What the Sunday papers said


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The Independent Online


The Independent on Sunday: MoD staff ‘not consulted’ over privatisation

The 16,500 staff in the Ministry of Defence division that buys army guns and helicopters were “not properly consulted” on plans to semi-privatise the agency, union leaders told The Independent on Sunday. The Government wants the Bristol-based Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) to be run by the private sector, as ministers believe that these companies will provide more commercial nous.

The Sunday Times: Qinetiq set for break up

Qinetiq is set to be broken up after bosses at the former Ministry of Defence research arm put its American division up for sale. The weapons laboratory that gave Ian Fleming the inspiration for Q, James Bond’s gadget supremo, sent sale documents to potential suitors last week. Industry sources believe the sale of the American business could spark interest in the rest of Qinetiq, which was controversially privatised in 2006.

The Mail on Sunday: Tax on ebooks set to fall

The price of ebooks is expected to plummet following a vote in Brussels this week that could cut VAT on them. In Britain, printed books are free of VAT but ebooks attract 20 per cent. In other EU countries ebooks already have lower rates of VAT. In France printed books and ebooks are taxed at 5.5 per cent, and in Luxembourg both are 3 per cent. The vote is expected to harmonise VAT on ebooks with printed books throughout Europe.

The Sunday Telegraph: Vodafone in Brussels battle

Vodafone is embroiled in a major battle with the European Commission over reforms that are designed to scrap mobile phone roaming charges but which the company says are potentially illegal under competition law. In response officials in Brussels have hit back by accusing Vodafone of “naked self-interest” and attempting to delay the reforms to stop rivals forming cross-border alliances.