NHS chief says service bogged in law
The NHS is becoming “bogged down in a morass of competition law” which is leading to higher costs and making it harder to reorganise services in the interests of patients, its chief executive said yesterday. Giving evidence to the health select committee, Sir David Nicholson suggested that the law governing competition in the health service might have to be changed “to enable us to get out of this problem”. Sir David said that it had been clear from his conversations with senior politicians when the legislation was framed that they had viewed competition as “a tool to improve quality to be used when commissioners felt it was the right thing to do”.
Bangladesh workers to see wage rise
Bangladesh is set to raise the minimum wages for its garment workers by 77 per cent, after a series of paralysing strikes disrupted production at many garment factories over the summer, and again in September. Bangladesh’s garment industry is one of the world’s biggest suppliers to western brands after China.
Obama meets business on migration
Barack Obama’s meeting on Tuesday with an array of senior business leaders to press his case for an overhaul of US immigration policy was much more than just another staged public relations event in the White House. Obama’s authority and credibility are being corroded by failures in implementing the biggest reform of his presidency in healthcare.
Chemicals plants ‘rely on shale gas’
The owner of the Scottish petrochemical plant in Grangemouth has warned that developing Britain’s shale gas reserves is critical to the chemical industry’s survival. Tom Crotty, director of Ineos, said that chemical plants are being crippled by rising energy costs.
Use sheep to mow, councils told
Using sheep instead of lawnmowers is one way that councils are being urged to save money.
A councillor from Hammersmith has compiled a list of 201 ways in which cash-strapped authorities can avoid putting up council tax. Published by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, it shows that town halls could save millions of pounds.
The Daily Telegraph
Power crisis risk worse than feared
The risk of power shortages this winter has been underestimated by ministers and the National Grid, with factory shutdowns and “politically unacceptable” price spikes more likely than had been feared, energy giant SSE has warned.
Smith sold four stocks in three years
Terry Smith, the controversial fund manager, has sold just four stocks in three years while delivering returns that put his Fundsmith fund near the top of the performance tables.
Mr Smith, who is also chief executive of the broker Tullett Prebon, has steered Fundsmith Equity to a 61 per cent return, three years after it launched.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Germany asks UK on spying reports
The German foreign ministry invited the UK ambassador in Berlin to a meeting Tuesday to discuss fresh media reports that the UK had been spying on the German government. Ambassador Simon McDonald was called to the ministry where he spoke to the head of the European department, Michael Clauss, the ministry said.
Tesla posts loss as output climbs
Tesla Motors reported a narrower third quarter net loss on higher production but its shares fell sharply in after-hours trading as investors worried the luxury electric car maker’s outlook for revenue and profit fell short.