Wednesday newspaper round-up: Public pay, bank warning, Amazon, Brexit

Digital Look Sharecast | 13 Sep, 2017 07:33 | | |


Theresa May’s government faces months of strife over public sector pay after a decision to lift the 1% annual cap on increases was met with derision from Labour and renewed threats of strikes by trade unions. Following months of pressure over the issue, Downing Street simultaneously announced above 1% pay rises for police and prison officers in the last of the 2017-18 deals, and a wider commitment to “flexibility” for all public sector workers from next year. - Guardian

The UK’s high street banks are an accident waiting to happen and could struggle in another financial crisis, according to an academic report published on Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary of the run on Northern Rock. The report criticises the annual health checks – stress tests – that have been conducted by the Bank of England since the crisis and concludes that the methodology used by Threadneedle Street is flawed and the tests not gruelling enough. - Guardian

The number of consumers switching to a new energy supplier soared in the wake of a price increase from British Gas, creating the market’s biggest ever year on year surge last month. Fresh figures from Energy UK have revealed that nearly half a million customers switched their energy supplier in August, a 30pc jump from the number who switched in the same month last year. - Telegraph

MPs have supported controversial changes to parliamentary committees amid warnings the government’s proposals were a fresh “power grab” after the election. A motion allowing the Tories to have a majority on crucial legislative committees that drive the Commons agenda was approved by 320 votes to 301, majority 19. - Guardian

British bookshops pay 11 times the rate of corporation tax paid by Amazon, according to a report that has prompted outrage from booksellers. Bookshops across the UK pay an estimated £12 million in corporation tax each year, the report says. This equates to 91p for every £100 of turnover, a rate more than 11 times the 8p of corporation tax paid by Amazon for more than £100 of turnover. - The Times

Jean-Claude Juncker will today use a flagship speech to snub Britain and insist that, despite Brexit, the European Union will move towards greater integration. The Telegraph can reveal that Mr Juncker’s top aide Martin Selmayr told a behind-closed door meeting of EU diplomats that European Union countries that wish to remain at the “core” of the European project after Brexit will have to join the euro. - Telegraph

UK apple growers are in the grip of a 20% shortfall in the supply of seasonal labour, pushing them towards “a cliff edge” as Brexit nears, the industry has warned. At the start of the annual British apple harvesting season with more than 20 indigenous varieties going on sale in supermarkets, the main trade body for both apples and pears says worries about future labour availability are at the top of its lobbying agenda. - Guardian

Uncertainty over Brexit could jeopardise future investment in the UK by Toyota, a senior executive at the carmaker warned. Executive vice president Didier Leroy said there had been a shift in the government’s position and the lack of clarity could leave a “big question mark” over the Japanese car giant’s future spending in the UK. - Guardian

Robots will be running large swathes of government before long as artificial intelligence is deployed to help the state do more with less, the chancellor has said. Philip Hammond told a House of Lords committee that the government was looking into AI and expected swift progress. - The Times

Britain can retain its place as a world-leading science and technology hub after Brexit, Bill Gates has said, provided the country continues to attract talent and invest in research and development. The Microsoft founder, whose philanthropic organisation has $1 billion (£750m) invested in British research institutions, warned before the referendum that a vote to leave the European Union could jeopardise the UK’s booming science community. - Telegraph

The owner of Comparethemarket has pushed the float of the group back into 2018, insisting that if markets turn "frankly we'll sit and wait" until even later. The boss of BGL Group, which runs the price comparison website made famous by its Russian meerkat adverts as well as a number of other insurers, said earlier this year that he was eyeing a listing in the second half of 2017 with sources in recent months saying they expected a float as soon as this autumn. - Telegraph

Green energy projects run by cities and local authorities around the UK stand to receive millions of pounds of government support, providing another fillip for renewable power just a day after the subsidised price of windfarms hit a record low. The Guardian understands that ministers this autumn will offer more than £3m to help local leaders build low carbon initiatives, such as installing solar panels on social housing. - Guardian

The age of no retirement could be around the corner as almost one in four people in Britain plan to keep working beyond the age of 70, new research claims. Soaring living costs, a desire to stave off loneliness and the hope of staying mentally active are among the reasons people want to work well into their golden years, according to a survey of 3,327 UK adults aged over 50. - Telegraph

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