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Travel tax plan wins £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize Back


Travel tax plan wins £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize 

A 27-year-old transport planner has won the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize for a plan to improve Britain’s roads. Gergely Raccuja proposed a distance-based charge to replace fuel duty and vehicle excise duty, with the money raised being used to boost investment in roads and improve air quality. He also said he could maker Britain “pothole free” within five years. The Hungarian, who is the youngest ever winner of the prize, said he was “over the moon” to have won.


Visa considers incentives for UK firms to go cashless 

Visa has said it is considering offering incentives to UK businesses to go cashless, after introducing a similar scheme in the US. The payments company is selecting 50 small companies in the US to receive $10,000 if they only use cards. The companies have to bid for the money by explaining how going cashless would affect them, their staff and customers. However the idea has been sharply criticised by consumer groups, who say cash is still vital for many people.


Weak pound sees surge in tourists visiting UK

The weakness of sterling was behind a surge in the number of tourists visiting the UK in the first three months of 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number of holidaymakers coming to the UK rose by 21.1% – although the number of business visitors declined. Overall there were a record 8.3 million visits in the quarter, a rise of nearly 10% on the same period in 2016. The visitors spent £4.4bn while in the country, also a record amount.



The Times


Dirty cloud of emissions scandal deepens over Mercedes maker Daimler 

Daimler was dragged deeper into the diesel emissions scandal yesterday after a document showed it may have sold more than a million manipulated vehicles in Europe and the US. A search warrant for 11 premises of the German luxury carmaker claimed emissions were suspiciously high in engines used for almost a decade in cars and vans including C, E and R class Mercedes. Daimler, based in Stuttgart, was promptly summoned to explain the revelations to the German committee investigating illegal software used by Volkswagen to fool official exhaust tests.


Digital tax payments put on hold for small businesses 

The government has bowed to pressure from small business owners, politicians and campaigners and delayed contentious plans to force millions of small businesses to update the taxman four times a year instead of once. In an embarrassing climbdown, ministers also said the smallest businesses and landlords would be allowed to move to the new digital approach to taxation “at a pace that is right for them”. The government had wanted companies to comply with its radical “making tax digital” reforms by April 2018. The proposals affect an estimated 1.6 million companies, 2.4 million self-employed, and 900,000 residential landlords.


Britain’s cold call nuisance is the worst in Europe 

Britain is the worst country in Europe for cold calling and the nuisance is growing, researchers say. The number of spam calls has increased by 180 per cent in the past ten months with Britons collectively being bombarded with 2.6 million calls a month despite new rules to try to limit the problem. In Europe, only the Italians come close to receiving as many unwanted calls as British people. The French are pestered less than half as much. The research identifies the claims management industry as the main reason why British households receive more calls than their European neighbours. It said that one in four unwanted calls came from companies trying to persuade people to make payment protection insurance claims.



The Guardian


Electric cars to account for all new vehicle sales in Europe by 2035 

All new cars sold in Europe will be electric within less than two decades, driven by government support, falling battery costs and economies of scale, a Dutch bank has predicted. However, ING warned that with battery-powered vehicles accounting for 100% of registrations in 2035 across the continent, European carmakers would lose out to their rivals in the US and Asia who already lead on battery production. The forecast is much more aggressive than most other projections, such as the UK’s National Grid which on Thursday said it expects 90% of new cars in Britain to be electric by 2050.



The Daily Mail


The car wheel that can’t be wrecked by potholes: Flexible rubber flanges built into metal rims could save your vehicle 

Driving through a pothole can damage your tyres, rock the suspension and even crack your shiny alloy wheels.

So a wheel that is apparently able to ‘eliminate road-based damage’ will be welcomed by motorists used to bumping along our crumbling highways. Michelin’s Acorus alloy has been developed over the past two years and features tough but flexible rubber flanges built directly into the metal rim where it meets the tyre.



Posted by Paul Carpenter on 14/07/2017