Pressure on Alistair Darling to rethink his sweeping changes to capital gains tax (CGT) was growing last night as it emerged that attempts will be made to defeat them in the Commons, The Times reports.
The prospect of a key budgetary change being embarrassingly overturned will be used by MPs to persuade the Chancellor to shift on his plan to end the taper relief that allows a 10% rate of CGT for small businesses.
Mr Darling was looking increasingly isolated on the plan after Britain’s four main business groups joined forces to oppose it and were supported even by some unions worried about its impact on smaller companies and the help that it gives to owners of second homes.
NORTHERN ROCK SHAREHOLDERS will be lucky to see a penny from any rescue proposal despite the emergence of a number of serious bidders for the beleaguered mortgage lender, leading asset managers and analysts have warned, The Telegraph reports.
Fears that investors will be all but wiped out caused Northern Rock shares to tumble 21% as the bank confirmed it is working with "a number of potentially interested parties" on options for its future. The shares closed down 56.8 at 216.2p.
Just days after Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Money emerged as a contender alongside potential bids from private equity groups JC Flowers and Cerberus, JP Morgan said in a note to clients: "There is close to zero value in Northern Rock's equity... with it effectively being eaten up by a combination of higher finance costs, investment write-offs and restructuring charges."
THE PRICE OF CRUDE OIL rose to a record of $86 a barrel yesterday amid fears that a surge in the price of traded commodities is storing up a winter squeeze on consumer wallets and new risks of inflation for the global economy, The Times reports.
Gold, a traditional inflation hedge, jumped to a 28-year peak of $759.9 a troy ounce and dragged platinum with it in a scramble by speculators for safe havens. The precious white metal rose to a record $1,428 an ounce.
The real cost of a barrel of oil, which reached $86.13 yesterday on the Nymex exchange in New York, is edging closer to its peak in 1980, when the price, adjusted for inflation, reached $90 a barrel after the Iranian revolution.
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Responding to letter from Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan