News

The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.

 

New Implementation Guide - How to Save Money and Energy on Lighting

This guide covers all the typical things you can do to reduce lighting costs – from engaging staff (using supporting staff engagement materials, posters and stickers), to changing lamps and installing lighting controls. Please click HERE to access the guide.

2014 Autumn Statement Summary

State of the economy

  • http://www.dgchamber.co.uk/templates/dgchamber_corpbluex2/images/postbullets.png);">UK fastest growing economy in the G7
  • http://www.dgchamber.co.uk/templates/dgchamber_corpbluex2/images/postbullets.png);">3% growth forecast in 2014, up from 2.7% predicted in March
  • http://www.dgchamber.co.uk/templates/dgchamber_corpbluex2/images/postbullets.png);">2.4% growth forecast in 2015, followed by 2.2%, 2.4%, 2.3% and 2.3% in the following four years
  • http://www.dgchamber.co.uk/templates/dgchamber_corpbluex2/images/postbullets.png);">500,000 new jobs created this year. 85% of new jobs full-time
  • http://www.dgchamber.co.uk/templates/dgchamber_corpbluex2/images/postbullets.png);">Unemployment set to fall to 5.4% in 2015
  • http://www.dgchamber.co.uk/templates/dgchamber_corpbluex2/images/postbullets.png);">Inflation predicted to be 1.5% in 2014, falling to 1.2% in 2015
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Stamp duty

Reform of residential property stamp duty so that rates fall only to that part of the property price that falls within each band

0% in first £125,000 then 2% on the portion up to £250,000

5% up to £925,000, then 10% up to £1.5m; 12% on anything above that, saving £4,500 on average priced home

Public borrowing/deficit

Deficit 'cut in half' since 2010

Borrowing set to fall from £97.5bn 2013-14 to £91.3bn in 2014-15.

Deficit projected to fall to £75.9bn in 2015, £40.9bn in 2016, £14.5bn in 2017 before reaching a £4bn surplus in 2018

By 2019-20 Britain will have a surplus of £23bn

Debt as a share of GDP falling in every year until forecast to be 72.8% in 2019-20

Tax receipts forecast to be £23bn lower in 2014-5 than predicted

World War One debt to be repaid

Energy and fuel

Fuel duty to be frozen

Sovereign wealth fund for north of England to keep benefits of shale gas exploration

Savings

ISAs to be transferrable to partners tax free

ISA threshold increases from £15,000 to £15,240 next April

Personal and business taxation

55% death tax passed on to loved ones abolished

Personal tax allowance to increase to £10,600 next April

Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped for under-12s from 1 May next year and for under-16s the following year

World War One debt to be repaid

Inheritance tax to be cut for families of aid workers who die in course of duty

Libor fines to support Gurkhas and their families

VAT paid by hospices and search and rescue organisations to be refunded

Introduce 25% tax on profits generated by multi-nationals that are shifted out of the UK, set to raise £1bn over five years

Bank profits which can be offset by losses for tax purposes to be limited to 50%

New £90,000 charge for non-doms resident in the UK for 17 of the past 20 years.

Welfare

Welfare spending to be £1bn lower than forecast in March

Two year freeze in working-age benefits (first announced in October)

Migrants to lose unemployment benefits if they have "no prospect" of work after six weeks

Health and education

£2bn extra every year until 2020 for the NHS

GP services to get £1.2bn in extra funds from bank foreign exchange manipulation fines

Employment Allowance extended to carers

£10,000 loans for postgraduate students studying for masters degrees

Business

Business rates to be reviewed

Theatre tax break extended to orchestras

Research and development tax credit increased for small and medium-sized firms

New tax credit for children's TV producers

£45m package of support for exporters

Expand tax relief on business investment in flood defences

Old pacer carriages on Northern Rail and the Trans-Pennine Express replaced with new and modern trains

National Insurance on young apprentices abolished

Housing/infrastructure

£1.5bn for 84 roads projects in England

£2bn for flood defence schemes

Find Funding with New Funding Scotland Online Database

A new online funding database with information on over 800 funds has been launched this week by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. Funding Scotland is a free online resource that anyone can use. It was launched this week at the Third Sector Summit.


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SCVO say that their long-term aspiration is to include all Scottish funders and UK funders providing at least £25,000 per year to Scotland. The launch of the new resource is the first stage in achieving that ambition. To go to the website please click HERE

Bank of England Inflation Report for November

The Bank of England has warned that inflation could fall below 1% in the next six months, owing to lower food, energy and import prices, as well as feeble growth in Europe and elsewhere.  Governor Mark Carney said he did not expect inflation to reach the targeted rate of 2% for three years.


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The Bank also cut its prediction for UK economic growth in 2015 to 2.9%.  However, the Bank said it expected average salaries to be growing by 2% by the end of 2015Earlier, official figures showed average wages excluding bonuses grew by 1.3%, which was just above the latest rate of Consumer Prices Index inflation and the first time it has risen above that measure in five years.

The Office for National Statistics figures also showed that unemployment in the UK fell by 115,000 in the three months to the end of September, to a total of 1.96 million.

Encouraging signs
The governor said the UK was witnessing "the start of real pay growth".

"We are seeing encouraging signs with respect of pay... we expect this pick-up to accelerate," he told reporters.

However, the governor had more sombre news on the rate of inflation, which the Bank wants to see reach 2%.

In a news conference at the Bank of England, Mr Carney said it was likely he would soon have to write a letter to the Chancellor, George Osborne, explaining why inflation had dropped below 1%.

But he added that inflation was expected to recover in the long term, and that the Bank would continue to keep its interest rate at 0.5% for some time.

The governor also sounded a warning on the state of Europe's economy.

"A spectre is now haunting Europe," he said, "the spectre of economic stagnation, with growth disappointing again and confidence falling back."

Read the full report HERE

Request for Testimonies from Chamber Members

Would you be willing to help Chamber by providing some feedback?  We are looking to receive some testimonials from Chamber members regarding Chamber services they have used and found helpful. We'd love to hear which of the services you have used - networking, ChamberHR, Chamber Legal Expenses Insurance, Chamber Healthcare Plan, Chamber Fleet Assist through the AA, Business Mentoring, Private Healthcare through AXA etc.


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What did you approach them for? Did you find the service useful? What impact did it have on your organisation/did it save you money? Were the service providers helpful etc? Would you recommend them to other businesses? If you would be willing to help us with this we'd love to hear from you. Testimonies may be used on the Chamber website or may be used in the packs that are taken out when meeting potential new members. If you would be happy to help out please contact Amanda at the Chamber office on 01387 270866 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you very much in advance.