The Sunday Telegraph
ITV’S NEW CHAIRMAN: UK FACES ‘NATIONAL CRISIS’
Archie Norman, the chairman of ITV, has said that the UK is facing an economic “national crisis” worse than that faced by Margaret Thatcher at the end of the 1970s. In his first interview since becoming chairman of the broadcaster, Norman also revealed ITV would look at using pay-tv mechanisms within the next few years.
TAX RISES DRIVE WINE MAKERS OUT OF BRITAIN
Constellation Brands and Foster’s Group – which own brands including Hardys, Lindemans and Penfolds and employ thousands of people in the UK – have accused the government of “decimating” the UK wine trade with constant tax rises. The world’s two biggest wine producers are scaling back their investment in the UK.
The Sunday Times
COURT CLUE ON E-CLEAR INSOLVENCY
The mystery over trading at E-Clear, the card payments group linked to a string of company failures, has deepened after the disclosure that a Canadian tour operator won a High Court judgment for £46m against it eight months before it collapsed into administration. The case raises fresh questions about whether E-Clear was trading insolvently for months.
BLUE CHIPS SCRAMBLE TO BEAT 50P TAX RATE
Eight of Britain’s biggest companies are paying bonuses early so their high earners can avoid the new 50 per cent rate of tax. Tesco, Whitbread, SAB Miller, Land Securities and the London Stock Exchange have brought forward payments to avoid the new rate, which starts on 6 April. Dairycrest, Invensys and Allen & Overy have done the same.
TORIES TO HONOUR UNION FUNDING DEALS
A Conservative government would continue multi-million-pound state funding of trade unions in spite of the party’s hardline rhetoric against the strikes, David Cameron’s union envoy has said. Richard Balfe, appointed by the Tory leader to improve the party’s relations with the unions, said Cameron would not be seeking to pick a fight.
CAPITA SEES JOBS SWITCH FROM UK
The chief operating officer of Capita has predicted a fresh wave of UK jobs lost to offshoring as one of Britain’s biggest outsourcers cranks up its Indian operations. Simon Pillings said the company expected to see its Indian headcount increase by almost a third over the next year and a half.
The Daily Telegraph
RIO TINTO CHINA TRIAL WILL BE POLITICAL, WARNS LAWYER
The trial in China of four Rio Tinto employees, which opens today, will be political despite Chinese assurances to the contrary, a defence lawyer has warned. Stern Hu, 47, the former head of Rio Tinto in China, faces charges of stealing commercial secrets and receiving bribes alongside three of his Chinese colleagues.
BAE TO LOSE OUT ON MOD CONTRACT
The government is expected to announce General Dynamics as the winner of a £2bn armoured vehicle contract, after last-ditch efforts by rival bidder BAE Systems to change the decision went unheeded. BAE last week offered to move more of the work on the vehicle it would build from Sweden to Newcastle, in an attempt to make its bid more compelling to the government.
CITY SCOFFS AT TREASURY BID TO LURE HIGH-FLYERS
City bankers have scoffed at the pay and terms being offered by the Treasury as it tries to recruit top-flight staff for the Asset Protection Agency. The APA, set up to oversee hundreds of billions of pounds in bad banking debts, is understood to want to more than double its direct staff from 25 to 55. The salary being offered is £100,000 to £130,000, with a bonus of up to 10 per cent.
‘UNETHICAL’ CITY IS NO PLACE FOR US, SAY OXFORD UNDERGRADUATES
Britain’s brightest women students are turning their backs on careers in the City, with the Square Mile seen as unethical and rife with discrimination. The findings, from a survey of 450 Oxford students, prompted calls for financial services companies to enhance their appeal to women.