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Thursday newspaper round-up: Business start-up funding, food prices, Royal Mail

Labour has launched a review of business startup funding driven by a group of industry leaders including the former Goldman Sachs chief economist and Conservative Treasury minister Jim O’Neill as it attempts to improve its credentials with business. Announcing the review amid concern over the strength of the British economy, Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said Labour wanted to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business. – Guardian

Food price rises in the UK could hit 15% this summer – the highest level in more than 20 years – with inflation lasting into the middle of next year, according to a report. Meat, cereals, dairy, fruit and vegetables are likely to be the worst affected as the war in Ukraine combines with production lockdowns in China and export bans on key food stuffs such as palm oil from Indonesia and wheat from India, the grocery trade body IGD warns. – Guardian

Regent Street faces a rise in empty shops as the work-from-home revolution continues to damage high streets, The Crown Estate has warned. The commercial landlord responsible for the Queen’s land has warned footfall in central London remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels last year as home workers made fewer trips to top retail destinations. – Telegraph

Gas prices in Britain and Europe surged for a second consecutive day yesterday as Russia said it was further curtailing supplies to the Continent. Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled gas group, said it was limiting volumes through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, while Eni, of Italy, said that its supplies from Russia also had been reduced. UK wholesale gas prices jumped by 30 per cent to more than 257p a therm. – The Times

Some Royal Mail managers are working dozens of hours of unpaid overtime every month, their trade union has claimed, amid a fight over staffing levels that could lead to strike action. The postal network is heading toward industrial strife this summer as Royal Mail battles with its unions. The Communication Workers Union, which represents the bulk of its 100,000 staff, is to notify the company of a ballot for industrial action next week over demands for a cost of living pay increase. The company could have a national strike on its hands in August. – The Times

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