News Headlines: Tuesday 4th February


A new planning court will fast-track large scale developments under plans to beat costly legal challenges. Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling is to put forward the measures which include a stipulation that only groups with a financial interest can lodge a complaint. Judicial review applications more than doubled between 2000 and 2012, leading to concerns that major projects are being held up.


The state pension is to rise by around £1,000 by the end of the decade as the Lib Dems agree to the triple lock pledge. They are the last of the three major parties to do so, guaranteeing a rise of around £20 per week. The National Pensioners’ Convention welcomed the news but expressed dismay that the consumer price index is used, rather than the retail price index which is higher.


The public could be offered the chance to buy shares in Lloyd’s banking group as early as next month in a surprise announcement ahead of its results. Six per cent of the bank has already been sold to institutional investors but the chancellor is expected to authorise the sale of a larger part of the government’s 33% stake to both institutional investors and the public. Ian King in the Times comments that Ed Miliband’s recent promise to tackle a lack of competition in the banking market may affect the price, and should be given space in the retail prospectus.


The Association of Graduate Recruiters predicts a rise of 10.2% in vacancies for the coming recruitment round, following a rise of 4.3% last year. The biggest rises were in IT and Telecoms, the public sector, energy companies and banking and the financial sector.



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