What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice

Robyn Hall

September 18, 2012


Cameron puts brakes on pension reform

By Sarah Neville, George Parker and Norma Cohen

David Cameron has demanded a rethink of flagship state pension reforms amid fears they could alienate core Conservative supporters, including the electorally crucial “grey” vote.

The Financial Times has learnt the prime minister personally put the brakes on the plan for a flat-rate benefit worth around £140 a week after realising that millions of people would either lose out – or fail to benefit from – the new system.


Co-op stops offering bank accounts to bankrupts

People recovering from bankruptcy will no longer have a choice over where they can access a bank account as Co-op withdraws from the market.

Only the Co-op and Barclays offered accounts to those who are undischarged bankrupts – generally those within a year of a bankruptcy order being made.


Exclusive: Virgin Urges Banks Split

By Mark Kleinman

Bankers’ pay should be subject to more stringent regulatory caps and there should be full separation of retail and investment banks in order to accelerate industry reforms, according to the lender that bought the taxpayer-controlled Northern Rock.

Sky’s City Editor has seen a leaked summary of the submission by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, which is examining measures to overhaul industry practices following a string of crises in recent months.


New monthly universal credit scheme to go ahead, says IDS

By Andy McSmith

One of the biggest attempted reforms of Britain’s welfare system will go ahead according to the Government’s timetable despite a host of warnings about what could go wrong, the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, insisted yesterday.

Mr Duncan Smith is introducing a system called universal credit, which he insists will be much simpler to operate and understand than the myriad benefits that it replaces.


Commando rolls.. and sausage rolls

By Rhodri Phillips

The British Army is set to march on stomachs full of savouries from baker Greggs.

The High Street chain won a deal to feed our soldiers overseas after topping a poll of the brands troops miss most when serving abroad.

Yesterday a 12-week trial of seven of its most popular treats, such as sausage rolls and steak bakes, began at a base in Germany. If successful it could be rolled out to bases around the world.


HMRC targets white-collar tax evaders

Lawyers suspected of dodging taxes face spot checks by Revenue and Customs as part of a new drive to claw back millions of pounds.


Hike and the mechanics: Garage labour charges go through the roof

By Mark Ellis

Give us a brake! Garage labour costs have accelerated to a record average of £83 an hour.

The rates mechanics charge hard-hit motorists have soared by 3% in the past year. And there are wide variations in costs from the lowest at £58.46 an hour to a wallet-emptying £201.

Small independent businesses are not much cheaper than dealerships with the gap now around 10%, the survey of 4,250 garages found.


MPs to grill Bank of England chiefs as they defend £375bn of quantitative easing

By Hugo Duncan

Bank of England officials look set to be hauled in front of MPs to explain the impact of printing money amid claims it has hammered savers and pensioners.

The powerful Treasury Select Committee yesterday launched a fresh inquiry into the controversial £375billion quantitative easing programme unleashed to prop up the ailing economy.


iPhone 5 sends Apple juggernaut into overdrive

By Richard Blackden, New York

Online orders for the phone exceeded 2m on Friday, the first day consumers could makes purchases over the web, Apple said yesterday .

The performance more than doubled the 1m mark for first-day online sales set by the iPhone 4S last year. The Californian company warned that the strength of demand meant that not everyone who made an online order would get their phone delivered this month as promised.


Obama takes on China with formal trade complaint over auto subsidies

By Larry Elliott, Economics Editor

Fears of a trade war between the United States and China intensified on Monday after Barack Obama launched action at the World Trade Organisation to stop Chinese auto industry aid from threatening jobs in the key electoral battleground state of Ohio.

With growth and jobs seen as vital in the race for the White House, the administration said it had begun a case at the WTO in Geneva against what the White House said were illegal export subsidies for cars and car parts.


Connection charges threaten Scotland’s marine energy firms

By Gareth Mackie

Investment in new marine energy projects is being threatened by rising charges to connect the schemes to the electricity grid, the head of Scotland’s renewable power trade body warns today.

Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, says the annual charges for connecting wave and tidal energy projects in the Pentland Firth and Orkney waters are estimated to rise from £56 million last year to £107m in 2020.


Sberbank unveils £3.3bn stake sale

By Cathy Adams

Russian state bank Sberbank is to list in London this week in a $5.4bn (£3.3bn) share sale, it announced today.

The sale of a 7.6 per cent stake in Sberbank, which is seeking a joint London-Moscow listing, has been held back for more than a year by weak financial markets.

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