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Body calls for tax consultation
The Chartered Institute of Taxation has called on the government to consult multinational companies on proposed tax changes and keep compliance burdens to a minimum if it wants them to remain based in the UK. The organisation believes inadequate pre-consultation on changes that have been made in successive Budgets and pre-Budget reports have forced international businesses to regularly rearran... more

Property sales to fall 40%
Property sales in the UK could fall by as much as 40% this year, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned. The organisation also predicted that house prices would fall by 5% in 2008, which in turn would cut consumer spending by 8%. ... more

FSB proposes fuel price plan
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to pass on the extra revenue it receives through high oil prices to motorists by cutting the price of fuel. Accountancy firm Grant Thornton has calculated that for every $4 per barrel that oil exceeds the predicted price, the Treasury receives £1.5m every day and has made £450m in extra revenue in the 50 days since the Bu... more

Credit crunch hits Barclays
The impact of the credit crunch has forced Barclays to take a further £1bn writedown on assets and warn shareholders that profits for the first quarter of 2008 will be less than last year. But the bank stopped short of asking shareholders for additional cash through a rights issue, although it did keep this option open in a statement. ... more

Flexible working plans criticised
Small business groups have warned that the government’s plans to increase flexible working to parents of older children – announced in the draft Queen’s speech by Gordon Brown – could prove to be a nightmare for small businesses. The news comes at a time when the EU is close to reaching agreement on the controversial Agency Workers Directive – backed by Brown – that would give temp... more

Help for potential franchisees
Potential franchisees looking for a suitable business should benefit from a new franchise selector tool. Franchise Gator – a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation – aims to make the process of researching a franchise business opportunity easier and allows users to select up to five franchises based on industry, geographic location and investment level. ... more

Working parents hit 15-year peak
The number of working parents has hit a 15-year high as families struggle with the higher cost of living in recent years, according to a YouGov survey. The poll found that 2.2m parents stay at home to look after their children, down from the 2.8m in a similar study in 1993. ... more

Entrepreneur north-south divide
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is calling for more support for entrepreneurs after research revealed a north-south divide in the number of small business owners. Research by Hull University Business School, Cranfield School of Management and the University of St Andrews found that 23% of men and 11% of women in the south of were self-employed, compared to 17% and 8% respectively in the no... more

UK inflation soars to 3%
UK inflation hit its highest level in 13 months in April in the biggest monthly jump since April 2001. According to the Office for National Statistics, the consumer prices index hit 3% – an increase of 2.5% from March – while the retail prices index rose from 3.8% to 4.2%. ... more

Manufacturers struggle with costs
Small and medium-sized manufacturers are struggling to cope with rising energy and raw material costs, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned. The business group’s survey revealed that average unit costs had increased in 51% of the companies surveyed in the first quarter of 2008, with just 7% saying they had decreased ... more

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