In brief

In Industry News On

The industry has welcomed the BRC proposal to remove VAT for energy efficient appliances and to introduce a car-industry-style scrappage scheme. Enrico Vita, managing director of Indesit Company UK, said: “This proposal will provide the white goods sector with further encouragement to accelerate development of more efficient products. (…)  By removing VAT it would give retailers a significant sales boost during these very difficult trading conditions.”

The latest Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Business Confidence Monitor (BCM) shows a record rise in confidence from -28.2 to +4.8, the highest since Q3, 2007. Based on this, the ICAEW predicts that GDP will rise 0.5% this quarter.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has reported that banks are imposing a raft of charges, increasing interest rates and demanding personal guarantees as preconditions for lending to small businesses, including under the Government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme. According to the FPB’s latest research the cost of finance is a major issue for 63% of respondents. Almost one in five (19%) said it has become a ‘very serious’ concern. “Recent data shows that, despite the rate of new EFG applications slowing, the overall availability of lending is beginning to improve slowly,” said FPB spokesman Phil McCabe.

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