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Brexit rivals attack ‘woeful’ Vote Leave
Recriminations are growing among those campaigning for a British exit from the EU who say the official Vote Leave group is losing arguments and risks “losing us the referendum”. Anxieties were fuelled yesterday by an ORB poll in the Eurosceptic Daily Telegraph newspaper which gave the Remain camp a 55-42% lead.
Stamp duty receipt hit record high
Stamp duty hit a record high in April as buy-to-let landlords rushed to buy before tax changes in April, which will bring an additional 3 per cent surcharge on second homes. The Government collected nearly £1.2bn from more than 173,000 properties according to data revealed yesterday by HM Revenue & Customs. These results caused not only a spike in property sales, but also an increase in prices, which were up 2.5 per cent in March.
Companies and Markets
Volkswagen pumps $300m into Israeli taxi app in bet on new business model
VW will form a strategic partnership with the start-up Gett to share data and work on projects. Under the deal VW will offer on-demand rides to customers and Gett will get discounts on VW cars to use as taxis. VW is only one of the many carmakers that are cooperating with “mobility service” providers such as Uber as some in the industry fear a long-term decline in personal car ownership.
Total chief sets out 20% goal for renewable energy
Patrick Pouyanne, Total’s chief executive, wants the French oil and gas major to have fifth of its assets invested in low carbon businesses in 20 years – the company’s current assets worth around $130bn.
Third of customers commit insurance fraud
Up to one third of Britons have committed insurance fraud, according to a report commissioned by AXA. Fraud grew fivefold between 2004 and 2014 and now adds £50 to the cost of the average of motor insurance premium. The study says that more than two million people had made a fraudulent claim. “Hard fraud” by criminal gangs is also rising fast, crash-for-cash accidents cost motorists £400million a year in raised premiums.
Corporate tax blow forces Osborne to borrow more
The government borrowed £7.2bn to make ends meet in April, £600 million more than forecast, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. The results show that the chancellor will struggle to hit his target of cutting the deficit for the year to march 2017 by 23% to £55.5bn. Government income from corporation tax was £5.8bn, more than 5% lower than last year.
Small business loses out as big banks play safe over risk
Small service businesses have been among the biggest victims of the “de-risking” by large lenders, which have dropped customers to prevent money laundering. According to a recent survey, 41 per cent had had an account closed by a bank, with one lender shutting more than a third of its accounts.
Toyota joins carmakers hailing ride via an app
Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, has invested in Uber, the ride-hailing app as part of a wider collaboration. They have signed a “memorandum of understanding” to explore how they could work together.
Car production has hit a 12-year high, the number of cars built in British factories last month increased by 16% to 149,334, with 81.5% of those going for export, mainly to Europe. Figures revealed by SMMT show output running at an annualized 16.5 million, putting the industry on track to break 1972 record of 1.9 million cars by 2020.
Car patents shift a gear on a bumpy road
The rise of electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells as well as the race to build connected and driverless cars are leading to big changes in the car industry. The most radical change for car IP has been in green propulsion either from batteries or hydrogen. Propulsion patents soared 12,000 in the five years to 2014, according to Thomson Reuters. While as many as 22,000 security technology inventions were protected in the five years to 2015. Toyota leads with 2,000 patents, followed by Bosch, Hyundai, Denso, and GM.
IFS warns Brexit could extend UK austerity by two years
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that leaving the European Union would force ministers to extend austerity measures by up to two years to achieve a budget surplus. The independent IFS said the impact of lower GDP growth and extra borrowing costs would knock a £20bn to £40bn hole in the government’s finances by 2020 and leave ministers struggling to balance the books before 2022, two years later than forecast. The thinktank disputed also the claim that the UK sends £350m to Brussels every week, saying the figure was more like £150m once the rebate was deducted from the total and funds for research and business subsidies are taken into account.
Retail – EU referendum adds to gloomy outlook for June
June is set to be the worst month in more than three years for Britain’s retailers as uncertainty over the EU referendum weighs on consumers’ appetite for spending. Retailers are expecting sales to fall next month, investment intentions were at the lowest level since August 2013, with a balance of -13%. Results were revealed by a CBI survey which involved 121 firms.
Slowing economy after Brexit could force Bank to raise interest rates, warns Carney
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, warned that interest rates may have to rise in the face of a slowing economy if Britain votes to leave the EU. Sterling climbed 1% against the dollar to $1.46 yesterday after polls and better markets showed a clear lead for an EU remain vote.