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News Round-Up

July 25: Firms failing over rebates wait; NHS staffing ‘safety threat’; Restaurant closures rise; Disabled driving permits warning

  • Here are the headlines for Monday, July 25

Time 6:43 am, July 25, 2022

Thousands of firms go bust waiting for business rates rebates

Thousands of businesses have foundered while waiting for rebates over property taxes, according to new data.

Research by real estate advisory firm Altus Group shows that 3,165 business premises, including offices, factories, shops, pubs and restaurants, entered insolvency while awaiting the result of a business rates challenge.

Around 60 per cent of all challenges are ultimately agreed, say industry experts. The latest researched indicated that the thousands of business premises that entered insolvency after challenges could have seen a cash injection of £50.76m in rebates, with many dating back five years.

NHS understaffing poses ‘serious risk to patient safety’

Persistent understaffing in the NHS is creating a serious risk to patient safety, MPs have said in a damning report.

The cross-party health and social care committee said health and social care services in England face ‘the greatest workforce crisis in their history’ and the government has no credible strategy to make the situation better.

In a new report from the committee, research by the Nuffield Trust shows the NHS in England is short of 12,000 hospital doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives.

Restaurants closing doors ‘due to crippling staff shortages and inflation’

The number of restaurant closures has increased sharply in the past year amid staff shortages and rising inflation, according to a new study.

Accountancy firm UHY Hacker said the total jumped from 856 in 2020/21 to 1,406 in the past year.

Peter Kubik, of UHY Hacker Young, said restaurants were facing spiralling inflation, decreased consumer spending and a labour shortage.

‘Low-paid workers unlikely to report abuses out of fear and insecurity’

Low-paid workers don’t report being underpaid because of fear and insecurity, a new report warns.

The Low Pay Commission said the process for reporting abuses wasn’t working for the most vulnerable employees.

More over-50s returning to work amid cost-of-living crisis

Older people are starting to return to work amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, new research suggests.

A study found that economic activity levels among the over-50s were at their highest since the pandemic began.

Rest Less, which offers advice to older people, said its analysis of official statistics shows there was an increase in those in work or looking for work of 116,000 among the over-50s in the past year. More than half of the increase was driven by men over the age of 65.

Bird flu devastates important island colony

A bird flu outbreak on one of the UK’s most important habitats could potentially kill tens of thousands of seabirds.

Rangers working on the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast have donned protective suits and so far collected well over 3,000 dead birds for incineration.

But they fear that many thousands more have succumbed to the deadly disease and fallen off the cliffs into the North Sea.

Truss and Sunak trade blows on immigration and China ahead of TV debate

The two Tory leadership hopefuls have been engaged in bitter clashes over immigration, China and tax cuts ahead of a crunch TV debate this evening.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will enter the first head-to-head TV debate on BBC One tonight at 9pm after a weekend that saw both camps trade increasingly personal attacks.

Disabled driving permits may be rejected in mainland Europe because of Brexit hangover

Disabled drivers have been warned about using their blue badges in popular European holiday destinations this summer due to an ‘outrageous’ Brexit hangover that means they may not be accepted.

France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy are among 11 countries still undecided about whether UK blue badges will be recognised, according to the UK government website. The others are Iceland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Slovenia.

The AA has said disabled drivers may leave themselves open to parking fines. Jack Cousens, head of roads policy, said: ‘To keep blue badge users in limbo is simply unacceptable. Blue badges are issued because of specific health reasons, and to not have their status confirmed two years down the line is simply outrageous.’

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Muhammad Ali’s ‘Rumble in the Jungle belt’ sells at auction for £5.25m

Muhammad Ali’s championship belt from his 1974 ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ heavyweight title fight has been sold at auction for $6.18m (£5.25m).

The winner of the competition for the belt was Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, said Heritage Auctions in Dallas.

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The 1974 fight in Zaire was one of boxing’s most memorable moments. Ali stopped George Foreman with a knockout in the eighth round to recapture the heavyweight title.

Weather outlook

Scotland will see rain sink south today, reaching northern England later and thundery in places, says BBC Weather. Elsewhere will have patchy cloud and sunny spells plus the occasional shower.

Tuesday will be calmer and drier with a mix of patchy cloud and sunny spells for most, as well as some scattered showers, probably in the north.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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