UK creative industries risk ‘cultural catastrophe’ without support

Creative industries will be hit twice as hard by coronavirus as the UK economy overall, risking a “cultural catastrophe” for the country’s performing arts companies, concert venues and the broader culture sector, a study has found. 

Revenues are forecast to drop by £74bn in 2020 — a 30 per cent fall — while job losses are predicted to hit more than 400,000, according to the research by consultancy Oxford Economics. 

The loss in gross value added — a measure of output — in the creative industries will be 25 per cent in 2020, or £29bn, the research found. The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast a drop of 12.8 per cent in UK gross domestic product in 2020. 

Caroline Norbury, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, a trade body, which commissioned the research, said the report made clear the sector was “heading for a cultural catastrophe” without additional government

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Pensions triple lock at risk because of fallout from Covid-19

Rishi Sunak is preparing to break the Conservative party’s “triple lock” state pension pledge, amid Treasury fears that the policy could soon become unaffordable because of the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

The UK chancellor’s willingness to break a 2019 Tory manifesto commitment is a sign of how the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing the government to confront political taboos.

Mr Sunak has been warned that unless he breaks the pledge next year, the value of the state pension could rise sharply. The triple lock ensures the state pension goes up by whichever is higher — wages, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

The Treasury has noted with alarm official forecasts that wages could soar in 2021 as they rebound from an artificial dip caused by the government’s job retention scheme. Some 9m people currently receive only 80 per cent of their wages under the furlough scheme.

While April 2021 pension payments

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Coronavirus: Boohoo swoops on former high street stars Oasis and Warehouse | Business News

Fresh evidence of the permanent shift in the power-base of British retailing will emerge this week when Boohoo Group, the online fashion giant, buys the former high street stalwarts Oasis and Warehouse.

Sky News has learnt that Boohoo could announce the purchase of the two brands as soon as Wednesday morning, when it is scheduled to announce first-quarter results.

The deal will come just two months after Oasis and Warehouse Group collapsed into administration.

They were sold to Hilco Capital, the distressed retail investor, in late April, with nearly 2,000 jobs at the chains lost when their stores were closed for the last time.

City sources said on Tuesday that Oasis and Warehouse’s online business and their associated intellectual property would be bought by Boohoo.

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Oasis and Warehouse Group collapsed into administration earlier this year

The price being paid for the brands was unclear, although an insider said it

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EU launches two investigations into Apple | Business News

Europe’s competition watchdog has launched two investigations into Apple – including the way it limits the use of the contactless payment function on iPhones.

The European Commission said it was looking into the US tech giant’s Apple Pay platform as well as its mobile app store.

It said there were concerns that the company’s practices hurt consumers by limiting choice and innovation and keeping prices high.

Apple dismissed the complaints as “baseless”.

The commission is looking at whether Apple Pay’s rules require online stores to make it the preferred or default option – effectively shutting out rival payment systems.

It is also concerned about the “tap and go” function of Apple’s iPhone handsets being reserved for the use of the Apple Pay platform.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it came at a time when growth in mobile payment systems was accelerating due to the coronavirus crisis increasing online transactions

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