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Two out of three new cars pay no tax in first year
Two-thirds of new cars sold in the UK have such low carbon emission ratings that they pay no tax for the first year, putting pressure on revenues raised by the Treasury. UK motorists buy more plug-in cars – hybrid vehicles with rechargeable batteries or fully electric models – than any other European country, although the number is a small fraction of annual sales, at almost 15,000 in 2014 against overall UK car sales of 2.5m.
Companies and Markets
Oil majors halt west Africa projects
Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total have delayed multibillion-dollar off-shore oil projects in west Africa as part of efforts to rein in costs and shore up cash flow following the collapse in crude prices.
Big oil seizes the chance offered by crude crash
As oil companies grapple with the consequences of the plunge in the value of crude over the past nine months, some are coming to a paradoxical conclusion: they may be better off when prices are low than when they are high.
Digital licence could cause car-hire chaos
Motorists trying to hire a car overseas are facing chaos because of the abolition of the paper counterpart driving licence, experts have warned. The paper licence, which carries information on endorsements and fines, is being abolished on June 8 in favour of a computerised system.
Half of drivers admit flouting traffic laws
Almost half of motorists routinely flout the rules of the road, a study finds today, with women considerably more likely to admit to dangerous driving. Research found that 49 per cent of motorists regularly failed to comply with road regulations.
Centrica’s shareholders protest over new chief’s pay package
British Gas-owner Centrica was hit by the City’s latest pay revolt yesterday, over incentives handed to its new chief executive, the former BP man Iain Conn. Overall, 33 per cent of investors failed to back the energy supplier’s remuneration policy at its annual meeting in London, following a critical report by the influential advisory group, ISS.
Europe will be reliant on Russian gas imports for years, warns Centrica
Europe will remain dependent on Russian gas for years to come, energy giant Centrica has warned, dismissing as “unrealistic” suggestions that the EU can replace it with other sources. European leaders have scrambled to try to cut reliance on imports from Russia since the Ukraine crisis escalated last year, with Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, suggesting that loft insulation and wind farms were needed to “take on the Kremlin”.
Tullow Oil can still drill in Ghana, court rules
An international court has ruled that Tullow Oil can continue working on its off-shore oil project in Ghana until a maritime borders dispute with the Ivory Coast has been resolved.
City & Finance
Government will keep BP British
The Government could step in to protect BP from any potential takeover amid rumours US groups ExxonMobil and Chevron could be interested. The oil giant became the target of takeover rumours following Royal Dutch Shell’s £47bn move to buy rival BG Group earlier this month.