Business Diary: Osborne misses getting Knighted

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The Independent Online

How did George Osborne, who the banks regard as an ally, dare to mount yesterday's attack on the sector? Well, let's put it this way, he waited until the banks' defender-in-chief was safely out of the way to announce he intended to raise their tax bills. Angela Knight, the fearsome boss of the British Bankers' Association, was conspicuous by her absence from the airwaves yesterday, so the Chancellor did not have to face her wrath. Did he know she was on holiday?



Striking a blow for tax dodging claims

Who is behind the vicious adverts placed on the capital's underground trains (we presume without the consent of Transport for London)? They target Vodafone over the £6bn tax break campaigners allege it has received – a charge the mobile phone company has always denied – and ask angry travellers to email their complaints to its UK boss, Guy Laurence. But it's the pay-off line that catches the eye. It says: "Government is not just in bed with big business, it's under the desk and between its legs giving the oral OK all the way."



Top slicing hits Barclays canteen

Is Barclays Bank showing just a bit too much restraint on the bonus front? One US employee seems to be frustrated about something. Dealmaker, the Wall Street gossip site, reports that staff in the New York office of Barclays Capital are mystified about who is responsible for some anti-social behaviour in the staff canteen. Apparently, someone has been systematically ripping the top off the muffins. Shocking.



Rock 'n' roll shows social conscience

Best of luck to Neil Horsley and the Mapmakers, a band with whom we were not previously familiar, but whose new album, Road Trip, will surely propel them into the big time they deserve. It appears to be entirely inspired by the economic issues of the day. We particularly like "Sub Prime", a catchy guitar-based number, whose lyrics include: "Follow the trail back to the Wall Street crowd/Ask them if this situation makes them feel proud/ Ask them if they feel guilt as repossessions multiply/ 'The money was just too good... will be their reply'." Eat your heart out, Simon Cowell.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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