Archive for March 9th, 2012

FPS’ Friday Fiver

Here’s your five for the weekend everyone – short, sharp and to the point:

1. We’re 12 days away from this year’s Budget and the noise has started already. This week’s focus has been all about the question of taxation – in particular, the proposed mansion tax, child benefit levels and how much relief on tax people paying into pensions should qualify for. Next week kicks off with the British Chambers of Commerce submitting their Budget wishlist – expect the hard economic debate from Mr Balls etc to follow.

2. Meanwhile, the Institute for Fiscal Studies provided plenty of ammunition for Labour with its latest figures on household spending which claimed to show that households are set to lose £370 from tax and benefits changes already in place.

3. Over in media land, Robert Peston drew the wrath of the Financial Times by latching onto an exclusive from George Parker last month and repackaging it into one of the stories of the week – Vince Cable’s now very public critique of Coalition policy.

4. Wrapping up the week, today finally saw the disclosure of pay figures for Barclays’ senior figures, including Bob Diamond. Suffice to say, the reaction has been predictable, decrying the vast sums while others have questioned the payout based on the company’s declining performance. Perhaps not such a bad day for Lloyds and RBS to reveal their figures at the same time then…

5. Finally, tonight sees the inaugural Financial & Professional Services ‘Cheese & Wine night’ – expect plenty of sore heads and full stomachs tomorrow!

Happy weekend all!

You don’t have to be mad to work at H+K, but….

THIS POST IS BY MARIE CAIRNEY.

Unsurprisingly with over 2.5 million people unemployed, the subject of work or lack thereof is currently high on the media agenda. Aside from a minor manufacturing boom in sunny Sunderland instigated by Nissan’s answer to the Ford Fiesta, and the announcement of (our client) InterContinental Hotels Group’s intention to create 3,000 jobs in three years, the discussion around employment appears to have been largely negative.

Only yesterday the Government, throwing PR caution to the wind, decided to potentially make up to 1700 disabled people unemployed; a tricky manoeuvre for any spin-doctor by any stretch – and to be fair they didn’t try very hard to spin it. Whether this could have been perceived as an inspired move or utter madness all came down to timing. In the boom years, you might have positioned it as stroke of genius social improvement. Let’s face it who could argue that disabled workers might not be better off fully integrated into the general workplace?  However, the trouble with this in austere times is that most people fear that the only thing the workers of Remploy will now integrate into is the benefits system and job seekers’ clubs.

The current debate in Westminster and the media on work experience got us thinking about the jobs we've all done previously (Image: Wikipedia.org)

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