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Inflation falls to five-year low

Inflation fell to a five-year low of 1.2% in September, the Office for National Statistics said.

The Consumer Price Index measure of inflation fell to 1.2% from 1.5%in August.

The rate of Retail Price Index inflation also fell to 2.3% from 2.4% the previous month.


Government: There is 'good interest' in Eurostar stake

There has been "good interest" in the Eurostar stake, Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, has said

He said the value of the 40% stake in the company would be set by the investors during the bidding process with the final decision taken by the Treasury.

"It's up to us at the end of that [bidding] process to determine whether the value that's ultimately achieved is good value for money. If it isn't then we won't proceed," he added.

Government invites bid for Eurostar stake

Credit: Reuters

The Government has invited bids for the UK's 40% stake in the Eurostar to boost public finances.

The plans, announced last year, hope to raise £20 billion from corporate and financial asset sales by 2020.

Chancellor George Osborne said potential bidders should respond by the end of the month.

He added: "I am determined that we go on making the decisions to reform the British economy and tackle our debts so we will proceed with the potential sale of the UK's shareholding in Eurostar today.

"Ensuring that we can deliver the best quality infrastructure for Britain and the best value for money for the taxpayer are key parts of our long term economic plan."

The decision has been attacked by rail unions. While Labour warned it could follow the Royal Mail privatisation as a "rushed and under valued" sell off.

Rail unions threaten Eurostar sale plans

Rail unions have launched a fresh attack over plans to sell Britain's stake in the Eurostar rail service as the government prepares to announce the next move in the bidding process.

Passengers board a Paris bound Eurostar train at St Pancras Station. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said selling the UK taxpayers' 40% stake was an "act of betrayal".

The British government put the stake up for sale last December as part of a plan to privatise state assets. The French state train company SNCF owns 55% of Eurostar and Belgium's SNCB holds 5%.

This is a gross act of betrayal of the British people by a right wing government hell bent on selling off the family silver regardless of the real cost. This sell-off is just a short sighted act of industrial vandalism based on a bankrupt pro-privatisation ideology. RMT will fight this tooth and nail."

– RMT general secretary Mick Cash


Number of empty shops on High Street doubles in last year

The number of shops left empty on the High Street has doubled over the last year, according to a new report.

Traditional chains are moving out but there are not enough new stores opening to fill the gap.

Clothes, video and mobile phone shops are making way for betting shops, coffee bars and discount stores, according to research by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports:

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