Gaps on supermarket shelves are likely to continue for several months unless the government does more to tackle the labour crisis hitting haulage firms, suppliers have warned. Logistics and hauliers’ organisations said August would be a pinch point in the shortage as workers take summer breaks, while firms offering bonuses and sign-on fees to recruit drivers were not helping matters. - Guardian.
Employers are offering signing-on fees of up to £10,000 to tempt “gold dust” applicants as more than 1. 1m jobs in the UK remain unfilled, with the pingdemic worsening a shortage of workers caused by Brexit and a lack of skills. Care home operator HC One is offering a £10,000 “welcome bonus” on two jobs for registered night nurses, both in Scotland, as private health care providers battle with a shortage of workers partly caused by EU citizens returning home.
Private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is poised to kick off a bidding war for Morrisons amid mounting opposition to the £6. 3 billion offer on the table for the grocer from a consortium led by American buyout rival Fortress. CD&R is understood to have been lining up equity and debt financing for a counterbid that could come as soon as this week. - Sunday Times.
More than 5 million people had a parcel lost or stolen last year, according to Citizens Advice, which has called on the government to start fining firms that keep losing deliveries as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the sector. Currently, only Royal Mail faces fines for poor service, but the charity said the same sanctions should apply to the whole industry, after surveys showed customers had experienced a range of problems with deliveries. Ten parcels were lost or stolen during each minute over the last 12 months, it claimed.
HSBC discovered a suspected money laundering network that received $4. 2bn (£3bn) worth of payments, it has emerged, raising questions over whether it disclosed the information to US monitors who at the time were ensuring the bank cleaned up its act. Insiders who spoke to journalists as part of a joint investigation by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, have suggested that HSBC may not have appropriately shared the information with the monitoring team installed by US regulators in 2012 after HSBC allowed drug cartels in Latin America to launder hundreds of millions of dollars through its accounts.
Plans to significantly open up international travel are expected to be announced on Wednesday, with UK ministers poised to let people who have been fully vaccinated in the US and EU avoid quarantine if arriving from amber list countries. The move would benefit millions of people by finally letting them be reunited with family and friends based in the UK, as well as businesses in the aviation and tourism sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic. - Guardian .
Peel Hunt downgraded its stance on shares of Moonpig to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ on Tuesday after the company’s prelims, and put the 500p price target under review.
Tesla made a profit of more than $1bn in the last three months even as it struggled to keep up with demand for electric cars in the face of a global chip shortage. The company announced Monday that it has made a profit of $1. 14bn in its second quarter, 10 times what it made a year ago and its eighth quarter of back-to-back profits. - Guardian.
The British economy is growing at its fastest pace in 80 years and could recover its pre-pandemic size by the end of this year, according to a leading economic forecaster. Buoyed by the vaccine rollout and a bounce back in consumer spending, the EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7. 6% – which would be the fastest annual growth in national income since 1941. The UK economy shrank by 9. 8% in 2020, the worst performance in the G7. - Guardian.
The number of people infected with coronavirus has dropped for a fourth day, raising hopes that the pandemic may be levelling off. The UK recorded 31,795 new infections yesterday, a fall of 32 per cent from the 46,558 on Tuesday. The figure is down 42 per cent from last Saturday. “Great to see continued signs of Delta descent in the UK today,” tweeted Dr Eric Topol, a US physician who is an international authority on the coronavirus. Some scientists cautioned that the data does not capture the impact of “freedom day” last Monday.
Workers from 16 key sectors including health, transport and energy will not have to isolate after being pinged by the NHS Covid app, as it was revealed that more than 600,000 people in England and Wales were sent self-isolation alerts last week The raft of changes, after days of frantic talks with industry leaders, came amid open Conservative revolt over the so-called “pingdemic” with the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt warning the government that it was facing a crisis of public trust in the system.
Supermarkets are under “increasing pressure” to keep shelves fully stocked, retail industry leaders have warned as the growing havoc wreaked by the “pingdemic” continues to force thousands of workers to self-isolate. With shops in some areas suffering shortages, and firms in sectors from petrol stations to the postal service affected by absences, the government is being urged to include supermarket staff, lorry drivers and other frontline workers on a list of those exempted from self-isolation rules.
Rishi Sunak is poised to usher in cuts to public services of up to £17bn compared with the government’s pre-pandemic plans unless he takes action this summer to increase funding, a leading thinktank has warned. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the government was on track to spend between £14bn and £17bn less each year on a range of public services from April 2022 than had been earmarked prior to Covid-19. - Guardian .
Britain’s digital finance industry, more commonly known as the fintech sector, has hit a multibillion-pound peak of investor interest. Banking app Revolut confirmed last week that it had raised another $800m from big investors including the Softbank Vision Fund, pushing the bank’s valuation to $33bn (£24bn). It came just weeks after Wise, the forex transfer business, listed on the London Stock Exchange at nearly £9bn. - Guardian.
Months of “frenzied buyer activity” have driven the average asking price for a home in Britain to a new high, according to the property website Rightmove. The property portal said it expected figures from HMRC due later this week to show that June was the busiest month on record for sales, with buyers rushing to complete before stamp duty rules change in parts of the United Kingdom. - Guardian.
"The head of Marlboro cigarette-maker Philip Morris International (PMI) has hit out at critics of a controversial swoop on a healthcare company, claiming that the acquisition will help achieve its target to make the UK smoke-free within a decade. In the wake of fierce opposition to the deal to buy FTSE 250 inhaler-maker Vectura, André Calantzopoulos, PMI’s executive chairman, said the “obsessive focus” by anti-smoking campaigners on Big Tobacco was the “wrong approach”, adding that PMI has the “ability and the technology” to address harm from smoking.
Independent high street businesses could face a “tsunami of closures” after their debt climbed to almost five times the level it was before the Covid-19 pandemic, as shops, hairdressers, bars and restaurants battle to survive. About 150,000 small businesses have racked up £2. 3bn in debt, up from £500m before the pandemic, based on government-backed loans and not including rent debt, according to a report from Bill Grimsey, the former boss of Wickes and Iceland, who has backed a series of investigations into the state of the high street.
Ministers are being urged to levy a £3bn sugar and salt tax as part of a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to break Britain’s addiction to junk food, cut meat consumption by nearly a third and help tackle climate change. The government-commissioned National Food Strategy, drawn up by the restaurateur Henry Dimbleby, says the UK population’s “malfunctioning” appetites and poor diets – fuelled by consumer and manufacturer’s reliance on processed food – place an unsustainable burden on the NHS and contribute to 64,000 deaths each year.
More pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants could be facing collapse, despite restrictions easing from 19 July, having built up almost £10bn in debt during the pandemic. Hospitality, retail and property business leaders told MPs on Tuesday there was an urgent need to revamp business rates, kick off arbitration on rent debts and extend payment terms for government-backed loans, as the government hands over responsibility on Covid protection measures to individual businesses.
Almost 400,000 UK households could be pushed into fuel poverty this winter as energy bills climb by almost 10% as a result of rising gas market prices. At least 3 million homes in the UK are already thought to be unable to afford their energy bills, and the number in fuel poverty could grow by 392,000 within the coming months. - Guardian.
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