MPs call for loan charge extension

Over 50 MPs have signed an open letter to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for an immediate delay to the loan charge settlement deadline. The letter from the Loan Charge All Party Parliamentary Group to Mr Sunak, states: “We are writing to implore you to delay the date for reporting the loan charge and concluding settlement agreements from 30th September 2020 to 31st January 2021. This is essential, to allow all those who wish to do so adequate time to settle and also due to the unforeseen impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The delay is vital due to effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and the economy. As HMRC knows, if the loan charge is imposed, as well as forcing individuals into bankruptcy, it will also close businesses (where company directors are facing the loan charge). This in turn will cause job losses. A sensible delay gives the opportunity to avoid much of this damage.”

Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 1-2

FSB backs shadow chancellor call to rule out tax rises

The shadow chancellor has said the Tories’ failure get a grip of COVID-19 and reform furlough is plunging the UK “deeper into an economic crisis”. Anneliese Dodds said “despite the extraordinary sacrifices of the British people, our country is still suffering more than many others”. Responding to Ms Dodds’ first conference speech as Labour’s finance chief, the Federation of Small Businesses National Chairman Mike Cherry, said: “It’s encouraging to hear the Opposition pledging to work hand in hand with small businesses at this incredibly difficult juncture. The Shadow Chancellor is absolutely right to call on government to rule out any tax rises in the immediate future – any hikes would seriously stifle our nascent economic recovery.”

Daily Mirror, Page: 11 Press Release The Press and Journal, Page: 14

Op-ed: ‘digital services tax targeting the wrong companies

In an opinion piece for City AM Nat Poulter, chief operating officer at digital media firm Jungle Creations, argues that the digital services tax which taxes the revenues of multinational companies where they make them, hurts the wrong businesses and stifles their ability to develop and grow.

City AM


UK expands Kickstart jobs scheme to attract small businesses

The Government has opened its £2bn Kickstart jobs scheme to intermediaries following criticism that many small businesses would be left out. The scheme will pay employers’ costs for six-month work placements for 16- to 24-year-olds but companies taking on fewer than 30 new young workers were prevented from applying directly for funds. The Federation of Small Businesses is one intermediary given permission to help small businesses offering fewer than 30 vacancies apply for funding. The FSB has teamed up with Adecco Working Ventures to help facilitate applications. Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “Small businesses are absolutely vital to our recovery as we build back better and a key part of the Kickstart Scheme. It’s great to have the Federation of Small Businesses and Adecco supporting them to take full advantage of our landmark Kickstart Scheme by becoming a national Kickstart gateway.”

Financial Times, Page: 3 Press Release

UK’s hospitality sector warns new lockdown would be ‘nail in coffin’

Trade body UKHospitality has said 900,000 jobs would be at risk if the sector was forced to close again without financial support, with CEO Kate Nicholls warning that debt will create a “difficult spiral” for businesses going forward. Her comments come as more than 175 publicans signed an open letter to the prime minister predicting that a curfew – or stronger measures such as a second national lockdown – could devastate a sector “already on its knees”.

Financial Times The Daily Telegraph The Guardian


Planned new law to safeguard City of London’s global standing

The UK plans to introduce new financial services sector legislation to maintain the City of London’s global competitiveness and openness after it leaves the European Union. John Glen, Britain’s financial services minister, said that the new Financial Services Bill would create a modern, flexible and robust system of financial regulation: “(It) will underpin the continued global competitiveness of the UK financial services sector by enhancing its world leading prudential standards, promoting openness to international markets and maintaining the effectiveness of financial services regulatory framework and sound capital markets.” Mr Glen declined to elaborate on Britain’s negotiations with the EU on financial market access, but noted that a sector that pays £75bn pounds in tax each year was at the centre of the Government’s efforts to secure trade deals with countries across the world.

Daily Mail The Times


Demand for face-to-face financial advice ‘remains strong’

New research from Openwork has suggested that COVID-19 is driving demand for advice and has not diminished popularity of face-to-face support. Nearly one in five (17%) adults said they are now more likely to seek financial advice in the wake of economic hit from COVID-19 rising to nearly one in four (23%) among under-35s.

Professional Adviser


Unilever wins Dutch backing for London shift

Unilever’s Dutch shareholders have backed plans to transfer the company into a London-based entity. The FTSE 100 Anglo-Dutch company said that more than 99% of investors in its Dutch arm had voted to base the entire group in London. However, growing political support for a Dutch law that would hit multinationals leaving the Netherlands with billions in exit taxes could scupper the plans.

Financial Times, Page: 10 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 Daily Mail, Page: 74

CVA saves Thai restaurant group

RSM has restructured the Thai Leisure Group saving nearly 700 jobs. The group, which runs Thai restaurants and a chain of shoe shops, had secured creditor approval for a company voluntary arrangement.

The Times, Page: 36


NS&I slashes savings rates

National Savings & Investments yesterday announced dramatic cuts to its Income Bonds, which from 24 November will to go from paying 1.15% monthly interest to just 0.01%. The Treasury-backed bank also said that from December the odds of winning anything in the Premium Bonds draw will go from 24,500 to one to 34,500 to one, and the estimated number of total prizes won reduced by 1m. NS&I said that it had no choice but to act because savers had put away billions more than usual during the COVID-19 lockdown, which left it in danger of breaching its government-mandated funding limit for the year.

The Times, Page: 1, 2 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 4 Daily Mail, Page: 27 Daily Express, Page: 47 The Guardian, Page: 14


More employers planning to cut pay

A survey of 932 members of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has found that 18% have made staff pay cuts in their organisation. A further 30% said pay cuts had not been made but would be considered if it was necessary for their survival. Some 52% said their organisations would not make pay cuts in any circumstances. The survey also found that a second lockdown was by far the biggest economic concern identified by respondents, with 63% citing it, though 27% said that a no-deal Brexit on December 31 was a bigger worry.

The Times, Page: 36


Global stocks sink on fears of new Covid lockdowns

Fears over a string of second lockdowns sent global stocks down on Monday – airlines, hotels and oil were all down while bank shares also suffered. Analysts said the moves were corrective rather than a repeat of the sell-offs witnessed in March. Britain’s blue chip companies saw £50bn wiped off their value as investors bet new rules to minimise social contact would wreck the fragile economic rebound.

Financial Times The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 The Times, Page: 33 The Guardian, Page: 27

Contact Paul Southward

Paul Southward