On November 17, several top stories were featured on the business pages of British newspapers. The Times reported that economists at Goldman Sachs predicted that the Bank of England may lower interest rates as early as February in order to stimulate economic growth. Meanwhile, Royal Mail is facing financial difficulties due to poor service quality and customers defecting, with the new boss calling for the government to reconsider its commitment to privatization.
In addition, The Guardian reported that Tata Steel is considering closing or mothballing large parts of the Port Talbot steelworks for several years, which would leave the plant reliant on imported steel. This move comes after a period of decline in the global steel market. Furthermore, the UK government plans to offer higher subsidies for new offshore windfarms following crisis talks with developers to combat cost inflation.
The Telegraph highlighted a warning from a top investment bank that the Bank of England’s decision to sell-off government bonds is costing taxpayers 15 billion pounds a year, impacting the government’s ability to cut taxes. The newspaper also covered the acquisition of Britain’s Hotel Chocolat by Mars Inc for 534 million pounds, which will aid the specialist chocolatier’s international growth.
Lastly, Sky News reported on the UK government’s plans to remove benefits and increase monitoring of welfare recipients in an effort to boost employment. The move is aimed at encouraging people who are capable of working to find jobs and reducing dependency on benefits.