Issuu on Google+

BABC Policy Focus

December 2012 Policy Updates Taxation - Overseas Workday Relief: In our response to the UK Government’s consultation on Overseas Workday Relief, we urged the Government to relieve the administrative burden experienced by many of our member companies by moving ahead promptly with its proposals to simplify the calculation of this relief and more generally establishing clear, precise legislation for employees on secondment to the UK. Please click here to read a copy of the letter EU/US Regulatory Compatibility: As a follow up to our September 12 submission to the European Commission’s consultation on ‘The Future of EU-US Trade and Economic Relations’, we sent a further detailed response to a subsequent EU/US consultation, proposing a number of specific, practical measures that would reduce existing regulatory differences and have a massive positive impact on the EU and US economies, and stressing also the importance of strong governmental actions as a precondition for increasing business momentum in support of these objectives. Please click here to read a copy of the letter London UK nation of data-hungry net shoppers Internet shopping is more popular in the UK than in any other major country, a survey from regulator Ofcom suggests. Consumers in the UK spend an average of

London UK’s unemployment falls by 82,000 The number of people out of work fell by 82,000 between August and October, to 2.51 million, official figures have shown. It was the biggest quarterly fall in unemployment since 2001. The unemployment rate was 7.8%, down 0.2 percentage points from the previous three months. The Office for National Statistics also said that the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell 3,000 to 1.58 million in November. Total pay was up 1.8% compared with the same period last year. Employment rose 40,000 to 29.6 million, which was the highest figure since records began in 1971.

London UK manufacturing output sees sharp fall UK manufacturing output registered a surprisingly sharp fall in October, resurrecting fears of recession. Output fell by 1.3% from September, the Office for National Statistics said, with food and drink output, notably beer, down following the Olympics. It was the worst fall since June, when activity was depressed by extra public holidays for the Diamond Jubilee. Meanwhile, estimates for growth from a leading think tank confirmed the weak economic picture.

London US, UK and Canada refuse to sign UN’s internet treaty The US, Canada and UK have refused to sign an international communications treaty at a conference in Dubai. The three countries had objected to calls for all states to have


£1,083 a year on internet shopping, compared with Australia which spends the second highest at £842, it said. The UK's fondness for net shopping is, in part, driven by mobile devices.

Brussels MEP’s vote on ‘better airports’ package The European Parliament voted today on proposed measures to help increase the capacity of Europe's airports, reduce delays and improve the quality of services offered to passengers. In its vote on the "airports package" the Parliament gave strong support for the Commission's proposals to improve slot allocation as well as to improve the transparency of noise decisions. The Parliament referred the proposals on ground handling back to the Parliamentary Committee for further consideration.

Washington Hurricane Sandy hits US consumer spending Spending by American consumers was hit by super storm Sandy and fell in October for the first time in five months, suggesting the economy slowed in Q4. The US commerce department reported that consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of US economic activity, dropped 0.2%, following September's 0.8% increase. Sandy hit car sales but analysts pointed out that the drop in spending also reflected broader weakness. Household disposable income dipped 0.1% last month after being flat in September. Even so, the saving rate nudged higher, to 3.4% from 3.3%.

equal rights to the governance of the internet. Russia, China and Saudi Arabia were among those pushing for the change. It marks a setback for the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which had said it was sure it could deliver consensus.

Brussels Eurozone downturn eases slightly in November: PMIs The eurozone's economic slump was a little less pronounced in November than previously thought, although the region still looks on course for another quarter of recession, a business survey showed on Wednesday. Markit's Eurozone Composite PMI, which gauges business activity across thousands of companies, rose in November to 46.5 from 45.7 in October - markedly higher than the preliminary reading of 45.8 reported 10 days ago.

Brussels Eurozone agrees ECB banking supervision rules European finance ministers have reached a deal on rules for supervising eurozone banks, ahead of an EU summit. Around 200 of the biggest banks will come under the direct oversight of the European Central Bank, which will act as chief supervisor of eurozone banks. New rules on prudent banking are seen as vital to bolster the euro, as bank failures triggered the financial crash.

Washington US unemployment rate falls to 7.7% as economy adds 146,000 jobs The US unemployment rate has fallen to Washington 7.7%, its lowest level in four years, as the Technology sector found to be growing economy appeared to shrug off the looming faster than rest of US economy fiscal cliff and the effects of super storm Jobs growth in the technology sector is Sandy. The Labor Department said on in its beating the rest of the economy by three to latest nonfarm payrolls report on Friday that one, according to a study of the industry 146,000 new jobs were added in November. released on Thursday. Since 2004, the The unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% bottom of the dot-com bust, employment to 7.7%, its lowest level since December


growth in the hi-tech sector had grown at a pace three times faster than the private sector as a whole and has proved more resilient through the recession-andrecovery period, according to the report commissioned by Engine Advocacy, a tech start-up lobbyist and conducted by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.

2008.

Washington Federal Reserve sets new targets for interest rates The US Federal Reserve has said it plans to keep interest rates at close to zero at least until the US unemployment rate falls below London 6.5%. The Fed previously had a date-driven House sales to rise to highest since target, rather than a data-driven one. The crash Fed also said it will continue to buy $85bn In its housing market forecast for 2013, (ÂŁ53bn) a month of government bonds and RICS predicted that there is likely to be a mortgage-backed securities to try to boost 3% year-on-year increase in sales, with the economy. But changes in the way it does 960,000 transactions forecast to take place this will mean more money is pumped into next year, which would be the highest the economy. number since 2007. Although this is an improvement, it would be modest by historic standards given that total sales in 2006 amounted to 1.62m. RICS said that factors such as the government's Funding for Lending scheme will result in some improvements showing through in the housing market next year, as would-be buyers find it easier to borrow.



BABC Policy Focus - December 2012