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More than 1.7m self-employed workers will earn below the new National Living Wage when it comes into force in April, a think tank has warned. The number will rise to 1.9 million by 2020, according to the Social Market Foundation’s (SMF) research. Currently, the government’s national minimum wage is £6.70 per hour, but the National Living Wage for over-25s of £7.20 comes into effect in April. The government said the increase would help over one million low paid workers.
The Financial Times
The UK economy could lose more than half a million jobs by 2020 in the event of a vote to leave the EU and would be unlikely to recover from the impact fully even after 15 years, the head of the CBI is set to warn. Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the business lobby, will present research by PwC, the professional services firm, suggesting the shock of a British exit could cut economic output between 3 and 5.4 per cent in 2020, depending on what sort of deal Britain managed to negotiate with its trading partners.
Britain’s motorists would support some new form of charging to use the roads, according to a transport think-tank that has called on the government to reconsider the policy as fuel tax revenues fall. A report by the Independent Transport Commission found that 65 per cent of 2,250 those surveyed would back some new form of paying for road use, even though the idea has long been a controversial one with UK motorists. According to the ITC, no options for road charging were completely rejected, although the highest support, at 26 per cent of those polled, was for a peak-time charge on congested motorways.
Rolls-Royce will this week pledge to create 350 new jobs over the next year at its historic engine factory in Derby, in an effort to allay political concerns over the future of the group’s UK manufacturing operations after a string of profit warnings. Warren East, Rolls-Royce chief executive, will on Tuesday make the commitment to MPs concerned about the impact on their constituencies of a wide-ranging restructuring designed to boost margins and competitiveness at the group.
The Daily Telegraph
Families hoping to get away for Easter have been warned to expect some of the worst traffic in years, as an estimated 16 million drivers take to the roads in a chaotic weekend for transport. Good Friday will be the busiest travel day, with many families unable to get away sooner because most schools do not break up until Thursday, as a result of Easter falling so early. In some parts of the country, the bank holiday weekend falls outside the two-week school break, meaning travel plans will be concentrated into a shorter period than normal.
When Martin Winterkorn dropped by to order some new glasses in the Volkswagen company town of Wolfsburg, he was “visibly dejected”, according to his optician. But the visit wasn’t last September, when Winterkorn had just quit as the German carmaker’s chief, it was this week. Six months into the “Dieselgate” affair surrounding VW, the mood in Wolfsburg – where a workforce equal to almost half the town’s population is employed at its giant car factory – is as gloomy as Winterkorn’s, and shows little sign of recovering. Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) remains mired in the scandal over its rigging of U.S. exhaust emissions tests, facing a barrage of lawsuits and grappling with a stalled German vehicle recall. With workers fearing for their jobs and the dive in VW’s fortunes hitting Wolfsburg’s municipal finances, few people see any light at the end of the tunnel.