Morning papers: MPs slam adviser over £8m Royal Mail profit

The investment arm of the government’s independent adviser on the privatisation of Royal Mail made an £8m profit selling shares in the company during the first week of trading, the Financial Times revealed.

Lazard’s bankers faced criticism from MPs after it was disclosed that Lazard Asset Management had been allocated 6m of the 13m shares reserved for the banks advising on the deal.

LAM was among 16 preferential investors, whose identity was revealed by Vince Cable, business secretary, on Wednesday (30 April).

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Miliband to unveil rental reforms

A future Labour government would ban landlords from evicting tenants as a quick way of increasing rental income, Ed Miliband will announce today (1 May).

The Guardian reveals in a policy designed to be one of the most eye-catching elements in his campaign to tackle the “cost of living crisis”, the Labour leader will pledge to introduce three-year tenancy agreements with strict rules to make it more difficult to evict tenants.

Bank of England reviews practice of destroying MPC meeting tapes

The Bank of England is considering whether to keep recordings of key policy meetings following pressure from MPs, according to the Financial Times.

The central bank has appointed Kevin Warsh, a former governor of the US Federal Reserve, to look at its practice of destroying tapes of meetings without keeping a transcript.

The move is a significant u-turn for the BoE, which had stoutly defended the routine in March after the Treasury select committee queried the practice.

Higher rate payers shoulder tax burden

Higher rate taxpayers will shoulder the burden of two thirds of Britain’s entire tax bill by the next election even though they represent just 16 per cent of the population, according to official figures revealed in The Telegraph.

People hit by the 40p and 45p rate will pay 67 per cent of Britain’s total tax bill by 2014/15, despite being outnumbered by lower paid workers at a rate of one to five.

The new figures, published by HMRC, will fuel the debate in the Conservative party about the need to lessen the tax burden being imposed on middle earners in their election manifesto.

Under Coalition, more than a million additional middle income earners will have been dragged into the 40p and 45p rates between 2011/12 and 2014/15 after George Osborne ignored calls to raise the threshold in his budget.

This so-called “fiscal drag” has been lucrative for HM Treasury but Conservative MPs tell The Telegraph they believe that it has resulted in the punishment of too many families who are already suffering from rising food and energy prices.