Blog: Here comes the axe
Chris Mercer | 20 October 2010
The UK Government has unveiled what are rapidly becoming known as the biggest spending cuts since the Second World War.
In a nutshell, consumers are going to have less money in their pockets and the private sector may need to pick up the slack of up to 500,000 public sector jobs over the next four years.
There has been much talk of the age of austerity, but, finally, the time is upon us.
For drinks companies, as for many consumer products firms and retailers, the next 12 months will be a nervous time in the UK. There is a notion that employment held up better-than-expected during the official recession, but greater job losses look likely to be an early by-product of the Government's drive to reduce the country's deficit.
Official data suggests that consumers are, if not already feeling the pinch, braced for the worst.
The latest data from the country's second largest supermarket chain, Asda-WalMart, indicates that household spending power has fallen in every month this year. The September edition of the firm's Income Tracker, released today (20 October), shows that the average UK family had GBP4 less to spend per week than in September 2009.
"The rise in VAT to 20% in January 2011 will further squeeze household spending power over the next few months,” said Charles Davis, the economist at Cebr who compiles the monthly income report for Asda.
Then, of course, we have the looming spectre of a second recession - the fabled double-dip. That's not a scenario anyone over here wants to contemplate.
Yesterday was long. Very, very long. What started with an alarm in London at 0530 GMT ended with a Bacardi eight-year-old nightcap in Puerto Rico at 0730 GMT the following morning....
This weekend, Bacardi is hosting a three-day music event on the private island of Palomino just off the coast of Puerto Rico....
Warmest thanks to all of you who filled in our annual readers' survey this month. The results are very important for us to learn from and look to improve our service to you....
Today's news that German spirits firm Mast-Jägermeister has joined UK responsible drinking organisation The Portman Group may raise eyebrows in some quarters....
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