As Boris’s former principal private secretary claims to have ‘got away’ with holding a drinks gathering during a COVID-19 lockdown, we’re beating raps. While the CBI says that UK households are cutting back on discretionary purchases, Rishi Sunak hopes to divert voters with a windfall tax on power firms that will fund a reduction of up to £400 in energy bills.
KEEPING THE PARTY GOING
Serco is increasing its profits outlook, despite a hit from the end of COVID-19 ‘test and trace’ contracts, while Foxtons is spending £10.5m on two London estate agencies. As Clifford Chance ups pay for junior lawyers to £125,000 a year, Apple is raising starting pay for US workers. Citigroup’s new Malaga hub has attracted more than 3,000 job applications. As Andreessen Horowitz raises a $4.5bn crypto fund, Ethereum’s co-founder says we’ll soon use ‘soulbound tokens’ stored in an electronic ‘souls’ wallet to verify personal data like schooling and employment. The FTSE All-Share is nudging up.
PAYING THE PRICE
Volkswagen is settling UK ‘dieselgate’ claims for £193m, while Twitter is paying $150m over claims that it wrongly shared users’ phone numbers. As American fast food fans sue firms including Wendy’s and McDonald’s for allegedly misrepresenting the size of their burgers in adverts, rising prices are threatening the British fish and chips shop. ‘Rubbish bin’ Balenciaga trainers that are designed to look dirty and cost $1,850 are being derided by Chinese consumers. And there’s ’shear desperation’ for British sheep farmers who say the low price of wool is pushing them to just let the animals moult.
SHOWING OUR HAND
As the NHS performs the world’s first double hand transplant for scleroderma, Britain is said to have too many brain surgeons. And, after an 18-month wait, a German who rode an 86ft wave has claimed the surfing world record.