Unlock Digital Launches

Today marks the launch of Unlock Digital, an initiative launched by CEO of PUBLIC and former Special Adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, Daniel Korski, and Wol Kolade CBE, CEO of Livingbridge.

Unlock Digital is the most ambitious digital initiative in London, seeking to bridge the growing skills gap across the capital as outlined in the Unlock Digital Report. Backed by Google and launched at Public Hall as part of London Tech Week, Unlock Digital’s interactive map showcases hundreds of locations of courses across London to provide the access and devices necessary to succeed in digital industries.

The launch was attended by Minister for Tech and Digital Economy, Chris Philp, and hosted by Daniel Korski, CEO of PUBLIC.

Find out more about the Unlock Digital mission at unlockdigital.london.

mdi-timer 16 June 2022 @ 09:32 16 Jun 2022 @ 09:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Davis Slams US Legal System Over Assange

Listen as David Davis MP outlines the issues with the US-UK Extradition Treaty that threaten UK sovereignty, and could condemn Julian Assange to a 175 year sentence in a US prison.

It’s not too late to tell Boris and Priti not to sign the extradition order. Don’t Extradite Assange.

This content created and presented by the Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign.

mdi-timer 13 June 2022 @ 13:00 13 Jun 2022 @ 13:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
David Davis: We Need to Change This Treaty

Listen as David Davis MP outlines the issues with the US-UK Extradition Treaty that threaten UK sovereignty, and could condemn Julian Assange to a 175 year sentence in a US prison.

It’s not too late to tell Boris and Priti not to sign the extradition order. Don’t Extradite Assange.

This content created and presented by the Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign.

mdi-timer 7 June 2022 @ 16:27 7 Jun 2022 @ 16:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
What Can Be Done About the Cost-of-Living Crisis?

The cost-of-living crisis in the UK shows little sign of abating and it is predicted that it may well get worse before it gets better. Add in inflation and fuel cost rises and people are more than feeling the pinch. 

Although there is plenty of news around groceries and people’s spending on luxuries like holidays and Netflix, there are a number of other areas in which the pinch is now being acutely felt by millions in the UK. all areas of the UK economy have been affected, including with regards to mortgages and personal finance, day to day spending and even health and medical care.

UK Interest Rate Rises

For homeowners and those with mortgages, people are feeling the pinch as mortgage interest rates are rising in line with the Bank of England’s base rate rise. With mortgage repayments rising, people are finding they have less and less money in their pockets to spend. Moreover, many people up and down the country are finding that selling up and downsizing is necessary to reduce mortgage costs. 

Michael Forth of Property Sale Platform ProperEaze.co.uk commented:

“More people than ever are not just getting their houses and properties valued speculatively. We are seeing increasing numbers of homeowners that are actively selling up and downsizing. Ultimately, if downsizing means a smaller mortgage, with the equity built up in one property, people can actually save money and reduce the squeeze that the interest rate rise is causing.”

Day to Day Spending

When it comes to day-to-day spending, the overall spending power of the usually very active UK consumer base is starting to be felt by the wider economy, with retail sales already falling. With the combination of the cost of living, fuel price increases and the recent rises in National Insurance contributions, people are finding they have less money in their pocket to spend. 

Samuel Davies of Kallyss.com said:

“The importance of disposable income should not be underestimated. Don’t forget that the money we all spend in the high street shop or on anything, goes into the wider economy and will also be taxed at some point down the line, boosting the UK’s public finances. It is vital that UK consumers are able to recoup the spending power that the cost-of-living crisis combined with tax rises has hit badly.”

Health and Medical Care

The UK proudly has a publicly funded National Health Service (NHS), free at the point of use. However, the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the problems faced by the NHS, with an ever-growing backlog now a reality for the foreseeable future. Thus, although paying for medical care is not necessarily something traditionally undertaken by the masses in the UK, the desire for private healthcare is growing, with people prioritising their health over luxuries.

A representative of GlobMed UK, a Global Health Manager commented:

“Never before has our mortality been more apparent. The Covid pandemic has shown the importance of having our health and healthcare options in check. With people feeling the squeeze when it comes to their personal finances, more people than ever are putting health above all else. Private healthcare and medical insurance, has traditionally allowed people to be seen quicker for medical issues and get the treatment they need when the NHS waiting lists are too long. Although there is a big squeeze on people’s finances now, more so than ever, people are actually spending more on their health.”

The Effects on UK Business

The combination of living cost increases, fuel price rises and rapid inflation mean that not only is the spending power of average consumers diminished at least to some extent, but the money that people do have in their pockets available to spend becomes worth less. 

Hugo Anglesford of Doddler said:

“The effects on UK businesses of the cost-of-living crisis is profound. With more people having less money in their pockets, the trickle-down effect that businesses will experience may well culminate in lower turnover, lower profits and therefore lower taxable revenue. As a result, there could well be redundancies coming down the track which unfortunately mean more people will end up struggling to get by. There is no easy solution, but helping businesses throughout the UK will be a good start.”

Produced and Sponsored by DSR Digital.

mdi-timer 12 May 2022 @ 15:50 12 May 2022 @ 15:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Live with Littlewood!

On the panel with Mark Littlewood tonight:

    • Alex Deane, Writer and Political Commentator
    • John O’Connell, Chief Executive, TaxPayers’ Alliance
    • Morgan Schondelmeier, Director of Operations, Adam Smith Institute
    • Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics, Institute of Economic Affairs

On the agenda:

    • Anatomy of a scandal: Is HR the solution to Westminster sleaze?
    • Bins and potholes: Will election results be determined by local issues?
    • Minimum pricing, minimum results: Is it time to end alcohol pricing?
    • Lost at sea: Why are politicians pushing a windfall tax on energy companies?
Tune in, from 6-7pm, here
mdi-timer 4 May 2022 @ 17:30 4 May 2022 @ 17:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Netflix Sees Huge Fall in Subscriptions: a Sign of Rising Living Costs? #Sponsored

Entertainment powerhouse Netflix saw around 200,000 subscribers no longer using their paid service, according to their Q1 results.

Rather than the TV and documentary streaming giant adding 2 million subscribers in the quarter as expected, the company lost a huge number of subscribers, causing a frenzy amongst shareholders and a subsequent fall of 35% early Wednesday, taking £42 billion off its total valuation.

The company has discussed the possibility of introducing advertisements into the platform as a way to increase revenue streams.

For some, the decrease in subscribers might be an indication of increased competition through other subscription mediums such as Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+ and others may suggest it is a sign of rising living costs and households looking to cut back.

Living costs are on the rise

“Living costs have increased significantly in the last year,” explains Ben Sweiry of fintech startup, Dime Alley.

“Things like household bills, fuel costs, energy costs and inflation are rising much faster and higher than typical wages. The average person does not get a salary increase every year, in fact, for most people their wages stay the same, but if things like inflation are up 7% and average household bills have risen by £693, households are going to be worse off.”

The numbers stack up. Inflation is the highest it has been in 30 years and in theory this is not a good thing since low inflation is an indicator of a stable economy. Meanwhile, other sources show that the UK has experienced the highest economic growth since WWII.

 In terms of other living costs, fuel has been a big factor, driven by the turmoil in Russia, with the average petrol price rising by 12.6p between February and March. Regulated air fares have increased by 3.8% and some households are also facing higher interest rates on their mortgages, with interest rates rising from 0.5% to 0.75%

 All the extra costs are adding up

“The extra costs are adding up for UK households,” explains Richard Dent of online finance company, Finger Finance.

“Netflix is maybe just one of the things that families are giving up. There is probably an expectation to be subscribed to all of these platforms including Sky, Now TV, BT Sport, Netflix, Disney+ and more, even though they are actual luxuries. By removing this entire bundle, families can save more than £200 or £300 per month, so it is possible that other platforms could see a bit of a drop-off.”

“For those trying to stay on top of their finances, you might see an increase in consumer borrowing and this also comes with its risks and falling into a debt cycle to keep up with the jones.”

What is happening with wages?

Figures from the ONS suggest that wages increased by 3.8% between November 2021 and January 2022, but when taking inflation into account, it shows that pay would have fallen by 1% in the last 12 months.

“Families will start to feel the pinch,” says Richard Allan of funding platform, Capital Bean. “Food prices are expected to increase up to 15% due to the conflict in Ukraine, hiking up the prices for things such as poultry, chilled goods and flour.

“Holidaymakers are paying a lot more on average for their holidays too, covering higher fuel costs and the opportunism of the travel industry looking to cash in on increased demand following the pandemic.”

“This could be an opportunity for households to re-assess their income and priorities. Unsubscribing from Netflix is maybe just one step, but taking a longer term view to stay on top of your household income over the next 3 or 5 years would certainly be a good idea.”

Produced and Sponsored by Tudor Lodge

mdi-timer 25 April 2022 @ 10:34 25 Apr 2022 @ 10:34 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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