Morning papers: Business still favours UK tax regime

Britain is still the favourite tax regime of business but its lead over low-tax rivals such as Ireland, Luxembourg and Switzerland has narrowed amid tense debate over tax avoidance, according to a survey, reports the Financial Times.

Two-thirds of the UK’s largest quoted companies said the media and political storm over avoidance was likely to deter investment in Britain, in a sign of nervousness about the risk of reputational damage and a change in government policy.

Fresh fears of housing bubble as demand soars and supply shrinks

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A 10.2 per cent jump in housing demand in the last six months will add to fears that the property market could soon become overheated, reports the Independent.

According to a national housing survey published today, supply shrank 0.6 per cent over the same time period. In the last month demand climbed 3 per cent while supply fell 3.5 per cent. That imbalance led to a 0.5 per cent rise in prices, leaving November the third month in a row to record such an increase.

Cyber Monday splurge to hit £500m

Consumers will complete the most online transactions ever recorded in a single day on Cyber Monday, spending more than £500m, according to forecast data from Sage Pay, reports the Daily Telegraph.

It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year for British retailers, following hot on the heels of Black Friday. Last year, shoppers spent of £456m, according to Sage Pay’s records.

Industry near ‘crisis point’ over green taxes

British industry has warned that green taxes are pushing it to “crisis point” even as George Osborne prepares to cut environmental levies on household energy bills in this week’s Autumn Statement, reports the Financial Times.

Leading industrialists from companies such as Tata Steel and Ineos told the Financial Times that green taxes were putting their British plants at a competitive disadvantage relative to those plants’ European competitors. They urged David Cameron and his chancellor to extend their pledge to “roll back” the levies on households to manufacturing plants.

RBS to push ahead with bonuses as probe nears

The Royal Bank of Scotland is pressing ahead with plans to pay multi-million pound bonuses, in spite of the launch of a regulatory probe into its lending practices, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Sources at RBS said the size of the bonus pool would not be affected by the decision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate allegations that the bank had deliberately pushed companies into default.

Crowdfunding clampdown may hit small firms hard

Plans to regulate crowdfunding could deprive thousands of small businesses of a crucial source of finance, MPs and industry experts are warning.

They say that rules intended to protect small investors strike the wrong balance on key issues and threaten the growth of the practice.