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Budget ‘has to keep UK manufacturing growing’ – Business leaders are demanding Government action in this week’s Budget to stop a recovery in manufacturing from fizzling out. Strong UK sales and more overseas trade resulted in firm orders and output in the first quarter of 2014, according to a survey from the Engineering Employers Federation and accountants BDO.
Road hogs hit by cops’ drive – Police have stopped 5,472 motorists for lane-hogging, tailgating, accelerating through puddles and other bad driving since new laws came in last August. Drivers who mount kerbs or push in to queues can also be fined up to £100, with three penalty points, or take a driver education option.
The Financial Times
Rosneft takes €500m stake in Pirelli – Rosneft, Russia’s biggest oil producer, has paid about €500m to become the largest shareholder in Italian tyremaker Pirelli in a shake-up of the top investors in the group. In the third revamp of Pirelli holding company Camfin in as many years, Rosneft will take 50 per cent of the vehicle’s new stock, while Milanese private equity company Clessidra, which invested a year ago, will exit, according to a statement.
Funds sought to jolt promises into action – The Treasury will roll out a red carpet to sovereign wealth funds on Budget day, publishing a £50bn list of infrastructure projects open to investment. They include wind farms, wave power projects and a giant London sewer. Yet many key road, rail and energy projects have only inched forward, despite the government’s announcement in 2011 of a National Infrastructure Plan with a shopping list of more than 500 schemes worth £375bn.
Businesses – The investment allowance on corporation tax has been doubled to £500,000, which means 99 per cent of companies will pay no tax on money used for capital spending. Support for enterprise zones has also been increased.
Bentley to export engines for first time – Bentley will begin exporting engines from the UK for the first time in its history, the car company said yesterday, in a timely announcement made just before the chancellor unveiled a basket of goodies for manufacturers in a Budget aimed at “the makers and exporters”. George Osborne, chancellor, doubled funding available to exporters and cut interest rates on the finance to levels the government said were now the best in Europe.
General Motors issues third recall in the US – General Motors’ woos mounted yesterday as the car giant disclosed a new recall of nearly 1.5m vehicles, the latest in a series which the company said would cost it $300m (£180m) in the first quarter. The company announced a trio of US recalls which it said had come as “a result of (chief executive) Mary Barra’s request for a comprehensive internal safety review” following an earlier ignition-switch recall.
Toyota ordered to pay record $1.2bn over safety failings – Toyota has agreed to pay $1.2bn in the US to end a criminal investigation into misleading statements the car company made about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles after a series of crashes. The deal, announced by the department of justice yesterday, caps a four-year investigation into the way Toyota disclosed issues related to allegations of sudden acceleration in its cars in the 2000s.
100,000 apprenticeships offer route into work – A further 1000,000 apprenticeships will be created to help more young people into work. This will include degree-level apprenticeships, providing an alternative route into jobs usually held by graduates, allowing young people to avoid university tuition fees. “I’m determined our country will out-compete, out-smart and out-do the rest of the world”, George Osborne said.
Robin Reliant now taxed as a classic car – The Reliant Robin is now classed as a classic vehicle. George Osborne announced that a rolling 40-year vehicle excise duty for classic cars will come in on 1 April.
Motorists’ duty frozen but a cut is resisted – The planned September fuel duty rise will now not take place, the fourth year it has been frozen, but motoring groups were disappointed after the Chancellor resisted calls for the tax to be cut.
The Daily Telegraph
Take the car to work? Its quicker to catch a ferry – A motorway is so congested that it is quicker for commuters to catch a ferry, taxi and hovercraft on a detour via the Isle of Wight instead. Traffic on the M27 between Southampton and Portsmouth frequently grinds to a half in the rush hour. A typical 44-mile commute from Lymington, Hants, to Portsmouth can take almost two hours. The same journey takes 87 minutes via the Isle of Wight.
The Daily Mail
Company car tax up by 2% – Company car drivers will be hit by a 2 per cent increase in Britain’s favourite executive perk. But there will be an increase in discounts for ultra-low emission vehicles and reduction in the rate of fuel duty for methanol.
£200m fund to fix potholes – Motorists are to benefit from a £200 million fund to fix potholes after the country’s roads took a ‘battering’ during the winter. Motoring groups and councils welcomed the extra cash, but said it wouldn’t go far enough. George Osborne said he was making the cash available in response to repeated criticism from Michael Ellis, the Conservative MP for Northampton North.
Porsche recalls 1,800 supercars – Porsche will replace the engines of all its current 911 GT3 supercars after two of them caught fire. The firm had already told 785 owners of the £100,540 cars, including 160 in the UK, to stop driving while it investigated.