Category Archives: Economy


Energy-efficient home owners to pay less council tax

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Suggestions have been made by the UK Green Building Council that the changes must be funded by making owners of inefficient homes pay more. Energy-efficient homes must pay less for their council tax and stamp duty to force take-up of the government’s energy-efficiency home scheme.


The UK Green Building Council said that the changes will be funded by making the owners of the country’s most inefficient homes pay more. An analysis was published in June 2013 on how to improve the green deal. Figures from the government have revealed that only 245 households were to finalize financing under the green deal, six months after the launch.

The scheme depicts owners of the houses take out loans with private companies, attached to their properties in order to cover the cost of energy efficiency improvements, including the new boilers and insulation. On the other hand, this has been criticized for being too complex, having high interest rates for the financing being beset by the legal, as well as software delays.

Meanwhile, low-income households already pay more for their fuel. A spokesperson for the UK GBC admitted that the changes encountered practical challenges and many older homes are yet to be assessed for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).


Pepsi tested positive for traces of carcinogen

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Beverage manufacturing giant Pepsi might be in a very big trouble. On July 3, 2013, one environmental group claimed that the caramel coloring which is used in Pepsi has a concerning level of carcinogen. The extremely-high level was found even after the company assured that it will change its formula.


In March 2013, California passed a law which mandated that companies which manufacture beverages must add a cancer warning label to the drinks which contain carcinogen. After the passing of the law, companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola assured that they would adjust their formulas nationally. When the law was passed, necessary changes were made for drinks which were sold in California.

The chemical is known as 4-Mel and can be formed during the cooking process, due to which it might be found in trace amounts in many foods. The Center for Environmental Health tested some samples, after which they found that Coke products no longer test positive for the chemical. However, Pepsi products which are sold outside California did not pass the test.

On the other hand, the company said that the FDA and other regulatory agencies around the world did not find the caramel of Pepsi as unsafe.


Nissan announces addition of 900 jobs in Smyrna

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Local officials have a reason to celebrate as the Japan-based motor company Nissan announced on June 27, 2013 that it would add 900 more jobs to build the Rogue at the Smyrna factory. Mark O’Neal, manager of the Smyrna factory said that this is great news for the community.

O’Neal added, “It’s great obviously for Smyrna. It’s another regional impact. Nissan continues to expand their facilities and productions. That puts them well over 7,000 jobs out there. That’s tremendous for the community. It’s tremendous for our citizens who work out there.” The new jobs announced will be with the Nissan contractor Yates which had started hiring on June 1, 2013.

Justin Saia, spokesperson for Nissan, said that the full-time jobs at the company will have a salary of $13.25 to $15.25 an hour, which includes the assembly line and production, industrial maintenance, tool and die maker, material handling, warehouse and production support positions.

The announcement was made by the company when Smyrna and Rutherford County saw an increase in the unemployment rate in May 2013. The county had a jobless rate of 6.8 percent, which marked an increase from 6.3 percent in April of this year.


Unemployment takes charge in South Florida

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In recent times it has been noticed that the unemployment increased in both Palm Beach and Broward counties, especially during May 2013 and it moved up to 5.7 percent in Broward, from 5.6 percent in April 2013. Meanwhile, in Palm Beach it has gone up to 7.0 percent from 6.8 percent in April of this year.

Unemployment in Florida went down to 7.1 percent in May 2013, from 7.2 percent in April 2013. On the other hand, South Florida’s and the state rates are still lower than what they were exactly one year ago – in May 2012 – when the unemployment was 7.4 percent in Broward. When it comes to Palm Beach, it was 8.6 and 8.8 percent across the state, also in May 2012.

Back then, the number of jobs that were added in the state was 122,500 or 1.7 percent, which is ahead of the national job growth rate of 1.6 percent. Most of the jobs were added in retail, hospitality and construction in Broward and the jobs were lost in education and health services sectors.

It was also noticed that there were job gains in Palm Beach country in the field of education, retail and health services. There are about 671,000 unemployed in Florida, out of a labor force of 9.4 million.


Online shopping and huge discounts increase sales in UK

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It seems like the people of Great Britain have been going crazy during their shopping sprees, spending more money than ever. It was found that the UK customers were spending more in May 2013 than since records began.

The online retail sales have seen an increase in recent times and have suggested some signs of economic recovery, which in turn is giving people more confidence to spend their money. April 2013 was a cold month for online retailers but shoes, clothes and household appliances all saw an increase in sales starting May 2013.

The recent boom in shopping and online retailing showed a boost in the economy. The Chancellor George Osborne claims that Britain’s economy has left intensive care and that economic news have been better in recent months. Even the price war at the supermarkets forced shoppers to spend more on food. The Office for National Statistics said that all store types reported a rebound in sales starting from April of this year, when the country was hit by an unusually cold weather.

On the other hand, when compared to the previous year, the retail sales volume in May of this year was up by 1.9 percent.