall effects of their tougher regime in tackling tax evasion and fraud.