- Here are the headlines on Tuesday, March 9
PM praises parents and teachers
Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised parents and teachers as he welcomed the return of children to school under the first easing of restrictions.
He told a Downing Street press conference yesterday that the return to schools marked a ‘big day and an emotional day’ for millions of families across England. But he acknowledged that an increased risk of transmission was ‘inevitable’ in opening up schools again.
But the Prime Minister said: ‘We all know that the education of our children is so important that the greater risk now is keeping them out of school for a day longer.’
Nicola Sturgeon set to ease restrictions
An easing on the restrictions on outdoor meetings could be announced by Nicola Sturgeon in her latest coronavirus update to MSPs this afternoon.
She has already indicated a change in the rules on outdoor meetings – which at the moment only allow for two people from two different households to get together – could be coming.
On Friday, Ms Sturgeon indicated “good progress” with the vaccination programme and the falling number of infections could mean that “greater normality is firmly on the horizon”.
Speeding pensioners have more penalty points than young
Some 304,000 pensioners (over 65) have penalty points on their licence – nearly 25 times the 12,000 young teenage drivers who have points.
A Freedom of Information request to the DVLA by charity IAM RoadSmart revealed the oldest person driving with points on their licence was 102 while there are more than 3,000 over the age of 90 with points.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research, said: ‘The findings are surprising. Speeding and other motoring misdemeanours are often associated with younger drivers but the findings clearly show there is a large number of older drivers also flouting the rules.’
More homebuyers believe property prices will rise
There has been a major increase in the number of prospective homebuyers who believe property prices will rise over the next year, according to a new survey.
The survey suggests that 47 per cent of prospective homebuyers believe prices will rise by up to 10 per cent in the coming year. This represents a wholesale shift in opinion since last year.
In November last year, just 26 per cent of respondents said the same, while only 15 per cent agreed with that sentiment last August. The survey of 2,521 people was carried out by MyHome.ie.
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Retail sales rebound in February as shoppers buy online
Retail sales bounced back to growth last month following a bleak January as swathes of high-street stores remained shut, according to new figures.
The BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor for February revealed that total UK sales increased by one per cent against the same month last year.
Food sales increased 7.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis over the three months to February. Meanwhile, non-food sales jumped to 6.6 per cent like-for-like growth over the period as online sales for the category soared by 82.2 per cent.
Holiday at home and go to pub after lockdown, MPs urge Britons
Britons must do their bit to boost the economy by taking holidays in the UK and returning to pubs as soon as it is safe, MPs have urged.
The call was issued as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described last week’s Budget as a ‘booster shot’ against economic ruin.
In the Commons he said he was looking forward to holidaying in Cornwall again and agreed with MPs that they need to go to the pub, theatres and cinemas to get the ‘economy rolling’ when it was safe to do so.
FTSE 100 lags behind European peers
After a poor morning performance, the FTSE 100 rallied on Monday afternoon to start the week with a bang.
London’s top flight jumped by 88.61 points, a 1.3 per cent rise that leaves the index at 6,719.13, its highest since mid-February.
However, the FTSE lagged behind its European peers, as Germany’s top companies which make up the Dax gained 3.4 per cent, and France’s Cac index added 2.1 per cent.
Economic scars could be fewer than in past recessions
The governor of the Bank of England has said that the long-term hit to the economy from the Covid-19 crisis could be smaller than in past recessions.
Andrew Bailey said that while gross domestic product is expected to be 12 per cent lower at the end of March than it was before the pandemic started, the extension of government support would help mitigate some of the worst effects.
He said that unprecedented levels of fiscal support would help to limit the amount of scarring, and added that the UK’s labour force was more mobile than in the past, and will find it easier to switch to new jobs.
More than a quarter of parents ‘expect their finances to get worse’
One in five (20 per cent) parents have experienced financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic, a report has found.
And more than a quarter (28 per cent) of parents expect their personal finances to get worse, according to the findings released by insurer LV= and charity Family Action.
The research involved a survey from December to January of 4,000 parents across the UK with children aged under 18.
GR Yaris named ‘UK Car of the Year’ 2021
The Toyota GR Yaris has taken the crown of ‘UK Car of the Year’ 2021.
The diminutive hot hatch has been winning plaudits from across the automotive industry for its focussed approach to performance, having been planned as the base for Toyota’s now-cancelled rally competition car.
It was voted top of the charts by 29 motoring journalists from a variety of publications. The awards see judges pick the best car in 12 categories, before voting on an overall winner from this selection.
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