In 2013, the government deficit, according to the latest available Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, was £92.9billion, which was 5.8% of GDP. All our major political parties are fixated on getting this deficit down by cutting expenditure and raising taxes. But should they be quite so determined to do so? Is austerity really the best way to cut the deficit?
At the beginning of this year, with the UK economy stuck in stagnation and seemingly no end in sight to the Coalition government's controversial austerity programme, the chances of a Conservative majority after the 2015 general election looked slim. Fast forward, and a fundamentally altered story emerges.
Apart from maybe the big six energy companies, I don't know any type of business which gets more bad press than payday loan companies. Anyone you speak to - in the pub, on the school run or in the office - has an extremely negative view of them, yet as much as £1.8 billion is being lent a year by payday loan companies and some (yes you Wonga!) have interest rates as high as 5,853% APR. Disgraceful!
The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced it will use the Treasury's Funding For Lending scheme to boost its Manufacturing Fund. The fund, which was...