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CLEAN UP YOUR ACT Cheap hand car washes in petrol stations and supermarkets to be investigated over SLAVERY fears
CHEAP hand car washes will be investigated by MPs over slavery and health fears. The Environment Audit Committee is to review the “too good to be true” prices after reports of trafficking workers. Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has welcomed the MP review.
He said: “We have been lobbying Defra repeatedly over the lack of enforcement regarding the estimated 6,500 cubic metres of chemical trade effluent produced by hand car washes which pollutes local water courses.
“We have also met with officials from both the Home Office and the Treasury Select Committee over breaches to the Modern Slavery Act and the millions of pounds lost in tax revenues.”
End doubts over diesel’s future, says Ford boss
Uncertainty about the future of diesel is threatening the UK car industry and leaving drivers in limbo, according to Ford’s UK boss. Andy Barratt said consumers were buying fewer diesel cars, fearing they were polluting and will face new taxes. However, he claimed new diesels were “every bit as clean” as petrol cars. Government and industry must do more to reassure consumers, Mr Barratt warned, given there had already been job cuts as diesel sales slide. Diesel is vital to the UK industry as it makes almost a million diesel engines a year, most of which are exported.
Welsh and UK governments agree Brexit bill deal
The UK and Welsh governments have reached agreement over a long-running Brexit “power-grab” row. The agreement on changes to the UK Government EU (Withdrawal) Bill follows months of discussions. Wales’ Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said the deal means powers in areas “currently devolved remain devolved”. Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood accused Labour of selling Wales “down the river” and capitulating to Westminster. David Lidington, UK Cabinet Office minister, said the deal represented a “significant achievement that will provide legal certainty”.
Volvo and GM roll out in-car deliveries with Amazon
Volvo and General Motors are rolling out in-car deliveries with Amazon across the US, the latest in a wave of partnerships between carmakers and technology groups to sweep the industry. Customers of Volvo or GM brands Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac, can use Amazon’s Key app to get packages delivered to their vehicles across 37 cities in the US and surrounding areas, the companies announced on Tuesday. The app allows keyless entry, remote locking and guest access. Although Volvo has launched a similar service in Sweden and Switzerland, the US move is a big expansion of in-car deliveries, which it expects could potentially reach millions of Volvo owners. GM said the service would reach more than 7m customers.
Philip Hammond hits deficit target as borrowing at lowest since 2002
After more than 15 years of borrowing to meet the costs of day-to-day services such as health and pensions — its current budget — the government has finally balanced the books. Official figures show that last year Britain ran a £112 million surplus on the current budget, the first since 2001-02. Although the government still borrowed £42.6 billion in the year to March, balancing the current budget was a landmark moment: it meant that the state technically paid its way on core public services as every penny borrowed was invested in infrastructure, including roads, rail, hospitals and schools. It also meant that George Osborne’s 2010 rule on the public finances as chancellor had been delivered, albeit two years late.