The conservative CDU, the liberal FDP and the Greens — the so-called Jamaica coalition — have agreed on the first principles of a common budgetary and financial policy in their exploratory talks to form a government, broadcaster ARD reported Wednesday.

The parties agreed they want to avoid taking on new government debt in the coming legislative period. They said they don’t want to introduce any new taxes, but will instead seek to implement tax relief measures aimed at low- and middle-income-earners.

ARD reported the FDP and CDU were satisfied with the outcome of the talks, while the Greens were more cautious, stressing the plans were provisional.

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Harding will work just two months of broadband provider’s next financial year but will be paid her full £550,000 salary

Dido Harding, the chief executive of TalkTalk, is to stand down 18 months after the company was hit by a cyber-attack affecting tens of thousands of customers.

Harding, who said she wanted to focus on “more activities in public service”, will leave the company in May.

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Live coverage and rolling reaction to the latest UK economic growth report, due at 9.30am BST

While we wait for the UK growth report, do listen to Robert Kennedy explaining how GDP is an imperfect measure.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

Britain’s economy outperformed the eurozone for several years, during the euro debt crisis.

But as this chart show, the eurozone’s growth rate caught up in 2016, and outpaced the UK so far this year. That has probably helped Britain avoid a sharper downturn this year.

#UKGDP out today


Lloyds Bank has announced pre-tax profits for the third quarter of £1.95bn, a rise of 141% on the same period last year.

However, last year's result included a big provision to cover claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).

Underlying profit for the period was £2.08bn, up 9% on 2016.

The bank did not set further money aside to cover PPI claims, having made another £700m of provisions in July.

The Lloyds group has already paid out more than £18bn in PPI claims and received more following a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) advertising campaign featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The FCA campaign highlighted a deadline for PPI claims of August 2019.

Lloyds said it received 16,000 claims per week after the advert was broadcast, with the number then dropping back to 11,000.

"Now they will be getting more claims but the end is in sight, so what they are saying is they have sufficient provision in to see it all through," banking analyst Frances Coppola said.

Looking at the bank's profits, she added: "It's got out of its doldrums, cleaned up its balance sheet, recovered from its acquisition of HBOS and is moving on."

Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said: "These results highlight the strength of our customer focused, simple and low risk business model."