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In the papers today - Friday 14 March

The National Audit Office is to look at a more risk-based approach to public procurement as part of government plans to bolster innovation in the UK.

Opening up more of the government's £150bn-a-year procurement budget to companies offering innovative goods and services is part of a package of measures included in a new white paper, Innovation Nation - The Guardian

Boris Johnson, the Conservative candidate to become the next mayor of London, was accused of incompetence yesterday after senior Labour figures claimed to have uncovered a multimillion-pound hole in his transport plans for the capital. Days before the official launch of the election campaign, Gordon Brown, the transport secretary Ruth Kelly and Ken Livingstone claimed Johnson's proposals to reintroduce the Routemaster bus would lead to fare rises and commuter chaos - The Guardian

The Government's commitment to environmental concerns was called into question yesterday as it emerged that revenue from Green taxes would remain close to record lows, despite a budget that claimed to be environmentally friendly. The Treasury is to raise the equivalent of 2.8% pf GDP next year from environmental taxes, such as fuel, vehicle excise and air passenger duties, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said. This is fractionally up from last year's 2.7% but it is one of the lowest figures since 1987, when green taxes made up 3.1% of GDP - The Times

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is close to winning its long-running battle to buy a 40% stake in Auckland International Airport for £720M. A stock exchange filing showed that investors holding almost 38% of the company had accepted the pension fund’s £1.46-a-share offer, which values New Zealand’s biggest airport at £1.76bn. Of the votes cast, 74.3% cent were in favour - The Financial Times

Growing demand for land to build homes is putting pressure on precious natural resources, a National Trust report says. A rising population is fuelling the need for more space to grow food, build homes and work places and is stretching vital environmental life-support services to the limit.
The report says land and its natural resources are undervalued, underfunded and needed better care. It calls for more money to be pumped into protecting drinking water, flood protection, better health and help in tackling climate change - The Daily Telegraph

Millions of travellers face the prospect of renewed transport chaos over the Easter weekend after a union announced strike action on one of the country's busiest rail routes. The industrial action on the East Coast Main Line comes on top of nationwide engineering works set to disrupt services on 35 sections of the network - The Daily Telegraph

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