Jobs uncertainty as £70bn furlough scheme draws to end
The £70 billion furlough programme ends on Thursday after supporting millions of UK workers over the past 18 months.
However, uncertainty remains for the future of almost one million workers who were expected to be still receiving support through the financial scheme at the end of September, according to the latest Office for National Statistics estimates.
Economists have warned that although many may find work in recovering sectors such as hospitality and travel, there is also likely to be a rise in unemployment due to new redundancies.
Officer who murdered Sarah Everard after fake arrest faces whole life sentence
An officer who strangled Sarah Everard with his police belt after kidnapping her under the guise of a fake arrest for breaking lockdown rules is facing a whole life sentence.
Wayne Couzens, 48, used his Metropolitan Police-issue warrant card and handcuffs to snatch Ms Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on the evening of March 3.
The firearms officer, who had clocked off from a 12-hour shift at the American embassy that morning, drove to a secluded rural area near Dover in Kent, where he parked up and raped Ms Everard.
Starmer takes aim at ‘trickster’ Johnson but faces heckling from own activists
Sir Keir Starmer attacked Boris Johnson as a “trickster” with no plan for running the country as he insisted Labour could win the next election.
In his first in-conference speech as Labour leader, Sir Keir said he is ‘totally serious’ about defeating an inadequate government that “can’t keep the fuel flowing” or supermarket shelves stocked.
But after a bruising conference in Brighton which has seen him clash with the Labour left, Sir Keir was heckled by activists over his refusal to support a £15 hourly minimum wage.
Customers face £30-a-month price hike when energy companies go bust
Consumers who are moved to a new energy firm after their supplier goes out of business stand to pay almost £30 a month more, Citizens Advice has found.
The energy watchdog warns people will face ‘desperate choices’ this winter after finding that customers of the five largest failed suppliers are set to pay £6.70 more a week when moved on to the default tariffs of a replacement firm.
The energy price cap is due to rise by £139 for people on default tariffs and £153 for people on pre-payment meters on October 1.
Speed up vaccine donations or risk harming Britain’s reputation, MPs warn
The government must speed up Covid vaccine donations to developing countries or risk causing ‘irreparable damage’ to both global health security and Britain’s reputation, a committee of MPs has warned.
In a report released on Thursday, the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said ‘glaring inequality’ in access to vaccines risked allowing new variants to spread in developing countries.
The report also warned that Russia and China were attempting to exploit that inequality to ‘undermine the West and expand their influence by donating and selling vaccines’.
Wednesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed
- Cazoo posts a £102m loss for first half of 2021 despite used car sales surging
- Rolls-Royce reveals first electric vehicle called Spectre
- Motorpoint’s new Manchester branch to open this week as rumours continue about Cinch takeover
- Glyn Hopkin posts improved profit in 2020 despite being hit by pandemic
- Ineos names first UK dealers to sell 2022 Grenadier 4×4
- City Motors to open new Renault and Dacia dealership in Bristol
- Rogue car dealer narrowly avoids jail for conning customers into buying insurance write-offs
- End in sight for Lavery’s management buy-out of Cambria as compulsory acquisition of remaining shares to take place
Morrisons takeover battle goes to auction showdown
The battle to buy supermarket Morrisons will go to an auction process, the stock market’s Takeover Panel has confirmed.
Private equity giants Fortress and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice must now submit formal bids with the first round of five starting this Saturday.
A result will be announced by Monday morning, although the process could also be scrapped if either side state they will not increase their current offers.
Estate agents urge stamp duty review as temporary holiday ends
An estate agents’ body is calling for a review of the “outdated” levels at which home buyers start paying stamp duty as a tax break ends.
Propertymark said the stamp duty holiday has been a success and its normal thresholds should now be reviewed.
The ‘nil rate’ stamp duty band in England and Northern Ireland was temporarily raised to £500,000 in July 2020, enabling buyers to save up to £15,000.
YouTube to remove misinformation videos about all vaccines
YouTube is to remove videos that contain misinformation about all vaccines, expanding its policies around health misinformation which had been strengthened during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Google-owned video platform said its ban on Covid-19 vaccine misinformation, which was introduced last year, had seen 130,000 videos removed so far as a result, but more scope was needed to clamp down on broader false claims about other vaccines appearing online.
Under the new rules, any content which falsely alleges that any approved vaccine is dangerous and causes chronic health problems will be removed, as will videos that include misinformation about the content of vaccines.
Fuel shortage ‘will accelerate Britain’s switch to electric cars’
The recent fuel shortage has sparked massive interest in electric cars and could accelerate Britain’s switch to EVs, say experts.
EV-focused media platform Electrifying.com reports searches on its site were up 75 per cent over the weekend, while Google searches for the term ‘electric car’ were up 300 per cent in the same period.
The data indicates that Brits are considering electric vehicles as a viable alternative to internal combustion engines, with the charging infrastructure less reliant on external factors such as HGV driver numbers.
FTSE enjoys strong day as markets continue to prosper
The FTSE 100 enjoyed another strong day yesterday as European markets continued to flourish.
The British stock index closed Wednesday on 7,108.16 – a rise of 80,06 (1.14 per cent).
It was also a good day for the German Dax – which rose by 0.77 per cent to 15,365.27 – and the the French Cac which saw a 0.83 per cent rise to 6,560.80.
Strong winds and cloud expected
Today, it will be unsettled with strong, gusty winds for many, and frequent outbreaks of heavy rain pushing across from the west. It will be loudy for most, but late sunshine may develop in northeast Scotland, reports the BBC.
Tonight, it will be cloudy for most with bands of showery rain continuing to move in from the west. Rain will be locally heavy in places, particularly towards the north and west. It will remain windy.
Tomorrow, it will remain breezy across the UK. Rain will clear for many to leave a mixture of sunny spells and showers, but Scotland will continue to see outbreaks of heavy rain from the west.