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March 30 - April 5 2011
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 31-32
March turns nasty Riots mar giant TUC protest against government cuts
God, cancer and me Mick Brown in conversation with expat writer Christopher Hitchins
EXPAT LIFE P31
Candy girl Bernadette McNulty braves teen screams to review Katy Perry
Your degree’s in the post Max Davidson looks at longdistance learning specialist RDI
18 6 23 26 32 44 2 9 16 21 31 44
Bonus Ball 34
Bonus Ball 38
There were three winners of Wednesday’s £2.3m prize and four winners of Saturday’s £4.0m jackpot
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as a result. In one possible scenario, the OBR, set up by Mr Osborne to provide economic forecasts, suggests that high inflation could result in a twelvefold rise in Bank of England interest rates, up to six per cent, plunging many households into difficulty.
The OBR’s predictions are likely to alarm households most. It expects the squeeze on living standards to last almost six months longer than it predicted last November.
It expects wages to rise by 2 per cent on average this year, while the cost of living increases by more than 5 per cent. Sharp rises in the cost of petrol, food and other essentials are forecast to continue throughout 2012.
From next month, anyone earning more than £45,000 also faces tax rises as National Insurance is increased and higher earners will see more of their salaries being taxed at the higher rate. VAT was increased earlier this year.
In his first interviews since the Budget, Mr Osborne admitted that Britons would face a difficult time this year.
“I certainly accept that it is a tough time. Absolutely,” he said. “What I do see also in those forecasts is that unemployment will fall, employment will grow and growth will be there in each year. That is a better future than, frankly, me having to wake up every morning as Britain’s finance minister worrying about whether the country can afford to pay its way in the world.”
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned that better-paid workers would feel no benefit from the Budget tax cut.
Mr Osborne said he would raise the threshold at which basic rate tax begins next year, giving all workers a £45 tax cut. The IFS said that the Coalition decision to stick with Labour’s plan to freeze the higher-rate threshold would “more than offset” any benefit.
Speaking on a visit to Nottingham last week, David Cameron said the Coalition was trying to do as much to help consumers as the economic conditions allowed.
The Prime Minister said: “Of course one will always want to do more, but I think in
GEORGE OSBORNE CHANCELLOR
terms of helping hard-pressed consumers, when you think about it, they had their council tax frozen, a million people lifted out of income tax, a tax cut for everyone on basic rate, an increase in the pension in line with earnings, extra tax credits for the poorest families in our country.”
He added: “I think in what is a difficult year, those are good, helpful steps to help British people cope with the year ahead.”
There was some good news for Mr Osborne, however. Last week, WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, announced that it was likely to move its corporate headquarters back to Britain.
The company moved to Ireland following tax rises introduced by the Labour government. “There you have big companies coming back to the UK instead of leaving the UK and that’s going to help us all with the growing economy,” the Chancellor said in response to the announcement.
“If you look across the piece at all the Budget measures, they were all designed to say Britain is open for business.”
Labour urged the Coalition to slow down the pace of public spending cuts until the economic recovery was secure.
Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, said: “Unemployment is now rising to its highest level for 17 years, consumer confidence has seen its biggest fall for nearly 20 years and our economy, which was growing, has ground to a halt.
“What changed was the arrival of a new Conservative Chancellor, determined not to halve the deficit over the parliament, but eliminate it entirely with an immediate hike to VAT, the deepest spending cuts our country has experienced in 70 years, the largest spending cuts of any major country in the world.”
Labour also said that higher inflation would result in government spending on the NHS being worth £1billion less over four years.
It accused ministers of breaking an election promise to increase spending on the health service.
Mr Cameron, who travelled to Brussels this week for talks with other European leaders, will face fresh questions over Britain’s exposure to a bailout for Portugal. The country, whose credit rating has been downgraded, is expected to require tens of billions of pounds of assistance from other European Union countries.
On Monday, David Cameron, with Mr Osborne and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, were due to launch a new initiative called “Start Up Britain”, aimed at encouraging thousands of people to launch their own businesses. Sixty firms will take part, offering special offers and assistance worth up to £1,500 to each business.
Other Budget measures praised by the venture capitalists include the relaxation of rules to enable investors to contribute twice as much to new businesses as before — up to £1million each. Start-up firms will be able to receive a maximum of £10million, compared with £2million at present. They also welcome the scrapping of rules that required business angels to work for 25 hours a week for companies in which they invested.
The Telegraph can also disclose that the Treasury is planning to go further to support investors next year by introducing a new 50 per cent rate of tax relief on sums of up to £100,000 invested in start-ups.
In their letter, the investors say: “Taken together, these changes represent a shot in the arm for enterprise in the UK. Thanks to the changes announced by the Chancellor, we feel that the UK is being positioned as a world-class place to launch businesses. As a result, British entrepreneurs, and those relocating to the UK, will find it easier to raise the funds they need to do what they do best: create and grow world-beating businesses.”
The companies represented in the letter, such as Index Ventures, Balderton Capital and Eden Ventures, have invested in hundreds of British start-ups, including Skype, Betfair, Lovefilm and Bebo.
The Budget, page 4 Portuguese bailout, page 5
Continued from page 1
Vietnamese women went missing from Swindon in 2005.
Hai Nguyen, 20, disappeared from her home in Hesketh Crescent on June 27 2005.
She had come to England from Vietnam in May 2003. Wiltshire Police refused to say whether she was ever found. Mr Halliwell was arrested in a supermarket car park last Thursday.
Detectives are hoping to speak with anyone who was poaching or “lamping” in fields around Ramsbury, 13 miles outside Swindon, in the early hours of Saturday March 19.
Det Supt Fulcher said he was interested in any information they might have about suspicious activity in the area, and any possible sightings of a green Toyota Avensis.
He added: “I want to stress that we only want information from you that is relevant to the Sian O’Callaghan inquiry, we are not interested in prosecuting anyone for lamping or poaching.”
After being told about the location of a second possible victim, detectives discovered the woman’s remains in a field in Eastleach in Gloucestershire last Saturday morning.
The body of Miss O’Callaghan, who disappeared from the Suju nightclub in Swindon in the early hours of Saturday
Taxi driver Christopher Halliwell, who was arrested last Thursday and charged with murder
March 19, was discovered in a shallow grave next to the White Horse of Uffington, last Thursday. She was formally identified by a member of her family the following day.
Police said that there was no evidence that Miss O’Callaghan had been sexually assaulted.
They believe that she was originally buried in Savernake Forest, but was moved after officers and members of the public concentrated their searches on the 4,500-acre wood. More than 5,000 people gathered to pay tribute to Miss O’Callaghan by floating Chinese lanterns into the night sky at the Polo Ground in Swindon last Saturday night.
An estimated 1,000 lanterns were released following a two-minute silence at 8pm.
Hundreds of people then joined in a recital of the Lord’s Prayer as others lit candles and comforted each other. Mr Halliwell, of Swindon, was charged with Miss O’Callaghan’s murder at 9.20pm last Saturday.
He is in police custody at Gablecross police station in Swindon and was due to appear in court on Monday.