The demise of Carillion, Britain’s second largest construction firm, features on almost all of Tuesday’s front pages.
The Times leads on the potential cost to the taxpayer of the collapse, saying the government is likely to lend the company’s receivers “hundreds of millions of pounds” to keep its public sector operations going.
It says ministers will hope to recoup some of this through Carillion’s remaining assets, after the liquidation.
But addressing exactly how much could be clawed back, an unnamed government source is quoted as saying: “That depends where the bodies are buried.”
Almost all of the papers have opinion pieces on the collapse of Carillion.
The Financial Times suggests its demise demonstrates how difficult it is to get the balance right when government contracts are being handled by private firms.
“Failure to accept the lowest bid risks criticism from the opposition and the press,” says the FT’s leader.
But it believes Carillion may have bid “dangerously low”.
The Guardian suggests such collapses could be avoided by awarding contracts to a larger number of smaller businesses.
On its website, the Economist examines the repercussions for the Pension Protection Fund, which supports pensioners who worked for failed firms in the UK.
It estimates the bill could be about £900m. It says the fund has the reserves to cope, but points out that it’s already under pressure because of the collapse of other major businesses, such as the retailer BHS.
The front page headline on the Daily Mail reads: “Supermarket bans plastic”.
The paper explains that Iceland will be the first store chain in the world to stop using the material in packaging for all its own-label products.
The paper says plastic containers will instead be made out of recycled wood pulp. Its leader column welcomes the move, saying that the “plastic tide is turning”.
‘A true, true gentleman’
The Sun is among several papers to pay tribute to Cyrille Regis – the former footballer who has died at the age of 59.
He was one of the first black players to compete at the highest level in England.
Ex-Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright writes that he was “an inspiration, a groundbreaker – and above all a true, true gentleman”.
“I can still see that opening clip on Match of the Day, taking the ball on his chest and smacking one in from about 20 yards,” he says.
The Mirror agrees, concluding that “many of today’s players, and society as a whole, owe a debt of gratitude to a pathfinder who challenged prejudice”.
Finally, the Daily Telegraph seems unimpressed by a study suggesting peanut butter could become more popular in Britain than jam and marmalade.
The trend is happening as people try to reduce sugar in their diet.
It is, says the Telegraph’s opinion column, “as though the world were divided into the bland, safe side of fish fingers and peas, versus the dangerous, acquired taste of kedgeree or bubble and squeak”.
“It is quite surprising peanut butter proves so fashionable, since its most famous fan, Elvis Presley, died at the age of 42 after heroic midnight assaults on peanut butter and banana sandwiches fried in bacon fat,” it adds.