NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Burden of crisis must not fall only on working people

Writing in the Express, Gary Stevenson, an “inequality economist” and former trader, talks about a report from Tax Justice UK based on the responses of ordinary people across the UK when asked about tax. He says Brits are increasingly irked by loopholes allowing the wealthy to skirt tax laws and many feel inequality is only growing. With huge rises in government debt as a result of rescuing the economy from the coronavirus crisis, Stevenson says the weight of this burden must not fall just on hard-working people but on the millionaires and billionaires too.

Daily Express, Page: 12

SMEs NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Scots workplaces must be “allowed to open quickly”

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce has warned that businesses will struggle to survive a return to stricter coronavirus measures after Nicola Sturgeon halted any return to offices for at least another three weeks. Its CEO, Dr Liz Cameron, said: “We need to move forward to ensure our economy can recover and stem the loss of jobs where possible. That’s why we need our offices to be allowed to open quickly, particularly those where businesses have worked closely with employees and invested heavily in safety procedures.” Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Scotland’s policy chair, added that the decision will have “consequences for firms reliant on workers’ footfall in our town and city centres.” He went on to suggest that “innovative new help might be required for those firms currently facing a footfall.”

The Scotsman, Page: 1

NatWest tops support lending league

Bank of England data show NatWest has been the biggest user of the Term Funding Scheme for smaller firms so far, which has extended £14.3bn to lenders. NatWest tapped the central bank fund for £5bn while Nationwide drew down £3.2bn, followed by Santander UK at £2.5bn.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 7

INVESTMENT NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Comment: How to rebound from COVID without imposing tax rises

In an opinion piece for the Telegraph, John Mills argues that to recharge the economy coming out of the coronavirus crisis, the government should avoid introducing tax rises and spending cuts, and instead look to increase investment in categories with the highest total returns to the economy, which cluster around mechanisation, technology and power; and that to make these industries competitive, the pound should be brought down to a point where it is more profitable to invest in new production facilities in the UK rather than in China or Germany.

The Daily Telegraph

PROPERTY NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Reprieve for tenants facing eviction

A “truce” on enforcement action for tenants facing eviction in England and Wales this Christmas has been announced. The Government also said that evictions will not be enforced in areas subject to local lockdowns as the pandemic continues. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick added that it has increased notice periods to six months in an “unprecedented measure”.

BBC News

SPORT NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Failure to return spectators to stadiums will cost clubs £150m a month

The Premier League and English Football League estimate more than £150m could be lost every month across football clubs if Boris Johnson delays the Oct 1 return of crowds. Two of the 12 remaining trial games have now been scrapped after organisers confirmed they were no longer safe to continue. Meanwhile, restricting capacity to 1,000 fans means is not deemed financially viable. Half of financial directors working in the English professional game have concerns over the health of their clubs, according to a survey by BDO. Around 45% of those surveyed said their club’s finances were “in need of attention”, compared to 21% in 2019.

The Daily Telegraph, Sport, Page: 1-3

CORPORATE NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Saga CEO critical of former PE owners

Euan Sutherland, CEO of Saga, has criticised the over-50’s group’s former private equity owners for being “too focused on the short-term” and dramatically increasing its debts. Mr Sutherland said that the insurance and travel specialist had a “relentless focus” in its first 55 years that was then followed by 15 years of poor decisions.

The Daily Telegraph Financial Times, Page: 10 The Times, Page: 36

PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Warning on using life expectancy data for planning

Joseph Lu, director of longevity science at Legal & General Retail Retirement Income, has warned that national life expectancy data is not a suitable tool for retirement planning. He said: “National life expectancy data is not suitable for planning as it implies there is a one in two chance of outliving the figure. It doesn’t account for health, wealth and other important factors. If we would like a 90% chance of achieving life-long financial security, for age 65, plan for living to 100. This means planning for 35 years.”

FT Adviser

ECONOMY NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

MPs urge Sunak to consider furlough extension for viable firms

MPs on the Treasury Committee are urging the Chancellor to consider a targeted extension of the furlough scheme so businesses with a chance of surviving the pandemic have an opportunity to do so. In a wide-ranging report on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the MPs said Rishi Sunak should consider extending the more generous terms for universal credit and have a plan for helping debt-troubled SMEs, or risk a longer recession. The report added that tax rises were likely to stifle economic recovery, but indicated that the Committee would support the Chancellor if he scrapped the Conservative party’s manifesto pledge to maintain the pensions triple lock.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 19 Financial Times, Page: 2 The Guardian, Page: 31

OTHER NEWS – FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2020

Opinion: Corruption is the basis of UK’s wealth

The Guardian’s George Monbiot writes on corruption in the UK describing how research has revealed that three offshore centres are responsible for $1.1trn of illegal money flows annually. Monbiot rails against the City’s secrecy (it is exempt from FoI laws) and the freedom to hide ownership details when creating a company. He goes on to say the involvement of Britain’s bankers in global money laundering is a “perpetuation of colonial looting” and claims that processing “everyone else’s corruption is the basis of much of the wealth of this country.” Monbiot adds: “When you start to understand this, the contention by the author of Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano, that the UK is the most corrupt nation on Earth begins to make sense.”

The Guardian, Journal, Page: 1, 2

Contact Paul Southward