Business Diary: 26/03/2010

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The Independent Online

Titchmarsh has pulling power for B&Q

Ian Cheshire, boss of B&Q's owner, Kingfisher, reports a new attraction in its stores around the country: the life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Alan Titchmarsh whom it recently signed up to advertise its wares. Many customers have been posing for photos with the cut-outs, while others have demanded to know why B&Q hasn't actually got round to selling them.

Do what we say, not what we do

An email arrives from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development welcoming the Budget announcement that the NHS intends to save £555m by cutting back on staff sickness. The CIPD reckons the target is achievable with better people management. It might want to look at the productivity of its own staff, however, who sent the same email out three times.

A masterclass in criminality?

Lost in translation? France's Telecom Business School has, it informs us, "opened a financial trading room specialised in money laundering and socially responsible investing". We assume that's not quite what they mean – further investigation reveals the idea is to train bank staff in how to spot money launderers.

McCall's new strategy for easyJet?

More on Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of Guardian Media Group, who is leaving the newspaper business to run easyJet. Journalists on the Guardian have mocked up a press release from McCall outlining her strategy for the airline. It suggests she plans to stop it charging for seats: McCall, after all, believes businesses shouldn't restrict access by putting up paywalls.

Caan stays mum on matters of tax

James Caan is in touch with his views on Alistair Darling's Budget. Though the entrepreneur has opinions on everything from tax reliefs for business to the Chancellor's growth forecasts, Caan keeps his counsel on matters of personal tax. Maybe it is too painful a topic for the Dragon's Den star, who has attracted the public ire of Duncan Bannatyne, another judge on the show, for his non-dom tax status.

Number of the day: 9p

The hourly value of the 1.9 per cent increase in the minimum wage for 18-to-20-year-olds announced yesterday.

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