Sirius News Bulletin - 13th November 2020
This bulletin provides a summary of topical news, announcements and policy developments affecting business across the UK.
Lenders struggling to provide Bounce Back Loan top-ups
Eligible businesses that have already received a Bounce Back Loan are able to ‘top up’ their loan if they require additional finance. However, some lenders are struggling to secure the additional funding required to provide top-ups to customers.
Read more about the funding at: http://www.cityam.com/confusion-reigns-ahead-of-introduction-of-bounce-back-loan-top-ups/
Future of UK financial services announced
The Treasury has announced plans for the future of the UK financial services sector. The plans include green finance, financial technology and making the UK an international financial centre.
Read more about the plans at: http://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-sets-out-ambition-for-future-of-uk-financial-services
New Office for Investment
The Office for Investment has been launched by the Department for International Trade to support high-value investment opportunities from overseas investors.
Read more about the Office for Investment at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-office-for-investment-to-drive-foreign-investment-into-the-uk
Hours and incomes of self-employed workers stayed low over summer
More than half of self-employed workers had less work than normal in August 2020, according to a report by the London School of Economics and Political Science. The report also revealed that one in five are considering leaving self-employment due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read more about the report at: http://www.lse.ac.uk/News/Latest-news-from-LSE/2020/K-November/Hours-and-incomes-of-self-employed workers-stayed-low-over-summer
IT contractor jobs returned to growth in October 2020
The IT contractor jobs market returned to growth in October 2020. This is the first time the market recorded growth since September 2019.
Read more about the growth at: http://www.contractoruk.com/news/0014814it contractor jobs market returned growth october 2020.html
Wages and pensions
Committee to examine case for universal basic income
The Work and Pensions Committee will investigate the potential benefits and disadvantages of introducing a universal basic income in the UK.
Read more about the investigation at: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/164/work-and-pensions-committee/news/1 20640/committee-to exami ne-case-for-universaI-basic-income/
‘Real living wage’ rises to £9.50 per hour
More than a quarter of a million people working for an employer signed up to the ‘real living wage’ will see 20p added to their hourly rate of pay.
Read more about the story at: www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/ Article/2020/11/09/What-is-the-nationaI-rea1-1ivi ng-wage
Some retailers are flouting lockdown rules
The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is urging the Government to intervene as ‘non essential’ retail is being carried out unfairly during England’s second lockdown. Bira believes that some larger retailers have been given an unfair advantage as they are allowed to open while many independent retailers have been forced to close.
Read more about the story at: http://www.petbusinessworld.co.uk/news/feed/—-non-essential shops-flouting-lockdown-rules
Sunderland launches gift card to support local businesses
Sunderland has become the first city in the north east to launch its own gift card scheme to help boost the local economy. The cards can be spent in a range of outlets across the city, including cinemas, shops, beauty salons, hairdressers, restaurants and bars.
Read more about the gift card at: http://www.retailtimes.co.uk/sunderland-launches-city-gift-card-to-support-local-businesses
Online marketplace to support independent bookshops
An on line marketplace has been set up to help independent bookshops trade during the lockdown in England. Bookshop.org allows bookshops to set up their own microsite and earn 30% commission on all sales.
Read more about the resource at: https://tamebay.com/2020/11/bookshop-org-launches-support-uk-book-industry.htmI
Food and drink
UK health professions call for climate tax on meat
Health professions are urging the Government to introduce a climate tax on food with a heavy environmental impact by 2025. Food with a heavy environmental impact includes red meat and dairy products.
Read more about the climate tax at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/04/uk-health-professions-call-for-climate-tax-on-meat?
Restaurants and pubs to operate as takeaways until 2022
Planning regulations that allow restaurants and pubs to operate as hot food takeaways during the Covid-19 pandemic have been extended until 2022.
Read more about the extension at: http://www.bighospitaIity.co.uk/Article/2020/11/09/Government-regulations-aIlowing-restaurants-and-pubs-to operate-as-takeaways-extended-unti l-2022-Coronavirus-Robert-Jenrick
NAO warns of significant disruption following end of transition period
The National Audit Office (NAO) has warned of significant disruption when the transition period for the UK’s departure from the EU ends on 1 January 2021, due to delays caused by Covid-19.
Read more about the warning at: https://i nternetretaiIing.net/internationaI/i nternationaI/new-urgency-to-post-brexit-planning-as-nao-wa rns-of significant-uk-disruption-following-end-of-transition-period-22267
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