PRESS DIGEST - British business - Nov 26

Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:47pm EST

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BRITISH BUSINESS DIGEST, NOVEMBER 26

TIMES

ANOTHER BID FOR STAKE OF ASTON MARTIN

Indian tractor maker Mahindra & Mahindra bid for a stake of up to 50 percent in UK car maker Aston Martin - currently owned by Kuwaiti firm Investment Dar - trumping an earlier offer from Italian private equity firm Investindustrial.

HIGH-RISK HOMES FACE LOSING FLOOD INSURANCE

Hundreds of thousands of householders in areas at high risk of flooding face losing their home-insurance policies next year unless the government finds extra cash to rescue the industry. Talks between insurance industry chiefs and ministers have broken down, coinciding with severe flooding in the Midlands and South West of the UK.

TELEGRAPH

STORMS KILL TWO PEOPLE AND DAMAGE 800 HOMES

Two people died and more than 800 homes were damaged after parts of Britain were hit by the worst flooding in half a century.

VAT RISE MAY BE NEEDED TO CUT DEFICIT, IFS WARNS

UK finance minister George Osborne may need to raise value added tax to 25 percent in order to cut the country's deficit, and should abandon his target of bringing down debt between 2015 and 2016, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said. The institute also warned that, if current weak growth and low tax receipts are permanent, Osborne can only fulfil his mandate to balance the budget by 2017-2018 if he implements another 23 billion pounds of tax rises or spending cuts.

THINK-TANK TELLS CHANCELLOR TO KEEP HIS HANDS OFF QE WINDFALL

The IFS warned George Osborne against including 35 billion pounds in interest payments on gilts bought through quantitative easing when calculating whether the Treasury is on track to meet fiscal targets. The IFS said the windfall does not alter the long-term outlook for public finances so it would be inappropriate to use these adjusted numbers.

GUARDIAN

OFFSHORE SECRETS REVEALED: THE SHADOWY SIDE OF A BOOMING INDUSTRY

An investigation identified more than 21,500 companies nominally run by "sham directors" who sold their names to hide the companies' real owners. Some of these owners are not acting illegally, motivated only by the wish for secrecy, but this "booming industry" in fake directors "leaves the way open for both tax avoidance and the concealment of assets".

INDEPENDENT

YENTOB WANTS NEW DG TO SHAKE UP BBC MANAGEMENT

BBC creative director Alan Yentob told the Independent in an interview that new director-general Tony Hall should shake up the broadcaster's management team, and said he expects a small number of staff will be shown to have known about Jimmy Savile's criminal activities. Yentob said he hoped "to return to the BBC's top table".

CABINET SPLIT OVER PLANS TO INTRODUCE MINIMUM PRICES

Prime Minister David Cameron faces a backlash against minimum prices for alcohol from the drinks industry, economists and cabinet ministers. Opponents of the plan to set a price per unit argue responsible low-income drinkers would be penalised.

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