Friday newspaper round-up: Fuel crisis, Blue Origin, European lorry drivers

by | Oct 1, 2021

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Nearly half of all independently owned petrol stations in the UK were still dry or out of one type of fuel on Thursday, as motorists continued to panic buy and soldiers stood by to drive tankers to help with the refuelling effort amid a lack of HGV drivers. The Petrol Retailers Association said drivers were continuing to buy fuel faster than it could be restocked, despite the insistence from chief secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, that the situation was “back under control”. – Guardian
Hospitality and tourism bosses are pleading with the government to permanently lower the VAT rate on businesses in their sectors to help safeguard thousands of jobs. The appeal comes as the tax’s rate for pubs, restaurants, holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions rises on Friday to 12.5%, following a temporary cut to just 5% that was introduced in July 2020 to help businesses struggling in the pandemic. – Guardian

Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket company has been accused of fostering a “toxic” culture in which senior executives are alleged to have sexually harassed staff and in one instance “physically groping” a female employee. An open letter, claiming to represent the views of 21 current and former Blue Origin employees, alleged that “numerous” senior executives have been known to be “consistently inappropriate with women”. – Telegraph

European lorry drivers recruited to help prevent Christmas shortages are being offered salaries of up to a fifth more than their British counterparts. Retail industry insiders say the higher salaries are required to attract EU drivers to the UK for such a short period of time, with the 5,000 temporary visas issued by the Government set to expire on Christmas Eve. – Telegraph

Sir Howard Davies, one of the most senior figures in the City, has expressed support for a ban on cryptocurrency trading, arguing it should come with a warning saying “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here” – the inscription over hell’s gates, according to Dante. Sir Howard, who chairs NatWest Group and is a former deputy governor of the Bank of England and former chairman of the Financial Services Authority, said he was “very hostile” to crypto, adding that it was regarded as the biggest worry within NatWest. – The Times

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