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PPI claims deadline is announced
People seeking compensation over mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) will have to make their claims before 29 August 2019. The final deadline has been set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in an effort to draw a line under one of the banking industry’s biggest scandals. Millions of people have already been compensated and banks have set aside more than £40bn to cover the payouts.It is believed that many more are yet to come forward. The FCA will run a two-year public awareness campaign, starting in August this year, in an attempt to flush out the remaining complainants.
CBI warns Government against ‘flash-in-the-pan industrial strategies’
The head of the UK’s preeminent business lobby group is demanding that the Government sharpens its industrial strategy focus and provides more clarity on what kind of support it intends to offer firms as Britain braces to navigate economic headwinds and political uncertainty.
According to pre-released remarks that Carolyn Fairbairm is due to make in Leicester on Wednesday, the director-general of the CBI will say that the Government needs to answer key questions around where the UK economy and businesses are heading at a transformative time for the country.
UK consumer credit growth slows for a second month, mortgage approvals rise
British consumers borrowed more in January than in December but the pace of the increase slowed for a second month in a row, adding to signs of caution among households. Figures from the BoE on Wednesday also showed foreign investors sold British government bonds at the fastest pace in nearly three years. Consumer credit in January rose by 1.416 billion pounds and up from an increase of just under 1 billion pounds in December. But the annual growth rate slowed to 10.3 percent from 10.6 percent in December and 10.9 percent in November.
High earners facing budget raid on retirement savings
Hundreds of thousands of higher earners face another raid on their pensions in next week’s budget as the bill for tax breaks on retirement savings continues to soar. The cost to the Treasury of pension tax reliefs rose by £3 billion last year despite previous cuts, according to official statistics released last week. Sir Steve, the former Liberal Democrat MP now director of policy at the pensions firm Royal London, said that the £24.8 billion total was the most likely target given promises not to raise income tax and rising petrol and insurance costs.
Cabbies want cash to scrap diesels
The chancellor is under mounting pressure to introduce a diesel scrappage scheme to tackle dangerous levels of pollution in big cities. Philip Hammond was urged to draft measures as part of next week’s budget to compensate motorists who switch from diesels to green alternatives, cutting toxic gases in built-up areas. A coalition of business leaders, doctors, taxi drivers and environmental groups wrote to the chancellor yesterday urging him to create cash incentives to drive diesels off the road. The government is already committed to freezing fuel duty until 2018 and will introduce extensive changes to vehicle excise duty next month, making a second large-scale reform unlikely.
Surge in 4x4s threatens greenhouse gas targets
The drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions risks stalling after a surge in the number of 4x4s on the road. Britain is almost certain to miss targets to reduce carbon dioxide pollution because of a boom in the popularity of large sport utility vehicles (SUVs). SUV registrations soared by 23.3% to 438,000 last year.
Research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) also blamed a political “anti-diesel agenda” that was pushing motorists from diesel towards petrol cars with higher carbon emissions. This includes the introduction of a £10 “toxicity charge” in October by London’s mayor to prevent diesel vehicles entering the centre of the capital. New registrations of diesels fell by 0.8 percentage points in 2016 to 47.7 per cent.
Rising house prices defy fears of a slump
House prices rose more than expected in February, according to Nationwide, Britain’s second biggest mortgage lender. A monthly index of house price growth by the building society showed that prices increased by 0.6 per cent over the month, better than the 0.2 per cent growth recorded in January and higher than the 0.2 per cent growth expected by economists. The 0.6 per cent rise marks the third consecutive month of house price gains after a 0.8 per cent increase in December and takes the average price of a home in the UK to £205,846.
House of Lords votes to protect rights of EU citizens in the UK
The House of Lords has voted by an overwhelming majority to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit, in defiance of Theresa May. Peers backed an amendment to the government’s Article 50 Bill by a majority of 102. The amendment requires the government to guarantee unilaterally that EU citizens living in the UK will retain all the rights they currently enjoy once Britain leaves the bloc. The government had argued that Britain should wait until other EU countries offered reciprocal guarantee for UK citizens abroad.
Poor to be hit hardest by inflation over next five years, IFS warns
Low-income households with children will be the hardest hit by high inflation, slow wage growth and planned changes to taxes and benefits during the next five years, according to a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The think-tank found that the average household income in the UK will not grow at all during the next two years. By 2021-22, it will be only 4 per cent higher than it is today — a much slower annual growth rate than before the financial crisis, when average household income was growing at an average rate of 2 per cent each year.
Boots, Walkers crisps and Greggs cost cutting puts 1400 UK jobs at risk
Nearly 1,400 UK jobs are at risk as pharmacy chain Boots, Walkers crisps and bakery Greggs all cut costs. Both Walkers and Greggs are restructuring their manufacturing operations in an attempt to improve efficiency. The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union said more than 600 jobs were at risk at nine Greggs bakeries around the UK. Walkers, which is owned by US food and drink group PepsiCo, is planning to close its manufacturing plant in Peterlee, County Durham, by the end of the year, which will affect 355 manufacturing jobs and a further 25 in transport. Boots is shutting more than two-thirds of its photo processing laboratories as demand for traditional photo processing falls, putting up to 400 jobs at risk.
Konnichiwa London: Nissan Leaf drives itself on city roads
A self-driving car has had its first trials on major London roads, proving the technology works – or it does with an attentive driver behind the wheel to slam on the brakes. Guided by five radars, four lasers and 12 cameras, a converted electric Nissan Leaf has been following a carefully mapped route around Beckton, east London, driving along the A13 dual carriageway and urban streets, and navigation roundabouts – a particular challenge for the Japanese manufacturer.
Ford condemned for ‘blindsiding’ staff at under threat engine plant in Wales
Ford has been condemned by MPs and unions for “blindsiding ” them over its plans for its engine plant in Wales, as concerns grown that more than 1,000 jobs could be lost there. Unions claims that two-thirds of the staff – some 1,160 workers – could see their jobs go at the Bridgend factory when current agreements to supply engines for Ford vehicles and a contract build engines for Jaguar end over the next few years.
No Brexit blues for Eurostar
Eurostar says it is not being affected by Brexit and that travellers slowly returning to Paris. The firm’s shares fell by a third after the EU referendum, but passenger numbers, which fell 4pc after the Paris terror attacks, have now picked up.
We’ll get on fine on our own, says LSE buyer
The struggling German boss seeking to buy the London Stock Exchange has insisted his business can survive on its own if the deal collapses. Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse wanted control of the 2016-year-old institution in a £21bn tie-up supported by both sides. But the deal is in tatters after LSE refused to sell an Italian trading arm, despite being told to do so by competition watchdogs.
Uber boss ‘ashamed’ after video emerges of argument with driver
The chief executive of Uber has apologised after video emerged of him getting into an ill-tempered argument with one of the company’s drivers about falling pay rates. Travis Kalanick has said he needs to “grow up” and get help after the embarrassing dashcam footage showed him angrily dismissing the driver’s concerns. The businessman, who had been travelling with two women, was coming to the end of his Uber journey in San Francisco when driver Fawzi Kamel asked him why the ride-hailing app has slashed the prices customers pay for every mile they travel.