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scusate, but axing VAT or green levies on energy bills aren’t going to cut it

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In the contest to mouth the words “tax cuts” as often as possible to attract the gaze of Tory party members, Rishi Sunak now says he would remove VAT on energy bills for a year. However much his camp protests otherwis...

Looking at the US, the unhappy story of inflation is still far from over

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Chapter one in the inflation story was central banks’ failure to recognise the threat as they spent most of 2021 warbling about supply-chain shocks and “transitory” factors. Chapter two was the belated realisation tha...

Boots is up for sale to the highest bidder, but where are they all? Nils Pratley

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Roll up, roll up, who wants to buy Boots, a grand old name of UK retailing with 170 years of history under its belt? Not many people, sembra. Or rather, not many at a price the seller, the US group Walgreens, had ho...

Fiddling with the energy price cap is the tip of the iceberg. More needs to be done

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Great news, eh? The energy price cap will rise again in October and then there will be only another three months, rather than six, to wait until the next increase in bills. If that does not seem like an unalloyed bene...

BA investors as much as customers deserve explanation for IT woes

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Guess the year in which a City analyst wrote this introduction to a research note on British Airways’ parent company, IAG: “BA suffered yet another operational failure yesterday, this time larger than the spate of rum...

Who pays for lost credit balances at failed energy companies? We all do

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One detail within the hike in energy bills hasn’t received enough attention. While the surge in wholesale gas prices is, by a wide margin, the biggest driver, let’s not overlook the contribution from the cost of clear...

What’s plan B if the government can’t attract investors willing to fund Sizewell C?

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A sum of £100m is peanuts in the expensive world of nuclear power stations, so regard the business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng’s funding for a round of development work on Sizewell C as a form of advertising. The cash is...

Crypto’s gold standard claims are fading fast

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The US-focused shakeout in financial markets has at least given us clarity on one point: bitcoin is not “digital gold” or a “store of value”, to mention two grand claims made about the cryptocurrency when its price wa...

‘High pay day’ falls a bit later this year – but FTSE bosses need not fear

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It’s the first week of January, so it must be time for “high pay day”, the High Pay Centre’s illuminating calculation of the moment at which the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company will have been paid as muc...

Protecting vulnerable from £700 hike in energy bills means hard choices now

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It’s choose your poison time for a government that must know allowing low-income households to suffer the full blast of the scheduled rise in energy bills in April is a political non starter. After six months of high ...

Rising UK energy bills are a political headache with no cure

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You can sense the sudden political alarm in Westminster. Che cosa, se qualcosa, can be done to cushion the blow of higher energy bills that will hit consumers next April? It seemed until recently that ministers’ plan A wa...

As Morrisons auction looms, pension deals ought to have been nailed down

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The structure for Saturday’s auction for Morrisons is technically flawless, as argued in this column on Wednesday, but there is still a problem: only one bidder has reached agreement with the trustees of the supermark...

Small businesses are collateral damage in social care tax hike

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The lower-profile element in the government’s tax hike to raise cash for health and social care was the 1.25% percentage point increase in tax on dividend income. It didn’t generate the same attention as the core reve...

GKN shareholders may now regret not asking of bigger slice of Melrose pie

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The grumble here in 2018 about Melrose’s controversial £8bn hostile takeover of GKN didn’t relate to the buyer’s supposed status of private equity-style vulture. That easy caricature has never quite fitted Melrose, un ...

Taylor Wimpey profits show what a waste Sunak’s stamp duty giveaway was

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From where Rishi Sunak sits, he might regard Taylor Wimpey’s bumper set of first-half figures as a triumph of policy-making. The chancellor threw subsidies at the housing market during the pandemic in the form of stam...

Payments firm Wise’s successful float is a relief after Deliveroo flop

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Blink and you missed it. The UK’s biggest tech flotation happened on Wednesday to about a hundredth of the pre-publicity generated by the overhyped and undercooked Deliveroo. Wise, formerly Transferwise, is a low-fee ...

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