Sunak’s £2bn jobs fund and ‘shock’ Depp claims

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Many of the front pages preview the chancellor’s summer statement. The Times says Rishi Sunak will announce a £2bn work placement scheme, paying the wages of young people for six months to “kickstart” their careers and ensure they do not “bear the brunt” of the economic crisis.

The Guardian front page

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Companies will be able to apply for the subsidies within a month and the first young people could start work in the autumn, says the Guardian. The paper says Mr Sunak decided it was too risky to wait until the autumn Budget to help the large numbers of young people in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors.

Financial Times front page

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The Financial Times calls it a “rare intervention” that is intended to stave off an unemployment disaster and the creation of a blighted “Covid generation”.

Daily Telegraph front page

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Home buyers are the focus of the Daily Telegraph front page, which says the chancellor’s statement will also include an immediate stamp duty holiday for purchases under £500,000. The paper says it will save buyers up to £15,000 and adds that the move could be a step towards slashing the property purchase tax permanently.

Daily Mirror front pageImage copyright

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Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard feature on many front pages, as Mr Depp’s libel case against the Sun for calling him a wife-beater begins. The Daily Mirror leads with the “shock Depp claims” that Ms Heard sliced off his fingertip by throwing a vodka bottle, assaulted him and verbally abused him.

Metro newspaper front page

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An image of Ms Heard arriving at court with her face covered, holding the hands of her sister and her lawyer, dominates the front page of Metro. The paper calls it “the world’s most vicious libel trial” and reports Mr Depp’s claim that he divorced his “narcissistic, sociopathic” wife after he found faeces in the bed.

Daily Mail front page

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The Daily Mail says the claims of violence, drug binges and “bizarre bedroom pranks” add up to a “Hollywood blockbuster”. But the paper’s lead story focuses on a “generation of women betrayed”, reporting on an inquiry into three health scandals – mesh implants, a pregnancy test and an epilepsy treatment – where it says women’s symptoms were dismissed by a defensive healthcare system.

The i newspaper front page

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Health workers face the loss of free parking and the reintroduction £3.50-an-hour charges as the government plans to withdraw support announced at the beginning of the pandemic, the i reports. The paper says medical staff want England to follow Scotland and Wales in scrapping the charges permanently.

Daily Express front page

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A study suggesting that statins, the anti-cholesterol drugs, can reduce the chance of an early death for over-75s by 25% makes the front of the Daily Express.

Daily Star front page

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And the Daily Star front page focuses on the tale of a dog abandoned by his owner after 10 years because he had not “learned to be good”, according to a note left behind. “How could they?” asks the paper, dubbing the black Labrador “the saddest little dog in Britain”.

The front pages are clear about the scale of the chancellor’s task. 

The Financial Times says he’ll attempt to “stave off” an “unemployment disaster” which is threatening to “erupt in the autumn”

And what he particularly fears – according to the Guardian – is a 1980s-style increase in joblessness among the under-25s

The Daily Mirror welcomes the promise of extra support for young people but calls for an “ambitious rescue package”, warning the country stands on the brink of a “devastating recession”.

The Daily Telegraph focuses on another measure: the emergency stamp duty holiday for the first £500,000 of any property purchase. It says it’ll come into force immediately.

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UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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The papers say Chancellor Rishi Sunak will try to prevent an unemployment disaster

The Sun examines which towns outside London could make the biggest savings, predicting places such as Dorking, Lymington and Sunbury-on-Thames in south-east England could do well. Only two areas in the north of England feature on its list. 

The Yorkshire Post says the region is ripe for investment after decades of neglect, and Mr Sunak needs to deliver on the government’s promises.

The i newspaper has some bad new for NHS workers in England. It warns they’ll soon have to pay to park again at hospitals, after the charges were suspended for the Covid-19 crisis. 

That’s prompted a backlash from trade unions. They argue the virus problem is far from over and claim staff are being punished for going to work to save lives. 

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Getty Images

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This hospital car park is decorated with a thank you messages – but soon staff could have to pay once more to use it

The paper says the government wouldn’t give a date for the reintroduction of the fees but promised to provide further updates in due course.

Buckingham Palace isn’t exempt from job losses because of the Covid 19 crisis, according to the Daily Telegraph. 

It says it’s seen an internal memo warning the Royal Collection Trust, which is reliant on visitors to the palace for income, has lost £64m because of the pandemic. 

The memo says that numbers are likely to be reduced for several years, with one palace source telling the paper they fear this is an opening salvo for further cuts.

“Generation of women betrayed” is how the Daily Mail headlines its coverage of the three avoidable health scandals covered by an official review. In its editorial it calls the NHS “institutionally defensive”. 

The Guardian paints a similar picture of the medical establishment, claiming it failed to acknowledge problems even in the face of mounting safety concerns.

The Independent thinks the UK has failed to learn the lessons of thalidomide – the drug which caused thousands of birth defects in the 1960s – and says the fact we’re in this position in 2020 is “unacceptable”.

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The papers also report on how a shopkeeper’s attempt to test whether police would enforce a local ban on drinking in High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire has backfired. 

The Times says Alex Snowball, who is teetotal, filled a can with carrot juice but was given an on-the-spot fine of £60 after he refused to tell police what was inside. 

The case escalated into a High Court battle and a judge has now ruled that the police “reasonably believed” the can contained lager, leaving the shopkeeper owing thousands of pounds in legal fees.

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