- Here are the headlines on Thursday, November 26
Local authorities to discover their post-lockdown tiers
The health secretary is to set out which tier each local authority in England will fall under after the end of the national lockdown.
Matt Hancock will make the announcement in Parliament today, with most parts of the country expected to enter Tier 2. Some remote areas in Cornwall and Cumbria could be among the few in Tier 1.
Areas which make progress in slowing the spread of the virus could still be moved down a tier before Christmas, with the first review of the allocations due to take place by December 16.
Car production falls again
The number of cars built in the UK fell by almost a fifth last month compared to a year ago, new figures reveal.
Just over 110,000 models left factories, down by 24,490, or 18.2 per cent on October 2019, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The impact of coronavirus and fresh lockdowns in the UK and overseas subdued demand for new cars in many key markets, said the trade body. Read the full story here
Calls for business rates relief next year
Trade groups and experts have called on the government for business rates relief next year as shops prepare for a multi-billion-pound tax bill.
The government has said it will freeze the business rates multiplier – which typically increases rates bills by inflation – from next April for the financial year.
The Treasury said it was looking at options to support businesses in hard-hit sectors, such as retail and hospitality, after introducing a business rates holiday for the current financial year. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility said UK business rates will jump by £12.8bn after the rates holiday ends.
Ban tech giants from deliberately shortening lifespan of devices
Tech giants should be banned from intentionally shortening the lifespan of devices, in a bid to cut down on the 155,000 tonnes of waste electrical goods that end up in UK household bins every year, MPs have said.
Amazon and Apple are among the companies accused of ‘dodging their environmental responsibilities’ and failing to help collect, recycle and repair old products, in a report by the Environmental Audit Committee.
Apple reacted by saying it was ‘surprised and disappointed’, while Amazon said it was ‘committed to minimising waste’. The report recommends manufacturers are forced to label their electronic products with an expected lifetime.
No-deal Brexit would wipe two per cent off coronavirus-hit UK economy
A no-deal Brexit is forecast to wipe two per cent off the economy next year and lead to a long-term decline in gross domestic product (GDP), according to the latest analysis.
Trade talks between the UK and European Union continue to be deadlocked as the December 31 cut-off date looms closer.
If there is no agreement by the end of the year then the UK is set to revert to World Trade Organisation terms with its largest trading partner, a move the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast could ‘reduce real GDP by a further two per cent in 2021’, on top of the havoc wreaked by coronavirus.
Virgin Money takes £501m hit for Covid-19 loan losses
Virgin Money has posted a 77 per cent plunge in full-year underlying profits after booking a £501m hit as it braces itself for the economic fallout from the second coronavirus lockdown.
The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank owner reported underlying annual pre-tax profits of £124m for the year to September 30, down sharply from £539m the previous year.
The group – formerly known as CYBG – said its ‘substantial’ charge for loan losses comes as it prepares for a surge of borrowers falling behind with repayments due to the coronavirus crisis.
Restaurants claim £849m for 160m Eat Out meals
Businesses claimed more than £849m through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August as customers bought more than 160m meals, according to official figures.
HMRC has announced that more than 49,000 restaurants, pubs and cafes made claims by the end of September through the subsidy scheme aimed to boost consumer spending after the first national lockdown.
It said the majority of claims – 55 per cent – were made by restaurants, with pubs accounting for 28 per cent of meals.
Furlough payouts drop over last month
The amount of furlough money claimed by British employees slowed down over the last month, even as the government extended the scheme until March next year and England went into a second lockdown.
HMRC said that £1.6bn had been claimed between October 18 and November 15 as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
It is the first figure that include the new lockdown, and brings the total claimed to £43bn by 9.6m employees working for 1.2m companies.
Bugatti pays tribute to aviation icons
Bugatti is honouring famous racing driver pilots from the last century with a limited-edition version of the Chiron.
Called the Chiron Sport Les Légendes du Ciel, it pays tribute to racing drivers who also had close ties with aviation. Albert Divo and Robert Benoist, for example, flew for the French Air Force yet both had sparkling racing careers in the 1920s.
Just 20 examples of the Les Légendes du Ciel will be produced, with each costing £2.57m.
FTSE 100 declines after chancellor’s spending update
The FTSE 100 slid into the red after an austere spending update by chancellor Rishi Sunak drove caution among traders.
London’s top flight closed 41.08 points lower at 6,391.09 at the end of trading yesterday (Nov 25).
The German Dax was completely flat, while the French Cac moved 0.21 per cent higher.
Fine weather and fog
This morning, any early fog should clear. However, it will linger locally in areas, says the BBC. It will become bright and remain dry later. Showers may be likely in the late afternoon in the Northern Isles.
It will be a clear night for most areas with local fog forming in some areas. Areas in Scotland and the Western Isles will experience light scattered showers and have variable cloud too.
Tomorrow morning, there will be more fog lingering across some areas. It’ll be mostly cloudy with some brighter spells in Wales and Scotland.