The tax trap awaiting Millionaire's Row – and how to beat it. This is Money podcast

What do you do about the looming inheritance tax threat when you live with elderly parents along with your own child and the home is worth nearly £10million – and you want to continue living there?

It sounds like a champagne problem, but IHT does hit ordinary people – including one reader who admits to being relatively cash poor. How can they make sure they aren't turfed out due to inheritance tax?

This is Money editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost discuss the IHT issue.

Elsewhere, we discuss the huge responsibility of being a trustee with a pot of cash to invest for a younger sibling and why it is never too late to start sorting your pension.

With a number of big firms suffering hacks, including British Airways, we discuss what people can do if they are a victim and how to prevent becoming one.

And finally, we talk about electric cars as sales continue to rise with the UK pushing for an entirely zero-emissions road network by 2040. 

We publish our podcast every Friday to the player on This is Money, above, and on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) and on the podcast platforms Audioboom and Acast, both of which allow you to listen on desktop, mobile, or download an app. We also now publish to Spotify.

To download the Apple Podcasts app if you do not already have it, go to the App store. Or go to either the Apple App store or the Google Play store on Android to download the Acast, AudioBoom or Spotify app. 

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September 14, 2018

Sources: Daily Mail

Related news

  • Is it cheaper to join a car club or own a vehicle in London?

    Is it cheaper to join a car club or own a vehicle in London?

    ially London.</p><p>Firms such as Zipcar, Enterprise Car Club and Drive Now have fleets of vehicles dotted around the capital that are available to members and customers on short-term rentals. </p><p>They're ideal for people who don't have their own car and need a vehicle for those odd jobs that can't be done without the aid of four wheels - think trips to furniture stores or taking grass cuttings to the recycling centre.</p><p>But what if you have your own vehicle but don't necessarily use it that much? How infrequently do you have to drive to make ditching your motor and joining a car club more cost effective?</p><p>Could a car club be more cost effective? Depending on how many miles you drive, it might be better for your finances to ditch your own vehicle</p><p>According to new research, the annual mileage sweet spot for making the switch is 2,000 miles, or less.</p><p>That works out at roughly four hours of driving per week if you live in London, the study says. </p><p>While that might not sound much, that's a feasible annual mileage for someone who might regularly commutes by public transport to avoid the capital's clogged-up roads. </p><p>The numbers were crunched by iCarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of specialist Car Club and car hire excess insurance.</p><p>It compared the cost of owning a vehicle and using a Car Club membership for four hours a week and found there was a saving up for grabs even when you don't factor in the cost of the vehicle.</p><p>When taking into account car owners' cost to insure, tax, fuel, MOT, park and generally keep a vehicle running in the capital, a person would be spending around £1,731 a year to run a motor of an equivalent size to a Ford Fiesta. </p><p>Car clubs like Zipcar charge around £6 to £7 an hour for the use of a medium-size vehicle in London</p><p>A car club user - hiring a similar vehicle for around £6 an hour (though £7 was used for the calculation below) - would pay just £1,572 a year to drive for around the same amount of time.</p><p>These calculations also don't take into account the depreciation of the vehicle, costs for any repairs and outlays for consumables such as new tyres, headlight bulbs, wiper blades, brake pads, oil and so on. </p><p>Factor over the costs spread across five years, iCarhireinsurance estimates that a London motorist doing no more than 2,000 miles a year could save £1,000 annually by offloading their own vehicle. </p><p>'If you don’t use your car much, 2019 might be the year to ditch it for good, and save around £1000 using a Car Club instead,' said Ernesto Suarez, founder and chief executive of the zero-excess insurer.</p><p>'Hiring cars by the hour from approximately £6 for a mid-size car, which includes basic insurance and petrol, is a good option for those in urban areas, giving you the convenience of a car without the headache and costs that come with running and parking it.'</p><p>Car clubs fleets are growing, with many motorists deciding vehicle sharing works better for them</p><p>Running costs are almost non existent - fuel (up to 60 miles), MOT, tax, servicing etc are also charges you could avoid</p><p>However, there are some drawbacks of using such clubs.</p><p>For instance, there might not be a vehicle readily available in your location.</p><p>Even if there is a car club parking space near your home, you are heavily reliant on the volume of other users trying to access these short-term rental vehicles.</p><p>Also, the calculation doesn't take into account the costs incurred by drivers who go over the arranged loan period.</p><p>For instance, Zipcar charges a late return fee starting at £35 per hour (up to a maximum of three hours), plus the additional usage cost.</p><p>For daily rentals, there tends to be a 29-minute grace period, though fines are levied if the vehicle isn't made available to other users beyond this.</p><p>However, there are some issues with car clubs, such as steep late fees, vehicle availability and the fact they'll no longer be Congestion Charge exempt in London from April</p><p>The range of vehicles from car clubs are diversifying too, with more electric and hybrid models being offered</p><p>Drivers who don't take out additional excess insurance also run the risk of high charges incurred for any damage to the vehicle during your period of use. </p><p>This means that car club drivers and operators will need to pay the £11.50 Congestion Charge if they travel within the Zone during charging hours.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 19, 2019
  • Millennial Monzo users made more than 3.6million trips to Pret last year, bank's stats show

    Millennial Monzo users made more than 3.6million trips to Pret last year, bank's stats show

    last year and made around two and a half million Amazon purchases, according to its statistics.</p><p>The challenger bank popular with millennials launched 'Year in Monzo' last week, allowing its customers to see what they spent their money on and where in 2018. </p><p>The hashtag went viral and many users posted their statements on Twitter.</p><p>One user tweeted 'My 2018 #YearInMonzo tells you more about me than my Tinder profile', while another said 'My #YearInMonzo reads like a bad year 8 French assessment and I love it'.</p><p>Monzo released stats for 2018 showing where its cardholders spent their money last year</p><p>Now the bank has compiled the total numbers and published them online. Monzo's almost 1.4million customers made nearly 178million transactions last year.</p><p>And some of the statistics are unsurprising for a digital-only bank marketed at younger people. </p><p>As well as Pret, Monzo users placed 720,000 orders with takeaway delivery start-up Deliveroo, while the bank said a large number of entertainment transactions were for streaming services Netflix and Spotify.</p><p>Every year Spotify also releases its own equivalent to 'Year in Monzo', called 'Unwrapped', which allows you to see your most listened to artists and tracks.</p><p>It comes a week after Monzo allowed users to see their own spending breakdown and where their top spending spots were - the hashtag #YearInMonzo was trending in the UK </p><p>One week on from allowing users to see their spending, it compiled all the stats for all its 1.4m customers and showed where they'd spent most of their money</p><p>The pie chart above also shows that eating out is the category where payments are made most, followed by groceries, shopping and entertainment. </p><p>The bank also revealed that most users were after their caffeine fix, with Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero among customers' most-visited places. </p><p>It found that most coffees were bought between eight and nine in the morning, and then 12-1 in the afternoon.</p><p> Would you use a digital-only bank for your main current account? </p><p> Would you use a digital-only bank for your main current account? </p><p>However, some of the companies whose wares were purchased the most are not stereotypically associated with millennials. </p><p>After Amazon, Marks &amp; Spencer was the shop most frequented, with over 2.4million transactions, while cardholders shopped at Tesco nearly 11million times.</p><p>In 2017, the bank revealed that its users spent a total of more than a billion pounds, but has yet to release total spending figures this time around.</p><p>While the number of people who own one of the challenger's trendy pink bank cards has grown since it started moving customers to full current accounts in September 2017, the total figures suggest individual Monzo users would only make roughly one transaction every three days.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 19, 2019
  •  Elon Musk warns 'the road ahead is very difficult' announcing Tesla layoffs

    Elon Musk warns 'the road ahead is very difficult' announcing Tesla layoffs

    its workforce, marking the second round of job cuts in just over six months, as it faces the pressure of building and delivering its long-promised, lower-priced Model 3s at scale while keeping costs down. </p><p> "Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn't any other way," Musk wrote. </p><p> The electric carmaker laid off 9 percent of its staff last June. </p><p> In the meantime, Tesla faces increasing competition in the luxury space, as traditional brands plan to enter the electric market, including Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen's Audi and Porsche. </p><p> Musk needs to find a way to mass produce and deliver the lower-priced Model 3s he has staked the company's future on — an affordable mid-range electric car priced at $35,000. Tesla began taking deposits for the car three years ago and has yet to deliver at that price point. Currently, the cheapest Model 3 sells at $44,000. Furthermore, Tesla hopes to deliver Model 3s to Asia and Europe in the next three months. </p><p> "Starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles. Moreover, we need to continue making progress towards lower-priced variants of Model 3," Musk wrote. </p><p> "The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely," he added. </p><p> The electric vehicle tax credit, which offset the price of a new Tesla by $7,500 was halved on Jan 1, making it now $3,750. </p><p> The electric vehicle tax credit applies to all manufacturers for their first 200,000 vehicles. After that threshold, it's halved, and then halved again before it is phased out. Therefore newer entrants to the market can defray costs for consumers by $7,500, potentially swaying buyers to Tesla's competitors. Earlier this month, Tesla dropped the price of all of its vehicles by $2,000. </p><p> Friday's email confirmed many external criticisms of the company. </p><p> "This announcement is a rare moment of concession for Tesla, where the company is officially acknowledging the fact that Model 3 buyers actually do care about the tax credits, and could insinuate that demand for the vehicle is starting to wane," Jessica Caldwell, an executive at auto research firm Edmunds, wrote in an email to ABC News. </p><p> "This is clearly big news because it’s Tesla, but it’s not unlike moves we’re seeing from other automakers as costs rise and competitive pressures increase. But when you’re talking about a company that builds tents to solve production challenges, it’s almost more notable when you see them doing something conventional," Caldwell wrote. </p><p> The company has been struggling to be profitable its entire existence. In October, it reported a record third-quarter profit of $311.5 million, reversing Wall Street expectations. Musk referred to that 4 percent as "our first meaningful profit in the 15 years since we created Tesla." Musk credited the higher-priced Model 3 sales. </p><p> Within Tesla's own ecosystem, Tesla has been struggling from both production and delivery issues, which Musk admitted in a tweet last year, saying the company had gone from "production hell to delivery logistics hell." </p><p> Tesla shares dipped dramatically on Friday, down 13 percent to $302.</p>

    1 January 19, 2019
  •  Elon Musk warns 'the road ahead is very difficult' announcing Tesla layoffs

    Elon Musk warns 'the road ahead is very difficult' announcing Tesla layoffs

    its workforce, marking the second round of job cuts in just over six months, as it faces the pressure of building and delivering its long-promised, lower-priced Model 3s at scale while keeping costs down. </p><p> "Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn't any other way," Musk wrote. </p><p> The electric carmaker laid off 9 percent of its staff last June. </p><p> In the meantime, Tesla faces increasing competition in the luxury space, as traditional brands plan to enter the electric market, including Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volkswagen's Audi and Porsche. </p><p> Musk needs to find a way to mass produce and deliver the lower-priced Model 3s he has staked the company's future on — an affordable mid-range electric car priced at $35,000. Tesla began taking deposits for the car three years ago and has yet to deliver at that price point. Currently, the cheapest Model 3 sells at $44,000. Furthermore, Tesla hopes to deliver Model 3s to Asia and Europe in the next three months. </p><p> "Starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles. Moreover, we need to continue making progress towards lower-priced variants of Model 3," Musk wrote. </p><p> "The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely," he added. </p><p> The electric vehicle tax credit, which offset the price of a new Tesla by $7,500 was halved on Jan 1, making it now $3,750. </p><p> The electric vehicle tax credit applies to all manufacturers for their first 200,000 vehicles. After that threshold, it's halved, and then halved again before it is phased out. Therefore newer entrants to the market can defray costs for consumers by $7,500, potentially swaying buyers to Tesla's competitors. Earlier this month, Tesla dropped the price of all of its vehicles by $2,000. </p><p> Friday's email confirmed many external criticisms of the company. </p><p> "This announcement is a rare moment of concession for Tesla, where the company is officially acknowledging the fact that Model 3 buyers actually do care about the tax credits, and could insinuate that demand for the vehicle is starting to wane," Jessica Caldwell, an executive at auto research firm Edmunds, wrote in an email to ABC News. </p><p> "This is clearly big news because it’s Tesla, but it’s not unlike moves we’re seeing from other automakers as costs rise and competitive pressures increase. But when you’re talking about a company that builds tents to solve production challenges, it’s almost more notable when you see them doing something conventional," Caldwell wrote. </p><p> The company has been struggling to be profitable its entire existence. In October, it reported a record third-quarter profit of $311.5 million, reversing Wall Street expectations. Musk referred to that 4 percent as "our first meaningful profit in the 15 years since we created Tesla." Musk credited the higher-priced Model 3 sales. </p><p> Within Tesla's own ecosystem, Tesla has been struggling from both production and delivery issues, which Musk admitted in a tweet last year, saying the company had gone from "production hell to delivery logistics hell." </p><p> Tesla shares dipped dramatically on Friday, down 13 percent to $302.</p>

    1 January 19, 2019
  • Tesla to cut workforce by 7 percent, expects lower Q4 profit

    Tesla to cut workforce by 7 percent, expects lower Q4 profit

    sion.</p><p>Tesla Inc said on Friday it would cut 7 percent of its workforce — or some 3,400 jobs — to rein in costs as it plans to increase production of lower-priced versions of its crucial Model 3 sedan, sending its shares down 7 percent in premarket trading.</p><p>The company, which has struggled to achieve long-term profitability and keep a tight lid on expenses, also said it expects fourth-quarter profit to be lower than the previous quarter.</p><p>Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said the company would need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 version in all markets starting around May, as it needs to reach more customers who can afford the vehicles.</p><p>In addition, Tesla said it needs to continue making progress toward a lower-priced Model 3.</p><p>Musk has been under intense pressure to stabilize production of the Model 3, a car that was unveiled in early 2016 to great fanfare and seen as critical to the company’s long-term viability.</p><p>But Tesla has scrambled to get the Model 3 into the hands of customers, many of whom have been waiting since early 2016, and Musk said last year that Tesla had moved from “production hell to delivery logistics hell.”</p><p>In a memo to employees on Friday, Musk said 2018 was the “most challenging in Tesla’s history,” adding the company hired 30 percent additional employees last year, which was more than it could support.</p><p>“I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult,” Musk said.</p><p>Musk said the need for lower priced versions of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making the car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year, when it goes away entirely.</p><p>“Headcount reduction is part of the process of reducing Model 3 price point with the lower range battery and offsetting the reduction in US federal tax credits,” Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said.</p><p>Tesla sales benefited from a $7,500 federal tax credit on electric vehicles throughout 2018, but that full credit expired at the end of 2018, and new buyers will now receive only half that amount.</p><p>“This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and some luck, to target a tiny profit,” Musk said.</p><p>Tesla reported a profit of $311.5 million, or $1.75 per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 January 18, 2019
  • Poor mobile phone sales set to drag Dixons Carphone down again when it updates investors next week

    Poor mobile phone sales set to drag Dixons Carphone down again when it updates investors next week

    t its troubled mobile phone division when it reports on its third-quarter performance next week.</p><p>City analysts forecast the retailer's Carphone Warehouse outlets will post a 5 per cent decline in like-for-like sales in the period, which includes Christmas.</p><p>The Currys PC World owner's shares were stung in December when it detailed mammoth write-downs on the value of Carphone, alongside a £200 million cost-cutting exercise.</p><p>City analysts forecast the retailer's Carphone Warehouse outlets will post a 5% decline in like-for-like sales in the period</p><p>It also posted losses of £440 million for the half-year to October 27 against profits of £54 million a year earlier.</p><p>Nevertheless, analysts at Citi believe that should the mobile division be turned around, it could offer upside to investors.</p><p>Dan Homan, analyst at the investment bank, said: 'Dixons Carphone controls over one third of the UK electricals market and despite the incessant rise of Amazon and Apple, it has gained share over the last decade as weaker incumbents have failed. We do not see a structural risk to this market share.</p><p>'The Carphone business is under more pressure but is valued at zero by the market and offers upside if trading can be turned around.'</p><p>Chief executive Alex Baldock outlined his strategy overhaul to turn around the fortunes of loss-making Carphone last month.</p><p>He said job losses are not expected as a result of the efforts, with the savings set to come from moves to merge IT systems and reduce supplier costs.</p><p>Mr Baldock added that Dixons Carphone remains committed to having stores and has no current plans to shut more than the 102 shops already announced this financial year.</p><p>Dixons Carphone is expected to book another sales slump at its troubled mobile phone division</p><p>Ahead of Tuesday's trading update, which covers the 10 weeks to January 5, the City expects comparable sales of electrical products at Dixons Carphone to have risen by just 1 per cent in the UK amid a challenging retail environment.</p><p>Total group comparable sales are set to come in flat.</p><p>Retailers have been battling a number of headwinds this year and last, including low consumer confidence, high costs and rapidly changing shopping habits.</p><p>Firms such as Toys R Us, Maplin and HMV entered into administration, while others have sought rescue deals and shut stores.</p><p>Brexit is also looming and HSBC's Andrew Porteous said: 'The failure of others may weigh initially. A paucity of successful retail turnarounds and Brexit-related uncertainty may limit the market's enthusiasm.</p><p>'We like the new strategy which has clearly been thoroughly thought through.</p><p>'But we cannot think of a successful retail turnaround in the past five years and this may temper initial enthusiasm.'</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 18, 2019
  • How you can now beat inflation with a one-year fixed savings account

    How you can now beat inflation with a one-year fixed savings account

    n 'expected profit rate', rather than a guaranteed interest but Raisin's Make Good policy however, guarantees that savers won't get back less than they put in. </p><p>Cause for celebration: Savers can now find real returns from a one-year fixed-rate bond</p><p>Office for National Statistics figures revealed on Wednesday showed that Consumer Price Index inflation had slowed to 2.1 per cent, the lowest it has been in almost two years.</p><p>This was welcome news for savers who have struggled to shield their pots from the ravages of inflation. </p><p>This time last year, in fact, there were no fixed-rate bonds at all that paid more than the three per cent inflation rate, according to Moneyfacts figures.</p><p>The Gatehouse Bank account marks the first time a one-year bond has beaten inflation since the end of 2016.  </p><p>The sharpened rate is the only one-year bond to currently beat inflation. </p><p>Deposits with Gatehouse Bank are fully covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to a maximum £85,000 per person, should the bank go bust.</p><p>As mentioned above, savers can earn bumper returns with a clever trick using Raisin. </p><p>The savings marketplace will currently also pay tiered cashback to savers opening the one-year deal through its market place:</p><p>Sharia banks and lesser-known challengers are largely to thank for improving short fixed term bond rates.</p><p>Islamic law prohibits that money be made from just money. This rules out interest earned under the traditional deposit and lending system.</p><p>Instead, Sharia compliant accounts use deposits to make ethical investments which means savers could technically get back less than they put in.</p><p>According to Gatehouse however, it has never changed the expected profit rate on a product that has already been taken out by customers and has always paid the initial advertised rate, and therefore also never returned less than a saver's initial deposit. </p><p>Raisin also offers a Make Good Policy that says it will cover the difference in the unlikely even these investments return a loss. </p><p>This policy does mean the account no longer agrees with Sharia principles, however it means those concerned about the element of risk can still take advantage of the bumper rate.</p><p>You could still earn less than the initial expected profit rate though. </p><p>However, Raisin says if the rate is lowered at any point it will contact you to allow you to either continue at the new lower rate or collect the interest earned to this point and move your deposit to another account without penalty.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 18, 2019
  • A bleak Christmas for retailers as shoppers do gifting on Black Friday, report finds

    A bleak Christmas for retailers as shoppers do gifting on Black Friday, report finds

    shifted spending to the Black Friday promotional period.</p><p>Volumes fell by 0.9 per cent on November as all sectors except food and fuel declined compared to the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).</p><p>Annual sales growth inched higher to 2.7 per cent compared with 2 per cent in 2017, though this marked a slowdown compared to the post-recession peak of 4.7 per cent seen in 2016.</p><p>Retail sales by volume fell by 0.9 per cent on November as all sectors except food and fuel declined compared to the previous month</p><p>In the three months to December, the quantity bought decreased by 0.2 per cent.</p><p>Estimates for the amount spent in December were 3.7 per cent higher than the same period in the previous year, while the quantity bought was up 3 per cent.</p><p>Online retailing accounted for 20 per cent of the total, with weekly spending at £1.9billion during December.</p><p>Month-on-month growth was seen across all sectors online, except household goods stores and other non-food.</p><p>Household goods declined 17.9 per cent following Black Friday promotions, which boosted sales in November 2018.</p><p>Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club, said the drop in December volumes was a 'disappointment' for retailers.</p><p>'This pointed to Black Friday-related promotions primarily bringing retail purchases forward to November from December rather than lifting sales overall,' he said.</p><p>'The extended squeeze on purchasing power has encouraged consumers to become more savvy in their Christmas shopping .'</p><p>Philipp Gutzwiller, head of retail at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: 'After nearly two weeks of trading updates, it is no secret that many retailers experienced one of the toughest Christmases in a decade.</p><p>'While there were some winners and losers on the high street, the question now on everyone's mind is how long before the current challenges around tightened consumer spending and broader uncertainty start to ease?</p><p>'For now, there are enough retailers who either remain creative enough to tempt shoppers to spend a little more, or resilient enough to face into the headwinds.</p><p>'Those who aren't will be hoping for a turnaround in fortunes or, at the very least, a milder winter than last year and a few green shoots by springtime.'</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 18, 2019
  • Slow broadband is holding Britain back: Fury over dismal connections in new homes

    Slow broadband is holding Britain back: Fury over dismal connections in new homes

    new homes across the country will get decent broadband.</p><p>After the Mail revealed one in eight new properties are getting sub-standard internet speeds, calls are growing for the Government to introduce laws more quickly that will ensure families get a good connection.</p><p>Frustrated: Kevin Pratley and his family have been plagued by slow internet speeds</p><p>Engineer Kevin Pratley says the broadband in his home is so poor it cannot be used by more than one person at a time.</p><p>The 54-year-old and his family moved into their £185,000 three-bedroom detached house, built by Persimmon, in 2012.</p><p>But they have been plagued by slow internet speeds ever since and have yet to be told when they can get an upgrade.</p><p>Mr Pratley, who is married to Lisa, 43, said his ten-year-old daughter, Katie, needs to go online to do homework. He often works from home for Jaguar Land Rover as well. But he and his daughter must take turns to use the internet or it becomes too slow to use. Mr Pratley said: 'We also try to download programmes on the TV but just give up because it is impossible.</p><p>'Persimmon said we needed to contact Openreach, and they said fibre isn't available in our area yet,' he said.</p><p>'The sooner someone fixes it the better but at the moment it seems like everyone is dragging their feet.'</p><p>The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warned broadband was a basic requirement and that a lack of action could hurt Britain's economy.</p><p>Consumer group Which? and the Countryside Alliance also rounded on penny-pinching developers, saying it was unacceptable for families paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to be lumbered with homes that had poor connections.</p><p>Ministers have vowed to pass laws that will guarantee every new home is equipped with good broadband – but no legislation has been proposed.</p><p>Felicity Burch, the CBI's director of innovation, said: 'All new properties must have full fibre or other gigabit cables installed when they're built, and new laws must give permission to firms to install connections in existing homes for private tenants.'</p><p>Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, said a lack of decent broadband was holding back firms in rural areas particularly.</p><p>He added: 'As it stands, the UK lags behind several European nations to provide a fully operating fibre optic service, which means businesses and those who work from home are being left behind, further hampering the economy.'</p><p>Alex Neill, managing director of home services at Which?, said: 'A decent broadband connection is a modern essential for most households so it is unacceptable that some property developers do not seem to be treating connectivity as a priority.'</p><p>And Sarah Lee, head of policy at the Countryside Alliance, said: 'Communities in rural areas are often treated as second-class citizens when it comes to broadband connectivity. It is unacceptable in this modern age that developers are failing to include this essential service when they build new homes.'</p><p>On Tuesday, the Mail revealed thousands of properties continue to be built that cannot even receive download speeds of 10 megabits per second, which the Government says should be a minimum. And even though ministers have proposed all new homes should get fibre optic connections – the best available – around four in ten homes are still built without these. A Government spokesman this week vowed to tackle the problem but was unable to say when new laws would be brought forward.</p><p>He said: 'We've recently consulted on making full fibre mandatory for new homes and will outline next steps in due course.'</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday &amp; Metro Media Group</p>

    1 January 18, 2019
  •  Tesla plans 7 pct staff cut, says road ahead very difficult

    Tesla plans 7 pct staff cut, says road ahead very difficult

    oyees about the staff cuts and other plans in an email posted on Tesla Inc.'s website.</p><p> Musk said Tesla hopes to post a "tiny profit" in the current quarter but a 30 percent expansion in its workforce last year was more than it can support.</p><p> Tesla's shares tumbled earlier this month after it cut vehicle prices by $2,000 and announced fourth-quarter sales figures that fell short of Wall Street estimates.</p><p> "Our products are too expensive for most people," Musk said in the memo to Tesla staff. saying the company has to "work harder."</p><p> "Tesla has only been producing cars for about a decade and we're up against massive, entrenched competitors," he said.</p><p> Musk said in a tweet in October that Tesla, based on Palo Alto, California, had 45,000 employees. A 7 percent cut would involve laying off about 3,150 people.</p><p> "We unfortunately have no choice but to reduce full-time employee headcount by approximately 7 percent ... and retain only the most critical temps and contractors," he said.</p><p> The company says it delivered over 245,000 electric cars and SUVs last year, nearly as many as all previous years combined. But its 2018 production fell far short of a goal set nearly three years ago of manufacturing 500,000 vehicles for the year. That goal was announced in May of 2016 based on advance orders for its mid-range Model 3, which Musk said sells for $44,000.</p><p> Musk said Tesla plans to ramp up production of the Model 3, "as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles."</p><p> "Attempting to build affordable clean energy products at scale necessarily requires extreme effort and relentless creativity," he said in the memo, "but succeeding in our mission is essential to ensure that the future is good, so we must do everything we can to advance the cause."</p><p> Tesla broke ground earlier this month for a factory in Shanghai, its first outside the United States. Musk said it plans to begin production there of the Model 3 and a planned crossover by the year's end.</p>

    1 January 18, 2019

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