Steve Morgan, founder and chairman of housebuilder Redrow, has said stamp duty increases are killing off the central-London prime property market. Mr Morgan said: “Central London has been killed by stamp duty. It has killed off all the high-end properties. Houses approaching £1m have been decimated by the quite frankly outrageous stamp-duty taxes. The Government is collecting less money as a result. Why would the Chancellor want to take less taxes… It’s killing the golden goose isn’t it?” His comments followed research from the property agent Knight Frank showing that stamp-duty takings in London were down by £105m to £2bn in the first 10 months of last year.

The Times, Page: 35   The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 4   Evening Standard London, Page: 37   The Independent, Page: 51   Financial Times, Page: 21

Posted 10/02/16



New legislation being drafted by the European Commission will require large corporations to reveal their profits and the tax they pay in every country in which they operate within the EU, the Guardian reports. The EC was criticised last month when it proposed that the corporations report only to national tax authorities in Europe, but the new measures would mean the results of country-by-country reporting would be published. John Christensen, executive director of Tax Justice Network, welcomed the plans. “For a very long time big companies have been saying their tax affairs are a matter of competitive confidentiality,” he said. “We think it is incredibly important, as a matter of principle, that this information is made public.”

The Guardian, Page: 1, 2   Daily Mail, Page: 6

Posted 08/02/2016




UK lawmakers are coming under pressure to emulate France and introduce a law to ban supermarkets from throwing away food amid claims the UK creates more waste than any other country in the EU, dumping 14,000,000 tonnes a year – or twice as much food per capita as the EU average. Ethical Consumer has compiled a ranking of each of the UK’s biggest chains, based on their environmental efficiency, animal rights, workers’ rights, product sustainability and financial practices.

The Independent

Post 08/02/2016


A Dispatches documentary to be shown on Channel 4 tomorrow features Greg Wise going undercover to investigate how the rich avoid tax. The actor meets with financial consultants who suggest a range of schemes, such as an offshore trust in Belize and using tax credits via the Government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme. Mr Wise meets Peter Nichols, a partner at Connaught Corporate Services and a former tax inspector, who tells him that he could zero his tax bills.  He also claims clients were former occupants of No 10 – “it would be dynamite for the newspapers to be honest but it never comes to light, it’s very very confidential.” Writing in the Observer, Mr Wise tells of what he learnt about HMRC while conducting the investigation. He says HMRC doesn’t report on the scale of aggressive tax avoidance and focuses on gathering the “low-hanging fruit” – from benefits claimants for example – while turning a blind eye to the serious amounts being aggressively avoided.

The Independent on Sunday   The Observer, Page: 36   The Sunday Times, Page: 7

Posted 07/02/2016


The CBI has called on the government to overhaul “outdated” and “distorted” business rates in next month’s budget saying the tax on commercial property was “undermining our high streets and manufacturers”. It said companies with premises which have a rateable value of £12,000 or less should be exempt, more frequent valuations should be undertaken and a lower measure of inflation used for calculating annual increases.

The Sunday Times, Business, Page: 2   The Mail on Sunday, Page: 89

Posted 07/02/2016



The scale of absconding from an open prison is a public concern, according to Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Eight prisoners are currently on the run from Hollesley Bay in Suffolk, three of whom escaped last month. The MoJ said absconders risk being given additional time behind bars and cited one inmate from Hollesley Bay who was given a nine-month sentence for the offence last year.

BBC News

Posted 05/02/2016


The Business Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that councils in England and Wales will be allowed to relax Sunday trading laws. Mr Javid said the move would allow local authorities to “help struggling High Streets”.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1    The Guardian, Page: 2   Daily Mirror, Page: 2   The Sun, Page: 2

Posted 03/02/2016



With new “right to rent” rules coming into force today, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has warned that 72% of landlords surveyed did not understand their obligations, with 90% saying they had not received any information from the Government over their new legal duties. As of today, landlords must ensure that tenants are eligible to rent property in the UK, with those failing to do so liable for an initial fine of up to £1,000, with this increasing to £3,000 for subsequent breaches. The RLA says that although landlords are permitted to check a range of documents, 44% said they would only accept paperwork they are familiar with, meaning would-be tenants without passports could be hindered. It also warned that the rules could provide rogue landlords with a guaranteed number of desperate tenants.

The Guardian, Page: 24   The Independent, Page: 8   Financial Times, Page: 4   Yorkshire Post, Page: 4

Posted 01/02/2016