Newspaper review: Papers focus on taxing matters


The Daily Telegraph says David Cameron is under fire from business leaders who claim that his plans to make firms disclose their tax affairs could stifle economic growth.

The papers says the idea, included in the prime minister's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, has "angered global business leaders", who believe the move could create an environment hostile towards big business.

But the Daily Mirror does not share those concerns.

Under the headline "Pay the game", its leader says "the scandal of multi-national companies avoiding their tax obligations has gone on too long".

The paper believes Mr Cameron needs to back up his rhetoric with moves to close tax loopholes so that global firms operating in the UK pay their fair share.

The Financial Times looks at the same issue from a slightly different angle.

It reveals that major high street businesses in Britain - including John Lewis, Sainsbury's and Waterstones - are now calling on the government to make it impossible for firms such as Amazon to avoid tax.

The managing director of Waterstones, James Daunt, tells the paper that multi-nationals are not operating on a "level playing field".

Baby boom

The Independent says the "specific threat" - cited by the Foreign Office as the reason why all Britons have been advised to leave Benghazi in Libya - relates to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

It says intelligence reports from Egypt and Algeria suggested the threat was connected to a Libyan splinter group of the terrorist organisation, an offshoot of which is believed to have been behind the Algerian hostage crisis.

The Daily Mail reports that nearly half of all babies in the UK are now born to women over the age of 30.

The paper calls it "the eclipse of the young mother".

The headline in the Times is "They're older, wiser, but not all married - meet the thirtysomething baby boomers".

Notable examples, we are told, include the Duchess of Cambridge, who will be 31 when her baby is born this summer, and actress Sienna Miller who was 30 when she had her first child.

Star advice

The Sun reports that the supermarket chain Waitrose has withdrawn thousands of beefburgers, produced by one of the suppliers that had horse DNA in some of its products.

Waitrose says it is a "precautionary" move.

The Guardian columnist Felicity Lawrence takes a long hard look at the whole horsemeat row, saying that "burger jokes have been 10 a penny over the past week but the impact that this sort of junk food has on people's lives is not funny at all".

Finally, the Daily Express reveals that Joanna Lumley, who starred in the sitcom Absolutely Fabulous as the hell-raising, booze-swilling fashion journalist Patsy Stone - is advising young women not to get too drunk and to avoid wearing skimpy outfits.

The star is quoted saying that women who do are running the risk of being robbed or raped.

But the paper's leader thinks the advice will not be heeded, saying "the young seldom pay heed to the wise words of their elders".

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