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FTThe Financial Times

Hyundai and Kia slip back on road to European CO2 targets

Hyundai and Kia are on course to miss European targets for carbon emissions after the Korean carmakers’ average figures went into reverse last year, industry research shows. The sister companies’ fleet-wide carbon dioxide emissions were higher in 2014 than the year before, making them the only big carmakers to lose ground in the battle to meet stiff regulatory targets by the end of the decade, according to data from PA Consulting.

Volkswagen emissions scandal heightens platinum concerns

Investors are growing increasingly nervous about platinum prices in the face of the Volkswagen emission test cheating scandal and falling jewellery sales in China. Prices for the metal, which is used to make diesel catalysts in some of the vehicles at the heart of the VW affair, have slumped 29 per cent this year, their lowest since 2009. Analysts have estimated that demand for jewellery in China could decline by 9 per cent this year, putting further pressure on the precious metal.

Autumn Statement 2015: What’s going to give?

George Osborne insisted there had been no cabinet “war”, but no amount of political balm can disguise the fact that his latest five-year spending review, to be announced on Wednesday, is the result of weeks of political attrition.

Mr Osborne has been seeking £20bn of public spending reductions from “unprotected” areas — including police, business support, science, local government and justice — amounting to cuts of about 25 per cent by 2020.

Whiplash claims curb may cut car insurance cost

Motor insurance bills could fall by up to £50 a year under new measures to crack down on whiplash claims announced in the government’s Autumn Statement. Chancellor George Osborne said he plans to end the right to claim cash compensation for minor whiplash injuries, which the government calculates would remove £1bn from the cost of providing motor insurance. Those who sustain serious whiplash injuries will still be able to claim. The government expects the saving to be passed to customers rather than retained by the insurers. Potentially fraudulent whiplash claims have been a bugbear for the UK insurance industry. According to the Association of British Insurers, whiplash claims cost £2bn a year in total.

South Korea orders Volkswagen to recall 125,000 cars

South Korea has fined Volkswagen Won14.1bn ($12.3m) for rigging emissions tests and ordered a recall of more than 125,000 diesel vehicles in the latest setback to the German carmaker. The environment ministry said on Thursday, after a two-month investigation of several models made by Volkswagen and its premium brand Audi, that the world’s second-largest carmaker had fitted “defeat devices” to bypass environmental standards.

Autumn Statement: apprenticeship levy will hit wages, OBR warns

The apprenticeship levy will damage wage growth as employers pass on the cost to their employees, the official fiscal watchdog has warned. The Office for Budget Responsibility said the levy, together with the cost of pensions auto-enrolment, would reduce cumulative wage growth over the next five years by 0.7 per cent.

The Times

Drivers urged to walk

Eight out of ten drivers admit to making short journeys that could be easily made by foot, by bike, or public transport. Almost two thirds of car journeys in Britain are under five miles, while almost a quarter are less than one mile. Congestion costs the British economy 4.3 billion per year.

The Daily Telegraph

Volkswagen emissions scandal: company can fix 90pc of cars

Volkswagen has found technical solutions for more than 90pc of the vehicles affected by its emissions scandal in Europe. The recall process is now viable “technically, financially and in terms of manpower. This is good news,” chief executive Matthias Mueller said. “For over 90pc of the Europe group’s vehicles, solutions are now confirmed,” he told VW executives at the car giant’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. The car maker has admitted to fitting 11m diesel engines worldwide with software that skewed the results of tests for nitrogen oxide emissions.

Autumn Statement 2015: what it could mean for you

The Chancellor’s budget has the potential to take hundreds from families’ wallets, but it also can give money back – in the form, for example, of tax cuts. With changes to income tax and national insurance, as well as a restructuring of welfare, the amount people pay into – or take from – the public purse may change significantly under George Osborne’s Autumn Statement tomorrow.

The Guardian

Retailers braced for £1bn Black Friday bonanza

Black Friday could become the UK’s first £1 billion online shopping day as consumers and retailers prepare for the annual bargain frenzy. Online retailers are braced for a shopper onslaught from midnight as deals go live, while some stores will open their doors at the same time to customers hoping to snatch bargains on everything from TVs to slippers.

Police have warned shops to ensure they have carefully thought-out security plans in place for the sales following chaos at a number of stores across the UK last year when huge crowds grappled for cut-price televisions and other big-ticket items.

The Daily Express

Fury as Volkswagen rule out compensation to British owners of diesel cheating cars

In a further outrage, the German car giant has promised that it will pay-off owners of affected vehicles in America, while refusing to give anything to Europeans. The car firm estimates 11million cars globally have defeat devices that rig official pollution tests.  Volkswagen has confirmed payments of £330 ($500) to drivers in the US, plus another £330 ($500) of credit vouchers.

The Daily Mail

Potholes to be filled with £250m as transport investment is increased by 50% to £61bn

A pothole fund of £250million to fix bumps in the road was welcome news for drivers and came as part of a package of cash for Britain’s creaking transport system.

 

Posted by Sue Robinson on 27/11/2015