News in Brief: Google tax deal, finance careers, FCA, data blackout, manufacturing

News in Brief

Backlash builds against Google tax deal

Downing Street has distanced itself from George Osborne’s claim that the tax deal with Google represented “a major success”, amid growing criticism of the settlement.

The tech group’s agreement to pay £130m in back taxes to the UK government has reignited a controversy that pushed tax avoidance to the top of the international agenda in 2012.

The deal ended a decade-long probe by tax authorities into whether Google had skirted its tax bill by allocating profits earned in the UK, which is its second biggest market, to its European base in Ireland, where tax rates are lower.

Conservative MPs, led by London's mayor, have lined up to criticise what they said was a “derisory” payment by the US multinational, reported the Financial Times.

Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Commons Treasury committee, announced an inquiry into corporate taxation saying that fundamental reforms would “probably now have to be considered”.

The chancellor’s enthusiastic reception of the Google agreement was not echoed by Number 10. David Cameron’s spokesman declined to repeat Osborne’s assertion that the deal was “a victory”.

‘Finance managers have second best job in UK’

Finance managers have been found as having the second best job in the UK for 2016, according to a jobs report.

Topping the list were business development managers and in third place was the role of operations manager, as reported by the ‘Glassdoor Jobs Report’.

The jobs and recruitment website based their findings taking into account the number of job openings, career opportunities and average base salary, which for finance managers was around £55,000.

In comparison mechanical and civil engineers positions failed to make the cut for the top 25 jobs in 2016.

Glassdoor's head of international expansion Diarmuid Russell said: "The UK jobs market is in a buoyant mood with record numbers of people in employment and a good ratio of available roles per job seeker."

Russell added: "These results demonstrate that popular jobs in business development, recruitment and HR means UK businesses are placing greater importance on growing numbers, building teams and, of course, generating the highest net profit possible."

Bank veteran named as chief of City watchdog

A senior figure at the Bank of England (BoE) Andrew Bailey has been named as the permanent boss of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA is the City watchdog and the UK's most prominent financial consumer protection body.

Bailey has been appointed for five years and will start when a successor is appointed for his role as head of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), reported the BBC.

The Bank deputy governor succeeds Martin Wheatley, who left the FCA in September 2015.

The FCA’s director of supervision and authorisations Tracey McDermott has been in charge on an interim basis since. She ruled herself out of the permanent job this month (January 2016).

One in five employees left in data blackout

Almost 20% of employees have been left in the dark as managers fail to share company performance data, according to research.

The software company that published the study also found less than one in ten workers consider their boss to be data driven.

Geckoboard reported that the majority of UK employees were unsatisfied with the level of information they received in the workplace, with 81% stating that they wanted their employer to share more information with them.

This data blackout is seen to have an adverse effect in the workplace, with 80% of staff saying that they lost confidence in their manager as a result of withheld information.

Nearly half of those employees who are receiving data did so via email, with a fifth (20%) of companies using excel spreadsheets and less than one in ten of employees accesssed the data in real time.

CEO of Geckoboard Paul Joyce said : “These stats go some way to explaining why UK productivity is at a 15-year low."

He added: "Without a clear and constant understanding of key company metrics, businesses and their employees are effectively driving in the dark without the headlights on.”

Manufacturing sector ‘is down but not out’

Manufacturing orders fell in the three months to January 2016, according to a survey, but there are signs of stabilisation for the year ahead, claimed the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The order book balance fell to -15% during the three-month period - below expectations for -10% - following a fall to -7% in the three months to December 2015, reported The Times.

CBI’s director of economics Rain Newton-Smith said: “Uncertainty around the prospects for global growth, uncompetitive energy costs and the strength of the pound have all played their part in UK manufacturers finding conditions tough when trying to sell overseas.”

The manufacturing sector fell into recession in 2015, which posed questions about the government’s hopes for a “march of the makers” and a more balanced recovery. Economic growth has been driven largely by services and consumer spending over the past two years.

Research by CBI also showed that the balance of total new orders increased to -4% from -8% in the October 2015 survey, with the export balance rising to -2% from -17%.

Prospects around the industry also appear to be better, with a balance of 8% of respondents expecting an increase in orders over the next quarter and 3% expecting a rise in export orders.