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Brexit committee warns of impact of no deal being reached
MPs have warned about the risks of the UK and EU failing to reach a Brexit trading agreement, urging ministers to work out how much “no deal” would cost. The Brexit committee said Theresa May’s claim that “no deal is better than a bad deal” was “unsubstantiated” until an economic assessment was published. But the report divided the cross-party committee, with some members saying it was too pessimistic about Brexit. Theresa May told the BBC the government was preparing for “all scenarios”.
Tesla’s market value overtakes Ford
Tesla’s market value has overtaken that of Ford after shares in the electric car maker added more than 7%. At the close of trading Tesla had a market value of $49bn (£38bn), compared with Ford’s value of $46bn. Tesla’s shares rose on Monday after the company announced record vehicle deliveries in the first three months of the year, the firm delivered more than 25,000 cars in the first quarter, up 70% on the same quarter last year.
UK construction growth cools in March, adding to signs of slowdown – PMI
LONDON, April 4 – Growth in Britain’s construction industry slowed slightly in March, adding to signs that the economy has lost some of its strong momentum of late last year when it defied the shock of the Brexit vote, a survey showed on Tuesday. The Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped back to 52.2 from 52.5 in February. That was the joint slowest rate of growth since a recent pick-up for the sector began in September and was a touch weaker than the median forecast of 52.4 in a Reuters poll of economists.
VW ‘knew its cars failed emissions rules for Britain’
Volkswagen has apparently admitted that almost 1.2 million cars caught up in the emissions scandal should not have been approved for British roads. Documents obtained by The Times show that the company admitted that vehicles “do not meet the regulatory requirements” for registration under European emissions rules. The comments appear in recall notification issued to the government in the weeks after the scandal over the company cheating in emissions tests broke.
Slowing factories feel effects of consumers ‘under the cosh’
A loss in momentum in manufacturing growth has prompted suggestions that Britons may be tightening their belts. A slowdown in consumer goods production was blamed for pushing the Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index from 54.5 to 54.2 and compared with a City forecast of 55. A reading greater than 50 indicates that manufacturing is growing. The pound fell below $1.25 after the survey’s release, down from $1.2534. It recovered to $1.2545.
Amazon now open for business with new sales division
Amazon is launching a new division that it hopes will help to revolutionise procurement for businesses in the same way that it has disrupted the world of consumer retail. The American online group will confirm the start of Amazon Business in the UK today, which is intended to help small and large businesses and institutional buyers such as universities and hospitals to buy products. It said that there would be 100 million business products on offer, from laptops, office supplies and storage solutions to industrial grade pressure washers, microscopes, test tubes and even high-speed centrifuges.
Lower crude price fails to blow oil trader off course
Profits for the world’s largest independent energy trader rose by 25% last year, despite turbulent crude oil prices. Vitol declined to disclose its profits last month when it published its annual results. However, it is understood that the Swiss-based business produced net income of $2 billion in 2016, against just over $1.6 billion in 2015. Last year’s figure is believed to include $500 million of gains from asset sales and a $100 million tax bill. The company’s activities range from operating oil refineries to fuel services. Turnover fell to $152 billion as oil prices averaged about $45 per barrel, down from $168 billion in 2015 when crude prices averaged more than $52.
Eurozone unemployment falls to its lowest rate in 8 years
More than 1m people have been lifted out of unemployment in the eurozone during the past year, pushing the jobless rate to the lowest in almost eight years. Factories in the eurozone also enjoyed another bumper month, reporting their highest levels of activity since 2011. Factories in Italy were at their busiest in six years, according to Markit’s purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing.
Brexit fears lose UK ground in ranking of favoured tax regimes
The UK has lost ground in a league table of multinationals’ favourite tax regimes, as uncertainty over Brexit tempered the government’s promise of more tax cuts. In a poll of large global businesses published on Tuesday, Britain retained its position as the second most competitive tax regime in the world. But the gap between the UK and Ireland, which tops the rankings, has widened. The survey conducted by KPMG, the professional services firm, showed that multinationals headquartered outside the UK were particularly concerned about Brexit, ranking Britain as the fifth best tax regime in Europe, down from first place last year.
FCA: Credit card interest could be waived for those with severe debt
Lenders will have to do more for customers struggling with severe credit card debt, including in some cases waiving interest or other charges altogether, under new rules proposed by the UK’s financial watchdog. The Financial Conduct Authority says that about 3.3m people in Britain are stuck in what it calls “persistent debt” — where their minimal repayments are being outweighed by interest and charges — and are not being helped enough by credit card companies for whom they generate the most profits. The FCA said that when a customer has been in persistent debt for 18 months, credit card companies should be forced to prompt them to make faster repayments.
THE FUEL WHACK – Diesel drivers face triple whammy price hike in parking, pollution charges and new tax increase
DIESEL drivers faced a triple whammy of cash grabs with plans last night to charge them more for parking. At least 15 towns and cities across England plan to charge diesel owners up to 50 per cent more than petrol cars to park on-street. That is on top of plans in 35 towns and cities for a £20 a day pollution fee — and an expected tax hike on diesel cars in the Autumn Budget. Meanwhile, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is expected to announce plans that will see all diesel vehicles driving within the North and South Circular charged £12.50 a day. It is set to be introduced in 2019 — and will be on top of the £11.50 congestion charge.
The Government wants to encourage Britain’s 12million diesel drivers to switch to greener cars. But in the early 2000s they urged people to buy more diesels, claiming they were less polluting.
“Government told us diesel cars were green and cheap, but now ours may cost the family £160 extra A WEEK”, say fuming drivers
DIESEL drivers are fuming over Government plans to hammer them with a charge of up to £20 for driving into 35 UK towns and cities. The aim is to combat air pollution with hefty charges. Ten million diesel cars could be affected, after successive governments championed diesel cars as cheap to run and less harmful to the planet. Only the newest vehicles will be excluded from the “toxin tax”. “Od I try to sell my car, who’d buy it?’.
BP agrees sale of key North Sea pipeline for £200m
BP has agreed the sale of the oldest and largest North Sea oil pipeline to chemicals giant Ineos for $250 (£200m) after the pair confirmed the sales talks last month. Ineos will pay $125m in cash upfront, and another $125m over seven years to secure supply of oil feedstock for its Grangemouth refinery. The 100 mile long Forties pipeline transports 450,000 barrels of oil every day, of which 20pc flows to Ineos’ Grangemouth refinery where it produces 80pc of Scotland’s energy.
US Economy – The car-loan boom isn’t the housing bubble. But there still might be a crash
Could it be 2005 and 2006 all over again? Industry figures last week showed that UK credit-card debt has soared while the savings rate has plunged to an all-time low. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, data shows that late last year car loans were being taken out at a faster rate than any time in US history. Almost everyone in America leases a car or buys it using cheap credit. This applies as much to those on low incomes as the wealthy. And the same trend can be seen in the UK. In 2008 it was the mortgage sector in the US that triggered the worst global financial crash since 1929. However, the situation is very different to 2008 and even the years leading up to it. Car loans are an important component of the credit market, but are still dwarfed by home loans.
Government to fund relationship support for unemployed families
Children whose parents are at loggerheads with each other are less likely to do well at school and into adulthood, ministers have claimed, as they promised to pour tens of millions of pounds into relationship support. The move is part of a £215m package that will also see a new phase of the government’s heavily criticised troubled families programme, with a fresh emphasis on joblessness.
How Uber uses tricks to make its drivers work longer hours and earn more money for the company
Uber uses psychological tricks through cleverly designed apps to make their drivers work longer hours and earn more money for the company, according to a recently released report by the New York Times. Most Uber drivers don’t have the traditional 9am-5pm schedule. They have free range to set their own pace while working. However, Uber software introduces earning targets and uses them as incentives when drivers try to log off. In the past, Uber has also experimented with video game techniques, graphics and non-payment rewards, which are used to encourage drivers to work longer and harder.
Driver hit with UK’s biggest ‘fine’ after court rules she must pay £24,500 for parking outside her own home
Carly Mackie, 28, parked outside her mother’s home and ignored the almost-daily parking charge notices on her windscreen. She wrongly believed she was entitled to park her Mini on the spot in front of her family’s garage – and refused to buy a £40-a-month parking permit. But private firm Vehicle Control Services took her to court last year when she racked up a £18,500 bill for ignoring more than 200 penalties – and has now won. In a written judgement Ms Mackie was ordered to pay £24,500.