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Wednesday newspaper round-up: Furlough scheme, Alphabet, LV

Rishi Sunak has been warned by the leaders of Britain’s most influential business groups and the trade union movement that he risks plunging Britain into a period of mass unemployment unless he extends the furlough scheme. Before the budget on 3 March, both sides of industry told the chancellor that the economy was too fragile to end the wage subsidy scheme at the end of April and that he risked undoing the efforts to protect jobs over the past year if he did so. – Guardian
Google parent company Alphabet had a better-than-expected fourth quarter in 2020, the company announced Tuesday, bolstered by a rebound in ad spending during the holiday season. Alphabet stocks were up as much as 7% in after hours trading following the company’s earnings report, which showed it reported record revenue for the second quarter in a row, beating analyst estimates. – Guardian

Rishi Sunak could launch a tax raid on banks to help tackle the UK’s record deficit, according to the investment bank UBS. The warning comes amid speculation that the Chancellor will use next month’s Budget to begin the task of putting the public finances on a “sustainable” footing as vast pandemic spending pushes borrowing above £400bn this financial year. – Telegraph

The LV= life insurance group is under growing pressure from policyholders and politicians over its handling of a takeover bid from Bain Capital. The deal with the American private equity firm will mark the end of the life insurer’s mutual structure, under which policyholders own the company. LV= is to hold a virtual meeting with policyholders today to discuss the £530 million Bain deal. A cross-party group of more than 100 MPs and peers have raised concerns about a ban on media attending the event. – The Times

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