Save, make, understand money


Tuesday newspaper round-up: Osborne, Yahoo, HS2…

Your Money
Written By:
Your Money

MPs urge return to single annual Budget; Yahoo revenue rises; homes to be demolished for high-speed railway.

George Osborne should make good on his pledge to make the spring budget the date when tax decisions are made and stop using the autumn statement as a vehicle as a second fiscal package, a committee of MPs said today. In their report on the 2012 autumn statement, the backbench Treasury committee criticised the chancellor for going back on his commitment to restore the budget to its central role in economic and financial policy making. The statement Osborne delivered last month contained an array of measures, including the scrapping of an increase in fuel duty, designed to boost the economy. Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury select committee (TSC), said: “The autumn statement is not, nor should it be, a second budget. In recent years it has come to read like one.” [The Guardian]

Hopes of a turnaround at Yahoo, the once-powerful internet business, were boosted last night after the company reported better-than-expected earnings for its fourth quarter. The figures cover the first full quarter under the leadership of Marissa Mayer, right, who was brought in from Google last year to turn the business around. Although profits dipped as the company recorded a one-off charge related to its exit from South Korea, Yahoo’s revenues rose 4 per cent to $1.22bn, against expectations of around $1.21bn. [The Independent]

People living along the planned high-speed railway woke yesterday to find that their homes would be destroyed and businesses bulldozed as ministers outlined details of the £33bn line north of Birmingham. A total of 227 homes will be demolished, and 179 commercial properties, 42 industrial sites and five community facilities will be bulldozed to make way for the £18.2 billion branch lines that will carry trains at up to 225mph. Manchester will suffer the greatest number of demolitions, with 47 homes destroyed north of Piccadilly station and 22 bulldozed at West Gorton where the line emerges from a tunnel. Sixty-three businesses and 28 industrial plants will also go. [The Times]

Nat Rothschild escalated his battle with Bumi’s board yesterday, dismissing their plans for a radical shake-up of the Indonesian coal miner he co-founded – before they had even been announced. Mr Rothschild, pictured, rubbished the promotion of Eko Budianto to be new head of a key Bumi subsidiary, due to be announced today, claiming he is too close to the group’s other founders, Indonesia’s Bakrie brothers. Mr Budianto will replace Rosan Roeslani, a 9.8 per cent shareholder in Bumi, a month after the Takeover Panel ruled there had been improper disclosure about Mr Roeslani’s close relationship with the Bakrie brothers. [The Independent]

UK taxpayers have been left more than £100m out of pocket after a European court ruled that the Icelandic government had no obligation to repay Britain and the Netherlands for rescuing depositors in failed bank Icesave. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) court on Monday ruled that Iceland did not break European free trade laws on deposit guarantee schemes by refusing to compensate foreign depositors after Icesave’s owner, Lansbanki, collapsed in 2008. The judgment obliterates any hopes the UK government had of pursuing Reykjavik for interest on the £2.35bn bail-out. It also raises grave questions about Europe’s cross-border banking arrangements, which allow overseas lenders to “passport” into a country without being subjected to local financial regulation. [The Telegraph]

An inspection of the Japanese battery supplier to the grounded Boeing 787 fleet has found no problems with its manufacturing processes but the company remains part of investigations into the passenger jet. Japanese regulators said they found no evidence of shortcomings with manufacturing standards at GS Yuasa’s lithium-ion battery factory in Kyoto as they concluded a week-long inspection. [Financial Times]

Britain’s most powerful aerospace, defence and security companies have joined the debate over Europe in the wake of David Cameron’s pledge to hold an in-out referendum on Britain’s EU membership, by warning that the government must ensure close co-operation with its biggest trading partner. The head of ADS, the trade association for major manufacturing names such as BAE Systems, Babcock and GKN, will state that British companies are “at the heart” of Europe’s aerospace industry. The comments by Robin Southwell, the ADS chairman, will be given extra credence by his day-to-day role as the chief executive of UK operations at EADS, the Franco-German industrial conglomerate that owns Airbus, one of Britain’s biggest manufacturing employers. [The Guardian]