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June 16 - 22 2010
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μ Features PAGES 24-26
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
μBusiness PAGES 33-37
Cumbria massacre The region mourns as police admit losing track of Derrick Bird
Tintoretto mystery Can you help the National Trust solve the riddle of an Old Master?
EXPAT LIFE P30
Silk and steel Mick Brown meets dictator-goddess Joanna Lumley
Special report: Adult learning Max Davidson on a pioneering woman in Australian business
26 14 33 45 46 49 1 16 17 19 33 34
Bonus Ball 30
Bonus Ball 9
There were two winners of Wednesday’s £7.4m jackpot and two winners of Saturday’s £2.2m prize
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By Patrick Hennessy DRINKERS face a “double whammy” of tax rises in the forthcoming emergency Budget, which will see the cost of beer, wine and spirits increasing sharply for the second time in three months.
The Treasury is considering a repeat of the 5 per cent increase in alcohol duty imposed in the March Budget as part of a tax-raising package to be unveiled by George Osborne, the Chancellor, next week.
The emergency Budget is also likely to see VAT increased from its current level of 17.5 per cent as ministers battle with Britain’s £156billion deficit. A VAT increase — possibly to 20 per cent — would also hit drinkers in the pocket.
Last week industry leaders claimed drinkers had been “punished enough”. The duty paid on beer and wine has risen by 26 per cent since the start of 2008, while it has risen by 22 per cent for spirits.
However, the tax “take” from alcohol fell by £730million, from £15.1billion in 2008 to £14.4 billion in 2009, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs and the Office for National Statistics.
Another 5 per cent duty increase in the Budget combined with an increase of 2.5 percentage points in the rate of VAT rate would put 19p on a bottle of Hardys VR Chardonnay, taking the wine’s price to £4.74, while a bottle
‘That’s how much the emergency budget is going to hurt!’
of Gordon’s gin would rise by 65p from £13.15 to £13.80.
The warnings of price rises came as Treasury sources told The Telegraph that ministers could come under greater pressure to put up taxes and identify swingeing spending cuts.
This week the new independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published revised growth forecasts, which showed the economy would expand 2.6 per cent in 2011, sharply lower than the Treasury’s current prediction of a 3.25 per cent rise.
The OBR is also estimating the size of Britain’s structural deficit — the budget gap that will remain once the economy returns to growth, which is notoriously hard to predict.
In March, the Treasury said the structural deficit
Continued from page 1 Osborne briefed his Cabinet colleagues on separate research showing that every government department, other than health and international development, would have to cut spending by between 15 and 20 per cent annually.
These cutbacks may now be too modest, with the credit rating agency study suggesting that departments might need to reduce spending by between 25 and 30 per cent. Mr Osborne said: “We didn’t choose the terrible economic situation we inherited. But we can work to put it right, to deal with our debts, to set our country on a brighter economic course.”
Lord Myners, the former City minister, last week criticised Gordon Brown’s administration for living beyond its means and said he had been frustrated by his colleagues’ “flawed thinking” on the economy. “There is
‘You’re through to the
Spending Cut Suggestions Line’
nothing progressive about a government that consistently spends more than it can raise in taxation,” he said.
Fitch, one of the agencies responsible for rating the creditworthiness of Britain’s debts, warned that the task facing the Government was “formidable”. In a detailed accounted for 8.4 per cent of GDP in 2009-10 compared with the total deficit of 11.5 per cent.
Mr Osborne has promised to eliminate the bulk of the structural deficit by 2015, and any increase in this estimate would effectively force the Government into even deeper cuts and further tax rises.
A Treasury source said: “Ministers may find their hands are forced. This could be what impacts the most, both on the emergency Budget and the Whitehall spending review later this year.”
The emergency Budget will set out the broad path of the coalition’s tax and spending policy for years to come. Raising VAT to 20 per cent would bring in more than £11.4 billion a year. Freezing all state welfare benefits could save £15billion over three years.
The Confederation of British Industry also estimates that £18 billion could be saved by a selected three-year pay and recruitment freeze in the public sector.
Criticising the duty increase, Jeremy Beadles, the chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “The truth is, tax rises aren’t working. They will further reduce the amount of money the Chancellor takes and they won’t tackle bingedrinking.
“Drinkers have been punished enough already. The last thing they and the industry need is another rise in duty.”
report, it suggested that plans drawn up by the former administration were unacceptable compared with other countries. The scale of the fiscal challenge “warrants a strong medium-term consolidation strategy”.
The warning is significant as Fitch’s rating, in effect, sets the interest the Government must pay to borrow money. Britain’s rating is currently at AAA level. Other international credit ratings agencies, including Standard & Poor’s, are closely monitoring Britain’s situation. “Much, much more needs to be done,” said Moritz Kraemer from Standard & Poor’s.
Fears were confirmed on Monday that the UK economy will grow slower than Labour predicted in the last Budget. The economy should expand 2.6 per cent in 2011 – worse than the 3.25 per cent predicted by Alistair Darling in March – according to the newly created Office for Budget Responsibility.
By Edmund Conway Economics Editor INVESTORS are placing bets on a Black Monday-style crash in the British stock market at the fastest rate since the collapse of Lehman Brothers bank in 2008, the Bank of England has warned.
In a survey of markets, the Bank warned that widespread fear over the possible collapse of a sovereign debtor, including Greece and Portugal, had sparked a mass of bets on a 20 per cent fall in the FTSE 100.
The warning coincides with calculations from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) showing that Britain has major exposure to the Irish and Spanish banking systems,
The exposure of banks with headquarters in Britain to the troubled Irish economy which many fear could be at risk in the next round of the financial crisis.
The Bank of England used its Quarterly Bulletin to warn that markets were under increased strain following the International Monetary Fund and European Commission’s bailout of Greece.
It said that investors had fled into safe haven assets, including Treasury bonds, gold and, to some surprise, UK government bonds. However, it pointed out that the number of investors betting on a 20 per cent fall in the FTSE 100 index, based on their purchase of options connected to such a scenario, had risen from below 5 per cent to about 13 per cent in the past month alone.
Although this is below the 25 per cent level around the time of the Lehman implosion, the rate of increase is similar. Share prices have been hit by the fears surrounding sovereign debt in recent weeks. Some analysts believe problems surrounding government bonds could trigger a repeat of Lehmanstyle events.
The BIS used its own Quarterly Report to point out that various countries in the euro area were particularly exposed to each other – both in terms of sovereign and private debt.
Banks based in Britain had larger claims on Ireland ($230 billion, £158 billion) than banks based in any other country. Britain has a $150 billion exposure to Spain. telegraph.co.uk/expat
T The expat World Cup Watching the footie with the Brits in
Shanghai and Dubai blogs.telegraph.co.uk/expat
June 16 - 22 2010
By Harry Wallop LONGER than a jumbo jet, as tall as Nelson’s Column and containing five miles of steel cable, Britain’s biggest sculpture was unveiled last week.
The mammoth artwork, designed by Anish Kapoor, the sculptor, was the centrepiece of a handover ceremony on the windswept docks of Middlesbrough.
Temenos, meaning sacred ground in Greek, is 164ft high and towers above Britain’s previously highest sculpture, Angel of the North, Antony Gormley’s winged statue in Gateshead, which stands at a mere 66ft.
Two steel rings pull a delicate mesh of steel cables, which are suspended above the dockside, dominating the post-industrial landscape.
The structure was hailed by many locals as a spectacular success and a key to regenerating the area. Others grumbled, however, that it was a waste of £2.7million, much of it public money.
Richard Buckley, the director of Tees Valley Regeneration, which commissioned the piece, said: “Not everyone was convinced by the Angel of the North, but now most people in the North East love it. When they see it, they think ‘I’m home’. And I hope we have created something akin to that here, a work of art with which people can really identify and which will become part of the Tees Valley landscape.”
Temenos may not hold the title of Britain’s biggest artwork for long. It could soon be matched by The White Horse, the proposed Mark Wallinger sculpture for Ebbsfleet in Kent. It will also
‘Temenos’, towering over the Middlesbrough docks, is 164ft high and longer than a Boeing 747. The previous largest sculpture, Antony Gormley’s ‘Angel of the North’, stands 66ft tall be dwarfed by Kapoor’s own vision for the Olympic Park in east London. The ArcelorMittal Orbit will be more than 300ft high.
Kapoor said Temenos needed to be built on a grand scale. “The landscape here is full of huge objects. The Transporter Bridge, the Middlehaven crane, two great container ships moored here. We wanted something that would fit in.” He said he hoped that the work would help draw visitors back to the area. “The work is ephemeral and mysterious. But you have to walk up to it, around it and underneath it to appreciate it.”
Temenos is funded by a mixture of private and public money. Arts Council England provided £300,000 and the Homes and Communities Agency made a significant, but undisclosed contribution.
Middlesbrough Football Club, whose stadium is virtually overlooked by the sculpture, gave £350,000. The Greek title is a nod to the “sacred” turf at the Riverside stadium.
Middlesbrough’s mayor, Ray Mallon, who chaired the handover ceremony, said: “We have our challenges here, but we are lean, mean and fit, and our motto is: ‘If you build it, people will come.’ ”
ANISH KAPOOR has form when it comes to public sculpture. His Cloud Gate, on display at the Millennium Park in Chicago, is one of the great pieces of recent times: a 110-ton stainless steel coffee bean that reflects the sky and buildings around it, while visitors wander beneath.
Nottingham and New York’s Rockefeller Center both have Sky Mirrors, doing more or less what they say.
These enormous statues have proved incredibly popular. At one level, they are engineering feats that inspire admiration. At another, their monumentalism makes them add up to more than you would expect. They seem to speak of another world while firmly rooted in this one.
In Temenos, the first of five giant sculptures to be unveiled on Teesside, he has taken a different tack, creating a delicate butterfly net in the sky. It recalls the area’s bridges, cranes – and the goal nets of the nearby Riverside stadium. However it looks in photographs, you can bet it will inspire awe and affection on the ground.
By James Kirkup and Thomas Harding DAVID CAMERON will this week set out a hard-headed new approach to Afghanistan that will raise hopes that British troop numbers in the country will be reduced in little more than a year.
As The Telegraph went to press the Prime Minister was due to tell MPs that the Government was trying to accelerate the process that will allow forces to start coming home.
Government insiders said Mr Cameron was keen to start winding down a war he inherited from Labour.
His Commons statement was due to be made after ministers removed Britain’s most senior military commander from his post amid frustrations at the way the war was being conducted. The early departure of Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock
Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, allows Mr Cameron to choose a new chief to oversee his strategy.
Sir Jock’s early retirement later this year was announced on Sunday by Dr Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, who said it would allow ministers to put the “appropriate” commander into the top post.
Sir Bill Jeffrey, the senior civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, will also step down. Ministers are risking a row with Whitehall chiefs by considering replacing him with Bernard Gray, a procurement expert from outside the civil service. Jeremy Haywood, a senior Downing Street official, is also a contender.
The candidates to replace Sir Jock are Gen Sir David Richards, the head of the Army, and Gen Sir Nick Houghton, Sir Jock’s deputy. The successor will have a two-year term to oversee a shift in the approach to Afghanistan.
The new “national securitydriven” approach includes: ŠIncreased Government efforts to persuade voters that the Afghan mission is succeeding and showing that Afghan government forces can secure the country. ŠLowering the criteria for success from a fully stable country to “some stability”. ŠA clear commitment to a US-led review of the Afghan war that assumes troop withdrawals from next July.
Underlining the changing mood, Dr Fox said on Sunday that ministers “don’t want to be in Afghanistan for a day longer than necessary”.
Rhetoric over Afghanistan has changed in recent days. Sir David last week said Britain was engaged in a “war”. Mr Cameron followed that up by referring to “a war of necessity, not a war of choice”. The previous government had referred to it as a conflict. Mr Cameron will this week tell MPs that he will not set an “artificial timetable” for troops to return. But he will make clear that Britain is fully committed to an American-led process that will reassess the Afghan mission later this year and start a reduction in troop numbers from July 2011.
Britain has 10,000 troops in Afghanistan. A total of 295 British soldiers have died there since 2001. Ministers are braced for fresh public unease over the Afghan mission when the British death toll passes 300 in the coming weeks. That grim milestone may put new pressure on the coalition, since the Lib Dems have been strong critics of the mission.
Frontline pay, page 4 A war not a conflict, page 10 10 soldiers killed, page 17