Daily Archives: December 7, 2011

Kiran Stacey

Vince Cable will not be outflanked by George Osborne. Osborne said on Tuesday that banks needed to show restraint when paying bonuses – an unusually anti-City message for a Tory chancellor.

But Cable today has gone one further, urging investors not to focus only on banks, but to make sure that no big company allows its executives to be paid too much. We will have more on this in tomorrow’s FT, but here is the letter he has sent to top investors and FTSE100 chairmen: Read more

Jim Pickard

The prime minister was asked in the Commons if he would show some “bulldog spirit” at the weekend EU negotiations. “That’s exactly what I will do,” he insisted.

Yet however the talks are resolved, Cameron seems unlikely to emerge clutching what many of his backbenchers would like to see: the repatriation of various powers such as human rights legislation and employment laws.

That is likely to stoke the internal pressures which were visible in the October Commons debate over an EU referendum, when 81 Tory backbenchers rebelled against the leadership.

Ed Miliband skewered the prime minister over the issue during PMQs, reminding the House that Cameron had promised the repatriation of powers during that debate: “Six weeks ago he was promising his backbenchers a handbagging for Europe, now he’s reduced to handwringing.

The line is sensitive for the Tory leader as it reflects what many of his rank and file believe. Asked by backbencher Steve Baker whether Britain should simply “leave Europe” –  Read more

Kiran Stacey

The FT reports this morning that payday lenders (or legal loan sharks as they are also known) have been flooding into the country looking to take advantage of hard-up recession-hit borrowers and the UK’s lax lending laws. Borrowing at rates of up to 5,000 per cent, customers can find their debts escalating at a startling pace.

Even though many other countries have interest rate caps, the UK has never gone down that route. The government has always said it is wary of implementing such a cap in case it pushes poor people into the hands of illegal loan sharks instead.

Labour MP Stella Creasy has also waged a long campaign to get the government to crack down on these companies, and now her campaign is gaining momentum. Read more