David Gauke, exchequer secretary, said the government was trying to attract investment by lowering the corporate tax rate, in spite of a growing debate over whether multinationals such as Google and Starbucks pay enough UK tax.
FTSE 100 closes at highest level since September 2000
The benchmark index of leading shares advanced 32.57 points to close at 6,755.63 on Monday, its highest since September 2000, as global markets continued to power upwards, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The FTSE 100, which has a much greater exposure to the world economy than it does to the British economy, has been boosted by central bank interest rate cuts and quantitative easing around the world. That has sent the benchmark index up 14.5 per cent since the start of the year.
Vince Cable demands increase in lending to small businesses by bailed-out bank
Royal Bank of Scotland is not trying hard enough to lend to the country’s small and medium-sized companies, the business secretary warned yesterday, according to The Times.
Vince Cable said that RBS and Lloyds each needed to take more responsibility for the economic recovery by helping companies to grow, but added that one was “trying a bit harder than the other”.
G4S boss Nick Buckles quits
Nick Buckles has unexpectedly quit as chief executive of G4S, the company responsible for the botched handling of security at last year’s Olympics, reports The Guardian.
Buckles is being replaced by the company’s chief financial officer, Ashley Almanza, who only joined G4S three weeks ago. The world’s largest security company told the City this morning that Buckles, who was paid a basic salary of £830,000 a year, will leave on 31 May.
Berlin plans partial EU treaty change
Berlin is drawing up plans for treaty changes to streamline decision-making in the eurozone, while stopping short of any wholesale renegotiation that would allow the UK to repatriate powers from Brussels, reports the Financial Times.
Although Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has expressed her desire to keep the UK inside the EU, the move being discussed in Berlin would thwart a plan by David Cameron, UK prime minister, to piggyback on eurozone reforms to renegotiate the British relationship with Brussels.
Qatar snaps up stakes in key lenders
Qatar is launching another multi-billion dollar push into the banking sector, buying fresh stakes in Russia’s VTB and Germany’s Deutsche Bank, reports the Financial Times.