When prisoners mean profit, the numbers don’t go down | Zoe Williams

Cracking down on Sky TV for inmates is easy. Solving the paradox of a privatised prison service is going to be a lot harderIf prisons are repositories for no-good people, political rhetoric about prisons is a repository for no-good ideas. The opposition uses them in a predictable way, sounding the incompetence klaxon when there’s a […]
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UK manufacturing shows signs of recovery – but firms remain cautious

Strong export sales help UK manufacturing sector stabilise after slump earlier in year, Cips/Markit survey showsA rebound in manufacturing appears to be under way after a disastrous start to the year, according to a survey of the sector in April.Strong sales of consumer goods to North America, the Middle East, Latin America and Australia helped […]
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‘Nudge unit’ to become profit-making

Government’s behavioural insight team, which tries to change voters’ behaviour without legislation, to be spun off as mutualThe government’s “nudge unit” – also known as the behavioural insight team – will take its first step to becoming a profit-making joint venture on Wednesday as the Cabinet Office launches a competition to find a commercial partner […]
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How can prisoners ‘work harder’ when they’ve got nothing to do?

It may not be what he intended, but Chris Grayling’s criticism exposes the flaws of privately run prisonsOpening today’s papers, I was bemused to read about Chris Grayling’s plans for prison reform. He says he wants to make prisoners “work harder” for their privileges, but doesn’t give any details about what such “privileges” that reward […]
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Balfour Beatty feels chill from construction slowdown

Firm blames declining construction sector and poor management in UK division for second profits warning in six monthsBritain’s struggling construction sector suffered another blow on Monday as building firm Balfour Beatty issued its second profit warning in six months.The company, whose shares tumbled nearly 14% in early trading, blamed the declining construction sector and poor […]
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The pensions system has failed – what is the answer?

Poor investment returns and dreadful annuity rates mean the outlook for defined contribution pension schemes is appallingTwo figures stunned me this week. The first was on Tuesday morning from the Office of National Statistics, which said that to buy an inflation-linked retirement income of £25,000 a year – less than the UK’s average salary – […]
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The pensions system has failed – what is the answer?

Poor investment returns and dreadful annuity rates mean the outlook for defined contribution pension schemes is appallingTwo figures stunned me this week. The first was on Tuesday morning from the Office of National Statistics, which said that to buy an inflation-linked retirement income of £25,000 a year – less than the UK’s average salary – […]
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Ed Miliband lays down living wage challenge

As election looms, Labour promises tax breaks for firms that offer living wageLabour would offer tax breaks to persuade the private sector to pay a living wage as a way to boost productivity and cut welfare bills, Ed Miliband will propose on Saturday.The Labour leader suggests that firms could be offered either tax reliefs on […]
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Ed Miliband lays down living wage challenge

As election looms, Labour promises tax breaks for firms that offer living wageLabour would offer tax breaks to persuade the private sector to pay a living wage as a way to boost productivity and cut welfare bills, Ed Miliband will propose on Saturday.The Labour leader suggests that firms could be offered either tax reliefs on […]
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Co-op deal collapse denies retail banking sector another major player

Increased retail banking competition and a system that better serves the economy is needed to power UK’s financial revivalWednesday saw the failure of Project Verde, the deal between the Co-operative bank and Lloyds, which would have introduced a powerful contender to the retail banking market in the UK.The news should provoke disappointment, not just from […]
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