Key Quotes - Money

Key Quotes - Money

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Last update: Tuesday 15th October
 
Interest rates have been kept at their historic low of 0.5 per cent as mounting pressure to cool the housing market failed to persuade the Bank of England to change course. The announcement was widely expected as policymakers have said they would rather utilise other tools to curb any property bubble before acting on rates, which would only be deployed as a ‘last line of defence’. The decision came as latest figures from the Halifax showing a second consecutive month-on-month fall in house prices in April – though they were 8.5 per cent year-on-year – looked likely the ease concerns about an overheating market. The Bank rate has been at the historic low of 0.5 per cent for more than five years to nurse the economy back to health. With the recovery gathering pace, policymakers have made clear they want to see more of the ‘spare capacity’ in the economy taken up before any hike, leading to expectations of a first rise next spring.
MoneyThe Sentinel, May 9, 2014
 
A campaign has been launched for Stoke-on-Trent to be named the country’s first ‘City of Football’. Politicians and clubs are joining forces to win £1.6 million to invest in the grassroots game across the Potteries. Sports England is inviting bids for the cash with Liverpool, Hull and Northampton among the other areas hoping to take the title. Stoke-on-Trent City Council is now to see whether the city qualifies for the funding.
MoneyThe Sentinel, May 1, 2014
 
Ceramics firms will not receive compensation to offset crippling energy costs after a ruling by EU ministers. Support for energy-intensive industries with the cost of UK’s Carbon Price floor – a tax on fossil fuels used to generate electricity – was announced by Chancellor George Osborne in 2011 and expanded on in the Budget this year.
MoneyThe Sentinel, April 23, 2014
 
Britain’s big four supermarket chains have surrendered more ground to their discount rivals in the wake of a record quarter of growth for Aldi. All the main chains posted declining sales in the 12 weeks to March 30. The share held by market leader Tesco fell to 28.6% from 29.7% a year earlier, Asda’s market share was 17.4% against 17.6% a year ago, Sainsbury’s dropped to 16.5% from 16.9% and Morrisons’ fell to 11.1% from 11.6%. In contrast, Aldi achieved its highest growth in sales yet of 35.3% as its market position jumped from 3.4% a year ago to 4.6%.
MoneyThe Sentinel, April 9, 2014
 
Britain’s Big Six energy suppliers face the threat of being broken up after regulators said they planned to refer the sector for a full-scale competition probe. Ofgem said soaring household bills and intensifying public distrust highlighted the need for an investigation to determine if the companies are making excess profit – after they quadrupled to more than £1 billion in three years.
MoneyThe Sentinel, March 28, 2014
 
The national minimum wage will increase by 19p an hour to £6.50. The new rates will be implemented in October and will benefit a million workers. Business Secretary Vince Cable said he had accepted a recommendation from the Low Pay Commission that the minimum wage should increase by three per cent. The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds will go up by 10p to £5.13 an hour, a two percent increase. The rate for those aged 16 and 17 will rise by 7p to £3.79, also a two percent rise. Apprentices will earn an extra 5p an hour, taking their wages to at least £2.73.
MoneyThe Sentinel, March 13, 2014
 
Barclays has defied calls for pay restraint as it announced a 10 per cent hike in its staff poll to £2.4 billion – while confirming plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs this year. The group said around 7,000 jobs would go in the UK – including some branch-based roles – under plans to slash costs, adding that around half of the affected employees had already been informed. It fuelled anger over City pay following a controversial bonus increase on last year’s £2.2 billion haul, which comes despite a 32 per cent drop in underlying annual profits to £5.2 billion. The bumper payout will see its 26,200 investment banking employees share out a £1.6 billion bonus pot for 2013, up 13 per cent on 2012, giving as average pay-out of £60,100 employee in the division.
MoneyThe Sentinel, February 12, 2014
 
The UK’s Big Six energy suppliers are to be hit with financial penalties if they fail to meet new rules aimed at helping smaller firms break into the market. Regulator Ofgem wants to ensure firms such as British Gas and the largest independent generators trade fairly with other suppliers in the wholesale market. Under new rules from the end of next month, they will have to open up their finances to more scrutiny, including publishing the price at which they will trade wholesale power up to two years in advance.
MoneyThe Sentinel, February 27, 2014
 
Royal Bank of Scotland faced anger over bonuses as it revealed a £576 million handout to staff despite slumping into the red by £8.2 billion and admitting losses had now reached £46 billion over the past six years. Chief executive Ross McEwan pledged to rebuild trust in the group with a mammoth overhaul that will slash costs by £5 billion within three years and see it shrink from seven divisions to three and warned of further job losses.
MoneyThe Sentinel, February 28, 2014
 
UK Chancellor George Osborne has said a vote for Scottish independence would mean walking away from the pound. He said there was ‘no legal reason’ why the rest of the UK would want to share sterling with an independent Scotland, as Scottish ministers have proposed.
MoneyThe Sentinel, February 14, 2014
 
Interest rates are likely to rise from their historic low of 0.5% in the spring of next year. Martin Weale, a member of the Bank’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), appeared to indicate the rate hike is likely to come before the May general election. It is the clearest indication yet from any of the MPC’s nine members about when borrowing costs will start to rise, and comes a week after it abandoned its ‘forward guidance’ policy linking the cost of borrowing to unemployment figures. Mr Weale added that a faster than expected pick-up in average earnings over the coming months would mean that even an earlier rise could not be ruled out.
MoneyThe Sentinel, February 21, 2014
 
Energy giant npower has claimed bills in the UK are high because the country’s ‘old and draughty’ houses waste so much gas and electricity. npower chief executive Paul Massara said the actual unit prices of gas and electricity are among the lowest in Europe – but bills are high ‘because British houses waste o much electricity’. Mr Massara said: “If we can increase the efficiency of the UK’s old and draughty housing, we can ensure that annual energy bills are some of the lowest too.” He warned that the cost of upgrading the nation’s energy infrastructure is set to increase bills unless households can take action through efficiency measures. npower announced a 10% average bill increase in the latest round of price rises late last year, affecting about 3.1 million customers, but has said it will reduce bills as a result of a shake-up of Government green levies.
MoneyThe Sentinel, February 23, 2014
 
The Bank of England has abandoned its flagship forward-guidance policy linking interest rates to unemployment after just six months but insisted they must remain low for longer to support the economy. Governor Mark Carney said that despite the best pace of growth since before the recession, the recovery had been “neither balanced nor sustainable” and required continued support. He indicated interest rates would have to stay well below the pre-downturn average of five per cent for the next few years. The Bank pledged in August that it would not consider a rise until unemployment fell to seven per cent, in a bid to reassure businesses and homeowners about the cost of borrowing. But with the target due to be hit imminently, the guidance has been revised.
MoneyThe Sentinel, February 13, 2014
 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lifted its growth forecast for the UK this year to 2.4 per cent in a fresh boost for Chancellor George Osborne. Its latest prediction, a sharp upgrade from a previous figure of 1.9 per cent, would see Britain among the fastest-growing of the world’s advanced economies. The World Economic Outlook puts the UK’s pace of expansion ahead of European rivals including Germany and France, although behind the U.S. on 2.8 per cent. It forecasts that growth for 2013 will have come in at 1.7 per cent and that after recording 2.4 per cent this year; it will slow to 2.2 per cent in 2015.
MoneyThe Sentinel, January 22, 2014
 
Chancellor George Osborne claimed the Coalition’s economic policies were delivering a ‘brighter economic future’ after official figures showed growth last year was the best since 2007.
MoneyThe Sentinel, January 29, 2014
 
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