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Archive for November, 2008

PRimage on Pre-Budget Report

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

In this period of economic gloom, Judy Viitanen believes that tomorrow’s Pre-Budget Report will be the most significant financial announcement from the Labour Government in their 11 year tenure. With companies and consumers feeling the impact of the credit crunch and looming recession, PRimage has a raft of hopes and concerns about what is needed from the Chancellor to keep the UK economy moving.

We understand that a total package of up to £20 billion is expected in the Pre-Budget Report – and the Chancellor may take the opportunity to help the depressed property investment sector with an easing of the stamp duty rules for property investment funds, and he will also include measures which will come to the aid of the high street and manufacturing industries. Judy feels that that the much touted temporary cut in VAT – from 17.5% to 15% – would go a long way towards increasing consumer confidence and encourage spending by putting some extra pounds into people’s pockets.

Judy also believes that because it is clearly the poorest families who need most help during the economic downturn, urgent action – such as tax cuts – is required to keep ordinary people in their jobs and homes. She also believes that it is vital that older people receive the financial help they need – especially to help with winter fuel. Fuel cost issues are at the top of older people’s concerns!

PRimage supports calls for tax cuts and new funds for small firms

Monday, November 17th, 2008

As the founder and owner of her own PR business, PRimage MD Judy Viitanen is pleased to see that the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to announce a new £1billion fund for small firms in the Pre-Budget Report next week. In our view this is absolutely essential to safeguard the financial security of the UK’s 4.7 million small businesses and their employees during this period of economic downturn. PRimage share the FSB view that small firms need innovative and short term solutions for new finance in order to get through a looming recession, and ensure the economy is put back on track as quickly as possible.

We sincerely hope that Mr Darling and Mr Brown will heed the FSB suggestions that the Government should establish a new £1billion Small Business Survival Fund, and to scrap proposed rises in corporation tax in his Pre-Budget Report on November 24 – and that Government should make new funds available from the European Investment Bank (EIB), through its Regional Development Units (RDAs).

What’s your view?  If you are the owner of a small or medium sized business, PRimage urge you to support the FSB on this vital issue!

PRimage agree that medicine monitoring ‘overhaul’ is needed

Monday, November 17th, 2008

As a specialist healthcare PR and lobbying consultancy, PRimage believes that comments made recently that the UK pharmacy sector needs a formal monitoring system to inform contractors of any medicine shortages, are spot-on! According to British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (BAPW) chief executive Martin Sawer, action must be taken to iron out problems with the product supply system. Mr Sawer also commented that the government should involve itself in the development of such a scheme, potentially acting as an intermediary between parties.

Judy Viitanen hopes that the decision makers at the Department of Health will follow through and discuss these comments and proposals.

Credit crunch impact on schools

Monday, November 17th, 2008

As a former Secondary School Governor, PRimage MD Judy Viitanen has first-hand experience of the financial struggles that many schools face …. PRimage believes that parents and teachers will be concened to learn that a new survey shows that some schools are already showing the effects of the current financial downturn.

PRimage alert! UK identities sold for £80 online

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Online crime and identity theft is a growing worldwide problem … So Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team were concerned to read a news report this morning which shows that internet fraudsters sell complete financial identities for just £80! The figures come from an online safety group, which shows that the details packaged and sold online include names, addresses, passport numbers and confidential financial data such as credit card numbers.

With six out of 10 people now managing finances online, it is clear that the public needs to do more to prevent e-crime. Watch this space for more information – as there is an important campaign this week which will highlight to the public ways in which they can protect identities online.

PRimage comment on the French health system

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

As a specialist healthcare communications consultancy, PRimage is interested to read a news report that claims that the French health system is worse than much of Europe … but is still better than the British!

According to the study published this week, there is evidence which shows that although the French healthcare system is failing to keep up with the likes of the Netherlands and Denmark, it is none the less still significantly better than its British counterpart.

PRimage MD, Judy Viitanen has lived in France – and so has experienced the French health system at first hand ….. she totally agrees with this new study and has nothing but praise for healthcare and pharmacy provision in ‘la Belle France’.

What’s your experience and view on this?  Please post a comment – PRimage would love to know!

PRimage honours the fallen heroes of World War I : Lest We Forget

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Ceremonies are being held around the world today to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I – and the PRimage team have watched this morning’s deeply moving ceremony at the Cenotaph, in Whitehall.

It was so very poignant to see three of the four surviving British veterans of World War – Henry Allingham, 112, Harry Patch, 110, and Bill Stone, 108 – paying their respects. PRimage feels a great debt to those that fought, and those that remained at home and kept the country going – we are in total in awe of the sacrifices that were made in the Great War, World War 2 and other conflicts. Without these sacrifices none of us in this country would enjoy the freedoms we have today.

The First World War produced some of the finest poets and war poetry: Judy Viitanen believes there is no finer example of the horrors of that war, and testament of the sentiment, ‘Lest We Forget’, than Siegfried Sassoon’s powerful poem, ‘Aftermath’ …..

Aftermath, Siegfried Sassoon

Have you forgotten yet?…
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same–and War’s a bloody game…
Have you forgotten yet?…

Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.
Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz–
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench–
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack–
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads–those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?…
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

PRimage on Tories £2,500 Tax Break For Biz

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Judy Viitanen has just watched Conservative leader David Cameron’s press conference unveiling the party’s plans to offer companies a £2,500 National Insurance break for every new worker they take on who has been unemployed for more than three months. PRimage will be interested to see the reaction from business leaders to this announcement – which, in our view, shows that a Tory Government would take positive action on unemployment which is bound to rise in this gloomy economic climate.

PRimage ask is the ‘Brown Bounce’ Back?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

According to a new Populus opinion poll the Tories’ lead over Labour has been dramatically cut as Gordon Brown continues to win plaudits for his handling of the economic crisis. Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team believe that this could be evidence that the “Brown bounce” may be back on course! The survey puts Labour on 35 per cent, up five points since October, the Tories down four on 41 per cent and the Liberal Democrats up one at 15 per cent.

Economic gloom continues … PRimage comment

Monday, November 10th, 2008

More gloomy economic news this morning: in our reading of today’s news, PRimage notes that a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that high streets may be barren after the recession – it seems that one in five shops could be ‘void’ by the time that the economy picks up again. And according to the British Retail Consortium UK consumer confidence has fallen to a new low …. what a suprise!

Further ‘bad news’ on the employment front, with new reports suggesting that UK employers are becoming increasingly gloomy about job creation in the current climate, and that unemployed adults with no children have fallen “ever further behind” the rest of society