It is becoming prohibitively expensive for the lenders, who rely on cheap short-term financing to fund a part of their balance sheet, to fund for more than 3-5 years, hence, traditional banking, which supports the wider corporate client, is facing further shrinkage  in the corporate banking world.

Businesses and motorists are bracing themselves after the wholesale price of petrol is set to rise. With the steepest and fastest rise in wholesale costs happening over the festive period; almost 4.50ppl and 5.00ppl + 20% VAT in addition. With such rapid increases retailers have had little time to react over the holiday period therefore pump prices may still be set to increase.

The 50p tax rate, levied on incomes of more than £150K,  is unlikely to be scrapped  during the course of parliament.  NFFF  is to step up their campaign Fair Play on VAT  to secure zero rating for sales of hot takeaway food and change the current ruling on VAT; with a principle of equality of treatment applied to sales of cold takeaway for hot takeaway food.

To improve the rate of return on patents, the Government has a ‘patent box’  scheme. Due for launch in April 2013, patents filed from late 2010 are affected. Income from patents will be taxed at corporation tax rate of 10% rather than usual SME rate of 21%.

Encouraging consumers to reduce home food and packaging waste beyond plastic bags, WRAP  ( Waste & Resources Action Programme) cite an estimated  food avoidable food waste of £724m (2009) and is working towards a voluntary agreement with the hospitality and food service industries for reductions.

The hospitality  and leisure industries suffered from a 30% increase in business failures in the last quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in the previous year, with 19 collapses of travel and tourism businesses in the final three months of last year. The worst affected sectors in the final quarter of 2011 continued to include construction (656), manufacturing (394), retail (447), hospitality and leisure (375) and real estate (123), with London having the highest number, up by 8%, to 941 in total.

According to NHS Future Forum, patients should be told to cut down on alcohol by their pharmacist and routine appointments to the dentist or optician could have a similar line of conversation. In the USA the future of pharmacy  has taken a turn with new offerings. Once passed the sushi-makers, a beauty-machine digital editing facilities, a fresh yoghurt machine, coffee machine, smoothie bar, ready meals, wines, fruits and nail bars of the downstairs department of the store, a pharmacist walks around with an iPad to help answer customers questions, offers a Take Care clinic, express prescription-pick up machine and two screens to assist customers, via a series of questions, to products of their liking.

(Image and Article credit: Copyright SUF)