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News Round-Up

Jun 11: Tories promise tax cuts; Sunak not resigning; Apple’s AI tools; Kodiaq PHEV prices

Here are the headlines on Tuesday, June 11

Time 6:43 am, June 11, 2024

Rishi Sunak to offer help to first-time buyers and tax cuts in Tory manifesto

Rishi Sunak has pledged a tax break for landlords and help for first-time buyers as he prepares to launch the Conservative Party manifesto.

The prime minister’s offer will include a 100% relief on capital gains tax liability for landlords who sell to their existing tenants, claiming the move will be “transformational”.

Sunak, who acknowledged during a BBC interview that it has become harder for people to own their first home under the Conservatives, will also pledge to abolish stamp duty up to the value of £425,000 for first-time buyers and launch a ‘new and improved’ Help to Buy scheme.


Sunak dismisses resignation rumours and says he is ‘energised’ by campaign

Rishi Sunak said he had ‘of course not’ considered quitting ahead of the election amid the continued fallout over his early departure from D-Day commemorations.

The PM vowed to carry on ‘until the last day of this campaign’ as he sought to dampen rumours that he might resign ahead of polling day on July 4.

Criticism of his early exit from the 80th anniversary of the Normandy landings dogged Sunak over the weekend, when he kept a low profile and avoided questions from reporters. But during a campaign visit on Monday in Horsham, West Sussex, which has a Tory majority of 21,127, he told journalists he would not stop ‘fighting for the future of our country’.


‘Carers must share pandemic experience with UK Covid Inquiry to drive change’

Carers have been urged to share their pandemic experiences with the UK Covid Inquiry to ensure lessons can be learned for the future.

Experiences of those who worked in challenging conditions amid the outbreak and rapid spread of Covid-19 must be put ‘on the record’ and used to ‘help drive change’, those within the sector said.

Carers and those who had experience of adult social care in that period are said to have a ‘unique opportunity to contribute to the inquiry’s investigations’ through its Every Story Matters project which allows people to anonymously share what they went through.

Michael Mosley died of natural causes on day he went missing – police reports

Michael Mosley died of natural causes on the day he went missing on the Greek island of Symi, according to police.

His body was found on Sunday in a rocky area near Agia Marina beach, after his disappearance was reported on Wednesday.

Greek police spokeswoman Konstantia Dimoglidou told the BBC that an initial post-mortem examination has been carried out, which confirms there were no injuries on his body.

More than 15 Barclays buildings targeted by pro-Palestine activists

More than 15 branches of Barclays bank across England and Scotland have been vandalised by a campaign group called Palestine Action.

The sites had windows smashed and paint thrown as part of a protest calling on the bank to divest from arms companies that sell to Israel, as well as firms linked to fossil fuels.

Palestine Action said branches in Moorgate, Palace Street, Richmond, Croydon, Wellington Road and Peckham in London were targeted, along with Barclays banks in Glasgow, Exeter, Sheffield, Brighton, Northampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Solihull and Preston, Bury and Stockport, as well as an office in Edinburgh. Activists smashed windows, sprayed red paint and stencilled on the outside of the buildings.


Whyte & Mackay distillery workers vote for ‘summer of strikes’ in row over pay

Distillery workers at whisky maker Whyte & Mackay will take part in ‘a summer of strike action’ after pay talks stalled, a union has announced.

GMB Scotland members at three of the company’s highland distilleries will walk out on Monday June 24, followed by 11 days of strikes in July and a further two weeks in August, after an ‘overwhelming’ vote in favour of strike action.

Union members at the company’s Dalmore and Invergordon distilleries in Ross and Cromarty, and Tamnavulin in Moray, were balloted following what the union said was a pay offer of between 6% and 7%. The union branded the offer ‘an insult’ at a time, they said, when the company was making record profits and expanding operations.

Apple Intelligence: Tech giant unveils its new flagship generative AI tools

Apple has unveiled its long-awaited plans to bring generative AI tools to its products, promising to make tools ‘personal’ to users, and will integrate ChatGPT into the iPhone and other devices.

The US tech giant announced what it is calling Apple Intelligence, an entire new AI-powered system running across its platforms and devices that can solve users’ problems and respond to prompts, and is also able to create new text and images.

It comes in the wake of many of the firm’s biggest rivals, most notably Google and Microsoft, rolling out generative AI powered assistants to help users with everyday tasks.

Elon Musk says he could ban Apple devices at his companies over OpenAI deal

Elon Musk has said he could ban Apple devices from his companies over the tech giant’s deal to integrate ChatGPT into the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

The Tesla boss said the decision was an ‘unacceptable security violation’ and accused Apple of handing over user data to OpenAI, the firm behind the chatbot.

As part of its generative AI announcements on Monday, Apple said that alongside its new Apple Intelligence system that will allow users to access generative AI-powered tools almost anywhere within their devices, it would give users the option to send a query to ChatGPT to take advantage of its own spectrum of knowledge.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

New Kodiaq iV plug-in-hybrid will start at under £42,000

Skoda has revealed the pricing and specifications of the new plug-in-hybrid variant of its new Kodiaq.

Badged the Kodiaq iV, this new version will come with Skoda’s second-generation plug-in-hybrid system. It comprises a 1.5-litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor that produces a combined 201bhp and 330Nm of torque. The new system enables a claimed 75 miles of electric driving for the SE model.

Price start at £41,935 and rise to £44,635; order books are open now with deliveries arriving later this year.

Weather

Large patches of cloud will develop today, mainly across the north, reports BBC Weather. A dry day for most with just a few isolated showers. Another cool day with temperatures only topping 17 degrees in the south-west.

Clear spells for the west tonight, while the east and the far north of Scotland will be cloudy with the chance of an odd shower.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.



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