Boost for Hammond as government posts smallest September deficit in decade – as it happened | Business

The deficit is heading in the right direction, helped by increasing revenues from income tax, national insurance and VAT, which underlines how reliant government finances are on UK consumers both earning money, and spending it.

Despite the improving fiscal outlook, we can’t expect too many giveaways in the forthcoming budget. While the deficit is falling, the government still owes an eye-watering amount of money.

What’s more, the imaginary pie of future tax revenues that the chancellor has to play with is expected to be trimmed back significantly, thanks to an adjustment to economic projections made by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Finally there’s also Brexit in the mix, and the unknown effect this will have on the UK economy, and government finances. All of this means the Chancellor’s spreadsheets will tell him he doesn’t have a great deal of room for manoeuvre on Budget day.

Source link

Dirty money? Mystery over shredded €500 notes in Swiss sewers | Business

Tens of thousands of euros have been flushed down the toilet in Geneva, leaving Swiss prosecutors scratching their heads over whether the money is dirty.

Wads of €500 notes were discovered cut to shreds in the sewer system of a branch of Swiss bank UBS, while three more large deposits turned up in the toilets of nearby bistros.

Prosecutors confirmed the notes were worth tens of thousands of euros in total but said they had yet to identify the person who felt flush enough to dispose of the bills.

Swiss investigators said the money appeared to have come from a safe deposit box in Geneva belonging to unidentified Spanish women.

A lawyer for the women appeared at a local police station, according to the Tribune de Genève, but only offered money to pay for plumbing work at the UBS branch and the three restaurants.

“The damage amounted to several thousand [Swiss] francs,” one source told the newspaper, which said the lawyer had not explained why the money had been stuffed down the toilet.

A waiter in the Pizzeria du Molard told the Tribune the restaurant had called the police after the men’s toilets became blocked up. On investigating the cause of the blockage, staff found dozens of shredded €500 in the bathroom’s plumbing.

It is not an offence to destroy banknotes in Switzerland, but a spokesperson for the Geneva prosecutor’s office said the circumstances of the case warranted further investigation.

UBS, which discovered the notes at its branch on the Rue de la Corraterie, declined to comment.

Source link