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News Archive

America Has A Unique 300 Year Old View Of Free Trade - UK Must Recognise This To Strike A Deal
Emma Hart, Senior Lecturer in American History, University of St Andrews poses some thoughts on historical connections as we move to an American Trade deal.   With Boris Johnson hailing parliament's vote towards Britain leaving the EU on January 31, there is a general consensus among the country's leaders that there will be an intimate trading relationship with the US after Brexit.  
Parking Charges Take Another Step Closer
On 6th February 2020 the newly formed Economy and Infrastructure Committee of Highland Council will consider the way forward and approach to bring in parking charges in a number of areas including Wick and East Caithness.   Item 7 on the agenda for the meeting is Off-Street Car Parking Policy - Update and sets out the way for ward for information and consultations.  
40 New Jobs Expected In Five Years As Ashley Ann, Wick Plans Further GrowthThumbnail for article : 40 New Jobs Expected In Five Years As Ashley Ann, Wick Plans Further Growth
A Caithness company is planning to invest more than £2m in its Wick plant, in a move that could see up to 40 new jobs created in the town over the next five years.   Family-run Ashley Ann Ltd (AAL) designs and manufactures kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.  
Companies Target Toilet Breaks To Improve Productivity - It's Wrong And It Won't WorkThumbnail for article : Companies Target Toilet Breaks To Improve Productivity - It's Wrong And It Won't Work
Productivity growth in the UK has stalled since 2008.  The puzzle has become so tricky that toilet makers are getting in on the act of suggesting solutions.  
Radio Active Particles At Dounreay Foreshore Latest ListThumbnail for article : Radio Active Particles At Dounreay Foreshore Latest List
The latest particle find on the Dounreay foreshore was on 17th January 2020.   See the updated list.  
Home care services for the dying in Scotland are patchy at best
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart told MSPs today that end of life care should be at the top of the political agenda but home care services for the dying in Scotland were patchy at best.   He highlighted how one GP had told him that resources for supporting care to help patients who wished to die at home seemed to have been "designed out of the system." Mr Stewart, who is also Labour's Shadow Public Health Secretary, was speaking in the Scottish Parliament at his cross-party member’s debate on the ‘Right to Full Care to Die at Home’.  
Ex Highland Council Chief Steps Up To Chair Of Highlands And Islands EnterpriseThumbnail for article : Ex Highland Council Chief Steps Up To Chair Of Highlands And Islands Enterprise
Current chair, Professor Lorne Crerar CBE, leaves the post on 29 February.  Deputy chair, Alistair Dodds CBE, will then assume the responsibility as an interim measure.  
Hi-scot Credit Union Offers Payroll Deductions
HI-Scot, the credit union for the Highlands and Islands, has vowed to make 2020 the year when saving and borrowing are even more accessible.  With a focus on payroll deduction, allowing people to save directly from their pay packet every month via their employer, the credit union offers a viable alternative to high street banking in 2020.  
Countries In The IMF Financial Spotlight In 2020
By IMFBlog In 2020, the IMF plans to assess the stability of twelve financial systems.  Seven assessments are of jurisdictions with systemically important financial sectors (Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Korea, Norway, and the United States), for which it is mandatory to undergo financial stability assessments every five years.  
Quantitative easing now looks permanent - and has turned central banks into pseudo governmentsThumbnail for article : Quantitative easing now looks permanent - and has turned central banks into pseudo governments
After a pause of a few months, the world's leading central banks are "printing" money again to try to bolster their economies.  Commonly known as quantitative easing or QE, the European Central Bank (ECB) resumed its programme just before the turn of the year.  
Bank Rate Maintained At 0.75%Thumbnail for article : Bank Rate Maintained At 0.75%
At its meeting ending on 29 January 2020, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England voted by a majority of 7-2 to maintain Bank Rate at 0.75%.   The Committee voted unanimously to maintain the stock of sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, at £10 billion.  
Remote Working Is Transforming The Digital Economy And UK Businesses Must Adapt To Keep UpThumbnail for article : Remote Working Is Transforming The Digital Economy And UK Businesses Must Adapt To Keep Up
UK businesses are being advised to ensure they are ready to accommodate the rise of remote working - or risk being left behind.   The advice follows the publication of a new essential guide to remote working, produced by utilities and communications specialist Glide, which contains new research, predictions and guidance for businesses.  
Planning Permission & Building Warrant - Advice From ThermohausThumbnail for article : Planning Permission & Building Warrant - Advice From Thermohaus
The latest article on building your own house from Thermohaus.   See links below for all the earlier articles.  
Age Scotland criticises further bank closures in Scotland
Commenting on Lloyds Banking Group announcing plans to shut 15 of its Bank of Scotland branches across Scotland, Brian Sloan, Age Scotland Chief Executive, said: "We're very sad to see Lloyds follow other banks and put profits ahead of its loyal customers, especially those who are older, disabled or don't have internet access.   "There's no doubt this will make it harder for tens of thousands of people to access their cash and manage their money on a daily basis.  
Scottish Index Of Multiple Deprivation 2020
The latest update of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 2020 has been published by Scotland's Chief Statistician.   SIMD is a tool for identifying the places in Scotland where people are experiencing disadvantage across different aspects of their lives.  
Scottish Budget Date Set For 6th February 2020
The Scottish Government's budget will be published on 6 February 2020, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has announced.   It comes after the UK Government confirmed their budget would be delayed until 11 March 2020.  
Proposed council house rent increase approved by new Housing and Property Committee
A proposed 3% rent increase for 2020/21 was agreed by Highland Council's new Housing and Property Committee today, 29 January.  This would result in an increase in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.64 (£2.26 per week).  
Highland Council Will Set The Budget On 5 March 2020
Leader of The Highland Council will highlight the need for investment in roads at tomorrow's Corporate Resources meeting, Thursday 30 January 2020, in the light of an improving financial outlook.   After considerable effort by officials and councillors, a revenue monitoring report is forecasting a net year end underspend of £0.452m based on current trends.  
A Look Ahead To The March 2020 Budget With IFS
The Institute for Fiscal Studies wil discuss the budget live on 11 March.   Chancellor Sajid Javid is due to deliver his first Budget, the first of this parliament, and the first since Autumn 2018, on Wednesday 11 March.  
The Timing Of The Scottish Budget 2020/21: Implications, Uncertainties And Risks
The Fraser of Allender Institute blog on the Scottish budget.   Scottish Budget date set for 6 February 2020.