News Round-Up

Feb 14: Wage growth plummets; Pick-up tax changes; Tributes to Steve Wright; New MX-5 pricing

  • Here are the headlines on Wednesday, February 14

Time 6:50 am, February 14, 2024

Wage growth slows sharply but continues to outstrip inflation

Wage growth has slowed to its lowest level for more than a year but is still outpacing inflation, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said average regular pay growth, excluding bonuses, fell to 6.2% in the quarter to December, down from an upwardly revised 6.7% in the three months to November.

This was the slowest growth since the three months to October 2022.

Major pick-up truck tax changes introduced to close loophole

The government has announced a major change to the taxation for double cab pick-up trucks that will see them classed as cars from July.

Double-cab pick-ups have grown significantly in popularity in recent years as their dual-purpose attributes have meant they’re suitable for being a working vehicle as well as for personal use.

Many have also chosen them for the tax breaks they offer, as any double cab that had a payload of more than a tonne was considered a van, and therefore attracted far cheaper company car tax.

Sara Cox leads tributes to Steve Wright with emotional message on BBC Radio 2

Radio presenter Sara Cox has led tributes to BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Steve Wright after his death aged 69.

On Tuesday, a statement shared to the broadcaster by Wright’s family said: ‘It is with deep sorrow and profound regret that we announce the passing of our beloved Steve Wright.’

Cox, 49, told listeners during her slot on the radio station that her fellow DJs were ‘absolutely shattered’.

Mazda’s new MX-5 sports car to start from £28,000

Mazda is introducing an updated version of its MX-5 sports car, which brings new styling and interior changes for 2024.

The MX-5 is Mazda’s well-known two-seat sports car, and though it’s been around since 2015 in its current generation, the Japanese carmaker introduces yearly updates to help keep it current.

This latest model is one of the more substantial revisions in recent years, with the interior receiving various upgrades.

Tuesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Second Labour candidate suspended as Starmer insists party ‘has changed’

A second Labour parliamentary candidate has been suspended over remarks about Israel, only a day after Sir Keir Starmer’s party withdrew support for its Rochdale by-election candidate.

Audio emerged on Tuesday that appeared to show former Labour MP Graham Jones use the words ‘f****** Israel’ at the same meeting that led to the withdrawal of support for Rochdale’s Azhar Ali, while also allegedly suggesting that British people who volunteer to fight with the Israeli Defence Forces should be “locked up”.

The Hyndburn candidate is understood to have been administratively suspended from the party, pending an investigation, following the report from website Guido.

FTSE 100 drops as interest rate concerns weigh on housebuilders

London’s markets slid in a gloomy afternoon session amid concerns over persistent inflation.

London’s top index moved 0.81%, or 61.41 points, lower to finish at 7,512.28, with Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments and Persimmon all notable fallers.

The German Dax index was down 0.92% at the close and the Cac 40 closed down 0.84%.

Weather outlook…

Today, cloud and spells of showery rain will continue to spread eastwards. Rain will turn to snow on the hills in northern Scotland later. Some bright intervals in eastern England. The BBC reports it will be mild for most.

Tonight will be mild for many as outbreaks of showery rain spread northwards. It will turn drier for most in southern England towards dawn as the rain reaches the far north of Scotland.

Tomorrow, spells of rain will sweep in for most, but Northern Ireland and the south-east may escape drier with just a few showers. Heavy rain is likely in the north and west. Very mild in the south.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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