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37 HMV stores closed

Loss of 464 staff.

Deloitte has announced it intends to wind up an additional 37 HMV stores over the coming weeks as part of a phased closure.

The closures, which could mean the loss of 464 staff, in addition to the 66 outlets previously identified to shut, leave 116 stores open for business as Deloitte attempts continued business restructuring.

Nick Edwards, joint administrator for Deloitte, said as “part of our ongoing review of HMV’s financial position, we have undertaken a further review of the store portfolio and have identified an additional 37 stores for closure.

“This step has been taken in order to enhance the prospects of the restructured business continuing as a going concern.

“We are extremely grateful to the staff for their continued strong support and commitment during an understandably difficult period. All other key stakeholders including suppliers and landlords remain supportive and we appreciate their ongoing assistance.”

Nick Edwards, Rob Harding and Neville Kahn were appointed joint administrators of HMV on 15 January this year.

HMV, whose first store was opened in London's Oxford Street in 1921, collapsed last month after it suffered a 10.2 per cent slump in sales and its net debt rose to £176.1m over the six months to the end of October 2012.

This story first appeared on economia.

This is a news story from economia.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.