CORONA VIRUS – self-employed income support scheme (SEISS)

Latest update of how the scheme will work: –


HMRC reimbursement for furloughed employees:

As the government release more details, here is the latest update for furloughed employees: –



Starmer shifts Labour away from Corbyn’s “soak the rich” strategy

The Telegraph’s Danielle Sheridan looks at the make-up of Labour’s new front bench under Sir Keir Starmer, noting that Anneliese Dodds, the new shadow chancellor, appears to have distanced herself from the party’s hard-Left policies by refusing to say whether she would introduce “higher taxes for the rich” during an interview on the BBC’s Today programme. “I think we need to recognise that everyone must make a contribution,” Ms Dodds said. “This isn’t just about taxation.”

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 14

Branson moves slice of Virgin Galactic stake to tax haven

Sir Richard Branson has transferred part of his $1.1bn (£900m) stake in Virgin Galactic Holdings from a holding company based in Delaware to the British Virgin Islands. A spokesman said the move in assets had been an “internal reorganisation that has no effect on our ownership interest”.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3


Debenhams appoints administrators ‘to avoid legal action’

Debenhams has appointed Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey of FRP Advisory as administrators, with the chain describing the move as a “necessary step” to protect it from the threat of legal action which could see the firm pushed into liquidation. It is feared that suppliers could resort to suing the chain, which has hundreds of millions of pounds of inventory that it no longer needs on order. Julie Palmer, a partner at the insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, commented: “Debenhams has been in financial difficulties for a while so this doesn’t come as a major surprise. But it will leave its 20,000-plus strong workforce in a precarious position who will struggle to get new employment during the ongoing uncertainty.”

Financial Times, Page: 10 The Times, Page: 41 The Guardian, Page: 8 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1 Daily Express, Page: 8

P&O Ferries close to collapse

The owner of P&O Ferries is attempting to secure a bailout deal with the UK government as the company struggles to stay afloat. Dubai-based DP World is willing to put fresh capital into the business but ministers are said to be reluctant to contribute £150m from taxpayers.

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 1


BBB blamed for delays to small business loans

The British Business Bank (BBB) has come under fire from high street banks which say the Treasury-appointed body responsible for overseeing the coronavirus loans scheme is applying over-complex rules for loans, leading to a logjam. Banks have to book loans with the BBB but they say the process is too detailed and should be simplified with the business bank given audit rights to assess the loans once they’re paid out. Separately, Staff at Lloyds bank have told trade union BTU that they are putting in 18-hour days in an effort to deal with demand from small business owners desperately trying to save their enterprises.

The Times, Page: 33 The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 3

Ministers eye rescue package for start-up industry

The Treasury is considering how to support start-ups as venture capital backers warn many are not eligible for the government-backed loan scheme because they are loss-making.

Financial Times


UK construction down as virus spreads

The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index for construction in the UK has revealed that activity in the sector fell at the fastest pace since 2008 last month. Andrew Wishart, UK economist at consultancy Capital Economics, observed that: “The PMI is pretty much guaranteed to deteriorate further in April as the full effect of the lockdown is captured,” having earlier predicted a 15% contraction in gross domestic product in the second quarter. Meanwhile, consumer confidence in the UK fell from minus 7 in February to minus 34 at the end of March, according to GfK, just shy of the index’s record low of minus 39 in July 2008.

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

New car sales for March down 44%

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has announced that new car sales were down 44% last month, with 255,000 vehicles sold in the UK in March compared with 458,000 12 months earlier. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the trade group, commented: “With the country locked down in crisis mode for a large part of March, this decline will come as no surprise,” continuing: “This is a stark realisation of what happens when economies grind to a halt. How long the market remains stalled is uncertain, but it will reopen and the products will be there.”

The Daily Telegraph

Global markets cheered as virus spread slows

Signs that death rates from COVID-19 were stabilising in Italy, Spain, France and New York state helped rally global markets yesterday. Analysts at Capital Economics said: “While it is too soon to know for sure if the pandemic has reached an inflection point, this is encouraging. We have argued that stock markets will experience a sustained rebound only when the spread of the virus slows around the world.”

The Times, Page: 33

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