News Roundup Friday 2nd March 2018

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS

EU’s new tech tax proposals published

A draft European Commission document shows that Brussels wants to tax large digital companies’ revenues at a rate between 1 and 5% based on where their users are located – rather than where their headquarters are. The proposals suggest the tax should be applied to firms with revenues above €750m ($922m) worldwide and with EU digital revenues of at least €10m a year.

Reuters   Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 2

INDUSTRY NEWS

More male executives going part-time

The Telegraph examines the findings of Timewise’s annual survey of working practices, which reveals the number of employees earning at least £40,000 and working part-time rose by 10% last year. For the first time, a third of so-called “power part-timers” are men. And one in four full-time workers, of either gender, would prefer to work part-time, the recruiter said. The financial sector in particular is leading with “returners programmes” for senior professionals with a CV gap of at least two years, with EY and Deloitte among the firms running initiatives.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 20

CORPORATE NEWS

Carillion FD raised alarm last May

Carillion’s most recent finance director has been revealed as the whistleblower who tried to expose the firm’s accounting irregularities. Minutes from a board meeting last May show Emma Mercer, who at that time was finance director of Carillion’s construction services arm, raised concerns about the way the business was accounting for work on a number of major projects. Ms Mercer, who took up the FD role in September 2017, raised concerns repeatedly but did “not feel she was listened to”, according to documents.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1   The Times, Page: 37   The Times, Page: 6   Financial Times, Page: 19   The Guardian, Page: 31   Daily Mirror, Page: 43

SMEs NEWS

Digital skills key to scaling up

Writing in the Telegraph, Michelle Ovens, director of the Do It Digital campaign, argues that improving small businesses’ digital skills is the key to fuelling growth and scaling up. She welcomes initiatives such as the recently announced partnership between TSB and Enterprise Nation, offering small businesses and entrepreneurs “digital vouchers” worth up to £500 that can be used to help boost their digital capability.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2

Lessons from GRG scandal

Greg Carter, chief executive of Growth Street, says finance providers must learn lessons from the systematic mistreatment of small business customers by RBS’s Global Restructuring Group. He says financial services firms need to work harder to help businesses feel confident that they can access the finance to grow, and to expect that they’ll be treated fairly in good times and bad.

City AM, Page: 18

Support for ELITE firms

Marcus Stuttard, Head of AIM, writes in the Yorkshire Post about the benefits of the market’s ELITE programme. The scheme provides business support and capital raising for high growth private businesses, and now supports over 100 firms in the UK.

Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 7

PROPERTY NEWS

Lack of property register an aid to criminals, Khan warns

Sadiq Khan has called on the government to speed up the process of implementing a new public register of foreign owners of UK property. The Mayor of London suggested the current lack of transparency could be aiding tax evasion, theft and terrorist activities.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Russian millions laundered via UK firms

Leaked reports claim Danish bank Danske shut down Russian accounts after concluding that they were being used to funnel cash through British companies by members of Vladimir Putin’s family and the FSB spy agency.

The Guardian, Page: 4

Dutch plan royalties levy to curb shell company tax avoidance

The Netherlands has drawn up tax proposals to make it more difficult for companies to set up in the country without a real business presence.

Financial Times, Page: 4

ECONOMY NEWS

Consumer credit boom over

Consumer credit fell by 0.2% compared with January 2017, according to figures from industry group UK Finance, the first fall since July 2013. Personal loans and overdraft usage fell by 4.6% year on year while credit card borrowing rose by 4.8% – the slowest increase since June 2015. “It may well be uncertainties over the outlook, concerns over personal finances and November’s interest rate hike and the prospect of more increases to come are encouraging consumers to be more cautious in their borrowing,” said economist Howard Archer at the EY Item Club.

Financial Times, Page: 2   The Daily Telegraph   The Times

OTHER NEWS

Embrace AI, says BT boss

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson says governments can do more to equip workers with new skills amid the growth of mass automation. He told an audience at World Mobile Congress in Barcelona that rapid advances in artificial intelligence and robotics were likely to trigger big social and economic changes, but that these should be embraced alongside the promotion of life-long learning and skills.

The Times

Lancaster bomber faces the scrap due to death duties

A Lancaster bomber cockpit that took its owner 20 years to restore faces being scrapped because the man’s family cannot afford the death duty owed against it. As part of Jeremy Hall’s estate, the cockpit will have to be destroyed on or before his death to avoid his children paying a tax bill of around £60,000.

The Daily Telegraph, Page; 12

Contact Paul Southward for more information.

Paul Southward