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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Stockpiling, Sirius Minerals, BHP, Help to Buy

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Wednesday 18 Sep 2019

Wednesday newspaper round-up: Stockpiling, Sirius Minerals, BHP, Help to Buy

(Sharecast News) - Britons are £128 a year worse off on average than they were in 2008, according to a report that reveals household incomes were hit harder in the wake of the financial crash than official figures have revealed. The New Economics Foundation said figures used to calculate GDP, which is adjusted to take account of rising prices, failed to include essential items that affected the cost of living over the last 10 years. - Guardian
Companies across Britain have begun stockpiling beer, wine and spirits to keep the alcohol flowing at Christmas as concerns grow that Brexit could disrupt supplies over the festive period. Rushing to bring forward their imports, firms warn that the Brexit deadline on 31 October stands to clash with the run-up to Christmas, when import volumes rise, temporary staff are employed and warehouse space is at a premium. - Guardian

Thousands of retail investors risk losing their money in Sirius Minerals after it admitted its plan to build a fertiliser mine in Yorkshire was on the brink of collapse and the Government appeared to rule out a rescue. The FTSE 250 company warned that it had been unable to sell a $500m (£400m) junk bond it needed to unlock $2.5bn in debt financing from JPMorgan, throwing the future of its ambitious scheme to mine under the North York Moors into doubt. Up to 1,200 jobs are at risk as Sirius has only enough cash to last six months. - Telegraph

The boss of the world's largest mining company has had his pay cut by almost a quarter after an unexplained death at its Queensland mine and a runaway iron ore train. Andrew Mackenzie, 62, chief executive of BHP since 2013, had his short-term bonus reduced by more than $1 million from 2018 to $1.3 million. His base salary was kept at $1.7 million, taking his total earnings, including other benefits, to $3.5 million, from $4.6 million the previous year. - The Times

MPs have attacked the government's £12 billion Help to Buy scheme, claiming that the policy has supported homebuyers who could already afford to buy a property and has failed to boost the provision of affordable housing or reduce homelessness. Three fifths of buyers who took part in Help to Buy did not need it to buy a home, according to a damning report by the Commons' public accounts committee. It said that the "large sums of money tied up could have been spent in different ways to address a wider set of housing priorities and focus more on those most in need". - The Times

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