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PRESS DIGEST-British Business - March 4

·2 min read

March 4 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Times

- UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak will raise taxes to the highest level since the 1960s as he attempts to repair Britain's finances after spending an "unimaginable" 352 billion pounds ($490.48 billion) in response to the pandemic. https://bit.ly/2O3hFtD

- About 600,000 people in UK, the newly self-employed who started working for themselves after the pandemic struck, have been given government help in the form of access to grants. https://bit.ly/3kUlSw1

The Guardian

- Eight English ports are to become freeports under plans announced by the chancellor, who said his policy for the controversial low-tax zones would "exemplify the future economy" and "unlock billions" in investment, trade and jobs. https://bit.ly/3bdxery

- Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are to receive an additional 2.4 billion pounds in the next financial year under the Barnett formula as Rishi Sunak increased funding to the devolved administrations. https://bit.ly/30cHTMJ

The Telegraph

- British supermarket group Sainsbury's will slash about 500 office roles with a further 650 depot jobs at risk as it seeks to bolster its online business. https://bit.ly/308ONTt

- Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory will close with the loss of thousands of jobs unless it gets support from British taxpayers, the boss of the car maker has warned. https://bit.ly/388yhac

Sky News

- BlackRock is injecting a British company Exscientia which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to discover new drug molecules as part of a $100 million fundraising that puts it firmly on course to achieve coveted 'unicorn' status. https://bit.ly/3qkotQY

- Border disruption with the EU, caused in part by Brexit, is expected to cause an economic hit in the first three months of this year, according to Whitehall's fiscal watchdog. https://bit.ly/3qnrHmN

The Independent

- Brussels has pledged legal action after ministers announced plans to unilaterally change a part of the Northern Ireland Brexit deal to better suit British businesses. https://bit.ly/3rjou94

($1 = 0.7177 pounds) (Compiled by Bengaluru newsroom)