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Interest rates expected to be cut today

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation‘At noon [today] the Bank of England is widely expected to cut its base rate from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent, a new historic low, in order to help the overall economy deal with the post-Brexit vote economic shock. But what will this move by the Bank mean for the finances and economic prospects of ordinary UK households?’… Someone with a 25-year £250,000 repayment tracker mortgage paying 2 per cent interest could see their monthly £1,100 repayment fall by around £30 if rates do go down to 0.25 per cent… If you’re a small business owner looking to get a loan there may be disappointingly little difference in the attitude of your bank to your application as a result of a cut. And you also may still not feel tempted to seek a loan in the first place.’ – Independent

  • Pound slips, but FTSE 100 should ‘make modest gains’ – FT
  • Cash hoarding appears to soar before announcement – The Times (£)
  • Potential cuts’ effects on households – Independent
  • Report says banks aren’t up to the stress – Daily Mail
  • The Bank of England is ‘asleep at the wheel’ – Independent

Editorial:

  • ‘Near-zero rates and monetary stimulus’ mustn’t become the new normal – Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Rate cut would be ‘abject failure’ – Simon Lambert, Daily Mail

More economy

  • ‘Biggest fall ever’ for UK business – Daily Telegraph
  • Service sector activity declines – Guardian 
  • London’s old-age property boomers – Daily Telegraph 
  • ‘Expectation-beating profits’ for European banks – FT
  • Directors win on ARM deal – Daily Mail
  • Saatchi boss resigns over ‘miscommunication’ – FT
  • Report criticises government’s tax ‘failures’ – The Times (£)
  • Reforms fail to help over energy costs – Daily Mail
  • Further Southern strikes to come – Guardian
  • Khan questions Olympic regeneration ‘legacy’ – FT

Comment:

  • The complex story of HSBC’s performance – James Quinn, Daily Telegraph
  • Industrial strategy must drive growth – Mariana Mazzucato, FT
  • May should cancel ‘Chinese access to Hinkley’ – Max Hastings, Daily Mail 
  • Our ‘insouciance’ over energy is dangerous – Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Daily Telegraph
  • Big farming money decisions for Leadsom – Oliver Moody, The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Joe Carlebach in Comment: Please don’t forget our hard working small savers

May’s biggest poll lead yet

Theresa May 25-07-16‘The Conservatives have secured their biggest poll lead since winning power, with Theresa May still enjoying a honeymoon period as prime minister. She and her party are 14 points ahead of Labour, according to a YouGov poll for The Times. It is the biggest Conservative lead since November 2009, late in Gordon Brown’s government.’ – The Times (£)

Editoral:

More May

  • May’s commitment to ‘clean capitalism’ – Independent
  • Yvette Cooper criticises May over low rate of child refugees – Guardian
  • UN to reject target for refugee resettlement – Guardian
  • Mayors want May’s clarity on the Northern powerhouse – FT
  • Watson urges her to stop companies’ data deletion – Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: What’s your view of May’s new Cabinet? Please take our monthly survey

Woman dead and five injured in stabbing at Russell Square

‘One woman was stabbed to death and five people injured when a knifeman went on the rampage at a central London square in a possible terrorist attack. Armed police were called to the scene in Russell Square, Bloomsbury, at around 10.30pm last night, after reports that a man brandishing a knife was attacking passers by. Despite efforts by paramedics to save the woman, in her 60s, she was pronounced dead a short while later. The other casualties, two women and three men, are being treated for their injuries in hospital. The suspect, a 19-year-old, was arrested in nearby Bedford Place after being brought down by a Taser within minutes of the officers arriving. Police said they were not ruling out terrorism as a potential motive, but added early indications were that mental health was a “significant” factor.’ – The Times (£)

Terrorism

  • IS planning coordinated European attacks, claims UK ‘supergrass’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Border force is ‘under-resourced’ – Daily Mail
  • Sea marshals join France’s fight against terror – Daily Telegraph
  • French PM questions ‘construction of Islam’ – The Sun

Editorial:

Comment:

  • Germany should learn from Israel how to live with terrorism – Mariam Lau, FT

>Today: ToryDiary: Making terror even more terrifying than it already is

Steve Hilton: Cameron’s corrupt list shows we need an elected legislature 

HILTON Steve‘The big problem is not the “honours for cronies” aspect of David Cameron’s leaked list. I can see why there is public anger about gongs being handed out to political aides for simply doing their jobs loyally and working hard (which, in my experience, they all do). Many people work hard, making a positive contribution to society in far less glamorous settings, and don’t get recognised. Isn’t serving in government honour enough?… The corruption comes when the honours system starts to clash with democratic principles. The most obvious way this happens is when people who are not elected make the laws which we live under. We’ve just fought and won a referendum campaign on the principle that unelected bureaucrats in the EU should not have the power to impose laws on us. I’m not clear why this principle applies to unelected foreigners but not to home-grown appointees. The decision to leave the EU was a victory for people power. But that’s just the start: until we have a fully elected legislature, we cannot call ourselves a true democracy.’ – The Times (£)

LSE expert’s Brexit warnings

‘One of the UK’s top economists has issued a stark warning about the possible economic and social implications of Brexit for Europe. Work from before the referendum by Professor John Van Reenen, professor of economics at LSE and director of the university’s Centre for Economic Performance, laid out the likely long-term economic costs of Britain leaving the European Union. Van Reenen’s research, co-authored with three colleagues from the LSE, Swati Dhingra, Gianmarco Ottaviano and Thomas Sampson, claims even if Britain manages to secure a deal where it keeps access to the single market, income per person will still fall by 1.3 per cent relative to otherwise. If the UK is unwilling to accept the free movement of labour, it is likely trade will fall by more, leading to a 2.6 per cent decrease in income per person. This translates to a fall of between £850 and £1,700 per UK household. In a new piece following the referendum result, Mr Van Reenen blamed the stigmatisation of foreigners, the eurosceptic and anti-immigration stance of large sections of the British press and also “the worst [politicians] in living memory” for the result.’ – Independent

More Brexit

Editorial:

Comment:

  • The risk of unilateral action – Izabella Kaminska, FT
  • We need to consider illegal immigrants – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
  • The government lacks ‘resolution and rigour’ in tackling migration – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

Child abuse enquiry judge criticised for taking holidays

‘The judge who is leading Britain’s public inquiry into child abuse spent three months on holiday or abroad during her first year in the job, The Times has learnt. Dame Lowell Goddard, whose pay and benefits package amounts to £500,000 a year, spent 44 working days in New Zealand, her home country, and Australia after becoming chairwoman of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in April last year. The period abroad was in addition to her annual leave entitlement of 30 working days, which is part of a generous contract agreed with Theresa May, who was home secretary at the time of the appointment. The 74 days equate to three working months.’ – The Times (£)

Editorial:

Emotive issues, difficult decisions, and an ‘unedifying’ fight over PrEP

‘The fight in the courts over who should pay for drugs to protect against HIV infection has taken an unedifying turn. There have been allegations that gay men will become more promiscuous if NHS England pays for the pills as a result of the high court ruling and that children with cystic fibrosis will be deprived of a drug that could help them breathe. The issues are as emotive as they could be, just as they have always been over the battles for access to new cancer drugs that might give women with young children a few more weeks of life. But the problem is exactly the same one. Hard decisions have to be taken as long as the NHS has a limited pot of money to spend.’ – Guardian

  • NHS England says HIV drug ruling will prevent other treatments – The Times (£)

Drop in state-educated pupils going to university following tuition fee increase

School‘The number of state-educated students going to university and colleges fell by four percent in the first year tuition fees were increased to £9,000 for all new undergraduates, new statistics show. The drop from 66 percent to 62 percent between the 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 academic years was part of a nine percentage point drop in state school pupils carrying on into higher education since 2009/2010, Department for Education figures revealed. The figures, released on Wednesday, relate to English institutions only, where students pay £27,000 for a three-year-degree course under controversial increases brought in by the then Coalition government in 2012/2013. The report, Widening Participation in Higher Education: 2016, noted: “The 2013/14 cohort was the first cohort where all students were affected by the change in tuition fees in 2012/13.’Daily Telegraph

Comment:

  • Scrapping university grants will necessitate rational choices about attendance – Elliot Barker, Daily Telegraph
Owen Smith

>Yesterday: Nathan Fogg in Comment: Despite rising tuition fees getting a degree is still a steal

Smith warns of Labour split

‘The Labour party is teetering on the edge of a precipice and could “bust apart and disappear”, the leadership challenger Owen Smith has warned. The Labour MP, who resigned from the frontbench last month, said he did not want the party to split but this had now become likely if Jeremy Corbyn remained as leader. He made the prediction as new YouGov research suggested support for Labour could fall to about 20% if either the right or left of the party splinters away. It comes the day before Corbyn and Smith have their first head-to-head encounter at a live debate in Cardiff.’ – Guardian

Sketch:

  • Unmemorable Smith is playing the young Corbyn – Michael Deacon Daily Telegraph

More Labour

Comment:

  • Future for Labour more ’dismal’ than during 1981 split – Michael Savage, The Times (£)
  • Is Corbyn’s ‘Islington effect’ wearing off? – Andrew Grice, Independent

>Today: Daniel Hannan’s column: As a card-carrying Conservative, I’m alarmed by Labour’s collapse

Ukip ‘at war’ after Steven Woolfe banned from leadership race

‘Ukip erupted into “civil war” today after the frontrunner in its leadership race was barred from the contest for submitting his nomination papers 17 minutes late. Steven Woolfe, the bookmakers’ favourite who had the tacit backing of Nigel Farage and the public endorsement of Arron Banks, a major donor to the party, was eliminated from the race by its national executive committee (NEC). A majority of Ukip’s governing body voted that Mr Woolfe’s application was “considered to be ineligible as a result of a late submission”, the party’s returning officer said in a statement. Three members of the NEC, who backed the MEP and dissented against the decision, immediately resigned from the committee, accusing it of pursuing “oligarchy, self-promotion and cronyism”.’The Times (£)

Editorial:

David Aaronovitch: Trump has moved ‘conspiranoia’ into the mainstream

TRUMP Live‘How we laughed back in 2011. Barack Obama was doing his comic turn at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner. The week before the president had published his birth certificate in response to those persisting with the endlessly debunked theory that he hadn’t been born in Hawaii but in Kenya or Vanuatu, and was thus ineligible to be US president. One of those most loudly questioning President Obama’s origins had been Donald Trump. Well, quipped Obama; “He can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?” He brought the house down. This week Trump — who is no longer to be dismissed (as Obama did back then) as a reality TV presenter, but is now the presidential candidate of the party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan — dived once again, fully clothed, into the roiling waters of conspiranoia.’ – The Times (£)

News in Brief

And finally…

 

6 comments for: Newslinks for Thursday 4th August 2016

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