Business

Shoppers stay indoors over wet weekend

Image copyright Getty Images Fewer people went shopping this Easter weekend as bad weather lowered turnout. Total shop visits were down by 2.4% between Friday and Easter Sunday compared with last year, according to research group Springboard. This was largely due to a sharp fall in High Street visits – although footfall at shopping centres […]

Business

French SNCF rail strike to defy Macron labour reforms

Image copyright Reuters Image caption TGV high-speed services will be among those hit Train drivers and other workers at the French state railway SNCF have begun a major strike that is expected to paralyse rail travel across France. Staff began three months of rolling stoppages on Monday evening as trade unions push back against President […]

Business

China hits back with tariffs on US imports worth $3bn

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US wine is among the produce affected by China’s retaliatory tariffs China has imposed tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US imports, including pork and wine, after US President Donald Trump raised duties on foreign steel and aluminium imports in March. The tariffs affecting some $3bn (£2.1bn) of […]

Business

UK winemakers toast record year

Image copyright Camel Valley Wines 2018 Image caption There is speculation Camel Valley wines may be served at the upcoming royal wedding after they were granted a royal warrant A record number of bottles of UK-made wine reached the market last year, up 64% from 2016, as vineyards released more sparkling and specialist wines. The […]

Business

Outsourced staff lose out on wages and rights, says TUC

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Outsourced workers are are often low-paid staff, such as caterers and security guards The TUC says labour laws need “beefing up” to protect the rights of workers employed by outsourcing firms. The union body says such workers cannot challenge the “parent” company over minimum wage or holiday pay abuses. […]

Business

Shake it up

It’s 13:00 on a Wednesday lunchtime and in the Palace of Westminster, a very lively drinks party is in full swing. In the gracious surroundings of the wood-panelled Jubilee Room, corks are popped, beer is guzzled and lemons fizz in free-flowing G&Ts. But despite the prodigious volume of liquid being consumed, there aren’t any slurred […]

Business

Two new Welsh taxes 'raising £1bn' take effect

Image caption Dyfed Alsop: “It’s for Wales, made in Wales and remains here” The first Wales-only taxes for 800 years have come into effect. Two new devolved taxes have been introduced – the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) on property, which replaces stamp duty, and the Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT), which replaces landfill tax. The money […]

Business

German firm Artec's troop carrier deal unfair, says MP

Image copyright General Dynamics UK Image caption Welsh politicians have said General Dynamics’s Piranha vehicle should have been considered A decision to hand a £3bn defence contract to a German company could have cost Wales hundreds of jobs, an MP has said. Caerphilly’s Wayne David criticised the Ministry of Defence’s decision to choose Munich-based Artec […]

Business

April tax changes

Image copyright Getty Images The start of April – according to the poet Geoffrey Chaucer – brings showers of sweetness and the melody of the first birdsong. Rather more prosaically, it also marks the beginning of the tax year. If you are relatively well-off, the chances are that April will make you richer. If you […]

Business

Shipping faces demands to cut CO2

Image copyright Getty Images A battle is under way to force the global shipping industry to play its part in tackling climate change. A meeting of the International Maritime Organisation in London next week will face demands for shipping to radically reduce its CO2 emissions. If shipping doesn’t clean up, it could contribute almost a […]