The governor of the Bank of England has renewed his warning to the Government that it must cut the public deficit, the BBC reports.
Mervyn King said uncertainty about the government's intentions had a direct bearing on monetary policy.
He said "a key element in raising the national saving rate is the elimination over time of the structural deficit in the public finances".
King also warned inflation was "likely to pick up markedly in the first half of this year".
He says inflation is "likely to rise to over 3% for a while", and that it could go even higher if energy prices and indirect taxes were to increase further. However, it is likely to return to target in the medium term.
The ONS reported yesterday UK inflation rose at its fastest annual pace for nine months in December, with the CPI up to 2.9% from 1.9% in November.
Barclays faces £17bn shortfall
Barclays may have to axe its dividend and appeal to shareholders again to fund a £17bn shortfall in capital under proposed new global banking rules, the Telegraph reports.
The forecast of "a potentially sizeable capital deficit" because of planned changes in regulation was made by analysts at Credit Suisse, the bank's broker.
Barclays’ predicted shortfall is even larger than the £12.8bn forecast last July by JP Morgan.
According to Credit Suisse, capital requirements proposed by the Bank of International Settlements would cut so deeply into Barclays' core tier-one ratio that "an immediate move to 8pc would require £17bn of equity".
If requirements are increased to 10%, as some policymakers would like, Barclays would need to raise £28bn, the Telegraph reports.
Credit Suisse said "in theory, it is possible Barclays can manage the transition to the new rules without an external capital raise" as a three-year transition period is planned.
Doing so, however, will require "a substantial tightening up of the business, the potential disposal of [Barclays' 50pc stake in fund manager] BlackRock and the freezing or even removal of the recently reinstated dividend".
Tories put weight behind marriage tax plans
The Tories will offer marriage tax breaks as their manifesto includes a cast-iron pledge to act within the first five years, according to The Daily Mail.
David Cameron admitted he 'messed up' when he seemed to dilute the party's support for tax breaks for marriage
His election manifesto is now set to include a cast-iron pledge to offer tax breaks for marriage within a five-year Parliament.
The Tory document, seen by the Daily Mail, will seek to end confusion over one of Mr Cameron's flagship policies as it warns the Government's 'complacent attitude to commitment' has done 'untold harm' to society.
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