Tuesday Newspaper round up.

The Guardian

The government last night claimed that the rich will pay twice as much as they win back through the abolition of the 50p rate of income tax, as a Guardian poll showed the scale of the political gamble being taken by the Coalition through the decision to cut the top rate.

The Times

British company, Seajacks, who provide the huge jack-up vessels that plant giant wind turbine towers on the bed of the North Sea has been sold by Riverstone Holdings for £535m.  Originally a Norwegian company, the business behind the monster wind installation ships named Leviathan and Kraken. Yesterday it emerged that it had been bought by Marubeni, the Japanese trading company, in league with a Tokyo government innovation investment fund. Riverstone Holdings, the alternative energy investment house, counts Lord Browne of Madingley among its directors. The former BP boss joined the company after his departure from the oil major amid a perjury scandal.

Australia’s controversial mining tax has passed into law in a rare victory for Julia Gillard’s beleagured government. The Mineral Resources Rent tax, which imposes a 30% tax on the extraordinary profits of coal and iron ore miners passed the upper house Senate late on Monday night by 38 votes to 32, with the government winning the key support of the Greens party. It is a significant milestone for Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, who tweeted this morning that: “Finally, all Australians will get a fair share of the mining boom.” Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan tweeted that the legislation was a “huge economic reform of our time,”

The Daily Telegraph

The Chancellor’s plans to scrap the 50p tax rate from 2013 could cost the Treasury billions of pounds of revenues as top earners delay income until the rate is reduced, accountants have warned. Top earners are already seeking advice on how to defer income, bonuses and dividends until 2013 in anticipation of George Osborne’s Budget on Wednesday. Instead of deferring the measure, the Chancellor should reduce the top rate to 45p immediately – or risk losing tax revenues, incurring higher borrowing costs and compounding the 50p tax fiasco, the accountants warned, The Telegraph reports.
Britain’s small businesses will be offered up to £20bn in government-backed loans under a bank credit easing scheme launched by George Osborne. The Chancellor will tomorrow confirm that Barclay’s, Lloyd’s Banking Group, Santander UK, and Royal Bank of Scotland have signed up to the government’s National Loan Guarantee Scheme, which will provide cheaper lending to businesses with a turnover of up to £50m. Small and medium-sized businesses will from tomorrow morning be offered loans at a 1% discount to the banks’ standard lending rates, with about £5bn of government-guaranteed borrowing being made available in the first tranche.

The Daily Mail

Behemoth Apple, has finally found a home for the £63bn cash pile it has generated from blockbuster sales of its iPhones, iPads and iMacs. The world’s largest technology firm is to pay its first dividend since 1995 and also announced plans to buy back some of its shares. The payout, which had previously been resisted by Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs, is a bold move by new chief executive Tim Cook who insisted the firm still has enough funds ‘to maintain a war chest for strategic opportunities’.

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