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Brexit is harming the UK economy, say 44% of voters

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Brexit is harming the UK economy, say 44% of voters

Almost twice as many voters now believe Brexit is having a negative effect on the UK economy as think it is benefiting the nation’s finances, according to the latest Opinium poll for the Observer, carried out during budget week.

The survey comes after Richard Hughes, the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility, said his organisation calculated that the negative impact on GDP caused by the UK’s exit from the EU was expected to be twice as great as that resulting from the pandemic.

Hughes said Brexit would reduce the UK’s potential GDP by about 4% in the long term, while the pandemic would cut it “by a further 2%”. “In the long term, it is the case that Brexit has a bigger impact than the pandemic,” he said.

Opinium’s findings appear to be in line with other recent polling, including a survey last week by Ipsos MORI, which showed concern about the effects of Brexit rising to the point that it is now seen as the biggest issue for the country alongside Covid-19.

The Opinium survey found that 44% of people think Brexit is having a bad impact on the UK economy, compared with 25% who think it is having a positive effect.

More starkly, 53% of people believe Brexit is having a bad effect on prices in shops, against 13% who think it is having a good effect, while 51% think it is adversely affecting the UK’s ability to import goods from the EU, against 15% who think it is helping.

While chancellor Rishi Sunak’s approval rating rose slightly after his Budget speech on Wednesday, in which he increased government spending to its highest sustained level since the 1970s while warning that inflation would rise to 4% next year, the fact that people appear to be linking Brexit with economic problems including rising prices will be a worry to No 10 and No 11 Downing Street.

During the campaign for Brexit, led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, voters were told by the Leave campaign that leaving the EU would create a more dynamic UK economy able to trade freely across the globe, and less bureaucracy, leading to lower prices.

The OBR report, published alongside Sunak’s budget, said that its evidence to date suggested its previous forecasts that Brexit would lead to a 15% fall in both UK imports from, and exports to, the EU appeared to have been broadly accurate.

The report said: “The evidence so far suggests that both import and export intensity have been reduced by Brexit, with developments still consistent with our initial assumption of a 15% reduction in each.”

It is also made clear that shortages of lorry drivers were at least partly caused by Brexit.

Last week the Financial Times reported that whereas by August this year global goods trade had rebounded sharply since the height of the pandemic (according to the CPB World Trade Monitor), the UK was proving a notable exception, with its exports still sharply down.

Since the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January this year, UK ministers have insisted that difficulties with trade to and from the EU would be short-lived and amounted merely to “teething problems” that would be resolved quickly once companies got used to the new arrangements.

While Opinium found evidence of clear anxiety about Brexit, this has yet to translate into a negative effect on support for the Tory party.

The Conservatives are on 40%, down 1 point compared with a fortnight ago, while Labour is down 2 points on 35%. The Lib Dems are on 8%, the Green party 7%, the SNP 5% and Plaid Cymru 1%.

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Business

NBS Says Price Of Kerosene Hit N1, 041 per Litre In October

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has disclosed that the average retail price of Household Kerosene (HHK) paid by consumers in October was N1, 041.05 per litre.

The NBS stated in its “National Household Kerosene Price Watch” for October 2022 that the average price was a 9.90 per cent increase over the N947.30 per litre recorded in September 2022.

“On a year-on-year basis, the average retail price per litre of the product increased by 145.87 per cent from N423.42 recorded in October 2021.”

On state profile analysis, the report showed that the highest average price per litre of kerosene in October 2022 was recorded in Cross River at N1,304.17, followed by Enugu at N1,300.00 and Lagos at N1,294.44.

Conversely, it said the lowest price was recorded in Borno at N783.33, followed by Rivers at N804.17 and Bayelsa at N805.67.

The NBS said that analysis by zone showed that the South-East recorded the highest average retail price per litre of Kerosene at N1,191.14, followed by the South-West at N1,142.60.

It said the North-East recorded the lowest average retail price per litre of kerosene at N905.18.

The report said the average retail price per gallon of kerosene paid by consumers in October 2022 was N3,516.87, indicating an 8.67 per cent increase from N3,236.27 recorded in September 2022.

”On a year-on-year basis, the average price per gallon of kerosene increased by 126.46 per cent from N1,552.96 recorded in October 2021.”

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No Plan To Introduce N5,000 Note- CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has no plan to introduce N5,000 denominated banknote as being speculated by some sections of the society.

Ahmed Umar, the Director, Currency Operations of CBN clarified this at a three-day workshop organised by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), for members of the Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) and Business Editors.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop, which opened on Monday in Port Harcourt, has as its theme: “Building Depositors Confidence Amidst Emerging Issues and Challenges in the Banking Industry.”

Umar who spoke on the topic, “Redesign of the Naira: Benefits to the financial system and the Nigerian economy”, said the apex bank was not carrying out note restructuring.

“We are not introducing any new note because there was noise, some people have seen one N5000 note that we don’t know about,” he said.

Umar was represented by Amina Halidu-Giwa, the Head, of the Policy Development Division, Currency Operations Department of the bank.

He explained that if the apex bank wanted to carry out note restructuring, it would need to coin the lower bills, like the N100 note for example.

He also said that the apex bank had not made any provision for exchange in the redesigned note, adding that what it was printing would only replace the currencies withdrawn.

“What we are printing is going to be very limited because we want other means of settling transactions to be used.

“Because of Nigerians and cash, there seems to be a problem. And it will give us enhanced visibility and control of the currency.

“We will also be able to control the number of banknotes outside,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that videos of some bundles of new N5,000 notes with the name of the Central Bank of Nigeria clearly printed on them, circulated on WhatsApp immediately after the apex bank announced plans to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes in October.

(NAN)

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Business

Jaiz Bank Relocates Head Office To Abuja

Jaiz Bank Plc has relocated its Head Office to its own building, Jaiz Bank House, in Garki, Abuja.

A statement by the company on Tuesday said the movement coincides with the 10th anniversary of the bank.

The bank commenced operations in 2012, with three branches in Abuja, Kano and Kaduna.

It currently has 46 branches across Nigeria.

The statement said the new Head Office would provide the bank with more visibility, enlarged space and enhanced capacity to deliver excellent service to its stakeholders.

“The management is thankful to its esteemed customers and shareholders who have continued to support the bank all along and appreciates the hardworking staff for their dedication to duty.

“In the non-interest banking space in Nigeria, Jaiz Bank controls over 62% assets, which is supported by its robust gross income of N23.74 billion as at end of September 2022 from N18.78 billion at the end of September 2021, representing “26.34% increment.”

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