Ripples from the Rover collapse have hit the accountancy profession, with news that the role of Deloitte & Touche is likely to be investigated by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) , reports The Times.
It writes that there are concerns over possible tax avoidance issues involving the complex web of ownership of Rover assets, which are coupled with concerns over the level of fees paid to Deloitte.
The news comes on top of new figure showing the collapse of the car maker helped push the unemployment rate up for a fourth month in a row, reports The Daily Telegraph.
Some 6,000 additional people signed on to Jobseeker’s allowance in May in the Midlands, taking the total additional increase for the month to above 13,000. That means the country has sustained the longest period of increasing claims since the recession in 1992, the paper writes.
Countering the threat of rising unemployment is the latest figure showing average pay rises hit 4.6% in May, which the paper says is being taken as a sign consumer spending is not about to go into complete free-fall.
"We don't think an outright collapse in consumption is a done deal," the Telegraph quotes Andrew Clare, economic consultant to L&G Investment Management.
The number of “economically inactive” men and women increased 79,000 to 7.9 million in the first three months of this year, although the unemployment rate remained stable at 4.7%, the paper adds.
CONTINUING THE theme of accounting challenges, the Telegraph also reports that British companies have been spared new changes to internal control procedures – also following a review by the FRC.
Instead, the Council is set to recommend wholesale adoption of the 1999 Turnbull guidance into risk management and internal controls, the paper writes.
In practice, the decision means UK firms will be able to retain accounting procedures using principles-based rules, as against adopting prescriptive rules, of the type enshrined in Sarbanes-Oxley – the US response to scandals such as Worldcom and Enron.
The latter will still apply to UK firms with listings in the US, however.
A PLACE IN THE SUN remains stubbornly attractive to UK buyers of second homes, with new figures showing a 20% increase in such investments in the past year alone, reports The Guardian
Some 250,000 families owned second homes abroad as of 2003-4, worth some £23bn – a figure that has doubled in the past four years, according to Office for National Statistics data.
Expectations are the number of owners could hit 300,000 this year. Europe remains the most popular destination for house hunters, although the trend to acquire buy-to-let could be under the cloud of eurozone economic stagnation, which could dampen house price inflation in countries such as France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.
ANOTHER ISSUE OF rising prices involves energy, with The Scotsman noting oil prices continue to gain despite OPEC’s promise to open the taps wider than ever.
An extra 500,000 barrels of oil a day are set to hit world markets from OPEC members as a whole, but most traders saw that figure as too low considering demand levels, and have sent prices higher, the paper writes.
Both US Light and Brent Crude are around the $55 per barrel mark subsequently. Limited refining capacity means that Saudi Arabia is the only OPEC member that can actually add capacity to meet its new, higher quota, with the cartel’s total output of 28 million barrels per day already stretching supply chains overall.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Jonathan Boyd on 020 7484 9769 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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