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Friday newspaper round-up: Covid fraud, Cuadrilla Resources, working from home

HM Revenue & Customs has been accused by an influential group of MPs of “ignorance and inaction” on recouping £6bn of fraudulent Covid-19 support payments, drawing an angry backlash from the tax authority. The public accounts committee (PAC), which monitors state spending, issued a litany of criticisms of HMRC, warning that money surrendered to fraudsters would ultimately add to the cost of living crisis engulfing Britain. – Guardian

The Biden administration has unveiled a plan to award nearly $5bn over five years to build thousands of electric vehicle charging stations. The nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations would place new or upgraded ones every 50 miles (80km) along interstate highways as part of the administration’s plan to spur widespread adoption of zero-emission cars. – Guardian

Andrew Bailey has warned Brussels against “seeking to fragment the international system” after commissioners vowed to cut off access to the City’s £80 trillion clearing market. The Governor of the Bank of England urged the European Union not to end Continental banks’ access to London in 2025, saying any attempt to snatch business away from the Square Mile would go against the two sides’ “shared deep commitment to open markets”. – Telegraph

The UK will be forced to import almost three-quarters of its gas by 2030 as North Sea reserves are depleted, according to analysis of official forecasts. Some 70pc of Britain’s gas is forecast to come from abroad by 2030, figures show, rising to 80pc a decade later and 85pc by 2050. – Telegraph

The only company to frack for shale gas in Britain has been ordered to plug and abandon its wells, more than two years after causing earth tremors that led to a ban on the process. Cuadrilla Resources said that it would mobilise a rig to seal the two wells at Preston New Road in Lancashire with cement and would remove the pipework and valves from the site, after instructions from the Oil and Gas Authority, the regulator. A battery to store electricity could be built at the location instead, under plans from AJ Lucas, Cuadrilla’s Australian parent company. – The Times

Four out five bosses expect their companies to continue to allow staff to work from home for at least part of the week, according to a survey. Seventy-nine per cent of leaders polled by the Institute of Directors plan to adopt remote working in the long term. – The Times

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