Customs officers investigating a suspected £250 million VAT missing trader fraud made 10 arrests this morning in UK-wide raids. Codenamed Operation Euripus, today's action follows a five year investigation, which included one of the biggest swoops ever undertaken by Customs.
The average hourly wage paid to UK workers is 26.5 euros (£17.40), more than a euro higher than the average eurozone total (25.2 euros/£16.55) and sixth in the list of the world's top payers according to a new report, the Global Sectors Outlook (December 2006) from Euler Hermes, the world's largest credit insurance group. Sweden heads the list of top payers, their employees earning an average of 32.8 euros (£21.53) an hour, closely followed by Denmark, (31.7 euros/£20.81), France (29.6 euros/£19.43) and Germany (28.1 euros/£18.45).
Commercial beef herds in Caithness and the Borders have claimed the top two places in the annual Bank of Scotland Aberdeen-Angus Suckler Herd of the Year awards. Overall winner is Hamish Pottinger, and sons, Michael and David, who run a 210-cow breeding and finishing enterprise at Greenland Mains, Thurso, Caithness, and runner-up - for the second time - Douglas Tweedie, whose 130-cow breeding and finishing enterprise is based at Middlethird, Gordon, Berwickshire.
Scotland's budding new business brains have just one week left to make it into a new million pound initiative which will help fund the country's next generation of entrepreneurs. The Starter for 6 project will build the enterprise skills of up to 300 new entrepreneurs over three years, working in Scotland across all business sectors.
Holders of abstraction licences who know in advance that they will not be abstracting in any one year will welcome the announcement from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) that it will not charge annual subsistence for that year. Martin Marsden of SEPA said, "This is good news for abstraction licence holders and particularly for farmers who have decided not to grow certain crops that may require irrigation in a particular year.
Are you newly Self Employed or thinking of becoming Self Employed? Do you have a Self Employed tax return to complete? Are you a New Employer? Do you have an Employers Annual Return to complete? Do you want to know about the changes to the Construction Industry Scheme? If you can answer "YES" to any of the above questions & would like to learn more, you may be interested in attending one of HM Revenue & Customs free learning events. The following events will take place in Thurso; 13th March 2007 AM/PM Paying Your Employees 14th March 2007 AM Becoming Self Employed PM Self Assessment for the Self Employed 15th March 2007 AM Employer's Annual Returns PM New Construction Industry Scheme To book a place in one of our sessions, please telephone 01355 275 207.
A brand new abattoir is set to open in Caithness following grant approval by HIE Caithness and Sutherland. Local businessman John Sutherland plans to develop a £2.3million purpose-built abattoir on the outskirts of Keiss, eight miles north of Wick.
UNEMPLOYMENT DIGEST SUMMARY The December 2006 unemployment figures were released on 17th January 2007. During the month, November 2006 to December 2006, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Great Britain rose by 0.2%, from 895,833 to 897,758 (1,925 claimants).
A joint marketing campaign between The Highland Council and VisitScotland could see between 5 - 6,000 cruise passengers from Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway visiting the North of Scotland and generating around £2.5 million to the Highland economy. Faroese ferry operators, Smyril Line, have just launched their 2007 brochure featuring holiday packages to the Scottish Highlands.
NUMBER OF UNEMPLOYED BY LEC AREA The table below traces changes in the numbers (not rates) of unemployed people claiming benefits in the Highlands & Islands LEC areas between November 2006 and December 2006. A yearly comparison between December 2005 and December 2006 is also provided.
LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT BY LEC AREA For the purpose of this analysis, long-term unemployment (LTU) is defined as 'all those who have been unemployed and claiming benefit for over 6 months'. The table below shows the number of people who are on long term unemployment benefit for December 2006 in each of the LEC areas.
Saturday 17th February at Dunbeath Community Centre - 09.30am - 4.15pm A training and information event on polytunnel and outdoor cropping. Visit to 'Food for Thought', Spittal in the afternoon courtesy of Douglas Henderson Attendance free — all welcome.
npower business is urging companies to turn over a new leaf in 2007 and commit to reducing the harmful carbon emissions which contribute to global warming. Many business owners and their staff will have started 2007 with a list of New Year's resolutions to improve health, wealth and happiness.
Highland brides-to-be are in for a treat this spring with a new and exciting Wedding Exhibition at The Strathpeffer Spa Pavilion on 4th Feb 2007. The event will feature two glamorous catwalk shows on the day.
Shell Livewire is offering young entrepreneurs in the north of Scotland a helping hand to establish their business by hosting a unique event. 'Beat the Business Blues' is a free residential weekend course specially designed to provide the basic skills to get a new business off the ground or help a company less than three months old through the difficult early stages.
The search is on to find Scotland's enterprise champions, with the launch of the DTI's Enterprising Britain 2007 competition today. This year's competition was launched by Industry and Regions Minister Margaret Hodge and took place in West Kilbride, the winner of last year's hotly contested competition.
Dounreay has started drilling up to 400 boreholes around the site's waste shaft in the biggest step so far towards its eventual clean-out. Grout will be injected through the boreholes to seal fissures in the rock around the 65 metre deep shaft and so create a giant containment barrier in the shape of a boot around the shaft that will isolate the radioactive waste from groundwater.
SITE REDUCES EXPENDITURE TO MEET NDA SHORTFALL The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has asked its clean-up sites to reduce expenditure between now and the end of March to enable the NDA to cover a shortfall in its commercial income. Dounreay is required to find savings of approximately £6 million, reducing the overall site spend in this financial year to approximately £141 million.
E.ON Rosehall Wind Farm Project - Business Seminar Tuesday 30 January 2007 Dornoch Castle Hotel, Dornoch E.ON, in conjunction with HiREG and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, are pleased to invite you to attend the above free event. The aim is to highlight the opportunities for local businesses within the Highlands and Islands provided by E.ON's forthcoming wind farm development at Rosehall, near Lairg; and to further outline the company's plans for future wind developments within the Highland area.