OPINIONS SHIFT TOWARDS LONGER WORKING LIVES
A majority of Britons now favour longer working lives if it means a more generous pension in retirement, a significant shift of opinion in the few years since the subject was raised by the Pensions Commission report in 2005. A Financial Times/Harris survey of 1,126 adults in Britain conducted in early May, found that 60 per cent of respondents would support working beyond the current state pension age in order to receive a bigger pension.
EDF CALLS FOR SUPPORT FOR NUCLEAR INDUSTRY
New nuclear power stations will not be built in Britain unless the government provides financial support for the industry, the head of the country’s biggest nuclear generator has warned.
Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of the UK subsidiary of EDF, told the Financial Times that a “level playing field” had to be created that would allow the nuclear industry to compete with other low-emission electricity sources such as wind power.
His comments call into question the government’s plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations, which ministers have insisted can be delivered without any additional subsidy.
OBAMA URGED TO CURB BUY AMERICAN MEASURES
The Obama administration faces mounting pressure to wind back Buy American measures passed by Congress this year amid growing concerns that they hurt some US workers they were designed to help. The measures, which were in the $787bn (£495bn) US stimulus bill, require any project funded with stimulus money to use only US-made steel, iron and manufactured goods.
CITY POLICE WARN OF HUGE RISE IN FRAUD CASES
Fraud is soaring during the recession and must be made a police priority, the senior officer heading the national drive against economic crime, Mike Bowron, said. The number of reported frauds rose by 64 per cent during the past financial year, with people from all walks of life falling victim.
FRENCH FARMERS BLOCK FACTORIES
Dairy farmers yesterday blocked cheese factories in France and staged demonstrations in Germany and Belgium in a campaign for a return to fixed prices, regulation and subsidies.
With the price of milk falling by 30 per cent in the past year, farmers stepped up pressure on the European Union’s agriculture ministers to reinstate policies that resulted in €16bn (£14bn) of aid a year for the Continent’s dairy industry.
The Daily Telegraph
BUSINESS LEADERS QUESTION THIRD RUNWAY PLAN FOR HEATHROW
The chief executive of Kingfisher Ian Cheshire is one of the 13 heavyweight signatories of an open letter urging the Government to rethink its Heathrow expansion plans – debunking the myth that business is squarely behind the third runway. The others include Charles Dunstone, the chief executive of Carphone Warehouse and Justin King, the J Sainsbury boss.
CLARKS MAKES STRIDES
Clarks, the privately-owned shoe specialist, is looking to exploit the “relative disarray” of its high street competitors as it posted a 16 per cent rise in annual profits. The 174-year-old company has also signalled its intention to rationalise its network of 400 high street shops after its direct sales website, launched in October, “made a highly encouraging start”.
WALL STREET JOURNAL
DERIPASKA NEARS DEAL TO RETAIN HIS EMPIRE
Embattled Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska is close to agreements to restructure his companies’ multibillion-dollar debts that should allow his empire to survive without losing control of its major assets, a top lieutenant said in an interview. “We’re now in the position where, except for a few difficult situations, we think the businesses will make it,” Olga Zinovieva, first deputy chief executive of Deripaska’s Basic Element holding company said.
WRITE-DOWNS HIT NORILSK’S NET
Russian miner OAO Norilsk Nickel said today it swung to a net loss in 2008 as it wrote down the value of its electricity business and foreign mines. The company posted a net loss of $449m (£282m) compared with a net profit of $5.33bn a year earlier.