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Morning Wrap: today's top business stories

News stories from around the web.

Vodafone agrees Kabel Deutschland offer (FT)

Vodafone, the mobile phone group, has launched an agreed €7.7bn cash offer for Kabel Deutschland in a move by the UK group to go beyond its traditional mobile telephony business into consumer broadband and television services.

Shares under pressure over China fears (FT)

US government bond yields are at 22-month highs while growth-focused products like stocks and commodities are again under pressure as traders contemplate a market with less central bank support.

BIS: Central banks must end 'whatever it takes' policy (BBC)

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says banks have done their bit to help economic recovery and now governments must do more.

Barclays to sell on data from savers and track mobile phones (Telegraph)

Barclays Bank is to start selling data on its millions of current and savings account customers to other companies for the first time.

Flexible working 'cuts cost to employers', say business leaders (Telegraph)

A group of 22 of Britain's biggest companies have signed a commitment to flexible working rights after finding that "agility" in staff hours and locations can cut workforce costs by as much as 13pc.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.