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Wednesday newspaper round-up: UK public services, theatres, Apple

Wed 21 July 2021 07:34 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) -

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

Theatre unions and trade bodies claim the UK government has "let down a vital industry" by failing to back a Covid-19 insurance scheme to help their beleaguered sector. Since England's venues reopened on 17 May, theatre workers who have Covid or receive a test and trace app "ping" have gone into self-isolation, with their colleagues required to follow suit even if they test negative. This has led to an increasingly widespread cancellation of performances, and in some cases entire productions, resulting in significant losses of box-office income. Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical Cinderella and a revival of Hairspray at the London Coliseum are among the shows that have had to halt performances this month. Hairspray reopens on Tuesday night after cancelling 17 shows from 4-18 July. - Guardian

Ministers have cut off taxpayer-funded payments to Britain's biggest microchip factory after its sale to a Chinese-owned technology company. UK Research and Investment (UKRI) has suspended grants to Newport Wafer Fab under Government instructions after its sale to Nexperia, The Telegraph understands. - Telegraph

Apple is to delay plans to call office staff back to their desks this autumn amid rising concerns over a new wave of coronavirus cases. The American technology group, which employs about 147,000 full-time workers, is said to be postponing a mandated part-time return to offices by at least another month.- The Times

The government's new Steel Council will meet tomorrow to consider an industrial policy - a "steel deal" - to determine whether troubled businesses like Liberty Steel should be saved. Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, has admitted having doubts about whether a private sector refinancing of the company will be successful. - The Times

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