Jonathon Blackie, strategy director at development agency One North East, said the tax relief on contaminated land and the stamp duty announcement were ‘good news’, and would be a great help in persuading private developers to take part in regeneration schemes. But Yorkshire Forward chair Graham Hall said there should have been more help for manufacturing industry, which will be hit hard by the climate change levy. James Tickell, deputy chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said the 5% VAT rate on conversions should have been extended to all building repairs and renovations. Unemployed people who refuse to take action to improve their literacy and numeracy risk losing benefits under a radical plan to increase adult basic skills.
The approach is outlined in a new numeracy and literacy strategy for England, costing the government £1.5bn over the next three years. The money will be for promotional campaigns, improvements to teaching standards and a common core curriculum leading to national tests. In some pilot areas job seekers with numeracy and literacy problems will be offered £10 a week more benefit to take part in basic skills training, while those who gain a qualification will receive an additional £100.
The prison project will explore whether inmates eligible for early release can be made to attend literacy and numeracy classes as a condition of their licence. The Basic Skills Agency welcomed the government’s ‘ambitious targets’ and ‘serious commitment to challenging this country’s shameful problem of poor literacy and numeracy’. A £1bn social venture fund to harness the internet for communities should be set up using Treasury windfalls from the sale of communications licences, ministers have been told. click here to visit the website : Perth Property Valuers
The proposal comes in a DTI-funded study by think-tank Forum for the Future, which claims that the e-economy could become ‘a powerful vehicle for regional sustainability, opening up opportunities for marginalised areas and communities’. This approach would encompass ideas such as guaranteed electronic markets (Gems) – vast networks of local exchange that bring informal skills and assets into the mainstream economy with a guarantee of insurance cover for buyers and sellers.