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Tuesday newspaper round-up: Hospitality, UK food security, mortgages

Pubs and restaurants predict that Christmas cancellations made following the introduction of measures to limit the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in England will cut their festive takings by 40%. While hospitality venues have not yet been forced to reimpose measures such as social distancing or mandatory mask-wearing, industry leaders said tougher restrictions had already caused irreparable damage to trade, especially in city centres. – Guardian

The supply chain crisis must be fixed urgently if the government is to ensure food security in the UK, a coalition of industry groups has warned. Food and farming leaders warn that the sector has been hit by shortages of workers from seasonal fruit pickers to abattoir staff and lorry drivers, alongside inflation that has driven up the price of energy, feed and fertiliser. – Guardian

Rishi Sunak has been urged to put a £12bn tax raid on hold after the Bank of England warned that the new coronavirus variant poses a risk to the British economy. Lord Bilimoria, the chairman of Cobra beer and head of lobby group the Confederation of British Industry, said it is “absolutely the wrong time” to raise taxes given the threat facing the economy. – Telegraph

The Bank of England is to consider relaxing mortgage affordability tests in a move that will stoke fears over a further surge in house prices Threadneedle Street will launch a consultation on reforming lending rules early next year, potentially allowing thousands of borrowers to take out bigger loans. Tighter checks were introduced in 2014 to stop another property crash crippling the UK economy in the wake of the financial crisis. – Telegraph

The City regulator watered down a compensation scheme at the expense of mis-selling victims after the intervention of the Treasury amid fears the redress bill for banks would be too high, an official report will suggest. John Swift QC’s review of the handling of the redress programme for tens of thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that were mis-sold financial products by high street banks will raise concerns about Treasury interference in regulatory affairs, The Times understands. – Telegraph

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