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BBC Panorama: The fraud costing the UK £1bn a year

BBC Panorama: The fraud costing the UK £1bn a year

Business
A BBC Panorama team has smuggled goods into Britain and then sold them on eBay and Amazon to highlight a fraud costing the country a billion pounds a year. The undercover team imported goods from China and didn't pay VAT at the border.Amazon and eBay told the BBC that they take VAT fraud seriously and they work closely with HMRC to stop it happening. The fraud costs the UK more than £1bn a year and puts UK firms out of business because they cannot compete with sellers who have evaded VAT. British traders Roni and Neven Juretic sell phone and tablet covers online, but their sales fell by 60 per cent because they were undercut by fraudulent sellers. Roni Juretic said: "If they're selling it 20% cheaper because they're not charging VAT, then it's impossible for us to reach those prices. That'
New industrial strategy to tackle productivity

New industrial strategy to tackle productivity

Business
A new industrial strategy is to be revealed by the Government later, aiming to tackle Britain's "weakness" of productivity.Business Secretary Greg Clark said workforce efficiency was "well below what can be achieved" and pledged to address the crisis threatening to "stop us achieving our potential".Britain ranks fifth out of G7 industrial nations, behind Canada and Japan, on productivity.Mr Clark said the country should "seize" the benefits of a "new industrial revolution".He added: "This would be needed at any time, and Britain's decision to leave the European Union makes it even more important."Image:Greg Clark pledged to tackle Britain's productiviy 'weakness'The announcement includes news of a major pharmaceutical company opening a "world-leading" life-sciences campus in northwest Engl...
Just Eat set to join blue chip index after share price jump

Just Eat set to join blue chip index after share price jump

Business
An online takeaway firm is set to join the ranks of Britain's biggest businesses this week.Just Eat is expected to be promoted to the FTSE 100 on the back of its soaring share price, and comes just three years after its stock market debut.Its elevation would make it the first such firm to join the blue chip index.The next FTSE reshuffle is based on closing share prices on Tuesday, with engineer Babcock and Alton Towers-owner Merlin at risk of demotion.Just Eat's shares have soared 43% this year on the back of revenue growth and acquisitions. It's £5.5bn market value makes it bigger than Sainsbury's.Just Eat takes online orders from customers and acts as delivery middle man between them and restaurants.Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said Just Eat's growth underlines
Artisan cider makers fear new binge-drinking levy

Artisan cider makers fear new binge-drinking levy

Business
Artisan cider producers are concerned that a new levy could have a devastating impact on the industry.The legislation, to be brought in from February, would see a duty introduced on ciders with an alcohol content of between 6.9% and 7.5%.It was announced in the Budget and is aimed at cracking down on binge drinking.The target is white cider - paler in colour, cheap, with a high alcohol content, and often associated with street and underage binge drinking.But some traditional cider makers, who have been in the industry for decades, insist they will also be affected.Image:Barny Butterfield from Sandford Orchards is worried about the new levyBarny Butterfield runs Sandford Orchards in Devon, the oldest working cider shed in the country.He believes the levy could push prices up on some traditi...
Revolt forces Rio to ditch Tory chief Davis

Revolt forces Rio to ditch Tory chief Davis

Business
The FTSE-100 mining group Rio Tinto has abandoned plans to appoint the Conservative Party's boss as the company's next chairman in the wake of a full-scale investor revolt.Sky News has learnt that Sir Mick Davis is "no longer in the running" to replace Jan du Plessis less than a fortnight after it emerged that he was the frontrunner for the post.A group of leading shareholders, representing roughly 20% of Rio's stock, wrote to the miner's board earlier this week to say that Sir Mick's appointment would be unacceptable.City sources told Sky News this weekend that several institutions were drawing up plans to oppose the re-election of Rio's nominations committee members next year if they had proceeded with recruiting the former Xstrata chief.The existence of the letter, sent by the Investor ...