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This week’s roundup includes news that Rupert Murdoch is considering selling Sky News to Disney, the first Welsh-only laws (hoping to raise £1bn) were introduced and new research has suggested that robots may pose less risk to human employment than originally feared.

Murdoch proposes selling Sky News to Disney

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has said it would sell off Sky News to Disney or ring-fence it to try to allay regulatory concerns over its proposed acquisition of Sky.

Fox wants to buy the 61% of Sky it does not already own. However, it faces regulatory problems after the Competition and Markets Authority found the £11.7bn deal was not in the public interest.

Fox had already pledged to ensure the independence of Sky News.

The Murdoch family's news outlets are currently consumed by nearly a third of the UK's population across TV, radio, online and newspapers.

The Murdoch Family Trust controls News Corporation, which publishes newspapers including the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

New Welsh taxes introduced

The first Wales-only taxes for 800 years have come into effect.

Two new devolved taxes have been introduced - the Land Transaction Tax (LTT) on property, which replaces stamp duty, and the Landfill Disposals Tax (LDT), which replaces landfill tax.

The money raised would make a ‘very significant contribution to Welsh public services’, according to the head of Wales' new tax-collecting body.

Ministers estimate the taxes will raise more than £1bn over four years.

Powers over stamp duty and landfill tax were transferred from Westminster to Cardiff Bay under the Wales Act 2014, and the Welsh Assembly legislated for their replacements. It also created the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA), to manage and collect the taxes on behalf of the Welsh Government.

AI ‘poses less risk to jobs than feared’

Fewer people's jobs are likely to be destroyed by artificial intelligence and robots than has been suggested by a much-cited study, a new report says.

New figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) claim 10% of jobs in the US are at risk from artificial intelligence and robots, while this figure is 12% in the UK.

Even so, the report says many more workers face their tasks significantly changing.

The OECD says the previous forecasts exaggerated the impact of automation because they had relied on a broad grouping together of jobs with the same title. Its new analysis, by contrast, takes account of the differences between jobs with the same name.

For example, the role of a carpenter can vary greatly depending on what type of projects a worker is involved in, how much autonomy they have, and the size of their employer. Some of those roles may be more vulnerable to automation than others.

RAC apologises after insurance rule breach

The RAC has been forced to apologise to more than a million of its breakdown customers, after failing to meet the rules on insurance renewals.

When customers receive a renewal, they should be told prominently what they paid in the previous year. They should also be encouraged to shop around.

However, when the RAC sent out breakdown policy renewal letters, they failed to do either.

‘It is simply unacceptable to see that some firms are still not being properly transparent with their customers a year on from the introduction of the rules,’ said Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of supervision at the Financial Conduct Authority.

‘Firms failing to get this right may have led to consumers losing out as they do not have the right information to decide whether or not to shop around.’

Some of those customers will receive financial compensation.

 

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