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Local National
Radio 4 Pension Reform Debate with Lord Turner
November 30 saw the publication of the Turner Report a 460 page comprehensive blueprint on the future of Pensions. These proposals have serious implications for small businesses because they aim to compel employers to contribute at a rate of 3%. With predictions of fewer people in employment, after 2020 and the population living longer, reforms are necessary if pensioners are not to become considerably poorer. An increase in taxation and a requirement for people to work longer are both likely outcomes, since the Treasury has already admitted it cannot afford to fund future schemes. more...


Too Tired To Be Inspired?
Our Regional Chairman and National Councillor in a green baseball cap, back to front and showing off his ‘kind and caring nature,’ hard to believe? Well, I’m here to tell you it’s absolutely true. Colin Stratton was kind enough to attend the South Tyneside network event last month which, as a relative ‘newbie’ to the Federation of Small Businesses I have to say was most fascinating. more...


Opening the Mind to Equality
Although we may be getting tired of hearing the terms ‘Equal Opportunities,’ ‘Equality & Diversity,’ ‘Accessible Environments’ and the like but equality is still a very real issue and a seriously potential problem if we don’t pay attention. more...


Business Rates Made Clear
Always an issue, Income Tax, Corporation Tax, VAT, NIC contributions, Class 4, Business Rates, as business owners we can sometimes seem to be spending more of our time completing mountains of paperwork and handing over our hard earned cash to one department or another of the Inland Revenue. more...


Time To Find Help?
Whilst engaged in my usual search for snippets of interesting and informative news to offer our Sunderland Business Network members (and other businesses in general) and struggling to find anything new to offer, it occurred to me that, as a small business, there is actually a plethora of information out there. more...


Be Web Accessible
As with your requirement to make your business premises accessible to all under the recent legislative changes of October 1st 2004, if you have a company website, this is also classed as a service under the Disability Discrimination Act and therefore may need some consideration. Despite widespread confusion, these regulations have actually been in force for some time, so if you haven't yet thought about accessibility, now is the time to do so. more...


Disability Discrimination
All businesses beware! The legislative changes for Disciplinary, Grievance and Disability Access which came into effect on October 1st of 2004 are very relevant to you all. As always though, there are a number of insalubrious characters out there who will have you believe you need to spend fortunes in order to comply with the regulations on Disability to frighten you into giving them your hard earned revenue however, this is not necessarily the case at all. more...


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