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Lending and investment will return to changed landscape

To my mind, the three key UK factors that have hampered growth since the recession are lack of funding, end of the housing bubble and the stodgy state of the public sector. Other elements have come into play, such as rises in commodity prices as emerging markets absorbed raw materials, and the inflationary environment has been compounded by the quantitative easing and collapse in sterling in the recession, although this has been good news for exporters, providing there is enough added value in their UK production/cost base.

Many schemes available to help print plan for changes

The government is introducing far-reaching changes to the pension landscape which will impact on every UK employer and have cost implications for most. In a nutshell, every employer with one employee upwards will be required by law to automatically enrol all employees of 22 years old and over, earning at least 7,475 gross a year into a suitable qualifying pension scheme, and also pay in employer contributions. This starts in 2012 and will impact on the print industry in stages, finishing in 2016.

State banks appeal to SMEs, but there are better options

The economist Adam Posen is a man that few printers will have heard of before this week. Known primarily for being the arch-dove on the Bank of England's nine member Monetary Policy Committee, Posen has long been advocating (loudly and in isolation) a further bout of quantitative easing.

The packaging proposals are dangerous and unprecedented

In addition to being heavy handed and without giving due consideration to previous regulation introduced into the sector, this legislation would give the UK a reputation as a bad place to do business, making it harder to attract investment. The proposal is also an open invitation to black market trade.

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