News archive from 4 January 2011

VAT rate rises from 17.5% to 20%

VAT rate rises from 17.5% to 20%

The top rate of VAT has risen from 17.5% to its highest level of 20% as the government looks to boost tax revenues to cut the UK's debt levels. Business groups have warned that retailers will be hit by the increase, while opponents of the rise have...

BBC, 01:09 in Business
 
Pension not offered by 'two-thirds of small firms'

Pension not offered by 'two-thirds of small firms'

Two-thirds of small firms do not offer their employees a pension, while many that do are not providing sufficient contributions, research suggests. Most defined contribution pension schemes are failing to keep pace with the contributions necessary to...

BBC, 02:27 in Business
 
Klaxons album wins record cover prize

Klaxons album wins record cover prize

The Klaxons' second album, Surfing the Void, has won an award for 2010's best record cover. In a public vote, the sleeve - which depicts a cat in an astronaut suit - beat 49 other shortlisted covers to take the Best Art Vinyl prize. Caribou album...

BBC, 02:44 in Art & Culture
 
Barnes & Noble festive sales led by Nook

Barnes & Noble festive sales led by Nook

Barnes & Noble has reported a rise in sales over the Christmas period, led by the popularity of its Nook electronic book reader. The company, the largest US bookseller, said like-for-like sales - which exclude new store openings - rose 9.7% in...

BBC, 07:42 in Business
 
Australia floods 'to hit global steelmaking'

Australia floods 'to hit global steelmaking'

The Queensland floods could have a "significant long-term effect" on the global steel industry, the premier of the Australian state has warned. Anna Bligh's comments came as three quarters of the state's coal fields are unable to operate...

BBC, 08:32 in Business
 
Is working with your hands better than just with your head?

Is working with your hands better than just with your head?

If the new year and inevitable return to work leaves you yearning for change, is working with your hands the answer? The time for reflection is nigh - a new year, a new you. But is that workstation you've slotted back into looking depressingly...

BBC, 09:08 in Business
 
Can you teach leadership or are you born with it?

Can you teach leadership or are you born with it?

The study of leadership goes back as far as Plato - and still it continues to intrigue psychologists, but what makes a good leader? Around me were bosses from around the world - from Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates. We were all attending the...

BBC, 09:08 in Business
 
Director Danny Boyle on his rock solid grounding

Director Danny Boyle on his rock solid grounding

Last year saw rags to riches fable Slumdog Millionaire win prize after prize, including eight Academy Awards. But its helmsman Danny Boyle, named best director at the 2009 Oscars, seems unaffected by his Hollywood success. The British film-maker,...

BBC, 09:10 in Art & Culture
 
Argentina thieves tunnel into Buenos Aires bank

Argentina thieves tunnel into Buenos Aires bank

Bank robbers in Argentina have tunnelled into a vault and emptied more than 100 safety deposit boxes, police say. The robbery in Buenos Aires was only detected when bank staff returned to work after the new year weekend. The thieves are thought to...

BBC, 09:26 in Business
 

Union leader says 2011 will be 'horrible' year

The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, has said 2011 would be a "horrible" year of cuts. In his New Year message the union boss claimed there would be cuts in jobs and real cuts in living standards. He added the year could also be a...

BBC, 09:26 in Business
 
Flopping flotations: How can small investors pick well?

Flopping flotations: How can small investors pick well?

It seems to have been an unexpectedly great year for UK share buyers. As the year began, the New Year nerves over the economy's direction were pulsating more than usual. The credit crisis - supposedly slipping into the past - never convincingly...

BBC, 09:26 in Business
 
Stars pay tribute to Pete Postlethwaite

Stars pay tribute to Pete Postlethwaite

Stars of stage and screen have paid tribute to Oscar-nominated British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died on Monday at the age of 64. Former girlfriend Julie Walters praised him as "the most exciting, exhilarating actor of his generation"....

BBC, 09:28 in Art & Culture
 
Honey West actress Anne Francis dies aged 80

Honey West actress Anne Francis dies aged 80

Actress Anne Francis, who played a sexy private eye in US TV series Honey West, has died aged 80. Her daughter Jane Uemura, told the Los Angeles Times newspaper that she died from complications of pancreatic cancer. The star was awarded the best...

BBC, 09:41 in Art & Culture
 
Slight mortgage pick-up says Bank of England

Slight mortgage pick-up says Bank of England

Approvals for home loans - notably for people remortgaging their properties - picked up slightly in November, Bank of England figures show. The number of mortgages approved for house purchases stood at 48,019 in November, a marginal rise on the...

BBC, 09:53 in Business
 
Blacks Leisure enjoys winter sales boost

Blacks Leisure enjoys winter sales boost

Blacks Leisure, the outdoor clothes retailer, has said the recent Arctic weather conditions have boosted sales. The company, which owns the Blacks and Millets brands, said like-for-like sales in its outdoor business rose 10.2% in December. This...

BBC, 10:33 in Business
 


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