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Friday newspaper round-up: NICs delay, Brexit rebate, Mars, Blue

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Friday newspaper round-up: NICs delay, Brexit rebate, Mars, Blue

Fri, 10 March 2017
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Friday newspaper round-up: NICs delay, Brexit rebate, Mars, Blue

(ShareCast News) - Theresa May said she will delay legislating to implement a controversial national insurance rise for self-employed workers until the autumn, after a public rebellion by senior Conservatives, including a government minister. The measure was a centrepiece of Philip Hammond's first budget, which had appeared to be unravelling on Thursday, as a series of MPs voiced concern about the policy. - Guardian
Government measures to ease the burden of business rates are "small beer" and will do nothing to prevent future bill shocks, according to a leading think-tank. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the £435m relief package announced in the Budget would affect a small share of businesses, even though the targeted reduction in bills for the hardest hit was "welcome" due to the seven year period since the previous revaluation. - Telegraph

Theresa May should think back to Margaret Thatcher's fight for a UK rebate from Brussels as she battles a multibillion pound Brexit divorce bill from the EU, Boris Johnson has suggested. The foreign secretary - referring to the actions of the former Conservative prime minister - appeared to apply pressure on May to stand firm against EU demands for cash, amid reports saying the UK could be asked to hand over up to £50bn as an exit fee. - Guardian

Workers in Britain are on course to suffer an unprecedented 15 years of lost earnings growth and have been warned to prepare for a third successive parliament of austerity by a leading thinktank. Analysing Philip Hammond's spring budget, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that after suffering a lost decade of earnings growth, households were now about to be hit by big welfare cuts. - Guardian

Crucial High Speed Two design and planning could be delayed for months after it was confirmed that the recent appointment of an American consultancy to a key project management role has come under legal challenge. Leading British engineering firm Mace, the underbidder on the lucrative job to deliver the second phase of the £55 billion scheme, said that it is still in talks with HS2 Ltd, the Department for Transport agency running the project, over CH2M's appointment. - The Times

The government has come under fire for claiming that 90% of pubs in England could benefit from a £1,000 business rates discount, with critics claiming that far fewer will actually receive the relief. Philip Hammond announced in the budget on Wednesday that pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 would receive a £1,000 discount on their business rates bill this year. - Guardian

Britain's departure from the European Union risks ushering in a new age of international division, the head of one of the world's largest food manufacturers will warn today. Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Foods, will say that failure to negotiate a successful Brexit deal will damage not just the long-term prosperity of Europe but also the wider world. - The Times

Fashion retailer Blue Inc has asked landlords and lenders to throw it a lifeline by reducing its rent bill and cutting its debts as part of a rescue package designed to continue its survival less than three years after it was due to float with a £600m price-tag. The struggling men's fashion company needs £3m of extra capital to pay for more stock and to service its debt, which co-chief executives Hezi Yechiel and Miraj Khan have not been able to find, according to court documents seen by The Telegraph.

London and New York are the frontrunners as the main international listing venues for Saudi Aramco's planned flotation, which could value the oil group at $2 trillion. Executives from the London and New York exchanges have held talks with Aramco and both believe themselves to be favourites. - The Times

Property tycoon Christian Candy's key adviser was a director of a detective agency which made payments to the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko and to the former KGB officer accused of murdering him. Details of the transfers to alleged killer Andrey Lugovoy and to Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after swallowing a radioactive substance called Polonium-210, were given during a high court trial. - Guardian

Ninjas, knights and superheroes helped Lego to build record revenue, underlining the enduring appeal of the toy company 85 years after it was founded. Operating profit at the Danish company rose 1.6 per cent to DKr12.4 billion (£1.4 billion) last year on revenue up 5.9 per cent to DKr37.9 billion. - The Times

British-built Mini and Rolls-Royce cars helped BMW to hit record sales volumes and revenues and sent annual profits close to €7 billion. The figures, however, caused anger among its 7,000 UK carworkers at four plants who demanded that the "penny-pinching" company should drop plans to close its final salary pension schemes. - The Times