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News Round UpBack

Spending Review: George Osborne defends tax credits U-turn


Chancellor George Osborne has denied his Spending Review U-turn on tax credits was a sign of weakness.

He said he had listened to critics of the planned cuts and was “able to help” because the economy is stronger.

Economists claim low paid families will still be out of pocket due to other changes announced on Wednesday.

Labour’s John McDonnell has meanwhile lashed out at “hypocrites” who mocked him for brandishing Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book in the Commons.


The Financial Times

Whiplash claims curb may cut car insurance cost

Motor insurance bills could fall by up to £50 a year under new measures to crack down on whiplash claims announced in the government’s Autumn Statement. Chancellor George Osborne said he plans to end the right to claim cash compensation for minor whiplash injuries, which the government calculates would remove £1bn from the cost of providing motor insurance. Those who sustain serious whiplash injuries will still be able to claim. The government expects the saving to be passed to customers rather than retained by the insurers. Potentially fraudulent whiplash claims have been a bugbear for the UK insurance industry. According to the Association of British Insurers, whiplash claims cost £2bn a year in total.

South Korea orders Volkswagen to recall 125,000 cars

South Korea has fined Volkswagen Won14.1bn ($12.3m) for rigging emissions tests and ordered a recall of more than 125,000 diesel vehicles in the latest setback to the German carmaker. The environment ministry said on Thursday, after a two-month investigation of several models made by Volkswagen and its premium brand Audi, that the world’s second-largest carmaker had fitted “defeat devices” to bypass environmental standards.

Autumn Statement: apprenticeship levy will hit wages, OBR warns

The apprenticeship levy will damage wage growth as employers pass on the cost to their employees, the official fiscal watchdog has warned. The Office for Budget Responsibility said the levy, together with the cost of pensions auto-enrolment, would reduce cumulative wage growth over the next five years by 0.7 per cent.


The Guardian

Retailers braced for £1bn Black Friday bonanza

Black Friday could become the UK’s first £1 billion online shopping day as consumers and retailers prepare for the annual bargain frenzy. Online retailers are braced for a shopper onslaught from midnight as deals go live, while some stores will open their doors at the same time to customers hoping to snatch bargains on everything from TVs to slippers.

Police have warned shops to ensure they have carefully thought-out security plans in place for the sales following chaos at a number of stores across the UK last year when huge crowds grappled for cut-price televisions and other big-ticket items.


The Daily Express

Fury as Volkswagen rule out compensation to British owners of diesel cheating cars

In a further outrage, the German car giant has promised that it will pay-off owners of affected vehicles in America, while refusing to give anything to Europeans. The car firm estimates 11million cars globally have defeat devices that rig official pollution tests.  Volkswagen has confirmed payments of £330 ($500) to drivers in the US, plus another £330 ($500) of credit vouchers.


The Daily Mail

Petrol hike hidden in the small print: Prices could rise by 2p a litre after Chancellor failed to mention fuel tax during statement

Petrol prices are set to rise as George Osborne opened the door to increasing fuel duty for the first time in four years.

After a lengthy freeze under the Coalition, the Chancellor conspicuously made no mention of fuel taxes yesterday.

This could mean a rise of more than 2p a litre in April 2016 – and steeper rises every year after that.

The small print of the Spending Review documents shows the Treasury’s takings from fuel duty are expected to rise at the rate of inflation every year until 2020.

Potholes to be filled with £250m as transport investment is increased by 50% to £61bn

A pothole fund of £250million to fix bumps in the road was welcome news for drivers and came as part of a package of cash for Britain’s creaking transport system.

Posted by Lois Hardy on 26/11/2015