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Hammond flexes muscles over Brexit
It is the first significant reassurance to businesses that the government is ready to step in with extra financial support as the Brexit deal is negotiated. The chancellor has made it clear to his allies he wants jobs and the economy to be the first consideration as Britain leaves the European Union. His approach is described by some as a “soft” Brexit, meaning that the UK keeps closer ties to the single market and possibly stays within the customs union. Even if that means making more financial contributions to the EU.
Scottish unemployment hits lowest rate since recession
Scotland’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate since the recession, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the jobless total fell by 17,000, or 0.6%, over the three months to April to stand at 109,000. The Scottish unemployment rate now stands at 4%, which equals the figure recorded between March and May in 2008. The UK rate is 4.6%, with a total of 1.53 million unemployed people recorded in the latest quarter. Meanwhile, employment in Scotland rose by 14,000 over the same period to stand at 74.1%. But the ONS also reported a fall in UK average earnings, which grew by 2.1% in the year to April – down by 0.2% on the previous month. The fall was greater when measured over a three-month period, confirming that wages are falling behind the 2.9% inflation rate.
Volkswagen clarifies repair terms for EU diesel owners
Volkswagen has set out clearer rights for European customers cheated in the German carmaker’s diesel emissions scandal, ending months of wrangling with Brussels over its treatment of affected vehicle owners. Vera Jourova, the EU justice commissioner, said on Wednesday that VW had committed to grant European customers what is “de facto a two-year extra warranty” on car parts linked to the company’s cheating in emissions tests. Ms Jourova portrayed the agreement, confirmed with VW chief executive Matthias Mueller this week, as a “positive step by the company” that moved it “much closer to a fair treatment of EU consumers caught up in the affair”. VW denied, however, that the scheme was a policy shift, saying it was a “trust-building measure” which was already in place with its own dealers.
Jaguar to rebuild classic cars costing £1m-plus each
Britain’s latest car factory has opened in Coventry in a case of back to the future for the UK automotive industry. Jaguar Classic Works will build or rebuild heritage vehicles. Built on the site of the former Peugeot car plant in Ryton, closed by the French a decade ago, Jaguar Land Rover’s £7 million facility is hand-building a limited run of legendary post-war Jaguars such as the XKSS, above, and E-Type Lightweight. The all-new cars, built to their original specification, retail for more than £1 million each. It is also reconditioning or rebuilding original E-Types, Land Rovers from 1948 to 1958 and the first Range Rovers from the 1970s.
Renault faces backlash after ‘sexist’ ad shows woman fixing car with nail polish
Want to fix your chipped nail polish and that scratch on the hood of your car in one go, madame? Renault says it has just what you need. In a bid to promote its Twingo city car, a small urban vehicle mostly targeted at women, French carmaker Renault this week unveiled a nail polish that can also be used to fix small paint flaws on cars.
The company has earned charges of sexism in the bargain. The Twingo is for “active lady drivers who need to get about town but who are also attentive to fashion and looks,” Renault said in a statement presenting its foray into the beauty business. For women’s rights activists, Renault’s marketing strategy is just plain sexist. The way the offer has been promoted hasn’t helped either.
What would YOU give up to keep driving? Young motorists forced to cut back on clothes, festivals and dating to pay £3,000 a year motoring bill
More than half of young drivers admit they’re having to cancel social plans to pay for their cars. A study into the cost of motoring by Admiral revealed motorists under 25 are having to shell out £3,435 a year to stay behind the wheel. And it’s causing more than two-thirds (69 per cent) to shelve plans for a shopping spree or party at a music festival (60 per cent). The hunt for love is also on pause with six out of 10 young drivers cancelling romantic dates as they simply can’t afford nights out. Nearly half of under 25s are having to abandon holiday plans and smartphone upgrades, too, due to the cost of running a motor.