According to recent figures from the ONS UK Economic Accounts over £334billionn is currently being hoarded by British businesses. This staggering amount of money is effectively laying dormant in the bank accounts of major corporations, rather than being invested in British businesses and SMEs.
At Christmas the biggest concern for many of us is last minute shopping for gifts or making sure we get everything done in the office before heading home to the family. Unfortunately, for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities this can be a time of loneliness and desperation.
The prime minister will shortly begin the process of compiling his shopping list for EU reform. There is little doubt that EU migration will be at or near the top... It will take nerves of steel to walk the EU tightrope of asking concessions from the very countries whose citizens he wants to discourage from working in the UK.
If they are going to bow to every ridiculous religious whim, why not go the whole hog and have men enter through the front doors and women shuffle in with their heads bowed through the delivery hatch wearing an M&S blackout curtain for full compliance?
In his March 2011 Budget, George Osborne promised a 'march of the makers': an economic recovery led by manufacturing industry boosting exports and investment spending. But companies have been reluctant to oblige, and as we look forward to 2014, a recovery built on this solid foundation seems increasingly unlikely.
Sectors that require seasonal working such travel and leisure can also harness the benefits of homeworking. This has happened in the United States, where students, in particular, have embraced homeworking in the summer and Christmas holiday period. We certainly feel Europe and the UK in particular has yet to benefit fully from drawing on these additional resources.
It's clear to see China contributes a huge amount to the UK economy and offers great opportunities for UK businesses. Successful companies in China balance optimism with thorough preparation and careful execution - putting in place a China-specific strategy that navigates the complexities of China. For those that do, the rewards can be significant.
Currency is fundamental to the nationalists' economic case for breaking up the UK, insofar as one even exists. Whether it's pensions, renewable subsidies, mortgage rates or savings, Alex Salmond's plans hinge on Scotland and the rest of the UK entering into a binding agreement to veto one another's budget, tax rates and borrowing levels. If a currency union isn't possible the rest of the SNP's already threadbare economic case collapses like a house of cards. It would appear that the idea of a currency union is now off the table. Alex Salmond can only bury his head in the sand for so long before he has to tell the people of Scotland what his Plan B on currency is. Would we join the Euro? Or would we set up our own currency?
Every time I watch the news and see scenes of hundreds of thousands of protestors on the streets, I feel we are witnessing something very important. What is remarkable is that they are protesting for closer and deeper ties with the EU, their anger sparked by president Viktor Yanukovich's spurning of an association agreement with the EU last month.
This Christmas more people than ever will be relying on food banks in the UK. Despite the government's talk of a recovery, thousands of people across the country are going into the Christmas period with the grinding desperation of poverty and hunger hanging over them.
The Chancellor's Autumn Statement recently announced that increases in business rates will be capped at 2% in England, instead of being linked to inflation. Business rates were set to rise by 3.2% in 2014, based on September's Retail Prices Index measure of inflation but as a result of the cap businesses are expected to save up to £3,375.
The UK House of Lords EU Subcommittee on Economic and Financial Affairs this week came out railing against the financial transaction tax (FTT), which would place a 0.1% tax on trades in shares and a 0.01% tax on derivatives trades. George Osborne described it as "economic suicide". He is wrong. Not adopting an FTT would be economic suicide.
Free-market (neo-liberal) capitalism has been the dominant type of capitalism for the last three decades; it failed spectacularly to predict the 2008 global economic crash, the second largest economic crisis in history, after the great depression.
The significantly increased talk in recent years about how small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy has surprised me. It is as if the recessionary years suddenly made this so and they were somehow not the very same lifeblood before.
Let's be clear. Like companies, governments are employers and facilitators of employment. Unlike companies, they do not earn income. When ministers talk about tax revenue, what they mean is the money the state obliges us to contribute.
In 130 pages of the Autumn Statement the Chancellor covered, as he was right to do, every major public sector programme: but there was one significant omission. A programme which now costs 8% of GDP - the National Health Service. Apart from the commitment to ring-fencing there was no single line in the whole report dedicated to the NHS.