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UK financial services firms to cut 18,000 jobs

Business volumes declined.

The UK financial services companies are likely to cut a further 18,000 jobs by the end of April 2013 despite positive business environment, according to the latest CBI-PwC survey.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, business volumes grew in insurance and investment management area, however, banking and securities trading declined. The survey, which questioned 94 UK firms, found that 25,000 jobs were cut during the last quarter to December.

Matthew Fell, director for competitive markets at the CBI, said: “It’s encouraging that firms are more optimistic about their business situation than they were last quarter. However, there is rising concern that staff shortages are likely to limit business and investment over the next year, as well as the challenge of raising finance.”

In a separate survey recruiter Astbury Marsden, found that the proportion of City workers not expecting a bonus this year had doubled to 22 per cent from 11 per cent last year.

Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, told the Financial Times: “From speaking to those with hiring responsibility across the sector, there is expected to be a significant amount of recruitment activity likely to take place during January.”

The City jobs market had been more subdued in 2012 than in 2011, Enver said.

“Rather than anticipating a sudden surge of growth in hiring as we did in 2010, we now identify consistency as a key determinant of the financial services jobs market moving forwards – although at a slower and more fragile pace,” Enver added.

In its report, Incomes Data Services (IDS) said that average public sector managers’ pay was likely to rise by just 0.7 per cent, lower than the 1 per cent annual cap on public sector pay growth announced by George Osborne, the chancellor. It expects private sector managers’ pay awards to average 2.6 per cent, reported the Financial Times.

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No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.