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Govt eyes 2,000 more staff to deal with Brexit

The Government is trying to stop its resources being overstretched by Brexit as it looks to take on another 2,000 staff.

While civil service headcount has already gone up by 1,500 since the referendum vote, ministers are each now vying for a cut of additional personnel being brought on board, according to the Financial Times.

One minister told the paper: “Everyone is bidding for extra staff. That’s why there’s a lot of frustration with the Treasury at the moment — everyone wants more.”

The new vacancies are understood to range from experts in finance, accounting, law, digital, project management to trade negotiation and border staff.

Think-tank the Institute for Government estimates that, in a “no deal” scenario, the Home Office would need 5,000 more border staff.

Overall, however, civil service headcount will still be around 100,000 lower than it was in 2008 after spending cuts, reducing numbers to around 420,000 currently.

FDA civil service union general secretary Dave Penman told the paper: “Brexit is only one pressure that the civil service faces, it is still being asked to deliver swingeing efficiency savings…it is having to do all this simultaneously.”

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By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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