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Bitesize Blighty: October 26, 2018

  • London clocks go back 1 hour at 2am on Sunday, 28 October, marking the end of British Summer Time.Meaning we get an extra hour of sleep! Although, even such simple matters as clocks changes are subject to political debate, some argue in favour of harmonising the clock change across the EU, and moving toward abolishing daylight saving time altogether. The European Commission president announced that “clock-changing must stop” in a bid to aid cross-border trade and single market functions, the transport sector andaid energy savings. From all indications, The UK, which maintains a one-hour time difference with most of the EU, will keep changing its clock.
  • Next week’s Budget is highly anticipated for a number of reasons. One critical reason is the fact that Monday’s budget will be the final one delivered before the UK officially exits the European Union on the 29th of March 2019. The November 29th budget is expected to announce a package of measures aimed at leveling the playing field between global internet giants and other companies, by way of a digital services tax and changes to business rates. Tech UK, a UK Trade body which represents 950 businesses, has spoken out against these measures, saying that the “quick and dirty” solutions contradict key government investment efforts in areas such as Artificial Intelligence and 5G infrastructure. The Autumn 2018 budget is also expected to highlight a decrease in pensions allowance and cuts to the pensions tax relief, as a means to save toward raising a £20bn-a-year cash pledge to fund the National Health Services (NHS). Retirement savers will expectedly be watching out for Monday’s budget!
  • The spotlight was on the Prime Minister this week as she faced critics within her own party on Wednesday amid struggles to come up with a Brexit deal that can keep her Cabinet and party together. Mrs May prepared to meet the 1922 committee of conservative backbenchers MPs on Wednesday. Following her ‘emotional and personal speech’, the prime minister warded off any signs of a leadership challenge, despite rumours of a no confidence vote by backbench MPs in her party. The pound fell to a 0.6 per cent six-week low at $1.2902, the lowest level since early September. 

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