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Thursday newspaper round-up: Royal Mail, welfare bill, Boeing, Alstom, Federal Reserve

Thu 18 April 2024 07:08 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The Labour Party is open to the prospect of a takeover of the owner of Royal Mail by the struggling postal group's Czech billionaire investor, which is considering a renewed approach. EP Group, a conglomerate controlled by Daniel Kretinsky, revealed on Tuesday that it had made a "non-binding indicative proposal" to the board of International Distributions Services (IDS), Royal Mail's parent company, on April 9 seeking its recommendation for a possible cash offer for the remainder of the shares it does not already own. - The Times

Jeremy Hunt has vowed to go "further and faster" to slash the welfare bill as he warned of an unsustainable rise in the cost of workless benefits. In an interview with the Telegraph, the Chancellor also said he wanted to cut National Insurance by another 2p before the election but stressed that he would only reduce taxes in a "responsible" way. Hunt said getting more people back to work and slashing the benefits bill would form a key part of the Conservative manifesto as he sought to draw a dividing line between the Tories and Labour on welfare. - Telegraph

Hundreds of people could lose their lives if Boeing fails to address quality issues, a whistleblower warned the US Congress on Wednesday. Sam Salehpour, an engineer at the planemaker, told a high-profile hearing on Capitol Hill that he feared "physical violence" after going public with his concerns. There is "no safety culture" at Boeing, he claimed, alleging that employees who raise the alarm are "ignored, marginalized, threatened, sidelined and worse". - Guardian

The government has launched a last-ditch effort to keep a historic train factory in Derby open in an effort to ensure it can assemble the rolling stock it has been contracted to deliver for HS2. After more than a year during which Alstom, the owners of the Litchurch Lane works, have been warning ministers that it does not have enough work to remain open, the transport secretary last night agreed to a new commitment to build ten more trains for London's Elizabeth Line. It is understood that a contract for the extra rolling stock for the metro line that runs across the capital will be signed as early as next month. - The Times

The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, cautioned on Tuesday that persistently elevated inflation will probably delay any Fed interest rate cuts until later this year, opening the door to a period of higher-for-longer rates. "Recent data have clearly not given us greater confidence" that inflation is coming fully under control and "instead indicate that it's likely to take longer than expected to achieve that confidence", Powell said during a panel discussion at the Wilson Center. "If higher inflation does persist," he said, "we can maintain the current level of [interest rates] for as long as needed." - Guardian

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