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Britain's two largest political parties are moving ever further away, when it comes to economic policy. Last week's budget, delivered by Chancellor George Osborne, reflected a continuing Conservative gameplan of public spending cuts until well into the next Parliament. However, over in the Labour Party, following the election of Jeremy Corbyn MP as leader, austerity has never been more unpalatable. George Osborne stood at the dispatch box last week, delivering a budget with forecasts provided by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, (OBR). They augur badly for his plans for deficit reduction. In the run-up to the budget, David Blanchflower, former member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee told Westminster World that he expected the forecasts to repre...
Angelica Morrison stands at London’s most expensive toilet. Opened eight months ago in Covent Garden it is a fancy lavatory, owned by the trendy 2theloo Company. But it costs. As Morrison finds out, it is £1 to enter and she had no choice but to pay. Neoliberalism, which turns everything into a business, has reached London’s toilets. Since London’s first toilet, resting areas have moved on to being more than just a place to “relieve one self”. They have turned towards the same direction as the Romans after the introduction of sanitation. According to the British Toilet Association (BTA), over 600 restrooms are believed to have closed down, with another 22 more underway. Raymond Martin, Managing Director of BTA, says the closure has affected the public tremendously. “We have actuall
The In camp for the EU referendum have seized upon a new report by CBI and PwC, but pro-Brexiters have responded to it in a different light. Produced as a joint-effort by the two firms, the report hints that as many as 950,000 potential future jobs might be lost by 2020, as a consequence of a Brexit. https://twitter.com/EdConwaySky/status/711866718218493952 The report also claims a Brexit could serve as a blow to economic growth over the next four years, with as much as £100bn worth of potential output being lost by 2020. The forecasts indicate growth will pick up in the ensuing years, but the report's findings are significant, as they serve as an admission that a Brexit might depress the economy somewhat. Speaking to Westminster World, David Blanchflower, an ex-member of
The so-called tampon tax could be abolished after British officials reached an agreement with EU leaders. All sanitary products in the UK are taxed at 5%, compared with the general VAT rate of 20%. But more than 300,000 people have signed a petition demanding it be reduced to 0%. Under current EU rules, all member states must agree before any country is allowed to introduce a VAT exemption. At a European Council meeting in Brussels last week, leaders of the EU’s 28 states agreed to relax the current rules on setting VAT. This would allow the UK, as well as other European member states, to remove VAT on products as they wish. Chancellor George Osborne said the government had “heard people’s anger over paying the tampon tax loud and clear.” It has been distributing the 5% ta
The UK government backs many schemes that promote new start-ups. Some entrepreneurs, however, have criticised current efforts and fear the upcoming referendum on Brexit. "The start-up community started to spring up in London about five years ago," Vicky Hunter, the Head of Operations and Community at 3beards, a company which organises events for aspiring entrepreneurs, told Westminster World. “People were graduating from college, and there were literally no jobs”, she recalls while chatting at the Electric Showrooms pub in Shoreditch, the area in London highly populated by start-ups. The pub is overcrowded; there is a regular gathering for start-up enthusiasts. Several years after the recession, in October 2015, London topped the list of the most entrepreneur-friendly cities in
The cacophonous din of some 8000 black taxis blasting their horns in sporadic unison tore through the afternoon of Wednesday the 10th of February. The usually bustling thoroughfare of Whitehall had been brought for a second time to a complete and surreal halt. For as far as could be seen in either direction, from Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament, stretched row upon row of London’s iconic cabs. Centred outside of the guarded gates of Downing Street, the United Cabbies Group (UCG) and Rail, Maritime and Transport workers (RMT) protest had begun and the discontent was palpable. Since its 2012 London launch ‘ride’-hailing app Uber has angered the capital’s black cab industry by challenging, what has become to many, an outdated regulatory system. The company occupies a new s
On 12th of January the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) gave a stark warning to investing customers: “Sell everything ahead of a stock market crash. This looks very much like 2008.” Whilst experts have said RBS might be overreacting, a month of crashing oil prices, turbulent stock markets and poor economic growth results has made the prospect rather more possible than before. Snapchat: Will there be a London crash? A crash and subsequent recession would hit everyone hard, with businesses going bust, fewer jobs and less cash to go round. What makes this worse? No one can predict if or when a recession will hit. If it does what will it mean for young Londoners who have already been battered by the wake the 2008 financial crisis? David Cameron recently dubbed young Londoners as “Ge
Managing money while travelling or buying from foreign retailers online usually costs extra money. A virtual bank Revolut tries to cut such costs. “Every time you travel abroad and pay with your debit card, you lose money – about 30-40 euros, depending on the bank you use, for every 500 euros. We allow people to save these 30-40 euros,” Nickolay Storonsky, the founder of Revolut, said to Westminster World. Revolut is a British startup launched in July 2015. The company produced a debit card with three accounts in different currencies – USD, EUR and GBP – and a mobile applications. Users need to download the app and order the card to be delivered home. The mobile application is used to top up in any of these currencies with a debit card or a bank transfer, and send money to other R