Tory plan to raise allowance to £12,500
Senior Conservative politicians are drawing up plans to raise the personal tax allowance to £12,500 as a key election pledge in 2015. Top party officials believe the move will enable the Tories to claim they are tackling the cost of living crisis by taking low earners out of tax completely, while also appealing to core voters who will benefit from a tax cut.
Lloyds warns of Help to Buy bubble
One of Britain’s big four banks has warned that the government’s Help to Buy mortgage scheme risks creating a dangerous bubble in property prices unless steps are taken to free up planning restrictions and boost the supply of new housing.
António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group and one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the government’s initiative to make home ownership more affordable, said the policy could only succeed if accompanied by broader reform.
Gulf oil production hits record
The Gulf states are producing more oil than ever before, defying expectations that the US shale revolution would break their 40-year grip on the global oil market and diminish their importance to the world’s consuming nations. Surging production in North America is expected to eat into the market for oil from Opec. But the quartet of Gulf kingdoms that dominate the cartel of oil exporters have so far emerged unscathed.
Overdraft costs ‘can outdo payday loans’
Using an overdraft at a high street bank can cost more than taking out a payday loan, research has shown. Which?, the consumer group which conducted the study, said that the mainstream credit industry was in as much need of regulation as the much-criticised fringe players.
Familiar player is ready for Gala Bingo
Luke Johnson is mulling a return to the bingo hall, seven years after last scooping a big prize from the number-matching game. Mr Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners is understood to be examining the Gala Bingo chain as its American owners prepare to hoist a £250m-plus “For Sale” sign over it.
The Daily Telegraph
Parents could set up new schools
Parents would be allowed to set up new schools in the public sector under a Labour government, the new shadow education secretary has said.
Tristram Hunt softened his criticism of the Coalition’s free schools project and said Labour would offer its own version of the policy but impose more curbs on any new schools.
Chinese want to sell British milk
Chinese state-owned conglomerates are approaching British dairy farmers to secure millions of litres of UK milk, opening a potentially vast new market at a time when some farmers struggle to make a profit.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Netflix pursues cable-TV deals
Netflix is in talks with several US pay-television providers including Comcast and Suddenlink Communications to make its online video service available as an app on their set-top boxes, people familiar with the matter say. A deal would mark the online video service’s first such US tie-up. The talks are in early stages with no deal imminent.
Automated ad buying surges online
Machines are taking over more of the process of buying online advertising, according to a new study. Automated ad buying, in which marketers use computerized systems to target users based on consumer data and Web-browsing histories, is expected to increase 56 per cent this year in the US to $7.4bn.