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17 Feb 2021 | 07:28

Wednesday newspaper round-up: British Gas, Iceland, Lloyds Pharmacy

(Sharecast News) - Millions of British Gas customers will be asked to pay almost £100 a year more for their gas and electricity after the regulator lifted its cap on energy bills. The UK's biggest energy supplier confirmed that it would raise the price of its standard variable energy tariff by £97 a year, less than a fortnight after Ofgem said it would lift the cap to an annual average of £1,138 for a dual fuel bill. - Guardian Ministers should cut VAT on repairs for electrical goods and green home improvements, to help people reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their everyday lives, an influential committee of MPs has urged. Funding for green home grants to install insulation and low-carbon heating, should also be restored to kickstart a "green recovery" in the UK, said the environmental audit committee in a report on how to "grow back better" from the coronavirus crisis. - Guardian

The UK's financial watchdog has linked up with its counterpart in Jersey following fears that disgraced stock-picker Neil Woodford could avoid sufficient regulatory oversight if he registers his new business in the Channel Islands. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also warned Mr Woodford that any new company would only be allowed to operate in the UK if the regulator was satisfied with the "fitness of its management". - Telegraph

The boss of Iceland has claimed the frozen foods retailer cannot afford to pay back business rates relief after the heavy costs of making shops safe and buying out its foreign shareholder. Richard Walker, 40, managing director of Iceland and son of Malcolm Walker, 75, the supermarket's founder, has defended the grocer's decision to keep £40 million of taxpayer support by arguing that it helped meet the "very substantial direct costs" of making shops Covid-secure, hiring 6,000 new workers to expand its delivery service and giving staff sick pay. - The Times

The owner of Lloyds Pharmacy is exploring a £400 million sale of the business as the chemist chain struggles with rising costs and government funding cuts. The New York-listed McKesson, which bought Lloyds in a $8.3 billion takeover of its German parent Celesio in 2014, has hired bankers at Barclays to contact prospective buyers. - The Times
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