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Sunday newspaper round-up: VAT, Tesco, Iberdrola

(Sharecast News) - The frontrunner for the Tory leadership is mulling a five percentage point across the board reduction to value added tax. The measure could save families £1,300 a year. According to the Sunday Telegraph, Liz Truss, had discussed the possibility with advisers but a final decision would not be taken until after the end of Conservative leadership contest on 5 September. An estimate by the Institute for Fiscal Studies had put the cost of a five point reduction in VAT at £3.2bn per month and £38bn per year. - Guardian Lidl's former UK chief thinks that market leader Tesco will be overtaken by German-owned discounter rivals over the next five years. Ronny Gottschlich was also skeptical that the private equity owners of Morrisons and Asda would stay the course. Indeed, both Lidl and Aldi had opened hundreds of stores across the country, benefitting from shoppers keen to switch from the much costlier supermarkets. Gottschlich also believed that Lidl and Aldi would be able to increase their market share from 16% to 20% over the following 18 months. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

Scottish Power has come under criticism over its calls for a £100bn bailout for cash-strapped energy customers backed by taxpayers due to the £5.5bn of dividends paid to its Spanish parent, Iberdrola, over the preceding decade. Its proposal, which has received the backing of Eon and other suppliers, would limit energy bills during two years at around £2,000 with the help of a government guarantee. For the head of the Commons business energy and industrial strategy committee should factor in a need for profitable energy firms to put customer support first when deciding the payouts that can be paid to shareholders. - The Sunday Times

Businesses are concerned about the threat of strike action at Britain's ports which could stretch out until Christmas. Dockworkers at Felixstowe, which handles nearly half of container deliveries to the country, staged an eight-day walkout that was due to end on Monday. However, Union leaders are threatening further industrial action in coming weeks if the port's owner, CK Hutchinson, does not improve its offer for a salary raise from between 8.1-9.6% this year to at least 10%. - The Sunday Telegraph

As many as half a million jobs may be at risk over the coming winter as rocketing energy bills force hotels to close, pubs to slash their hours and factories to shutter, business leaders have warned. That could be on top of thousands more in industry and agriculture employers face a dilemma given that it makes increasingly more sense to simply close down rather than to remain open and incur in higher costs. Hundreds of thousands of jobs may be on the line over the next 18 months as 10,000 businesses are forced to shut, said Kate Nicholls, head of lobby group UKHospitality. - Sunday Times

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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