What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
Ruling boosts fight against tax avoidance
By Vanessa Houlder and Ed Hammond in London
The government has won an important legal victory in its fight against stamp duty avoidance, in a blow to similar schemes used to dodge an estimated £170m of tax.
A tribunal has ruled against a company that used a rule, originally designed to prevent double taxation, to avoid £290,000 of stamp duty on a 2006 purchase of a business park in Stockton-on-Tees.
Scale of Monaco tax avoidance avoidance revealed
By Fay Schlesinger
More than 2,000 Britons in Monaco are costing the UK economy £1 billion a year in lost tax revenue.
An investigation by The Times into tax avoidance has revealed the scale of activity in the principality, where a wealthy elite reaps the benefits of British assets and connections, but escapes the levies that apply to other citizens. Some have been awarded knighthoods, while others have been able to make political donations — despite government pledges to close a loophole enabling them to do so.
Mervyn King: I’m backing Steve Hawkes for Bank governor
By Steve Hawkes, Business Editor
Mervyn King is backing my surprise bid to become the next Governor of the Bank of England.
In a huge boost to my “The Old Lady needs a New Man” campaign, the legend yesterday said he was glad to support The Sun’s dash for the prestigious job.
We are, of course, talking about Mervyn King the darts champ, rather than current BoE Governor Sir Mervyn King, who is due to retire next July.
Treasury must find £14bn more cuts to hit deficit target, says thinktank
By Patrick Wintour
A further £14bn of spending cuts are needed to meet George Osborne’s deficit target, according to a new analysis of Treasury figures that reveals the daunting scale of the shortfall caused by weaker-than-expected economic growth.
The cuts would need to come on top of £10bn of extra cuts already promised by the chancellor and amounts to the equivalent of 70,000 teachers, 10,000 police officers and 30,000 defence staff.
Pensions: Automatic enrolment system timetable revealed
Some 600,000 people are expected to be enrolled into a workplace pension by the end of the year under a new system that automatically diverts funds from their pay packet.
The automatic enrolment scheme begins on 1 October and will mark one of the biggest changes to the pension system in the UK.
Tesco boss Phil Clarke calls dramatic halt to supermarket space wars
By Rupert Steiner
Tesco boss Phil Clarke has called a dramatic halt to the supermarket space wars, saying that customers are staying away from the shops and buying groceries on their PCs and smartphones. It marks a seismic shift for the supermarket chain.
Tesco’s rise to Britain’s number one grocer was fuelled by its strategy of carpeting its stores over Britain’s high streets and colonising huge out-of-town sites for its hypermarkets.
Savers face further cut in interest rates
By Richard Evans
There is a “decent chance” that the Bank will cut interest rates in November, according to a leading economics consultancy. Such a move would be a further blow for savers, who have been grappling with rates at a historic low of 0.5pc for three years and have recently seen several best buy savings accounts withdrawn from the market.
Martin Beck of Capital Economics said: “With the outlook for the economy remaining weak, we think there continues to be a decent chance of an interest rate cut in November.”
Pension pain for millions
By Nathan Rao
Millions of workers face a retirement in poverty after official figures yesterday showed pension savings have slumped to a record low.
The number paying into private workplace schemes has fallen below three million for the first time as funds go into meltdown.
Watchdog warned Barclays on hiring Diamond
By James Moore
The Financial Services Authority warned Barclays back in 2010 that Bob Diamond could prove “unsuitable” to be made chief executive of the scandal-racked bank, correspondence released yesterday revealed.
The correspondence, published by the Treasury Select Committee, showed that Hector Sants, the FSA’s then chief executive, highlighted the investigation into Libor interest rate fixing as a potential problem with Mr Diamond’s hiring in conversations with Barclays’ chairman, Marcus Agius, about the controversial appointment.
City bonuses dwarf public sector and spark fresh fury
By Peter Cripps and Martin Flanagan
Anger over City largesse was reignited yesterday as figures highlighted that workers in the banking and insurance industries pocketed average bonuses of £12,000 in the last financial year.
The average bonus paid out by the two sectors in the year to April was £1,500 lower than the previous 12 months, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But they still dwarfed payouts in the wider UK economy, where bonuses averaged £1,400.
BP In Talks With Putin Over Rosneft Stake
By Mark Kleinman, City Editor
BP is exploring a deal to sell its stake in its conflict-plagued Russian joint venture that could result in it owning a substantial stake in Rosneft, the country’s state-controlled energy giant.
I understand that BP has signalled that it is open to the idea of selling its 50% stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft in exchange for cash and shares in the Russian company.
US tycoon puts The O2 up for sale
By James Titcomb
American billionaire Philip Anschutz has put the entertainment group that owns The O2 and a string of US venues and sports teams up for sale.
Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) operates the music venue – the world’s most successful by ticket sales – on a long-term lease from the government. Parent company Anschutz Corporation yesterday said it was “an appropriate time” to sell AEG, which has become the world’s second-biggest live music company after Live Nation.
After rising in June & July retail sales are likely to show a fall back in August. The picture from companies like Next, the British Retail Consortium and the CBI is that August was a quite month, possibly because the Olympics distracted people from going shopping.
It’s Student Finance day today. And the aim is to repeat the success of last year’s day in making sure many prospective students, especially from lower income families, are still unnecessarily being put off. We need to ensure they understand how it really works so they can make an informed decision. There’s already lots of great work happening in many schools, colleges and universities to explain what the fees will mean and how they’ll work.
A new academic report by The Co-operative Legal Services based on analysis of ONS research and consumer research, looks set to reveal that for the first time ever, the percentage of cohabiting couples with children equals that of married couples with children. With confusion around the legal situation, the Co-operative Legal Services is urging cohabiting couples to think carefully about how they protect themselves and their families. The report is released as The Co-operative launches into family law services.
Have a look at the diary for the rest of the week here