|Troubled tour operator Thomas Cook Group plc turns down £400m injection plan|
|Friday, 16 March 2012 09:31|
News round up: Thomas Cook, Oil reserves, 50p top rate, Growth plans, and Greece.
David Cameron is ready to release oil reserves in tandem with the US in a move that could help British motorists and President Obama’s re-election prospects. Mr Obama, under pressure to cut fuel prices for American drivers before polling day in November, raised the issue with the Prime Minister during their Oval Office talks on Wednesday.
50p top rate
The Liberal Democrats have dropped their opposition to scrapping the 50p top rate of tax and offered the Conservatives a Budget deal that would cut taxes for the highest earners. Government sources last night said that Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, was prepared to accept the end of the 50p tax rate in exchange for tax cuts on low earners and tighter tax rules.
Two of Britain’s leading businessmen have raised serious questions over the Government’s growth plans just as ministers gear up to deliver next week’s Budget. Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways owner International Airlines Group, and Stephen Hester, chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, have warned that UK companies lack the confidence to invest. Mr Walsh mocked the Coalition, saying it changed its policy for growth “every other week”.
Greece won approval from the International Monetary Fund for a €28bn loan yesterday as part of the country’s second bailout after its successful debt swap deal. The IMF deal ended months of uncertainty and came with the immediate release of €1.65bn (£1.37bn) to help Athens meet immediate commitments. But although Eurozone markets and the single currency enjoyed another mostly calm and positive day, the rating agency Standard and Poor’s signalled that the Greek crisis was far from over.
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