Customs & Excise could be stripped of its powers to collect VAT and duty on items such as petrol and alcohol and to be only allowed to collect those duties at ports and airports on goods brought into the UK.
The Mail on Sunday reported that small business owners would no longer have to deal with the “time-consuming burden” of one set of tax-officers for VAT and excise duty and a completely separate group for corporation tax, income tax, and National Insurance.

The Office of Fair Trading has raided some of Britain’s biggest Northern diary sites to investigate allegations of price-fixing and market sharing in the milk supply market, reported The Sunday Times.
Arla Foods, Express Diaries and the Co-op were among those visited. However, a spokesman said that until the investigations are complete, they cannot be sure that there has been any infringement of company law.

The paper also said that United Biscuits, maker of McVitie’s Digestives and Jaffa Cakes, has been “thrown a lifeline” by its banks, by restructuring £500m of the company’s £1.4bn debt. The report added that a number of key covenants in its debt package had been loosened as part of the “urgent and substantial” cost-cutting programme. This follows the biscuit-maker’s £123.4m tax losses in 2001, and £74.1m in 2002.

A repeat of the fridge mountains fiasco caused by tighter controls on CFCs could be about to hit the UK if the EU’s next wave of recycling legislation goes through, according to The Financial Times. Ministers will be warned today that unless the government acts swiftly to prevent the EU disposal laws being passed, mountains of old cars, washing machines, toasters and microwaves could mar the landscape.