Thursday newspaper round-up: Salt tax, music streaming, SFO

by | Jul 15, 2021

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Ministers are being urged to levy a £3bn sugar and salt tax as part of a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to break Britain’s addiction to junk food, cut meat consumption by nearly a third and help tackle climate change. The government-commissioned National Food Strategy, drawn up by the restaurateur Henry Dimbleby, says the UK population’s “malfunctioning” appetites and poor diets – fuelled by consumer and manufacturer’s reliance on processed food – place an unsustainable burden on the NHS and contribute to 64,000 deaths each year. – Guardian
Consumers have been conned out of more than £2.3bn in the space of a year after a “devastating surge” in scams as fraudsters exploited the pandemic. The consumer body Which? found that in the year to April 2021, 413,553 instances of fraud were reported in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – an increase of 33% on the previous 12 months. Online shopping scams topped the table as criminals took advantage of the fact that locked-down consumers were buying more items via the internet. – Guardian

Bosses have been told to set up mental health hotlines for anxious staff in official guidance from Whitehall as the country gears up for a return to the office on Monday. Workers may be suffering from mental health issues and will need “extra consideration” from their employers after over a year spent working remotely or on the furlough scheme, the Department for Business said in eagerly-anticipated documents released on Wednesday. – Telegraph

The economics of music streaming should be “completely reset”, a group of MPs has concluded in a report that could threaten the business models of streaming giants Spotify and Apple Music. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) should step in to investigate a lack of competition in the music industry in an attempt to raise the amount of royalties paid to musicians and songwriters, said MPs on Culture select committee. – Telegraph

The key whistleblower in a case that resulted in a former Airbus subsidiary being fined £28.1 million for corruption was “hung out to dry” by the Serious Fraud Office, it has been claimed. Ian Foxley’s evidence led to a guilty plea this year from GPT Special Project Management over bribes related to a UK government contract to provide services to Saudi Arabia’s military. However, he accused the SFO of downplaying his role in the conviction and undermining his compensation claim. – The Times

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