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23 March 2012
Environmentally sustainable must always be fiscally sustainable”, was the message from the Chancellor at Budget 2012. Providing a boost to North Sea oil, gas extraction and a £3billion new field allowance west of Shetland will certainly create jobs in the energy sector, but what about businesses and jobs which specifically reduce carbon emissions?
22 March 2012
Yesterday’s budget was meant to put Britain back on the path to growth and recovery. The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has set out in its forecasts what that path might look like. As the government’s watchdog on public finances, its primary function is to ensure that the government is meeting its fiscal mandate during this period of austerity. But as the governments’ fiscal target is to eliminate the structural deficit by 2016/17, one of the key judgements they are required to make is the size of the output gap. The output gap reflects the underlying capacity for the economy to grow without giving rise to inflation, debt imbalances or other factors that could cause a subsequent correction in the future. And the size of the output gap is a key judgement for the OBR, because as it determines how much of the deficit is cyclical and how much of it is structural, it has important implications for the government’s fiscal target.
21 March 2012
Today the Chancellor extended tax relief to three sections of the UK’s creative industries, animation, videogames and high-cost drama. Broadly this makes a lot of sense. As The Work Foundation have argued in the past, the creative industries have a particularly wide role in the economy, generating significant positive spillovers. We have some world-leading production capacity in these areas, but recent industrial activism in other countries such as Canada and Ireland has moved some key business abroad from the UK.
The Chancellor told us that today’s Budget was aimed at “working families”. His Budget speech focused on tax changes to help those on middle and lower incomes, but in doing so he paid less attention to the real issues: growth and jobs.
20 March 2012
Will George Osborne deliver another Budget for Growth tomorrow? If the usual trail of pre-Budget trails and leaks is anything to go by, those looking to government to take a lead on growth are likely to be disappointed. Of course, Osborne may have kept a suite of blockbuster growth policies up his sleeve for tomorrow to blow away such doubts, but the early signs don’t look good.
In the run-up to the Budget, the Chancellor has announced the launch of the National Loan Guarantee Scheme as part of his credit easing plans to help the economy grow. The scheme guarantees, in the first instance, £5bn of funds (which will increase to up to £20bn depending on the success of the scheme) for companies with a turnover of up to £50m at interest rates discounted by 100 basis points. The Federation of Small Businesses has recently reported that 60% of small businesses felt that credit was unaffordable – thus, this scheme should go some way to help reduce that burden.
12 March 2012
How to make money from digital content is a big challenge for the creative industries everywhere, and the UK is no exception. In the past we have explored innovative ideas such as a digital license fee as a potential way to ensure content producers get paid. Other methods, such as the standard freemium or paywall models, seek to limit the distribution of content to those who are willing to pay, attempting to replicate in a digital environment older product-based models of distribution. Some businesses have been successful at this, but it is increasingly difficult to control the illegal distribution of such content given the open architecture nature of the internet. The controversy surrounding SOPA in the U.S. illustrates the growing power of new ‘born-digital’ content brokers and their lack of appetite for strict policing of the internet for content-sharing.
Posted By Nicola Mendelsohn, IPA President and Executive Chairman and Partner, Karmarama
09 March 2012
Together the creative industries represent 5.6% of UK GVA, is the UK’s third largest export sector and generates £59bn. But, as I set out in my inaugural speech as IPA President, if we are to maintain our strong position and pioneering spirit in this rapidly evolving and converging marketplace, we must build better skills and connections - as well as re-energise the industry with fresh talent.
01 March 2012
Last week it emerged that the unemployment rate was 25% for the 21-year-olds leaving university last year, compared to 20% of 18-year-old school leavers. There is a growing feeling amongst the public that widening participation in higher education has led to a proliferation of ‘mickey mouse’ degrees and a corresponding drop in the quality of graduates. In 2010 a YouGov opinion poll found that 52 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement "too many students are going to university now and it's devaluing degrees".