News

Live news stream

Barclays making 'material moves in right direction'

Barclays bank is making "material moves in the right direction" despite criticism over its decision to raise the bonus pool and cut jobs, according to a financial expert.

Richard Buxton, one of the City's top fund managers, who oversees billions of pounds at Old Mutual Global Investors told Sky News this week that he was supportive of the chief executive.

Our focus is on the progress being made to improve returns, notably within the investment bank.

We are confident that much more will be achieved here, which will feed through to lower costs and lower compensation over time, albeit in an uneven fashion.

I'm confident that after further work on costs this year, the three-year average 2012-2014 numbers will show material moves in the right direction.

The bank knows it has to improve the staff-to-shareholder reward ratio - but this is a multi-year journey.

– Richard Buxton

Bank bosses to face shareholder fury

Angry shareholders will face Barclays bosses at the bank's annual general meeting, where they are likely to express their fury over high bonuses.

Read: Barclays unveils new chairman

Barclays
Barclays is still trying to recover trust after the libor fixing scandal. Credit: PA

Read: New Bank of England warning over bankers' bonuses

Barclays defied calls for restraint on banking bonuses by increasing the pool by 10% to £2.38 billion despite profits falling by a third and plans to cut thousands of jobs.

The meeting comes after Business Secretary Vince Cable wrote top 100 top businesses, warning them high executive pay would be a "dereliction of duty" and damage public trust.

The bank's pay policy has also been criticised by the Institute of Directors, which complained that the bonus pool for 2013 was nearly three times the £859 million paid out in dividends to shareholders.

Barclays has already announced the appointment of a new director, Crawford Gillies, to chair its remuneration committee. He will succeed Sir John Sunderland at a date to be set.

Read: Hundreds more jobs set to go to at Barclays

Advertisement

Student loans 'cost taxpayer more than a school place'

Student loan debts are written off after 30 years.
Student loan debts are written off after 30 years. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

The impact of the Government's major student loans shake-up could end up costing the taxpayer more money per year than sending a child to secondary school, according to a new report.

The IFS's new report looks at the group of English, full-time undergraduates who started university in 2012 - the first year of the new fees system.

The report says that once other types of Government spending on undergraduates is taken into account - such as grants for students and teaching funding for universities - each student costs the taxpayer just over £24,500 in total over the whole of their degree course.

This works out at around £7,600 per year of study, for an average course of 3.2 years - more than the £6,000 on average that the Government spent on each secondary school pupil in 2012/13, the IFS said.

Police make Syria plea to British Muslim women

There has been a surge in Brits traveling to fight in Syria this year.
There has been a surge in Brits traveling to fight in Syria this year. Credit: Reuters

Police are appealing particularly to British Muslim women to prevent their loved ones from joining the Syrian conflict.

As part of a campaign to curb rising numbers of would-be British jihadis, the country's counter-terrorism unit said it wanted women to be aware of what to do if they feared any men they know may be travelling to the country to fight.

Around 400 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria over the last two years, authorities believe, with an estimated 20 having died, including one man suspected of carrying out a suicide attack.

Abdul Waheed Majeed, 41, is believed to have driven a lorry to a jail in Aleppo before detonating a bomb in February.

Read: Warning over sharp increase in 'British jihaids'

UK should build 'new community institutions' for elderly

Britain should build "new community institutions" specifically designed to help elderly people live independent lives to cope with the looming care crisis.

IPPR senior research fellow Clare McNeil said:

The supply of unpaid care to older people with support needs by their adult children will not keep pace with future demand.

Thousands of people in their 60s and 70s today could be left to cope on their own when they need care in the future, with overstretched services unable to make up the shortfall.

Britain needs to build new community institutions capable of sustaining us through the changes ahead and to adapt the social structures already in place, such as family and care, public services, the workplace and neighbourhoods.

– Clare McNeil

Not enough family carers for elderly 'by 2017'

There will not be enough family members to provide informal care for their elderly relatives as early as 2017, a leading think tank has warned.

Read: Tonight: Looking after Mum and Dad

Elderly
IPPR published the research into social policy called the Condition of Britain. Credit: PA

Read: Charity: Local authorities 'rationing care' to the elderly

IPPR warned there would be more than a million elderly people without adult children to care for them by 2030, as they published research on rising care costs.

The report shows the average annual cost for an older person who pays for a typical package of care has increased to £7,900 a year, an average £25,000 for home care and an average £36,000 for a nursing home.

IPPR pointed to Germany, Japan and Australia as examples of countries with ageing populations which had coped well in the absence of adult children.

Read: Berlusconi may serve jail time caring for the edlerly

Advertisement

Machines 'could do a third of British jobs by 2030'

A Barclays machine.
Barclays is one business increasingly investing in machines. Credit: Tonight/ITV

Machines will be capable of doing more than a third of Britons' jobs by 2030, exclusive research for ITV's Tonight predicts.

The study by the University of Oxford looked at 702 different categories of occupation and found that 36% of the UK workforce are in jobs where there is a high risk that a machine could be capable of doing their work by that time.

The programme, which airs at 7.30pm on ITV, sees a range of experts predicting that technological changes in the coming decades will be at a pace not seen since the industrial revolution of the 19th century.

'Disingenuous' to blame overdue smears on GP access

It is misleading to suggest the rise in overdue smear tests is the result of a lack of GP access, the Government has said.

A Department of Health spokeswoman claimed there had been a sharp rise in the number of women screened for cervical cancer in the wake of Jade Goody's death in 2009, and now, fewer were choosing to get screened:

It is disingenuous to suggest that more women are unable to get a smear test because of GP access issues.

We know there was a significant rise in women wanting tests in 2009 following Jade Goody's death, and now fewer women choose to take up the invitation to have a smear.

The old 48-hour GP appointment target actually worsened access and under new plans, millions more people will get to see their family doctor at evenings and weekends.

– A Department of Health spokeswoman

'Proud day' for Cornwall after years of campaigning

A sign reads 'Welcome to Cornwall'
The Cornish have received minority status for the first time. Credit: Toby Melville/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Campaigners on the Cornish peninsular are celebrating after the people of the region received official minority status for the first time.

Many on the peninsular have long argued the region deserves special measures - including economic concessions, such as reductions in fuel duty - in recognition of its geographical location and cultural heritage.

Half a million people signed a petition and thousands marched through Cornwall and Westminster in opposition to 2012's controversial VAT rise on hot pasties - dubbed the "pasty tax".

Dick Cole, leader of Cornish independence party Mebyon Kernow, said: "The detail is still to come out on what this might mean, but make no mistake that this is a proud day for Cornwall."

Read: Cornish receive minority status for the first time

Labour: Rise in missed smear tests 'extremely worrying'

The 11% rise in the number of women who have failed to have a smear test is "extremely worrying", Labour have said.

Shadow health minister Liz Kendall said:

Someone is diagnosed with cervical cancer every three hours in the UK, and it kills three women every single day.

Smear tests save thousands of lives every year, so this recent drop in uptake is extremely worrying.

It's vital to increase public awareness and make it easier for women to book their tests, including outside normal working hours, because it can be tough getting to your local surgery if you're working, commuting or have to pick your children up after school.

– Liz Kendall

Read: 'Govt failing to act' over rise in missed smear tests

Load more updates