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26 Feb 2021 | 07:26

Friday newspaper round-up: Vauxhall, Covid grants, business confidence

(Sharecast News) - The owner of Vauxhall has claimed it is considering the closure of its Ellesmere Port factory unless the UK government offers financial support after extended negotiations. An executive of Stellantis, the carmaker, on Thursday said it hoped to reach a binding agreement with the government on aid. - Guardian The UK government is considering nationwide kerbside collection of used electrical appliances and gadgets to help improve the recycling of electronic waste. Local councils in some areas already collect broken washing machines and toasters in schemes funded by waste collection fees that all retailers selling electrical goods must pay. The government is consulting on the best way to implement such schemes across the country and how to fund them. - Guardian

Ministers are demanding answers after councils across Britain failed to hand out more than £1.6bn of emergency Covid grants to struggling businesses. There is growing fury in Whitehall over failure to dish out money that is meant to keep small firms afloat - with almost 90pc of funds from one scheme meant to be shared out over Christmas still not yet delivered. - Telegraph

Rishi Sunak is under growing pressure to slash beer duty at the Budget as a group of Conservative MPs called for the levy to be cut dramatically to support the ailing pub sector. In a letter to the Chancellor co-signed by 68 Conservative MPs, Richard Holden, a Tory MP and member of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, warned that the tax was "extraordinarily high" and risked stunting the recovery of the beer and pub industry as it emerges from the pandemic. - Telegraph

Business confidence has risen to its highest level since the start of the pandemic amid optimism about Britain's vaccination programme. The Lloyds Bank Business Barometer has risen by nine percentage points to 2 per cent this month. Though confidence levels are still considerably below their pre-pandemic peak, it is the first positive reading since March. - The Times
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