Trade groups revolt over business rates

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Some of the UK’s biggest employers’ groups have united in condemning the government’s “outrageous” changes to business rates. Thirteen trade bodies have written a joint letter calling for a clause that could prevent firms appealing against unfair rate rises to be dropped. The group, including the CBI and British Retail … Read More

Sterling hit as economy grapples rising costs

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The pound has fallen below $1.25 after a trusted survey of service sector firms recorded its first slowdown in output growth for four months. The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for January reported the biggest leap in input costs for more than five years was affecting activity, though business expectations … Read More

Danish drugs giant makes big UK investment

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Denmark’s Novo Nordisk is to invest £115m over 10 years in a new science research centre in Oxford. Eventually employing 100 academics and scientists, the facility will work on new ways of treating type 2 diabetes. The decision to invest in the UK was described by David Gauke, Chief Secretary … Read More

Act to stop sexist dress rules, say MPs

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The government must enforce the law properly to ban sexist dress rules at work that discriminate against women, say MPs. The demand has come from two parliamentary committees, for Petitions and for Women and Equalities. Their report follows the experience of London receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from … Read More

UK looks for HS2 train-builder

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The search for a company to take on the £2.75bn contract to build high speed trains for the HS2 rail network got underway on Friday. The Department for Transport said up to 60 trains, capable of speeds of about 225mph, were needed. The contract, which will also involve maintaining the … Read More

EE fined £2.7m for overcharging customers

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Mobile operator EE has been fined £2.7m by the telecoms regulator, Ofcom, for overcharging tens of thousands of customers. The watchdog found that the UK’s biggest mobile network broke a billing rule on two occasions. Users who called its 150 customer services number while roaming within the EU were incorrectly … Read More

Pound falls ahead of May Brexit speech

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The pound has hit its lowest level for more than three months on reports Britain was set to quit the EU single market as part of its Brexit plans. Sterling fell below the $1.20 level before recovering slightly on Monday. The pound also dropped to a two-month low against the … Read More

Pound falls on May’s Brexit comments

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The value of the pound has fallen to a two-month low against major currencies after Prime Minister Theresa May signalled the UK would pursue a so-called “hard Brexit” from the EU. Sterling fell about 1% across the board. The only currency against which it gained ground was the Turkish lira. … Read More

Train fares rise by an average of 2.3%

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Rail passengers are facing higher fares across the UK as average price increases of 2.3% are introduced on the first weekday of the new year. The increase covers regulated fares, including season tickets, and unregulated, such as off-peak tickets. Campaigners said the rise was a “kick in the teeth” for … Read More