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Thursday newspaper round-up: Primark, unemployment, emergency Covid-19 loans

Thu 26 March 2020 07:30 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The former Labour prime minister, who was at the centre of the international efforts to tackle the impact of the near-meltdown of the banks in 2008, said there was a need for a taskforce involving world leaders, health experts and the heads of the international organisations that would have executive powers to coordinate the response. - Guardian

Dyson, along with a separate consortium of manufacturers led by Airbus, is expecting the government to give it the green light to start making up to 30,000 medical ventilators from next week, after finalising plans to supply thousands of devices to help the NHS fight Covid-19. The proposals differ, with the Airbus-led Ventilator Challenge UK consortium planning to scale up production of existing models and also expected to win backing from Westminster. - Guardian

Retail stalwart Primark has refused to pay its rent bill as it seeks more support from its landlords in a sign of the chaos sweeping the high street. The firm is scrambling to save cash after being forced to shut all of its stores at a cost of €650m a month in lost sales. A host of firms are thought to have refused to pay rent on Wednesday, the day when quarterly bills are due for a huge number of retail players. That Primark is among them despite being one of the most resilient names in the industry shows the huge pressure firms are under. - Telegraph

Government measures to protect workers and businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic will save almost 900,000 jobs, assuming that there is a recession as deep as the 2008 financial crisis, a leading consultancy has claimed. Capital Economics, which has warned that the economy may shrink by an unprecedented 15 per cent in the three months to June, compared with a peak-to-trough fall of 6 per cent 11 years ago, expects about 700,000 jobs to be lost as unemployment jumps from 3.9 per cent to 6 per cent. - The Times

The government and the banking industry are being urged to revisit the terms of emergency coronavirus loans after some directors were told that they would be personally liable for bank debts underwritten by the taxpayer. The business department is to talk with lenders to discuss how this burden could be lightened after a backlash over the onerous terms being asked of the owners of small companies. - The Times

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