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For individual Companies House documents purchased through bizzy, we have reduced prices as follows:
Pay-as-you-go Companies House document images - 79p. We've reduced our prices on Companies House documents right down to 79p. At 95p including VAT we're now cheaper than Companies House itself!!!
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A UK Budget In Touch with Business? 22 Mar 2012
Following the UK Budget on 21st March, we are still in the period after the Budget in which its effects are being assessed, evaluated and debated by politicians, journalists, businessmen and ordinary people across Britain.
In the run up to the Budget, it was remarked how Chancellor George Osborne was able to carry the burden of office exceedingly lightly due to the complete trust he was able to place in his chief economic adviser Rupert Harrison, who has come to be referred to by some in the government jokingly as ‘the real Chancellor’.
The Chancellor had some good news just before the day of the Budget, from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. Improvements in the economic outlook would enable the Chancellor to ease austerity measures and enable £5 billion of future giveaways.
The Chancellor had come under considerable pressure from the business community to do away with the 50p higher rate of income tax. Introduced as a temporary measure by the previous government when the financial crisis first hit, it was argued that the tax did not raise the revenue intended and only had the effect of deterring businessmen from investing and creating jobs, and driving entrepreneurial talent abroad. The Chancellor’s response, negotiated with the Liberal Democrat coalition partners, was to reduce the top rate of income tax to 45p, although this was no longer designated temporary.
In the aftermath of the Budget a story that has maintained people’s interest is the so-called ‘Pasty Tax’. This is where VAT has been added to hot baked takeaway food sold in bakeries and supermarkets, in line with what is already charged in Fish and Chip shops and other takeaway outlets, so creating a ‘level playing field’.
The difficulty of determining whether VAT would be charged when the pasties cooled down, or in hot weather, was soon remarked upon. Chancellor George Osborne was unable to remember the last time he went to Greggs to buy a pasty, leading to charges that he was out of touch with ordinary people. Prime Minster David Cameron did a little better by recalling an incident when he bought a pasty at Leeds railway station, only to be reproved for ‘Pasty snobbery’ for favouring the West Cornwall Pasty Company, a more expensive brand of pasty than most people normally eat. The Labour leadership were quick to visit a branch of Greggs to buy sausage rolls, and Party Leader Ed Miliband declared that the Pasty Tax showed the government to be out of touch.
How the Sovereign Debt Crisis Affects Business 15 Mar 2012
The past week has brought two further developments in Europe’s ongoing sovereign debt crisis. Firstly, a second bailout of Greece has finally been agreed. European governments and financial institutions were able to agree a rescue package for Greece based on austerity measures and commitments made by its government, following a successful bond swap. However this was seen as an orderly ‘default’, which would likely be followed by the need for a third bailout.
Secondly, the outlook on Britain’s AAA credit rating has been reduced from stable to negative by the credit ratings agency Fitch. This follows a similar decision by Moody’s a month ago. Britain’s economic outlook may be adversely affected by the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, and economic conditions within the UK may challenge the government’s ability to maintain its austerity measures.
The sovereign debt crisis began in late 2009, and is a follow-on effect from the Credit Crunch, which started a year earlier. Governments which increased borrowing heavily in the boom years found that in the new negative economic climate, tax revenues were decreasing while expenditure particularly on welfare was increasing. It became increasingly clear that some governments would find it difficult to refinance their debts, leading to the risk of defaults on sovereign debt.
Government bonds, or "gilt-edged" stocks, have traditionally been seen as a safe and secure form of investment. However, as a result of the sovereign debt crisis, these investments are regarded as increasingly risky, as the credit ratings of one country after another have been downgraded by credit ratings agencies. This has highlighted the growing importance of credit ratings agencies, which are seen to pass judgment on the creditworthiness of entire nations with increasing regularity.
While this appears to primarily affect certain nations and large financial institutions, it does in fact have an impact on ordinary businesses both large and small:
Financial institutions threatened
Banks and investment funds which are heavily exposed to sovereign debt may be in danger of collapsing. This would affect those with investments in those institutions and weaken the financial system as a whole.
Investor confidence damaged
As what was thought to be safe investments turn into bad debts, this weakens the confidence of investors both within Europe and abroad.
Availability of credit
Credit to businesses, which is already in short supply, is reduced even further by the knock-on effects of the sovereign debt crisis. Also, higher costs of borrowing for governments due to credit rating downgrades could make loans more expensive for everyone.
Export markets in Europe are threatened, and weakened consumer confidence at home reduces the demand for goods and services. The possibility of a “double dip” recession looms.
Reduced business confidence
All of this affects the climate in which business decisions are taken. Uncertainty about economic prospects causes businesses to make decisions which are more cautious and less bold.
Need for accurate information
In these times of uncertainty, it is increasingly important to have accurate information about the financial status and creditworthiness of companies with which one is doing business. Whereas when times are good, companies’ creditworthiness might be taken for granted, decisions in the current economic climate require a closer scrutiny of these companies.
bizzy.co.uk offers affordable solutions to help businesses have accurate and up to date information on companies’ creditworthiness. Signing up for a bizzy FREE account gives access to a range of useful information and a basic credit rating for every company. Subscribing to a bizzy PLUS account at modest cost provides comprehensive credit scoring and financial information on any company in the UK, as well as a regularly updated and verified website bizzyRATE badge to display creditworthiness to others, including customers, suppliers, lenders and investors. This represents excellent value for money, and is one decision which can surely be taken with great confidence!
Lehman Brothers exits bankruptcy protection 08 Mar 2012
This week we have the news that the investment bank Lehman Brothers has exited bankruptcy protection, in order to sell assets and pay its creditors. The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 was one of the key events at the start of the Credit Crunch, and ushered in a time of financial uncertainty from which the world is still recovering.
It was startling that what was then the fourth largest investment bank in the United States suddenly collapsed on 15th September of that year, and images of employees leaving the building with their belongings on that day are some of the most memorable.
A number of other large financial institutions had to be rescued by governments in order to prevent a depression on the scale of that last seen in the 1930s. All of this showed that the financial stability of even large banks could not be depended upon. Many other businesses which depended heavily on the availability of credit got into difficulties. Some of these likewise were rescued by governments, but others ceased trading. Businesses ever since have found themselves squeezed by a shortage of readily available credit.
How can a business be sure that other businesses it trades with will be able to pay what they owe? This is where a company’s credit rating can inform the decisions that are taken about who to trade with and how much credit to extend to them.
bizzy.co.uk offers a readily available way of checking the credit rating of any limited company in the UK. Signing up for a free account reveals basic creditworthiness information on every company, while a subscription to bizzy PLUS provides more comprehensive information on companies’ credit status, as well as a verified website badge to show a company’s own creditworthiness to others.
Company Credit Report 01 Mar 2012
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