Home' A Plus Magazine : July 2013 Contents 6 July 2013
Britain’s chancellor of the
exchequer, George Osborne,
last month announced a further
£11.5 billion in public spending
cuts, including the axeing of an-
other 144,000 public-sector jobs,
as he outlined the results of his
spending review for 2015-16.
Speaking to the House of
Commons on 26 June, Osborne
also announced changes to the
benefits system including a new
cap on welfare payments to
“ The new welfare cap is proof
that Britain is serious about
living within its means,” he said.
The cap will be introduced in
April 2015, a month before the
next general election, and will
be set annually for four years.
These changes, he added,
would save the government
about £4 billion a year and help
the United Kingdom’s economy
move “out of intensive care, and
from rescue to recovery.”
Osborne announced the bud-
gets of the cabinet office, justice
ministry and local government
departments had been cut by 10
percent, but said the govern-
ment planned to spend £3 billion
on affordable housing projects.
Spending on infrastructure
projects, including the largest
programme of road building in
50 years, will rise by £300 billion
by the end of the decade and
help boost economic growth.
The chancellor also scrapped
automatic progression pay and
regrading in the civil serv ice and
said that public sector pay rises
w ill be limited to an average of
up to 1 percent for 2015-16.
Osborne said employees
of schools, the health ser vice,
prisons and the police forces
would not receive automatic pay
rises “simply for time ser ved”
but added that the armed forces
would be excluded from these
He insisted his measures
were necessary and fair.
More American companies are
expanding across the African
continent in an effort to reach
new consumers, according to
media reports last month.
The General Electric conglom-
erate was the latest company to
announce an expansion of its
African operations after signing
an agreement last month to build
a 400-megawatt gas-fired power
plant in Tanzania.
Meanwhile, Procter & Gam-
ble, the multinational consumer
goods company, is expanding the
supply of its products in southern
and eastern Africa by investing
more than US$150 million in its
South African factories, The Wall
Street Journal reported.
Similarly, vehicle manufac-
turer General Motors plans to
expand into Kenya, Nigeria and
Angola to start selling newly
licensed Isuzu trucks.
Sprint Nextel shareholders accept
enhanced SoftBank takeover offer
Japanese company awaits FCC approval for telecoms deal
U.K . unveils more cutbacks, welfare cap after spending review
Shareholders in Sprint Nextel
Corporation, the third-largest
wireless service company in the
United States, approved Tokyo-
based SoftBank Corporation’s
acquisition of a 78 percent stake
for US$21.6 billion.
Sprint said in a statement
that about 80 percent of the
company’s shares outstanding
were voted in favour of the deal,
believed to be the largest over-
seas acquisition by a Japanese
SoftBank requires approval
from the Federal Communica-
tions Commission, the U.S.
telecoms regulator, in order to
close the deal.
Under the terms of SoftBank’s
offer, Sprint shareholders will
have the option to receive either
US$7.65 in cash or one new
Sprint share for each share of
Sprint common stock they hold.
The endorsement also brings
SoftBank closer towards being
one of the largest wireless car-
riers in the world. “ The trans-
action with SoftBank should
enhance Sprint’s long-term value
and competitive position by
creating a company with greater
financial flexibility,” Daniel
Hesse, chief executive of Sprint,
said in a statement.
The deal was previously
revised on 10 June, when Soft-
Bank raised its bid from US$20.1
billion and increased cash pay-
ments to shareholders by US$4.5
billion to US$16.6 billion.
SoftBank’s revision helped it
outbid U.S. satellite TV operator
Dish Network for Sprint. Dish
submitted a rival bid of US$25.5
billion for Sprint in April.
Although higher in total value,
the Dish bid would have added to
Sprint ’s debt.
“We look for ward to receiv-
ing FCC’s approval... so that we
can begin implementing our
plans to deploy an advanced
Sprint network that supports
innovative devices and ser v ice
packages tailored to the rapidly
expanding mobile needs of U.S.
consumers,” SoftBank said in a
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