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News Round UpBack

Jeremy_ClarksonClarkson suspended for ‘punch’ at Top Gear boss

Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended by the BBC after a “fracas” with a producer, and this weekend’s episode of Top Gear will not be broadcast, the corporation said yesterday. The presenter aimed a punch at a male Top Gear producer, according to the Radio Times.

The Financial Times

Carney claims cut in rates would be foolish

Mark Carney says it would be “foolish” to cut interest rates or expand quantitative easing in response to falling oil prices unless lower inflation hurts wage growth, consumer spending and business investment. Speaking yesterday to the economic affairs committee in the House of Lords, the Bank of England governor said inflation would fall to about zero in coming months and stay there for much of this year.

Transport groups fear impact of devolution

For the transport industry, the current push for devolution in the UK has raised fears about how this will affect the franchising of services and whether it could spell the end of commercial freedom for bus companies.

Car sales plunge as Russia sanctions bite

Car sales plunged 38 per cent in Russia last month compared with the same period a year ago in a fresh sign of the economy’s deterioration as it hurtles towards recession. The February decline, reported by the Association of European Businesses, was the worst monthly fall since 2009. It follows a 4.4 per cent drop in January retail sales – the first such decline in more than five years – amid a collapse in real wages.

Chevron ‘sober’ about reality of low oil prices

Chevron, the US oil group, expects a sharp slowdown in its production growth towards the end of the decade as it cuts investment in response to the fall in oil prices.

Esure bears brunt of low fuel costs as drivers hit accelerator

The sharpe prices of UK motor insurance providers went into reverse yesterday, with Esure leading the falls with a 9 per cent drop after it highlighted a rise in accident claims that coincides with robust economic growth and lower fuel prices.

The Times

Abolish three ministries to save billions, say taxpayers

Three Whitehall departments should be abolished during the next parliament so the government can balance the books, a report recommends. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, along with most of their agencies should be scrapped, says the Tax Payers Alliance.

Labour cycling pledge

Drivers who kill and seriously injure cyclists may face stiffer penalties under Labour reforms to promote cycling and walking. Michael Dugher, the shadow transport secretary, said his party would “ensure that justice is done and [is] seen to be done”, which may lead to a tougher maximum penalty for dangerous driving. Other proposals include cycling proficiency classes for all pupils.

Whitehall travel waste

The government is wasting millions of pounds on premium “walk-on” rail fares, the National Audit Office has said. Although almost all rail journeys by Whitehall officials were by standard class last year 41 per cent were the most expensive flexible tickets, swelling the total bill to £75.7 million.

 

The Independent

Sustained growth for UK ‘still a long way off’

The British Chambers of Commerce have hiked their forecast for the UK economy this year but warned it is “still a long way” from achieving sustained growth. They upgraded their outlook for gross domestic product growth for this year from 2.6 to 2.7 per cent for next year from 2.4 to 2.6 per cent.

The Guardian

Acceleration at Audi

German carmaker Volkswagen is investing heavily in its Audi marque in a drive to overtake BMW as the world’s biggest seller of luxury cars. The company, headquartered at Wolfsburg, is investing more than €1bn (£700m) in new factories in Mexico and Brazil after Audi’s operating profit margin slipped from 10.1% to 9.6% last year.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 11/03/2015