News Roundup Thursday 10th May 2018

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS

MPs could force crown dependencies to reveal firms’ owners

MPs have indicated that the crown dependencies of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man could be made to introduce public registers of company ownership if they are not willing to do so. Following the decision by parliament to compel the UK’s overseas territories to introduce such registers, Conservative Andrew Mitchell and Labour’s Margaret Hodge have called for the crown dependencies to fall in line by the end of the decade. “We expect the government to use its good offices to persuade the crown dependencies to introduce public ownership registers,” Mr Mitchell said. “But if they do not, parliament will return to the charge.”

The Guardian, Page: 22 Financial Times, Page: 3

INDUSTRY NEWS

Insolvency Service roots out unfit directors

Insolvency Service chairman Stephen Allinson writes to the Telegraph to defend the organisation’s approach to identifying and disqualifying unfit company directors. He says more than 1,200 directors of small and large companies were disqualified last year, and the average period of disqualification was 5.7 years.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 17

Accounting growing fast

Research by LinkedIn has found accounting to be the seventh fastest-growing industry in the UK over the past 15 years, with higher education topping the list.

I, Page: 2

SMEs NEWS

Grants for small firms a step closer

A leadership team has been chosen to oversee the handing out of £775m in grants to spur competition in lending to small businesses. Lord Cromwell has been appointed executive chairman of Banking Competition Remedies, with Brendan Peilow as an executive director. Royal Bank of Scotland was ordered to put up the money to comply with its £45.5bn bailout conditions.

Daily Express, Page: 45 The Times, Page: 48 City AM, Page: 3

SMEs expect steady growth

Small firms have reported moderate confidence in the state of the economy over the past three months. SMEs told the CBI that they expect to grow steadily in the coming months, despite their investment plans taking a knock amid signs of weaker export growth as the eurozone economies slow down.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 8

PENSIONS NEWS

Tax charge soars as lifetime pension allowance is breached

Figures from HMRC show tax charges for breaching the lifetime allowance on pension savings have nearly tripled over two years following successive cuts to the relief.

Financial Times

CORPORATE NEWS

Paradise Papers lawsuit to air issues of public interest

A senior judge has said important matters of public interest are likely to be aired in a trial that has been brought against the Guardian and the BBC in response to their reporting of the Paradise Papers investigation. Mr Justice Vos, who heads the chancery division of the High Court, said it would take a five-day hearing to examine the issues raised by the project.

The Guardian, Page: 22

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

France cuts tax on wealthy

France has scrapped an “exit tax” paid by high earners when they move assets outside the country. The Macron government said that it was fulfilling a campaign promise to encourage investment by ending the 30% levy.

The Times, Page: 32

Bupa under investigation by Australian tax authorities

Australian tax authorities are investigating Bupa after the Tax Justice Network lobby group claimed it and other large healthcare providers receiving state subsidies had deployed “ aggressive tax avoidance strategies”.

Financial Times, Page: 16

ECONOMY NEWS

Construction industry rebounds

The UK construction industry recovered in April from March’s inclement weather, according to IHS Markit/CIPS’ latest construction survey, which said PMI rose to 52.5, its highest level for five months. April’s rebound was driven by the housebuilding sector, for which the PMI jumped to its highest level since May last year. However, the commercial construction and civil engineering industries face deeper problems. Brendan Sharkey, of MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said that following the collapse of Carillion: “UK construction companies aren’t showing many signs of being able to break away from their perilous low-margin culture.”

Financial Times The Times, Page: 40 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 8

Hundreds of Scottish high street outlets close

A report from PwC and the Local Data Company reveals that 290 Scottish high street retail outlets closed their doors last year.

The Scotsman, Page: 22

Contact Paul Southward if you have any queries.

Paul Southward

Paul Southward