31st January 2012
down to see full list; previous month's (November)
A Home and Small Business Viewpoint by Len Tondel,
from 1st January 2012
End of 'flood pact' leaves 200,000 homes
at insurance risk. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/31/end-of-flood-pact-leaves-200-000-at-risk/
top for smartphone shopping. http://money-news.money.aol.co.uk/article/2012/01/31/uk_top_for_smartphone_shopping
to play the mortgage market - and win. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/30/how-to-play-the-mortgage-market-and-win/
Threat of fines for credit offer text.
Tax breaks to encourage 'mumpreneurs' to
start their own business. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/tax-break-to-encourage-mumpreneurs-to-start-their-own-businesses-6296341.html
bullying small businesses. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093226/Amazon-accused-bullying-small-firms-inflating-prices.html
growth in online retail sales for small business.
sales for small and medium-sized businesses
grew slightly in the fourth quarter of 2011
compared to the same point in 2010, according
to a survey by e-commerce specialist Atinic.
The survey found that online sales revenues
rose by 1.5%, while the number of orders processed
grew by 1.6% over the same period. The average
order value had changed little, remaining at
£76.30 compared to £76.38 in 2010.
Simon Armstrong of Actinic said that while online
sales were faring well compared to the high
street, the figures suggest that small and medium-sized
enterprises owning online stores were also facing
A bit of light weekend reading for you. Do
PC system optimisers cause more problems than
they solve? http://nls.cnet.com/pageservices/viewOnlineNewsletter.sc?list_id=e497&send_date=01/27/2012
registration requirement for non-UK suppliers.
Non-UK businesses supplying goods in the UK
could be required to register for VAT regardless
of the value of the supplies, under draft legislation
which has been published by the Government.
Currently, non-UK businesses supplying goods
up to an annual value of £73,000 are exempt
from VAT registration. During the consultation
process concerns were raised that the change
could prompt affected businesses to pull out
of the UK. The measures are to be included in
the forthcoming Finance Bill and could be effective
from 1 December 2012. (EnterpriseQuest)
Taxman fumes at UK's practice of cash-in-hand.
Firstly, let's bear in mind that this outburst
comes from the disgraced head of HMRC, David
Hairnet, or, he of letting tax avoidance specialists
like Goldman Sachs and Vodafone off their tax
do the actual figures stack up, though? Estimates
of black market value are notoriously awkward
but taking one that's fairly middle of the road
say , £62 billion. (And
at least this is money which stays and circulates
within the national economy and isn't just stashed
away in secret Swiss bank accounts.)
tax avoidance (offshore monkey-business by Hairnet's
friends), on the other hand - http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/11/25/the-real-cost-of-uk-tax-avoidance/
- or, £70 billion.
sector incompetence and inefficiency (by types
like Hairnet) - various sources - but around
from a simplistic point of view, I admit, the
taxman and his cronies cause twice as much loss
to the country's economy as the black market
or 'cash-in-hand'. I wouldn't wish to be seen
as overly-cynical but I suspect that Hairnet
is feeling just a bit peeved at having been
handed his cards recently and will miss making
his customary contribution to the status
surge in UK fraud levels. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/26/fraud-at-record-level-the-risks/
That's the Government being 'bold' in encouraging
economic growth and supporting the entrepreneurial
spirit for you.
right-to-be-forgotten internet privacy law spells
trouble for Arsebook-style business models.
Weekend larf: David Cameron, the
court jester of Europe, speaks. (BBC
National debt goes through £1 trillion
ceiling; growth down to 0.02% (even that's an
exaggerated figure); bonuses to taxpayer-owned
banks continue unabated; etc, etc. Just what's
needed to lecture the Europeans - although it'll
be good enough to impress UK iDummies and tabloid
The face of David Cameron's 'Broken Britain'
and 'Snout-In-Trough' economic policy, boss
of taxpayer-owned banking catastrophe RBS, Stephen
Hester, in line for a £1 million management
Tax deadline leniency vow from HMRC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16730443
micro-businesses don't know where to find support.
It's all online, don't-you-know. So that the
Government can pass on your details to marketing
agencies and tabloid rags.
20 advertising slogans. (Courtesy of
1. Beanz Meanz Heinz - Heinz 
2. Just Do It - Nike 
3. Does Exactly What It Says On the tin - Ronseal
4. Make Love Not War 
5. Every Little Helps - Tesco 
6. Have a Break. Have a Kit Kat - Kit Kat 
7. Vorsprung Durch Technik - Audi 
8. Think Different - Apple 
9. It is. Are You? - The Independent 
10. It's Finger Lickin' Good - KFC [1950s]
11. Say It With Flowers - FTD 
12. Keep Calm and Carry On - HM Gov 
13. It's The Real Thing - Coca-Cola 
14. You Either Love It Or Hate It - Marmite
15. Because I'm Worth It - L'Oreal 
16. Snap! Crackle! Pop!- Kellogg's 
17. Never Knowingly Undersold - John Lewis 
18. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite - France 
19. Refreshes the Parts Other Beers Cannot Reach
- Heineken 
20. No One Likes Us, We Don't Care - Millwall
Facebook to offer £millions of free
advertising to small, new businesses across
Europe in conjunction with British Chambers
of Commerce. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/24/facebook-to-offer-free-adverts/
(Couldn't find anything about this in the
news section of the BCC website, though. Ed.)
secures Post Office future. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/24/deal-secures-post-office-future/
The official statement can be found here: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=422949&NewsAreaID=2&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bis-news+%28BIS+News%29
of the bog-roll dollar.
Looks like the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan
and Libya and the Arab Spring were all for nothing,
then, (ephemeral weapons, re-construction, oil
and psycopath security contracts apart) as China
heads a new currency basket for pricing oil.
So, after years of suppression the story finally
hits the mainstream western propaganda.
Unskilled 'odd-jobbers' drive growth in self-employment.
A large increase in handymen and people doing
'odd jobs' is behind the recent rise in self-employment,
the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
(CIPD) has claimed. According to official figures,
self-employment rose by 8% between spring 2008
and autumn 2011 to reach a record 4.14 million.
But the CIPD says 20% of the net rise consists
of unskilled workers, and 89% work fewer than
30 hours a week. Dr John Philpott of the CIPD
said: "While some of these newly self-employed
may make a long-term commitment to being their
own boss, or at least gain the necessary experience
to do so, it's likely that most would take a
job with an employer if only they could find
Read 'Enterprise in disguise and reluctant entrepreneurship'
quarter of self-employed contemplating return
to full-time employment. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2090809/Small-business-owners-ready-employees-bleak-economic-state.html
This is much closer to the reality of running
a business in the UK rather than yesterday's
A Business In Everyone announcements. Which
is of course, why the media campaign was launched
in the first place.
Sobering article about self-employment in
the UK. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/22/self-employment-proper-jobs-cameron
With claims in certain quarters that self-employment
had reached 4.14 million in the UK by last autumn
- a good half a million or so more than the
figure usually associated with this sector when
it is in good health - now perhaps, one can
see more clearly how precarious the country's
unemployment statistics really are. It also
demonstrates how this irresponsible government
and its cheerleaders are prepared to be in encouraging
self-employment as the road to nirvana when
in reality, it is the hardest option of all.
to emphasise this point I received the latest
news only this morning, of an extension to the
Government's earlier cheap-skate, business support
Ponzi scheme called Cock Up Britain. http://businessinyou.bis.gov.uk/
Even uses the same sort of language as a doomed-to-fail
bogus investment plan - There's A Business In
no, there isn't. In fact, I would call this
statement 'criminally irresponsible' although
when one glances at all the logos of the corporate
gannets backing the scheme, one can understand
how much sweaty-palmed self-interest there is
THE OTHER HAND, a later press release from
the same initiative, reveals that the Prime
Minister is going to make empty government office
space available to start-ups and small businesses.
that's another matter altogether and a damn
good idea, sir! (Assuming these taxpayer-funded
facilities don't start charging rip-off rents.
And that there is a significant amount of suitably
located office space available. Which there
shouldn't be if government departments are being
morning voucher roundup. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/21/voucher-round-up/
Swapping websites and tips. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/21/swapping-get-in-on-the-new-trend/
Farepak payouts being sought. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16669291
Having been shafted just once by the directors,
the government decided to show the scheme's
savers what being shafted really meant!
Co-op Energy offering to pay switching penalties.
support for social enterprises: findings from
a longitudinal study. URN: 12/566. Publication
date: 20 Jan 2012. Report of qualitative research
over the course of a year, with a heterogeneous
set of social enterprises (SEs) covering the
variety of size, growth rates, enterprise focus,
mission goals and legal structures. Aims to
provide a fuller understanding of the opportunities
and challenges SEs face and to examine the availability
and quality of business support to overcome
those challenges. For other current BIS publications
please visit: http://www.bis.gov.uk/publications.
taking the mickey in the back row there! This
will be the expensive fruits of one of those
ubiquitous Government cunsultants, I imagine.
(What's a 'longitudinal study', by the way?
An outcome produced under the influence of?)
UK firms shunning overseas business. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/20/uk-firms-shunning-overseas-business/
Which just about sums it up - and which corresponds
to my own experience of the majority of UK companies,
going back now, 40 years or so. And no amount
of internetting, smart-phoning or social mediatising
is going to make the slightest bit of difference
because in order to succeed as an entrepreneur
you have got to GET OFF YOUR ARSE. (Which is
why British employers prefer non-British employees.)
surplus sale. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/20/mod-surplus-sale-everything-must-go/
union lending to be free of 'common link'.
Changes to the Credit Unions Act means that
credit unions are no longer restricted to offering
financial services to individuals and businesses
linked by a common factor and can now lend to
a range of organisations.
changes include allowing credit unions to charge
interest instead of a dividend, making their
saving products easier to compare with banks'
offerings. Mark Lyonette, chief executive of
the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL)
commented: "The new rules mean credit
unions can now compete more effectively with
banks and other lenders to provide fair and
affordable financial services to individuals
and organisations." (EnterpriseQuest)
Are you the victim of yet another HMRC mistake?
reports jump in profits. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16623493
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help or you have a great idea that is not yet
off the ground. To find out more please contact
us on 020 7438 1960 or email us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
HMRC to pilot a new dispute resolution scheme.
The Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) is
a new scheme being piloted by HMRC, which is
designed to resolve tax disputes with small
firms without a tribunal. The scheme uses HMRC
facilitators trained in ADR techniques but not
directly involved in the dispute to attempt
to resolve issues that occur during a compliance
check but before a final decision or assessment
has been made. HMRC said it hopes the scheme
will reduce the need for costly tribunals by
ensuring better communication and understanding
between the parties involved. However, John
Cassidy, of PKF Accountants, said that small
firms may need reassurance that the scheme is
"genuinely independent". (EnterpriseQuest)
and medium-sized businesses should be allowed
to treat workers as self-employed. http://www.adamsmith.org/sites/default/files/research/files/self-employment.pdf
payments at a record high. http://www.bacs.co.uk/Bacs/Press/PressReleases/2011/Pages/
Look East to ride out eurozone difficulties,
claims the Chancellor. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jan/14/eurozone-crisis-george-osborne-asia
A bit late for that, Mr Osborne. I and a small
number of other British companies started trading
with the Chinese nigh-on THIRTY YEARS AGO and
from that time to this day, accumulated British
governments have done nothing other than to
provoke the Chinese with infantile sound-bites
over human rights, poor quality goods and protectionism,
with near-zero support for new trade initiatives.
the scope of the average home-based business,
though? Not at all. It doesn't cost a fortune
to travel to China any longer, access is much
easier; the internet can play a large part and
the Chinese consumer is spending hand over fist.
The problem is the UK has very little left it
can sell these days. So, I know of just one
UK home business targetting the Far East - selling
British-made, high quality outdoor clothing.
Nor do I see the situation changing when this
country's governments continue to be drawn from
the rank of public school fags and wankers.
commuting pay? http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/15/does-commuting-pay/
Curiously, the article asks whether it would
be cheaper to move closer to the workplace or
not but doesn't suggest that working from home
might be cheaper still.
UK is in recession, says think tank. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16571049
I never would have guessed it. The report also
suggests that whereas Europe can and probably
will recover, the UK has far more limited prospects.
Mind you, I was browsing a copy of Private Eye
at the weekend and saw that the majority of
economic forecasters (especially those writing
for the tabloid rags) were predicitng all kinds
of growth just twelve months ago.
continues to be the most polluted city in the
EU - with the Olympics looming. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/polluted-air-puts-olympic-athletes-at-risk-6290216.html
strike by tax officers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16568190
5 websites to help you make money. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/14/five-websites-to-make-you-money/
vouchers roundup. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/14/top-vouchers-roundup/
trend causing alarm. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/14/bankruptcy-trend-cause-for-alarm/
Are you running a local business, one where
you sell your products / services to people
in your local area? If
so, Friday 3rd February at the London Chamber
of Commerce could be a real turning point. Click
here now to find out why. http://www.1stpageprophets.com/lp/seminars/index.html
All the best, Joao Correia, Associate Sales
Director, 1stPageProphets. Direct Line: +44
(0) 20 3397 2145 Mobile: +44 (0) 7969 164 879
Fax: +44 (0) 70 0607 2662. Email: joao.correia@1stPageProphets.com
Twitter - > www.twitter.com/1stpageprophets
HMRC's 'illegal' war against small businesses.
Now this is an interesting piece of reporting.
Free toolkit to help attract visitors top
And the toolkit itself can be accessed here:
idea despite the fact that Britain already has a 'toolkit' (US Snap-on monkey-metal
version) called Parliament, whose war criminals feel it appropriate to criticise
the human rights of other countries while wandering around themselves in a state
of denial of their own murderous conduct. Very good for business. On the other
hand, bearing in mind that the Russians and the Chinese are now among the world's
top spenders while travelling abroad, one might question why this initiative doesn't
first address the basics. Why does the UK still insist on visa requirements for
these nationals, for example - even for groups travelling in coaches? Something
to do with Britain's 200-year-old 'gunboat' foreign policy or the Boxer Rebellion,
maybe? Or Reds Under The Bed? Or, not in line with the propaganda tabloids' Page
One/BIG LETTERS hatred of foreigners?
could explain why the 'EU' for example, attracted millions of Chinese visitors
last year while Britain 'welcomed', errr, 100,000. Maybe.
announces gas price cut of 5%. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16501880;
and now, British Gas announce a 5% drop in electricity prices. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16526539
Top 10 books about the internet. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jan/11/john-naughton-top-10-intenet-books
domains to get major overhaul. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16490950
return scams - t'is the season. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/10/tax-return-scam-risk-soars/
Selection of free cloud computing white papers. http://www.ukfast.co.uk/cloud-computing-white-papers.html#utm_source=ukf-free-reports&utm_medium=ukf-free-reports-email&utm_campaign=cloud-industry
homes could be blighted by High Speed Two rail link. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/10/homeowners-warned-about-hs2/
profits from ads for illegal products. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16468846
Just like the newspapers, then?
profits to the tune of £368 million for late tax returns. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/09/368m-in-penalties-for-late-tax-returns/
opportunity of the day - Zimbabwe bans sale of used knickers. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/09/zimbabwean-outlaws-sale-used-knickers
Get in there fast, I say.
in fake goods scam worth millions. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2084352/Senior-policeman-blasts-Britains-Only-Fools-Horses-culture-gang-guilty-fake-goods-scam-worth-millions.html
Well, we can all blame the media yet again, which has cultivated this mentality
- pretty much the same one that was behind last year's rioting. Plus, it's Google's
fault as well. Plus, not everyone earns as much as the police to be able to afford
to buy the real thing.
beat BREAST CANCER by recycling your mobile phone. Simply put your old mobile
phone in an envelope or Jiffy Bag and send it to: Freepost RLUE-KHZU-BHHZ, Medex
Direct Ltd, 3 Park Industrial Estate, Frogmore, ST. ALBANS. AL2 2DR. Every recycled
phone generates income for the Pink Ribbon Foundation. http://www.pinkribbonfoundation.org.uk/about-us/who-we-are/
Year West End theatre offers. http://www.westendtheatre.com/email/WETJan12.html
Who knows what an 'MSB' is? I'd never heard of the term before but it appeared
in one of my official news releases today. It's a 'mid-sized business' which means,
maybe, that we've got some new, non-official SME thinking coming along. Which
means, maybe, that there might be a new definition of businesses our size about
to come along, too. http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=422755&NewsAreaID=2&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=
someone close to Government has got their finger on the international pulse because
there's going to be an 'MSB' mission to pick up new business with Turkey - following
a most incredible faux pas by the French government in announcing recently,
that it was going to become a crime to deny the genocide of a large number (estimates
vary enormously) of Armenians by the Turks, over a century ago (Although the Wikipedia
version suggests a couple of other culprits, as well.)
has riposted by freezing commercial and diplomatic relations with France - leaving
the door open to any other country nippy enough to take advantage of the situation.
Well done, that man (or woman) at the BIS.
an attempt to defuse the situation, one particularly stupid French politician
claimed that France wasn't singling out just Turkey but that the new law was intended
to apply to any country which was guilty of genocide. Looks like France
is about to become a very lonely country, indeed. For example, we could start
with the Americans and the genocide of 8 million North American Indians; ditto
the Spanish and the Portuguese for their efforts in Central and South America;
there's the little matter of the Germans as recently as just over half a century
ago; probably the world record for genocide (13 million) in the Congo held by
French tax haven and next-door-neighbours, Belgium. The genocide of 15% of the
Algerian population by the French themselves. Oh, yes. And then, there's Little
union reforms proposed to allow greater competition with banks. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-16457537
I will be interested to see if these proposals do no more than allow credit unions
to revert to where they were a dozen or so years ago, before lobbying by the banks
hobbled them with all-British red tape. Whatever the current proposals might be.
continue slide as first choice for small business lending. http://www.enterprisequest.com/news/2012/01/small_firms_look_to_nonbank_fi.html
Definitely a move in the right direction and the only way in which banks can be
brought to heel. It's certainly not something which western Governments and their
Ponzi-scheme economies can be relied upon to do.
- the foodie and tourist destination capital of the UK. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/new-yorkers-beat-a-path-to-birmingham-b1-not-alabama-6287006.html
Just like Glasgow's rise to eminence as a great destination, Birmingham's evolution
also sums it up. London (especially with the Olympics looming) is simply the rip-off
capital of the world.
Department for Business to improve intellectual property training and resources
for business advisers. http://www.enterprisequest.com/news/2011/12/bis_improves_ip_resources_for.html
beginner's guide to self-employment. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/07/beginners-guide-to-self-employment/
I don't expect any of our visitors will learn anything from this article but it
does leave me wondering whether or not much of what appears on the internet these
days shouldn't include a public health warning.
company price war looming? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083478/Electricity-gas-bills-slashed-10-energy-companies-set-price-war.html
Best energy saving devices for the home 2012. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/07/the-best-energy-saving-devices/
trojan not only steals your money - but creates a false statement so that you
don't even know it's gone! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2083271/SpyEye-trojan-horse-New-PC-virus-steals-money-creates-fake-online-bank-statements.html
1.4 million customer details 'lost'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16443598
storm damage could increase premiums. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/06/storm-damage-could-increase-premiums/
Locog - Olympic ticket re-sale site crashes http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jan/06/london-2012-olympics-tickets
and National Savings website has stopped 'working properly'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16439556
Anything under the present Government which is working properly?
announces price cut of 5%. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/06/ovo-cuts-fuel-bills-5-whats-next/
rationing to become worse. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16425582
the best town in UK for property price increase. http://stage.money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/05/wigan-is-best-location-in-2011/
Cash for scrap could be banned. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16411400
The world is coming to an end.
Bank offering free overdrafts. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/04/co-operative-bank-offers-free-overdrafts/
sues Comet over fake recovery CDs. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16415452
around for used laptops and repair services. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/05/shop-around-urged-on-used-laptops/
PRESS RELEASE: Launch of UK's Enterprise Rockers movement. http://www.journalism.co.uk/press-releases/2012-the-year-enterprise-rocks/s66/a547316/
safest broadband' ad banned by the ASA. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jan/04/talktalk-broadband-ad-campaign-banned
offering new customers £100. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/03/halifax-offers-new-customers-100/
accused of double standards. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/crackdown-on-small-firms-a-blind-eye-for-big-business-6284205.html
So on the ball, are the UK's media. This is an ongoing story which we have been
highlighting for years. There must be a shortage of Ministry of
Death (MoD) propaganda releases going around at the moment.
Warning of rising insolvency levels. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/02/warning-of-rising-insolvency-levels/
search home page revamp. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16383783
Community college opens a class for enterprise. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/jan/01/school-open-for-business
This is where 'the business' should begin although the concept is by no means
new. Furthermore, these experiments also seem to be more than a little removed
from reality: a smartphone 'gift' from the head teacher in this case; no mention
if taxes and business rates will actually be paid; no mention of the extra hours,
including nights and weekends which have to be worked; no accruing debts or crawling
visits to the bank for an overdraft extension; no rows with the family; no bricks
through windows or rioters thieving stock.
it's a start, pointing in the right direction. Which is a very good thing.
European leaders already warning that 2012 will be even tougher than 2011, here
are a few tips keeping the home budget under control. http://money.aol.co.uk/2012/01/01/12-steps-to-fix-your-finances-in-2012/
we have a happiness and positivity pack from Liggy Webb. http://www.liggywebb.com/happy_2012.pdf
VAT harmonisation could cost UK families an extra £800 a year. (Claims
The Daily Wail.) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2081106/Brussels-VAT-shake-cost-families-800-year.html
VAT rates are very much a sovereign issue which David Cameron ostensibly voted
to preserve recently when refusing to go along with the rest of the EU on much-needed
reform. However, using Brussels as an excuse (again) to up taxes might be just
too much of a temptation.
on subletting council homes. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ban-on-subletting-council-homes-6284087.html
Happy New Year, everyone. Sincerely. We could all be doing with a better
year than the last one, I think. Best wishes.
1 in 4 households facing fuel poverty. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16005540
'Fuel poverty' is a bit of a misnomer as any visiting Martian would see. There's
as much, even more, energy used at night while the country sleeps to illuminate
roads, carparks, supermarkets, office blocks, apartments and households full of
near-useless electrical appliances than is needed for a bit of heating and lighting
for everyone for merely several hours a day. Switching off the waste and re-directing
it at affordable prices to households in need however, would make a massive dent
in energy companies' profits and that would be bad news for the politicians they
as with the country's other forms of wealth, it's distribution and not shortage,
which is the problem.
one month, Royal Mail's web problems persist. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16363072
UK train tickets. http://www.cheapesttrainticket.co.uk/
I was going to post an article which appeared in The Guardian yesterday about
sourcing cheap UK rail travel but it was so poorly researched (just like its international
reporting) that to cut a long story short, I would suggest you do NOT use general
ticket-finder websites like thetrainline but go directly to the websites of the
service operators. (Oh, well, here's the article link anyway http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/dec/30/cheap-train-tickets-fares
but I would suggest you use the comments which follow it as a more useful and
accurate source of information, instead.)
trouble is that the privatisation of UK rail travel was such a pig's ear resulting
in so many operators offering such a bewildering variety of options that it is
difficult to plan a journey, especially if you are unfamiliar with a particular
route or destination and you need to do everything without any help - online,
typically, whereupon you may well fall foul of server error as well, usually just
after you have authorised a payment but before your ticket confirmation displays!
A hallmark problem associated with Eurostar, who then ignore your email requests
to investigate the matter. Anyway, the first link is a good place to start - unless
you don't have a UK debit/credit card and billing address, in which case the website
can't oblige. And thus continues the saga of the Great British Public Transport
Cock-Up - and nothing to do with Brussels, either.
leader knighthoods. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16362264
Wouldn't it be nice if just for once, a couple of ordinary, honest, hard-working
self-employed businesspeople could be decorated? In the true spirit of the Honours
Lists. Rather than the usual selection which regularly includes liars, thugs and
Earnings decline in 277 occupations (with the self-employed bearing the brunt).
house price stagnation to continue. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16356568
Car Hire fraud warning. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/dec/29/police-car-hire-fraud-warning
Cash-strapped Government 'finds' £3.1 million for Big Society projects.
Culled from Propaganda Notes for the Proletariat written by Joe Stalin,
1949, the Government's Big Society initiative has just benefitted from £3
million from dormant bank accounts which had hitherto been overlooked. (Or, you
can read that as negligent and incompetent house management as £400 million
so far, seems to have been found.) And, straight into the pockets of the banks
it goes. A social stock exchange in London; Triodos Bank (OK, it's an ethical
bank but the British Co-op would have been a better choice); and £1 million
to an outfit we have never heard of, FranchisingWorks.
Upon taking a closer look, we found a website which is a masterpiece of brevity
containing virtually zero information of value; no address, no contact details,
no 'people' behind the scenes, yet it does boast some impressive sponsors, least
of all taxpayer-owned RBS (BelowStandard and PissPoor credit rating of Triple
Z, Triple Minus.)
seems that FranchisingWorks' mission statement is to (get people off the dole)
by judiciously helping them choose a franchise, offering up that seriously old
chestnut of, "90% of franchise businesses are still operating after 5
years." A claim I have frequently encountered from the franchising industry
but which I have never yet seen corroborated.
as the website was only created around 18 months ago, we must be patient. Now
that the Government has obligingly front-loaded the operation I am sure we will
see the appointment of mentors and advisers who can deliver the goods. Some ex-Business
Links staff, maybe? With SFEDI accreditation? Mind you, that would probably result
in impartial advice, which I don't think is the object of this particular exercise.
the meantime, anyone contemplating the franchise industry would do well to remember
that franchises can be every bit as much a can of worms as any other business
opportunity model and usually with a far higher level of financial investment
attached. (Which is why the banks like franchising so much.) The classic read
for evaluating a franchise is Martin Mandelsohn's book, How to Evaluate a Franchise:
that, if you go to our Part 1 of starting a business from home, you will find
a couple of links to solicitors' firms which specialise in giving advice to potential
franchisees as opposed to franchisors - a rarity in the marketplace. http://www.homebusiness.org.uk/features.htm#1
can I have £1 million, please?)
fraud threats for 2012. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/28/the-new-fraud-threats-for-2012/
claim rent-to-buy sector is morally bankrupt. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16348405
A lot of it about, these days. The Government, the banks, the City, the media.
It's become the norm, really.
experts issue help warning. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16345896
of small local Post Office branches refusing to send parcels weighing over 6kg.
(Careful. It's a Daily Mail story.)
Top Ten Scams 2011. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/28/the-top-10-scams-of-2011/
Christmas present for everyone, following on from the e-book pricing scam story
below. Where to get free e-books. http://frugalliving.about.com/od/frugalfun/tp/The-Best-Places-To-Get-Free-Ebooks.htm?nl=1
up pressure for new flood risk deal from government. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16342911
Fake Olympic websites being closed down by police. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/dec/26/olympics-cybercrime-met-websites
"Detectives say many websites intended for use to commit fraud are using
imagery of Olympics to lure customers." Not like the 'official', Olympic
Ground-swell business events of the year-end - Brazil overtakes G.B. (George
Bush county) as world's sixth largest economy. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2078596/Brazil-overtakes-UK-sixth-biggest-economy-Britain-falls-South-American-nation-time.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
China and Japan come to a direct currency agreement, freezing out the bog-roll
Japan and India also about to do a currency deal; Russia backs the euro; the European
Central Bank releases billions in loans and receives record cash deposits from
the banks, etc, etc.
in the UK, David Cameron comes up with yet another plan to boost the country's
economy - from the New Year he will start bombing starving civilians in the
horn of Africa, which the British tabloid propaganda will talk up as humanitarian
intervention to prevent terrorists from using emaciated locals as human shields.
(Death by bombing is quicker than from starvation, a lack of water and zero medical
supplies.) Peace and good will to all men from - Made in Britain.
Happy Christmas, everyone and a Healthy and Wealthy New Year.
The great e-book price scam. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/dec/23/ebook-price-swindle-publishing
and online payments to become faster from 1 January. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/24/all-online-and-phone-payments-to-be-faster-from-2012/
One of those annoying, consumer-orientated EU directives which doesn't get a mention
in Britain's tabloids.
Hart the most desirable place in the UK to live. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/24/hart-is-most-desirable-place-to-live_n_1168638.html?ref=uk&icid=maing-grid7%7Cuk%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D89852
Amazingly, Cambridgeshire - where we hail from - gets not just one but two places
in the Top Ten. Apparently, the criteria for entry into the Top Ten includes traffic
flows, crime levels and broadband access. So if Cambridgeshire has been included
not once but twice, we can only imagine that's because the selectors have been
at the Christmas drinks cabinet non-stop since last year. Shurely shome mishtakesh?
Excessive card surcharges to be banned. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16301923
card 'small print'. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10556718
Insurers after government subsidies for high flood-risk homes. http://stage.money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/22/subsidy-needed-for-flood-risk-homes/
Once again, just like with the banks, it's a case of the ordinary taxpayer being
asked to bale out the stupid and the greedy. It's no secret where and when homes
are developed on flood-risk plains so if buyers of these properties are still
prepared to go ahead then let them either, foot the extra premium or, do without
insurance altogether. If there is still a logical case for subsidies after that,
then let's be having some money in the kitty from local councils and property
developers, first. A lot of money.
£1 billion in compensation already paid out in Payment Protection Insurance
Increase of 12,000 empty homes in the UK over the past 12 months. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/21/increase-of-12-000-in-empty-homes/
Bringing the total of empty homes in the UK up to well over 666,000 according
to this source, although we have seen reliable figures for more than three quarters
of a million. A dire housing shortage in the UK, indeed! (According to David Cameron
and his fagging cronies, that is.) And it is precisely these levels of empty housing
stocks which are helping to drive down prices.
ad complaints rejected by ASA. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16280051
fares to increase by 5.9%. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16260872
Yes, well, we have to make sure there is plenty of money in the national purse
to featherbed the slavering banks. That said, even with this increase, UK rail
fares are not unreasonable if you buy online and well in advance. And how much
does it really cost to have a car these days? But it's the rail commuters I feel
UK's stance on the euro threatening 3 million jobs, claim business leaders.
Aye, and a lot of those will be subbies, the self-employed and freelancers.
surprisingly, this story is almost impossible to find on the front pages of Britain's
tabloid propaganda, which seems to be more interested in Germany suddenly licking
up to Britain, after having reported on a 'war of words' with France last week
- a couple of events which appear to have completely escaped the attention of
the French and the German media.
David Cameron is only representing the wishes of his electorate - the banks and
the Americans; and Britain is very attached to its daily poop-scoop.
For a more accurate slant on British tabloid propaganda misreporting of EU
issues, one could always try this link: http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/blog/index_en.htm
case for return of cheque guarantee card. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16268920
firms' profit margins begin to fall. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16248631
Despite that, Co-operative
Energy are going against the flow and have announced a 3% price cut for the
majority of its customers from February.
begin to criticise HMRC for its cosy tax deals. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16253205
The good 'ole sport of once you've got 'em on the ground, let the kicking begin.
This kind of political input would have been much more convincing had it taken
place before the tax deals were exposed. But that might have mucked up
big, fat donations to party funds in the run-up to the elections.
Self-employed/small business insurer fined £2.8 million for sales standards.
rules to reduce risky mortgage lending. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16215629
Another blow to the Prime Minister's 'Get Britain Building' campaign, then.
in five Brits too lazy to search out the best deals. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/18/one-in-five-too-lazy-to-search-for-deals/
(Or, yet another advert posing as news.)
the Greeks! Buy some genuine Greek produce for Christmas with prices up to
50% off: http://www.justgreek.co.uk:80/
to avoid repossession. http://stage.money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/19/repossession-how-to-avoid-it/
Manchester and Salford are the UK's fake goods centre. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16215168
Not really news but it's nice to keep abreast of current trends.
before you buy' or 'sample shop' opens. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/17/try-before-you-buy-shop-opens/
Once again, not a new idea but with the High Street suffering from continued attacks
by grubbing councils and landlords, everything's worth a try.
businesses lagging behind in their use of social media. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16213753
Emerging markets apparently, are much more frequent users. Might fit the bill
as the UK lines up to be an 'emerging market' itself in a few years' time.
Post Office changes prompt fears among small businesses. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16218063
updates for Internet Explorer from January. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16214912
Well, if consumers are now so dumb they need 'smart' phones, this seems to be
the next logical step forward.
Small firms working harder in Christmas run-up just to break even. http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/business-news/small-businesses-working-harder-to-break-even.html
House repossessions to rise in 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16197258
The Prime Minister has a cunning plan, though. He is going to get Britain building
plans daily deal coupons to compete with Groupon. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16178266
your guard against cash machine fraud. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13798386
All firms must file their VAT returns online from April. http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/detail.aspx?NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=422370&SubjectId=2
Currently, online VAT payments and filing is only mandatory for newly-registered
businesses and those with an annual turnover of more than £100,000. HMRC
is encouraging businesses to convert to online VAT filing in advance of the April
deadline to benefit from its improved online service, including automatic acknowledgement
on receipt of the return and e-mail reminders when returns are due. (EnterpriseQuest)
of dementia suffeerers have been targetted by scammers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16167995
Insurers starting to employ social media profiles. http://stage.money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/12/what-insurers-could-do-with-your-social-media-score/
property hot spots for 2012. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/12/the-property-hotpots-for-2012/
and New Year theatre special offers. http://www.westendtheatre.com/email/WETDec11.html
How will David Cameron's veto affect small business activity in the UK and
the EU? I am not going to go with either flow, I'm just going to say, "I
don't know." Nobody knows. I am hoping it might be good news for both sides.
Britain has finally come off the fence and used its last spoiling tactic. Sovereignty
was never an issue no more so than protecting the privileges of the City. That
was just grist to the mill for the tabloids. Now, it's time for everyone to get
on with the tools they have available to them and come up with plans which work.
There are no other options.
to market stalls we go. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/dec/11/high-street-rescue-mary-portas
Silly me. There I was thinking that Britain's economic future was going to be
assured by at least 5 million people running their businesses from home, sitting
day in, day out, in front of a screen, exchanging drivel on Arsebook. Well, that's
what we were led to believe by someone who re-wrote the Wikipedia entry for 'home
business' a couple of years ago. (It's all right now, though.)
risking homes to pay for Christmas. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/12/people-risk-homes-to-fund-christmas/
credit card management tips. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/11/beat-the-card-firms-at-their-own-game/
FSA criticises itself in handling of RBS disaster. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16126399
Humble pie is all very nice. Now it's time for senior management to follow HMRC's
boss down the road, cards in hand. It doesn't matter how much the economy and
its elements are adjusted if it still continues to be mismanaged by the same wasters
who caused the mess in the first place.
men up for fraud over student phishing scam. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-16122836
Crafts for handmade Christmas gifts. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/dec/09/craft-christmas-presents-baking-knitting
This used to be the norm and children waking to the smell of woodshavings and
fresh paint enjoyed a festive season which was much more exciting and lasted much
longer even if more cheaply, than it does today. But that was before fifty years
of dumbed-down consumerism.
A guide to 101 small business gift ideas for the entrepreneur. http://sbinformation.about.com/od/BusinessBuyingGuide/tp/business-gift-ideas.htm?nl=1
boss to quit. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/09/controversial-hmrc-boss-to-quit/
Definitely a resignation from our Christmas wish list. Now let's see the rest
of the wasters who squander billions in public money following in his footsteps.
A few from the NHS, next?
against EDF rising strongly. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16108908
enters dangerous ground in confronting retailers. http://stage.money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/09/amazon-strikes-at-retailers/
Still more unemployment looming if this style of online shopping takes off. And
once again, consumers will have nobody to blame but themselves if eventually,
it is they who end up without jobs. Cause and effect.
A guide to bankruptcy. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/08/your-guide-to-bankruptcy/
Kinda the writing on the wall.
works the longest hours in Europe? http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/dec/08/europe-working-hours
interest rate scam. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/07/call-over-tax-refund-interest-rates/?ncid=webmail4
you be an online shopping victim? http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/08/could-you-be-an-online-shopping-victim/
Babener's next MLM Startup Conference, Starting and Running the Successful
MLM Company, February 23-24, 2012 - $195, (Second Attendee just $150), Las Vegas.
TO REGISTER CALL (800) 231-2162
Record numbers of business failures (1170 a DAY); record low for business start-ups
at same time. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/07/grim-tally-of-1-170-business-deaths-a-day/
It's working, then. The Government's - personally endorsed by the Prime Minister,
David Cameron - Cock-Up Britain Initiative. Mind you, you ain't seen nothing yet.
we facing the death of email? http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/are-we-facing-the-death-of-email-6273170.html
Christmas eBaying. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/06/day-6-learn-the-art-of-ebaying/
face £40 million in fines for mis-selling investments to elderly in care.
The small business community has been saying for years, that if banks had been
obliged to operate honestly, ethically and in business-like manner they would
have gone bust overnight. And that would have saved the world a lot of grief today.
Four of UK's leading supermarkets could face prosecution over misleading prices.
leaders in e-shopping. http://stage.money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/05/uk-ahead-in-e-shopping/
tips for Royal Mail staff could be seen as bribery. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16023127
Cable.co.uk specialises in home broadband,
fibre optic broadband, TV and home phone packages, and consumers can quickly
and easily check the availability of these services in their area and compare
a wide range of packages from all of the UKs top providers.
are now one of only three such websites that are officially accredited by Ofcom,
which guarantees that our information is accurate, comprehensive, up-to-date and
completely transparent. See: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/2011/11/cable-co-uk-earns-ofcom-accreditation/
tips on sending parcels. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/04/how-to-save-money-sending-parcels/
to make procurement simpler for small businesses. http://www.enterprisequest.com/news/2011/12/procurement_reforms_could_bene.html
One of the Big Three Shaggy Dog stories of improving the lot of small businesses
along with red tape and better regulation; efficient internet connectivity and
of course, making government contracts more accessible. Reality check? Not with
the present Government.
Time for a new pc - desktop or laptop? http://nl.com.com/view_online_newsletter.jsp?list_id=e497&send_date=12/02/2011
The AIMS Autumn Update is now online with a reaction to
the Chancellor's Budget statement.
launches investigation into Groupon. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16000648
Mail's Christmas Price Finder page closed due to technical difficulties. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15989252
businesses told to up their game. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/01/family-run-firms-told-to-up-their-game/
This will go down well. If family businesses were run like big companies with
an eye on nothing but the bottom line, there would currently be 5 million unemployed
in the country. There are sectors of business activity where fortunately, loyalty,
responsibility and duty of care are more important than lobbying politicians for
another tax-payer sub in maintaining piss-poor standards. Happily, we can't all
be Virgins - or the rest of the household-name wasters all pulling the plug at
the moment while the gaffer still drives around in a Roller.
for the operating efficiency of family businesses, that was where Business Links
were supposed to be involved. Which is a bit academic now, just like this report.
The Government has closed the service down.
Christmas parcel scam. With Christmas fast approaching the frequency of
the Undelivered Parcel Scam will be increasing, write ezinematters.com
in their latest marketing news.
most readers will know this is where we receive emails, or cards through the door,
advising us to call a telephone number to trace a parcel addressed to us that
a parcel delivery service was unable to deliver. The number turns out to be a
premium rate one that costs at least £1.50 a minute, billed through your
friendly telephone service provider, who take a lucrative cut of the fraud and
squeal. if challenged, that they are simply the utterly innocent "conduit"
for the fraudsters.
make any of them richer at this festive time. http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org
over energy-saving plugs. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/dec/01/trading-standards-bogus-energy-saving-plugs
seller jailed for tax-dodging. http://money.aol.co.uk/2011/12/01/ebay-seller-jailed-for-tax-dodging/
goodies from National Express. http://ebm.cheetahmail.com/c/tag/hBO14AuANcU-lB8euP6EKLcq84Y/doc.html?t_params=EMAIL%3Dleonardtondel%2540aol.com
Training Institute - EU funding at your fingertips. http://www.e-t-i.be/course_new_eu_funding.asp
for Scottish-based companies offers up to £1000-worth of free support.
named safest city in the UK. http://travel.aol.co.uk/2011/11/30/glasgow-named-the-safest-city-in-the-uk/
How things have changed! London continues to wallow in its 'shitpit' status at
68th in the world, which bodes well for the Olympics and the following European
Athletics Championships; whereas Baghdad is considered the most dangerous city
with the poorest standard of living in the world - which comes as no surprise
after twenty years of 'democratisation' by the Coalition of Evil.
our usual gratitude and thanks to BAD News and Cobweb
month's (November) Viewpoint
Christmas 2011/New Year 2012 contents:
Time for a change? Employment and average wage infographic; A very good French
start-up documentary; the return of Patricia Ogunfeibo.
for Home Business Alliance members:
(now includes Autumn Update)
of the News
firms secure 44% of Government contracts; Minister rejects call for new 'micro
business' category; Family firms call for tax relief and less red tape; Small
enterprises optimistic about future sales; IT contractor jobs fall amid double-dip
worries; Traditional freelance marketing jobs decreasing; Creative freelancers
in high demand, report says; Yell reports surge in business website uptake; Tax
man targets financial advisers dodging VAT; HMRC targets tax-dodging doctors and
dentists; Insolvency claims could be resolved out of court; Lower tax and VAT
will help growth, survey finds; Treasury closes tax loophole for offshore DVD
sales; Many small firms only buy minimum insurance cover; Scottish firms dissatisfied
with Business Gateway; New cookie laws could undermine online advertising; Users
of eBay m-commerce channel increase; New small claims process for IP cases confirmed;
Shoppers are not loyal to fair trade, survey finds
to India . . .', by Rachael Ross and the 'How To
Work Successfully From Home Guide'
Guest Article, Christmas 2011:
friend got scammed. Please help her make her computer safe again . . ."
Tax and VAT News
free income from solar panel installations under government threat;
Tax cheats - where are we now?; tax
amnesty NOT just for 'plumbers'; 'plumbing'
profession to tighten up tax affairs; HMRC
guidance - can it be relied on?
A one-off chance to take a 12 month Property
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Tax Relief For Home To Work Travel - for self-employed taxpayers (article)
HMRC VAT car and van update
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join! Tax Insider plus, HMRC help business cash flow; 'HMRC launch online
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COFFEE BREAK: Old Books
Setting Up a Home Business The Right Answer For You?
Very First Steps of Starting a Business
Biggest Business Giveaway; Art of Design webmag; all about .pdf; Can you please
help?; Cyber-security; mitigating the threat seminar; 10 Steps To Mobile Marketing
Nirvana et al; disposal of your IT equipment; half-price business card
offer; Creating video for the web course plus other open course programmes;
Marketing Suite; Royalty-free stock photography; Savings on the move with mobile
apps plus free audio book (the Trainline); On-line security test; Latest UPS and
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Guidance for small firms considering cloud computing; Free carbon footprint calculator;
IPO guide to licensing and selling ideas; LicenceGuard;
sell your unwanted printer cartridges; easy and secure online storage; Royal Mail
business pack; free website building links; courier price comparison website;
airport parking checker and booking site, etc, etc.