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The National Living Wage has not affected employment, says the body that monitors low pay for the government.
The Low Pay Commission said it had found “no clear evidence” of changes in employment or hours since the higher minimum wage was introduced in April. It said employment had continued to rise even in sectors most obviously affected, such as cleaning, hotels, horticulture and retail. The finding contradicts warnings from economists over the wage’s impact.
‘Have cake and eat it’ Brexit notes played down by government
The government has distanced itself from a page of Brexit notes caught on camera in Westminster.
The handwritten notes, carried by an aide to Conservative MP Mark Field, included “what’s the model? Have your cake and eat it” and “unlikely” in reference to the EU single market. They were photographed after Mr Field and his aide left a meeting with the Brexit department at 9 Downing Street. The government said the notes did not reflect its Brexit position.
The government is to outline how it aims to curb executive pay and target boardroom excesses in private firms as well as listed companies. Theresa May said she wanted to stop an “irresponsible minority” of private firms acting badly.
The prime minister said the changes would mean “everybody plays by the same rules”. The move follows widespread anger over the collapse of BHS with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a big pension deficit.
England’s most dangerous roads will be fitted with speed cameras, warning signs and traffic-calming measures using a £175 million safety fund, it was announced yesterday. The Department for Transport said that the 50 worst A-roads would be targeted after a spate of serious accidents. Almost 400 miles of road will benefit from a new fund designed to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries, usually in high-speed crashes.
Greg Clark, the business, energy and industrial strategy secretary, has said making Britain a world-leading hub for next-generation electric vehicles will be at the heart of the government’s new industrial strategy, providing one of the clearest indications yet of the sectors it wants to focus on in a post-Brexit economy. Clark said the automotive sector, particularly electric vehicles, driverless cars and battery storage, will be a “emblematic area of focus” and is going to be “one of the big features of the world and Britain’s industrial policy during the weeks, months and years ahead”.
Plans for independent checks of how much pollution new cars emit are being killed off by EU member states, according to leaked documents seen by the Guardian. After the Dieselgate scandal, the European commission proposed empowering its respected science wing, the Joint Research Centre, to inspect vehicles separately from national authorities, which are paid by the car manufacturers they regulate.
But an EU pledge to “organise and carry out” emissions tests has been deleted from a draft regulation, which will be discussed by EU ministers this week in Brussels.
Julia Poliscanova, a spokeswoman for the green campaign group, Transport and Environment, said: “There is a Mexican standoff going on, with governments afraid to act against their own fraudulent carmakers for fear it will put their domestic industry at a competitive disadvantage.
Volkswagen Group has agreed to extend a 20 billion-euro ($21.2 billion) bank credit line, which is part of the automaker’s efforts to maintain its financial strength while it counts the full cost of its diesel emissions scandal. VW secured the one-year bridge loan last December after the biggest corporate scandal in its history wiped billions off its market value and made it much more expensive for the company to borrow in the debt market. “We have now decided to extend the credit line until June 2017,” VW told Reuters in an email on Monday
The credit line will protect the financial framework for the group’s operations and increase its financial flexibility, VW said. VW faces a record-breaking corporate settlement with regulators and vehicle owners in the U.S. where in September 2015 it was found to have cheated diesel engine emissions tests.