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Osborne’s first Tory Budget ‘soon’
George Osborne returns to the Treasury today with colleagues predicting that he will deliver his second Budget of 2015 “relatively soon” to mark a distinctive new phase of his chancellorship. With the Liberal Democrats ejected from 1 House Guards Road, Mr Obsorne now has the chance to deliver his first truly Conservative Budget, as well as an opportunity to make big cuts in an autumn public spending review.
Scotland vows to win greater powers over business taxes and welfare policy
The Scottish National party will make it a priority to win greater power over business taxes, welfare and the minimum wage following its landslide general election victory in Scotland, party leader Nicola Sturgeon has signalled.
Companies and Markets
China emerges as biggest oil importer
China overtook the US as the biggest importer of crude last month, the culmination of a big shift in energy flows during the past decade. Chinese customs data showed that oil purchases from overseas hit a high of 7.4m barrels a day in April, equivalent to one in every 13 barrels consumed and topping US imports of 7.2m barrels a day.
Brussels forces Britain to accept Med migrants
Plans by Brussels to force Britain to take in tens of thousands of refugees pulled from the Mediterranean have saddled David Cameron with the first battle of his new premiership. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, will confront the newly elected Conservative government this week with legislation for a mandatory migrant quota system.
Strong pound and weak oil play havoc with profits
A slump in the oil price and a strong pound wiped billions off the sales and profits of Britain’s biggest companies last year. The Share Centre analysed the numbers of all the companies to report their annual results on the first quarter of the year, which accounted for nearly half of the FTSE 350, and found net profits fell 9.8 per cent to £64.3 billion, the lowest level since 2008.
Green groups fear Cameron will block all new wind farms and boost shale gas
The Conservative election victory has dealt a severe blow to Britain’s green energy industry, campaigners have warned – as the new majority government prepares to scrap crucial subsidies for renewable power, champion the development of polluting shale gas, and make significant cuts to spending.
Eurosceptics push Cameron to score another victory – over EU concessions
David Cameron’s brief honeymoon after his stunning election victory has already ended after Eurosceptic Conservative MPs demanded that he win major concessions when he renegotiates the terms of Britain’s EU membership. The Europhobes admit the Prime Minister’s unexpected triumph has strengthened his position in the party, and insist there will be no repeat of the rebellions over Europe which destabilised John Major’s government in the 1990s.
Cameron pushes for victory in Europe
David Cameron has already begun negotiations with his European counterparts over Britain’s membership of the EU, it emerged last night, as sources indicated that an in-out referendum could take place as early as next year. Despite being re-elected only on Friday morning, Mr Cameron said the he had “already made calls” to other European leaders as he attempts to claw back powers from Brussels.
It’s ladies first, as ‘Dave’s darlings’ take one in three Cabinet positions
David Cameron will today promote a series of women in his post-election reshuffle, ensuring that one third of his Cabinet is female. The Prime Minister is expected to give senior roles to 11 women – dubbed “Dave’s darlings” – who performed well in the general election campaign.
Cameron rules out second Scots referendum
When asked whether there will be another Scots referendum, the Prime Minister said: “There’s not going to be another referendum. We had the referendum, and the SNP aren’t pushing for another referendum. Actually, Nicola Sturgeon has said that vote at the general election wasn’t about another referendum. We had the referendum. It was a clear result. Now what we need to do is bring the United Kingdom together. We’re going to do that by delivering settlement in Scotland, keeping all the pledges that were made. That’s one of the things this Government should be about – the idea of renewing and refreshing the United Kingdom.”
Rolls-Royce in line for hybrid trains deal
A new generation of quieter and greener trains could be coming to Britain, driven by a new hybrid power system built by Rolls-Royce. The company – best known for its aircraft engines but which also makes engines used on land and at sea – is developing a combined diesel-electric system that also incorporates batteries.