NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

NEWS ROUNDUP

TAX NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

Businesses urge Sunak to extend VAT holiday

A poll conducted for the Telegraph by the Chartered Management Institute found 57% senior managers across private and public sectors think ministers should extend the VAT deferral scheme which helps businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis. Between April and June, companies deferred a total of £27.5bn in VAT payments. Chancellor Rishi Sunak declined to renew it after it expired at the end of June. The survey also revealed that 35% of managers expect their organisation to shed jobs by the end of the year, although 53% agreed with the decision to end the furlough scheme.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3

Tax us to pay for Covid recovery, world’s rich say

An open letter signed by 84 of the world’s richest people calls on governments around the world to hike taxes on the wealthy permanently to help pay for the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. They are calling on politicians to “address global inequality and acknowledge that tax increases on the wealthy, and greater international tax transparency, are essential for a viable long-term solution”.

The Guardian. Page: 3

Chancellor must set out long-term recovery plan

Andrew Harding at the CIMA says the Chancellor needs to provide certainty on future tax and regulatory frameworks as part of efforts to “lay the groundwork to drive the long-term economic recovery”.

Financial Times, Page: 20

Decision due on Apple tax row

A ruling from the European General Court on Apple’s appeal against a €13bn bill for back taxes the European Commission says is owed to the Irish government is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Times, Page: 36

PENSIONS NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

Triple-lock unlikely to survive the year

Experts have said that pensioners should brace themselves for the end of the state pension triple lock guarantee in the autumn. The Chancellor is reportedly planning to scrap the policy amid concerns that it has become unaffordable. It guarantees that the state pension rises every year by the highest of wage growth, inflation or 2.5%. But a sharp rebound in wages predicted next year could add £10bn to the benefits bill. Steven Cameron of Aegon said a double-digit increase in the state pension would be a hard sell and could spark intergenerational tensions. Retirees would have to foot their share of the pandemic bill, including a sacrifice of the annual boost in state pension.

The Daily Telegraph

CORPORATE NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

Itsu puts CVA on the table

The Asian food chain Itsu has appointed Alix Partners to look at options for the company including a company voluntary arrangement (CVA). Itsu has been hit by the lack of commuting office workers, particularly in London, during the pandemic. Alix Partners is also handling the administration of Casual Dining Group, which has entered exclusive talks over a sale to Epiris, a private equity firm.

The Times, Page: 33

SMEs NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

Work begins on tackling corporate debt pile

The Treasury is looking at possible solutions to the expected growth in corporate debt, with £45bn lent to SMEs which MPs would prefer were contributing to the recovery rather than struggling under their debt.

Financial Times, Page: 2

ECONOMY NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

Output remains at 10-year low despite rise

Business output rebounded last month as service companies and factories reopened, according to the business trends report by BDO. However, activity remained drastically below normal levels. Overall, the output index rose by 11.16 points to 66.50 last month, still well short of the 95 level that represents positive growth, and significantly below the lowest point of the last recession, which hit a low of 79.28 in April 2009. Kaley Crossthwaite, a partner at BDO, said: “Although economic activity remains considerably suppressed, the recovery in output is an encouraging signal that the easing of restrictions has breathed life into certain sectors.”

The Times, Page: 35 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 7

High street could see 250,000 job losses

Retail experts say as many as 250,000 jobs could be lost in the sector as the public shifts to online shopping and the Government’s support schemes start to come to an end. The prediction comes after John Lewis and Boots announced a raft of store closures and thousands of redundancies. Prof Joshua Bamfield, of the Centre for Retail Research, told the Sun that closures announced to date are the tip of the iceberg. He added: “All big retailers will be having talks as to how many stores they really need open in 2021.”

Daily Mail The Sun

INTERNATIONAL NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

Merkel’s government pressed to release conversations with former Wirecard chief

Conversations between Germany’s deputy finance minister Jörg Kukies and former Wirecard chief executive Markus Braun have been classified by the government in a move the left-wing Die Linke party described as “utterly unacceptable”.

Financial Times, Page: 4

OTHER NEWS – MONDAY 13TH JULY 2020

HMRC investigator lost job after claiming Satan was on his PC

A fraud investigator lost his job in Risk and Intelligence Services at HMRC after telling managers he had begun to see demons. Paul O’Connor, a devout Christian, claimed his computer needed to be doused with holy water after Satan had appeared on his system, an employment tribunal has been told. Mr O’Connor was ultimately paid 12 weeks’ notice and compensation of more than £25,000 after being signed off work and subsequently deemed unfit to return. Mr O’Connor maintained that they had discriminated against him due to his religious beliefs – a claim dismissed by a judge.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 10

Contact Paul Southward.

Paul Southward