Business News – 25th May 2017

Household debt to reach £15,000 by 2020

HOUSEHOLD debt is set to reach a record high in the first year of the new government, a new report warns.  The TUC said wages have not recovered from the financial crisis, pushing the economy into the“danger zone”. Unsecured household debt will reach a record high of £13,900 per household this year and will exceed £15,000 by 2020, according to research by the union organisation.

Sunday Post

Football: Premier League clubs owe over £1.3million in unpaid invoices

Data released today has revealed English Premier League Clubs have overdue invoices totalling £1.3million and 20% are late by 20 days or more beyond the agreed payment terms. Manchester United who place 19th among the clubs for payment have 63 outstanding invoices totalling £857,183, making up 66% of the total value of outstanding invoices owed by all Premier League clubs. The most prompt payers of the Top Six clubs in the Premier League were, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, paying their bills in 12 and 13 days beyond agreed terms respectively. Noticeably, none of the Premier League Clubs pay businesses within the agreed payment terms. Middlesbrough and Swansea City topped the table for being the promptest paying football clubs in the Premier League, paying their bills just one day beyond agreed terms and 12 days under the industry average.

Universal basic income needs major tax increases

A report from the OECD has said a basic income system would not be an effective tool to reduce poverty. Both Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have said they were looking at the system and the Green Party included the proposal in its election manifesto. But the OECD warned: “An unconditional payment to everyone at meaningful but fiscally realistic levels would require tax rises as well as reductions in existing benefits.” The report added that if a basic income was introduced in Britain without major tax increases, the OECD said poverty rates “would increase significantly”.

Daily Mail, Page: 35

City chiefs resist Tories’ anti-business sentiment

In a debate hosted by the FT City Network, the Conservative manifesto was criticised for its anti-business rhetoric and interventionist approach, but Funding Circle’s Samir Desai praised it for its low taxation policy and support for technology.

Financial Times, Page: 2   

Opinions split over May’s move to disband SFO

An editorial in the Times by Edward Fennell blasts the government’s decision to scrap the SFO and have the National Crime Agency (NCA) absorb its work. He cites lawyers such as Omar Qureshi at CMS, who calls the move a “backward step in the fight against complex economic crime” and David Corker of Corker Binning who says the SFO’s work has been “world class”. Stephen Parkinson of Kingsley Napley said: “The NCA doesn’t have the capability or the expertise to investigate complex, serious fraud, nor, I suspect, the desire” while Robert Amaee, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan believes disbanding the SFO will at a stroke destroy momentum in the UK’s battle against corruption. There are some who support the move however. Jonathan Peddie, a dispute resolution partner at Baker McKenzie, says: “Placing fraud, bribery, money laundering, serious organised crime and terrorist finance strategies all under one roof recognises the need for a single strategy for an interwoven set of threats. Combining that with increased levels of information flow between the security services and law enforcement in the UK amounts to a big leap forwards.”

The Times, Page: 59

 Most SMEs expect no positive impact from UK general election

Research from challenger bank Aldermore has revealed that 90% of small business owners plan to vote in the general election, but despite this, just 32% of SMEs expected the election to positively impact their business. When asked about what they’d most like to see from a new government after the general election, a third of small business leaders cited simplification of the tax system and the financial accounts submission process as their main priority. Cutting red tape was also important for 30% and 22% want more help in the form of government-backed loans and schemes.

Business Advice   Leasing Life

ECB plays down Brexit threat to eurozone economy

The ECB has countered claims by the BoE that a messy Brexit would harm the European economy, stating that its impact on the eurozone recovery would not be significant. However, the ECB did highlight continued fragility in government finances despite a surge in growth in the eurozone. “There are risks that euro area bond yields could increase abruptly without a simultaneous improvement in growth prospects,” said the ECB in its Financial Stability Review released yesterday. The ECB specifically warns of a “snowball effect” in Italy and Portugal. The Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says the “Goldilocks moment for the eurozone this spring…has the life-expectancy of a Monarch butterfly.”

Financial Times, Page: 6    The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 5   The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 2

 Messi’s jail term confirmed

Spain’s Supreme Court has confirmed a 21-month jail term handed down last year to Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi. Mr Messi and his father Jorge were both convicted in 2016 of defrauding Spain of €4.1m in taxes. They were found guilty of resorting to fictitious companies to evade Spanish taxes on income from companies using Lionel Messi’s image rights. Mr Messi is unlikely to go to prison, however.

BBC News    The Daily Telegraph, Sport, Page: 7   The Times, Page: 72   The Sun, Page: 57   Daily Mail, Page: 90

OPEC set to extend Oil Cuts

OPEC and its allies were poised to extend their production cuts for an additional nine months after last year’s agreement failed to clear a global supply glut or deliver a sustainable price recovery. Maintaining the same level of production through March 2018 “is a very safe and almost certain option to do the trick,” Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the opening session of the group’s meeting in Vienna. “It’s likely we’ll be balanced earlier than later.”


US Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve could be eyeing a further tightening of monetary policy as early as next month, according to notes from the US central bank’s most recent interest rate-setting meeting. The Washington-based Fed released minutes from the May 2-3 meeting showing that “most participants judged that if economic information came in about in line with their expectations it would soon be appropriate for the committee to take another step” in hiking interest rates.

UK Car Production

The number of cars made in the UK fell by almost a fifth in April, with the later Easter break blamed for the drop. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said 122,116 cars were built in April, an 18% fall compared with the same month last year. It said Easter, which fell in April this year compared with March in 2016, had cut the number of production days. However, the SMMT said the underlying picture remained “strong”, with output up 1% for the year to date. The UK’s industry body said 593,796 cars were made in the first four months of the year – the highest number for the period since 2000. Overseas buyers have helped to lift the market, with demand up 3.5%, which has helped to offset a 7% drop in demand from the UK.

Previous News pages

Business News – 24th May 2017

Business News – 23rd May 2017

Business News – 22nd May 2017

Business News – 19th May 2017

Business News – 18th May 2017

Business News – 17th May 2017

Business News – 16th May 2017

Business News – 16th May 2017

Business News – 12th May 2017

Business News – 11th May 2017

Business News – 10th May 2017

Business News – 9th May 2017

Business News – 8th May 2017

Business News – 5th May 2017

Business News – 4th May 2017

Business News – 3rd May 2017

Business News – 2nd May 2017