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June.21, 2021: @acenewsservices
Newspaper Headlines: Jab hope to save summer and pensions tax threat and the rush to save summer,” is the Daily Mirror’s lead, as it reports on the long queues that formed outside walk-in vaccination centres, as jabs were opened up to all over-18s in England.
The Daily Mirror says that holiday hopes are growing as pressure grows on the government to ease rules on foreign holidays, and many over-18s have rushed to get vaccinated “hoping inoculations might save their summer”. The paper also says that airline staff are planning to march to Westminster this week to demand that travel is opened up.
Fewer than one in 200 travellers from countries on the UK’s amber list is testing positive for Covid when they return, the Times says. It quotes Conservative MPs and travel experts as saying the border rules are too strict, and that travellers with both jabs should be exempt from self-isolation. The paper says that ministers could announce a policy exempting fully vaccinated passengers from the rules as early as next Monday when the traffic light system is due to be reviewed.
The i newspaper says jab bookings have soared as vaccinations opened up to all adults. It shows a picture of queues at West Ham’s stadium – now a mass vaccination centre – as it says pop up clinics have been set up at universities and sports grounds to cope with the huge demand.
The Metro says young people are being encouraged to book jabs by social media apps like TikTok and Snapchat. The platforms are offering stickers saying “I’ve had my Covid vaccine”, while Reddit is hosting question and answer sessions with vaccine experts. YouTube is also rolling out an advertising campaign in partnership with the NHS. The paper suggests that if it works, it could help to bring the lockdown end date forward.
The Daily Telegraph says it understands that the government is drawing up plans to reform the way pension contributions are taxed, to help pay for public spending amid the pandemic. It says one idea being considered if to reduce the pensions lifetime allowance – meaning the point above which extra tax charges kick in is lowered. Officials see pensions tax changes as one way to help rebalance the public finances.
The Daily Express suggests there is a threat to the government’s “triple lock” on pensions – which is the promise that the state pension increases each year in line with inflation, increasing average wages, or 2.5%, whichever of those three is highest. It is one of several papers to feature a front page picture of Prince William spending Father’s Day with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at a half-marathon at Sandringham.
The Guardian suggests that Boris Johnson is being urged by his cabinet ministers, including Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to do more collective decision-making rather than sticking with a “close No 10 clique”. It quotes a cabinet source as saying cabinet meetings have become non-events with no debate. The paper also adds that the prime minister faces a “tricky” few days this week after the Conservative by-election defeat and the continued attacks from former adviser Dominic Cummings.
The Financial Times leads with the latest on the supermarket, Morrisons, which rejected a £5.5bn takeover bid from an American private equity firm saying it “significantly undervalued” its business. The paper says the firm – Clayton, Dubilier and Rice – is planning to push ahead with its pursuit. Morrisons declined to comment.
The Sun says that Prince Harry agreed to do the interview with Oprah Winfrey shortly after learning that his honorary military appointments would be returned after he stepped down as a working royal. It quotes a source as claiming that the duke was angry at the news.
Conspiracy theorist David Icke makes the front page of the Daily Star, after he called broadcaster Piers Morgan “fake” and “deluded”. The paper describes Icke as a “lizard-botherer”, after he once described the Royal Family as shape-shifting lizards.
The Daily Express’s leader is overjoyed at the high uptake, describing the long lines outside football stadiums as a “river of hope” in the final push to freedom from restrictions.
Analysis for the Times has found that fewer than one in 200 travellers returning from amber list countries is testing positive on their return. Data for the three weeks to 9 June reveals a positivity rate of 0.4%.
“It’s hard for the government to hide behind this data,” is the view of Paul Charles, who runs a travel consultancy firm.
The Daily Telegraph suggests the figures – combined with a new daily testing regime instead of quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers – could lead to the return of family holidays to Europe by the end of next month.
ReutersMore than one million jabs were booked in two days in England, after booking opened for over-18s
The i newspaper reports on concerns in Cornwall, that the recent G7 summit may be behind a 4,000% rise in new coronavirus infections in the past fortnight.
Andrew George, a Liberal Democrat councillor, says there is an “undeniable correlation” between the summit and a spike in new cases.
He says his repeated requests to look at the risk assessments for the G7 have been denied on security grounds. Mr George says this amounts to a “partisan cover up”.
A Downing Street spokesperson said ministers were not aware of any transmission from delegates to local residents.
“Pensions raid to pay for the pandemic,” is the Daily Telegraph’s lead, as it outlines proposals being considered by Treasury officials to help balance the books.
Options reportedly include the pensions lifetime allowance being reduced from £1m to £800,000 or £900,000, lowering the point at which extra tax charges kick in. Another is new taxation on employer contributions.
In the Daily Express, the chancellor is urged to continue to honour the pensions triple lock – with campaigners warning its removal would send a “ripple of fear” among hundreds of thousands facing higher living costs.
The Sun reveals that Boris Johnson has rejected calls to increase income tax by two pence in the pound to fix the “crumbling” social care system in England.
The prime minister will hold a meeting tomorrow with Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chancellor Rishi Sunak for talks on how to move forward.
But according to the Guardian, sources have stressed this is not a “decision-making” session, despite the health secretary’s desire to find a solution as soon as possible.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Hancock’s predecessor, Jeremy Hunt, warns that the government cannot afford to do nothing – because all that will happen is the most vulnerable will continue to be sent to hospital, at a time when the NHS is trying to bring down waiting times for five million people.
PA MediaThe news that former Conservative Speaker John Bercow has joined Labour features in several papers
There’s a general consensus that John Bercow’s defection to Labour is not necessarily a good thing for Sir Keir Starmer.
The Sun’s leader says the Conservatives will be “laughing their socks off” because, while Labour is trying to pretend it respects the Brexit vote, it has now embraced “the poisonous toad… who publicly devoted himself to negating it”.
The Times says Labour should keep the former Commons speaker at “arm’s length”, while the Daily Mail’s editorial suggests Sir Keir should offer Mr Bercow the peerage he reportedly wants, but on the condition he joins the Lib Dems.
The Guardian reports that the prime minister will face calls this week from senior figures including Mr Sunak to pay more heed to collective decision-making.
There is reported concern among some that Boris Johnson is sticking only to a “close clique” in No 10 – with one source saying cabinet meetings have gone from “arenas of combat” under Theresa May to non-events with no debate.
The Times reports that cabinet ministers want Boris Johnson to allow Scottish people living in any part of the UK to vote in a second independence referendum.
The change would affect an estimated 800,000 Scots in England and 50,000 in Wales.
The prime minister is also facing calls from some within his party to appoint former Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson to a newly created role of constitutional secretary – making her the nominal head of the pro-Union campaign.
People described as close to the HS2 high-speed rail project have told the Financial Times that the overall cost has increased by £1.7bn over the past year.
Work on most sites was halted during the initial lockdown, while social distancing measures have caused access delays and reduced productivity.
One contractor is quoted saying HS2 Ltd does not yet know how much Covid has added to the overall bill – which is currently estimated to be £106bn.
The Sun leads on what it calls “Harry’s military meltdown”, as the paper reports that the Duke of Sussex agreed to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey within 24 hours of being stripped of his military titles. A source has told the paper there was a “bust-up” over the issue, after Harry and Meghan decided earlier this year they did not want to return as working members of the Royal Family. The couple were reportedly “very cross” and “angry” about what happened, because the roles were very important to Harry.PA MediaThere’s coverage of Italy’s win over Wales in Sunday’s Euro 2020 match in many papers”
The best one-nil defeat in Wales’ history,” is how the Daily Mail sees the result of last night’s match against Italy in Rome, which ultimately secured the Welsh a place in the last 16 of Euro 2020.
The i newspaper says it was “job done, just”, while Wales Online praisesthe players’ “fight and character” in a city “well-acquainted in the art of gladiatorial combat”. And the Daily Express may speak for an entire nation with its headline of “phew, we’re through”.And finally… how the England football team relax in between matches has come a long way since the piano bar, billiard room and putting green of their Euro 96 hotel.
The Daily Telegraph reveals the players have been taking yoga sessions in specifically designed pods – which include relaxing mood music, LED lighting and an oil diffuser with orange, bergamot and lavender scents.
And if that is not to everyone’s taste, the Sun reports that the squad also have use of a garden containing sun loungers, bean bags and a fire pit.
#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.21: 2021:
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