InvestmentsMay 31 2013

Morning papers: Infrastructure projects to get £15bn boost

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The coalition will announce £15bn of extra spending for future major infrastructure projects next month, in a move designed to stimulate the economy and challenge Labour to outline its own plans to revive growth, reports the Financial Times.

While the cabinet argues over one-year reductions to annual departmental budgets for 2015/16 ahead of next month’s spending review, the Treasury has been drawing up new capital expenditure plans for 2015-2020.

Transaction tax to be watered down after Europe stages all-out attack

The European Union is rowing back on its plan for an 11-nation tax on financial transactions after criticism from France and Germany, and even the reduced version is unlikely to go ahead as planned in January, it emerged yesterday, reports The Times.

Facing opposition from banks and markets and a challenge in the EU court by Britain, the tax rate could be drastically reduced from its planned 0.1 per cent levy on equity and debt transactions and 0.01 per cent on derivatives, bringing the annual take to a fraction of the expected €35 billion (£30 billion), according to EU sources.

Bonus culture cut back as fewer City workers get a payout

The City fat-cat culture is being reined in, with 14 per cent fewer people receiving any kind of bonus in the past year than did in 2011-12, research published yesterday reveals, reports the Independent.

In the previous financial year, 82 per cent of City professionals were awarded a bonus, but that dropped to 68 per cent last year, according to the recruitment firm Morgan McKinley.

Payday lenders exploited poor as Office of Fair Trading stood by, say MPs

The Office of Fair Trading is lambasted today by a parliamentary committee as “ineffective and timid” in failing to stamp out sharp practice in the payday loans industry, reports The Times.

The Public Accounts Committee said that the regulator had allowed “disgraceful” practices to take place and questioned why it had never used its power to issue fines.

Consumer confidence edges up as triple-dip recession fears recede

Consumers are becoming less gloomy about the economy and the state of their own finances amid signs that the outlook for growth has started to improve, reports the Guardian.

The monthly survey from the polling group GfK recorded a five-point jump in its confidence barometer in May, continuing its upward trend since the turn of the year.

OECD prepares new rules to limit corporate tax avoidance

The OECD is to draw up new rules to limit tax avoidance by some of the world’s largest businesses in time for a meeting of the G20 group of nations in July, reports the Guardian.