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Monday newspaper round-up: AI lab, fuel prices, pension contributions

(Sharecast News) - About 7,000 businesses are likely to fail every quarter in 2024 as high interest rates cause financial strain and the UK economy enters recession, according to a thinktank. The Centre for Economics and Business Research said debt taken on during the pandemic, higher borrowing costs and the cost of living crisis would drive an increasing number of businesses under, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors. - Guardian Officials are scrambling to secure extra electricity capacity for the likely home of Britain's new sovereign artificial intelligence (AI) lab, amid fears the overloaded grid could undermine Rishi Sunak's ambitions for the technology. The Prime Minister is understood to have become personally interested in efforts to secure extra grid capacity for a supercomputing lab in Bristol, which is the leading contender for a taxpayer-funded £100m "AI Research Resource". - Telegraph

Drivers had to stomach one of the largest monthly fuel price rises in more than two decades in August, new data shows. The average price of petrol jumped up by 6.68p a litre last month to 145.57p, adding nearly £4 to the cost of a tank. Diesel shot up by 8p to 154.37p on average, adding nearly £4.50 to the cost of filling up. The increase for petrol was the fifth biggest monthly jump in 23 years, according to the RAC, while the rise in diesel was the sixth biggest monthly rise. - Telegraph

The boss of one of Britain's biggest fund managers has called for a doubling of minimum pension contributions from 8 per cent of pay to 16 per cent in what would amount to a huge change to the retirement saving rules. Stephen Bird, the chief executive of Abrdn, said millions of people were heading for an inadequate income in retirement because the present minimum 3 per cent contribution from employers and 5 per cent from employees was not nearly enough. - The Times

Millions of low-paid British workers should be given extra legal protections to boost their wages and job security, according to a leading think tank. The Resolution Foundation wants "good work agreements" between private sector companies and employees in industries that suffer from low pay and poor working conditions. - The Times

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Sunday newspaper round-up: Middle East, Aston Martin, Defence
(Sharecast News) - Britons must accept that their country was now involved in the Middle East conflict, Tobias Ellwood said. The former defence minister warned that "nobody was in full control" of the growing conflict as more and more countries were sucked in. Ellwood also said that Tehran's strike had taken the conflict into a "new dangerous territory". - Sunday Telegraph
Friday newspaper round-up: Everton, AstraZeneca, Amazon
(Sharecast News) - Everton has paid about £30m in interest charges to an opaque lender associated with a tax exile, corporate records suggest. The charges appear to have reached about £438,000 a week, according to the troubled Premier League club's most recent set of accounts, a figure more than three times the reported wages of the Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. - Guardian
Thursday newspaper round-up: Border controls, McKinsey, KPMG
(Sharecast News) - New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result. With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year. - Guardian
Wednesday newspaper round-up: Shoplifting, EnQuest, Klarna
(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - Guardian

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