Stronger public finances come as Rishi Sunak prepares to unveil budget next month
British Chambers of Commerce report says long-term uncertainty is impeding growth
Employees over 25 will receive a 6.2% pay rise equating to £930 a year for full-time worker
President Donald Trump was apparently unaware that a provision in his biggest legislative accomplishment encourages corporations to offshore jobs.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke with Trump Wednesday night about the closure of at least five General Motors plants, including one assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and filled him in on how the GOP tax bill is partly to blame.
“I reached him last night, he said he wanted to help, I said the first thing you could do is you could take away that tax provision in his tax bill that gives a company a 50 percent off coupon on their taxes,” Brown told CNN’s New Day Thursday. “If you’re producing in Lordstown you pay a 21 percent tax rate, if you move to Mexico you pay a 10.5 percent tax rate, and I told the president to get rid of that tax break that encourages jobs to move overseas.”
The president apparently did not know that was in the tax bill.
The anguish of austerity cuts may have come late to the leafier Conservative-run councils of England but there is no doubt it has arrived. Reflecting on the eye-watering spending cuts stricken county halls must push through this year and next, the Kent county council leader Paul Carter declared to a Tory conference fringe meeting last week that “no Conservative came into local government to do this”. The room, packed with councillors, exploded into applause, accompanied by booming cries of “hear, hear”.
The meeting pulsed with anger, bewilderment, despair, possibly even regret that the austerity chickens have come home to roost in Tory England. Most councillors there would have accepted town hall belt-tightening eight years ago as a necessary obligation at a time of national economic crisis. Few, I suspect, assumed then that their civic duty almost a decade later would be to shut cherished services and strap local government on to the life-support ventilator.
President Donald Trump justifies tariffs on imports by arguing that “unfair trade policies” have harmed American workers. This has led to a trade war in which the U.S. and China have placed tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s products.
Most recently, China said it’s ready to slap tariffs on US$60 billion in U.S. imports if Trump goes ahead with his threat to tax another $200 billion of Chinese goods.
Since the president claims to be acting on behalf of working-class Americans, it’s fair to ask: How do tariffs actually affect them?
Scholars of international political economy, such as myself, recognize that trade hasn’t always been good for poorer Americans. However, the economic fundamentals are clear: Tariffs make things worse.
Source: How Trump’s trade war affects working-class Americans : The Conversation
In recent weeks media outlets in the US have been fretting over what would ordinarily be considered good news – the roaring American economy, which has brought low unemployment and, in some places, a labour shortage. Owners and managers have complained about their problems in finding people to fill low-wage positions. “Nobody wants to do manual labour any more,” as one trade association grandee told the Baltimore Sun, and so the manual labour simply goes undone.
Company bosses talk about the things they have done to fix the situation: the ads they’ve published; the guest-worker visas for which they’ve applied; how they are going into schools to encourage kids to learn construction skills or to drive trucks. The Wall Street Journal reports on the amazing perks that plumbing companies are now offering new hires: quiet rooms, jetski trips, pottery classes, free breakfast, free beer.
But nothing seems to work. Blame for the labour shortage is sprayed all over the US map: opioids are said to be the problem. And welfare, and inadequate parking spaces, and a falling birthrate, and mass incarceration, and – above all – the Trump administration’s immigration policies. But no one really knows for sure.
The rise of the machine economy risks social disruption by widening the gap between rich and poor in Britain, as automation threatens jobs generating £290bn in wages.
Jobs accounting for a third of annual pay in the UK risk being automated, according to the study by the IPPR thinktank. Warning that low-paid roles are in the greatest danger, it urged ministers to head off the prospect of rising inequality by helping people retrain and share in the benefits from advances in technology.
The study for the IPPR’s commission on economic justice, which features senior business and public figures including the archbishop of Canterbury, called on the government to take a greater role in managing the adoption of robotics, artificial intelligence and other methods of job automation in the workforce.
Mathew Lawrence, a senior research fellow at the IPPR, said: “Managed badly, the benefits of automation could be narrowly concentrated, benefiting those who own capital and highly skilled workers. Inequality would spiral.”
The IPPR estimates that 44% of jobs in the UK economy could feasibly be automated, equating to more than 13.7 million people who together earn about £290bn. Although it doesn’t give a forecast for how long this would take, it cited US research which estimates the changes could occur over the next 10 or 20 years. From the collective pay pool worth £290bn, middle-income jobs such as call-centre workers, secretaries and factory workers are likely to be hollowed out. Low-skilled workers could also lose their jobs or face fewer hours from greater levels of automation. At the same time the highest earners and workers able to retrain will gain higher pay thanks to rising productivity – which
Source: UK’s poorest to fare worst in age of automation, thinktank warns : The Guardian
Autumn statement 2016 Philip Hammond Theresa May Economics Economic policy EU referendum and Brexit Economic growth (GDP) Housing Office for Budget Responsibility Minimum wage Budget deficit Government borrowing
The battered pound has notched up its best two-week performance in eight years after the surprise US election result took investor focus off the UK’s Brexit challenges.
Market concerns shifted to the euro amid fears that Donald Trump’s victory will trigger a wave of populism and political uncertainty throughout Europe.
Measured against other currencies, sterling enjoyed its best fortnight since 2008. It remains well below pre-referendum levels, but on Friday managed to push above $1.26 for the first time since early October. That will soothe concerns over a weak currency pushing up import costs and stoking inflation.
While the pound rebounded, the FTSE 100 share index fell by more than 1% for the second day running, erasing all the gains made on the day of Trump’s win.
That capped a tumultuous week for financial markets as investors proffered diverging views over what a Trump presidency would mean for US growth, global trade and individual shares. Debate raged over whether a big spender in the White House would boost economic activity and inflation in the world’s leading economy or whether his anti-trade stance would curb growth around the globe.