Britain’s economic recovery will accelerate into the autumn despite the threat from staff shortages and higher inflation, according to a forecast by the business lobby group, the CBI. The economy will expand by 8. 2% this year and by 6. 1% next year as the successful vaccination programme allows lockdown easing to continue next month, driving a surge in consumer spending and business activity in the second half of 2021, the CBI said. - Guardian .
The number of EU citizens searching for work in Britain has fallen by more than a third since Brexit, according to a study that exposes the impact on UK employers as they struggle to recruit staff. Figures from the jobs website Indeed show searches by EU-based jobseekers for work in the UK were down by 36% in May from average levels in 2019. Low-paid jobs in hospitality, the care sector and warehouses recorded the biggest declines at 41%. - Guardian.
Less than half of the 260 smaller companies listed on the London Stock Exchange’s main index have met the target of having a third of their board roles occupied by women, and more than half still have all-male executive leadership teams. The campaign group Women on Boards UK has analysed all firms below the FTSE 350 All-Share index, and identified what it calls a “permafrost” of smaller businesses below the top layer that have been slow in taking steps to diversify.
Plans by City banks to bring thousands of workers back to the office are in disarray after Boris Johnson postponed a lifting of lockdown restrictions. Guidelines encouraging people to “continue to work from home if you can” in England were due to be dropped on 21 June, but that move will now be delayed by four weeks. - Guardian .
The head of the UK’s biggest business lobby group has warned that the corporate world is “way off track” in tackling the climate crisis. Tony Danker, the director-general of the CBI, called on the government to do more to unlock the resources of the private sector by publishing new guidance on heating and transport. - Guardian.
Britain will have a six-week window to open up in the summer or risk keeping Covid-19 restrictions in place until the spring, ministers fear. Boris Johnson on Saturday gave his clearest signal yet he is planning to delay a full return to normality for another month, as he said he wanted to give Covid-19 vaccines "extra legs" in "the race between the vaccines in the lockdowns". - Sunday Telegraph.
The French president last night ramped up the pressure on Boris Johnson over the Northern Ireland protocol by insisting “nothing is negotiable” as the G7 summit of world leaders risked being overshadowed by the bitter standoff over Brexit. In a defiant intervention as he prepared to travel to the UK, Emmanuel Macron warned Boris Johnson that France is not open to renegotiating any aspect of the protocol – and even appeared to raise questions about whether the UK could be trusted.
The UK aviation sector has warned that airports are likely to lose at least £2. 6bn this summer as the “chaotic” Covid traffic light system halts international travel. Airports said the coming months could deal a heavier financial blow than 2020, while airlines called for grants to offset the impact of travel restrictions and protect jobs. - Guardian.
Rishi Sunak is willing to accept a delay of up to four weeks to the final stage of England’s reopening roadmap, the Guardian understands, as the government considers extending restrictions beyond 21 June. Ministers will continue to scrutinise data on cases and hospitalisations over the coming days, with a final decision set to be announced by the prime minister on Monday. From 21 June nightclubs are due to reopen, with the cap on wedding numbers, large-scale events and indoor mixing lifted and guidance on working from home and mask-wearing dropped.
The government must convince commercial landlords to forego some of the rent built up during the pandemic or face a wave of insolvencies when payments fall due in July, business leaders have warned. Speaking at a Treasury select committee hearing, trade body bosses in travel, hospitality and retail said the easing of restrictions was not enough to avoid business failures and job losses in debt-laden sectors. - Guardian.
Experts have raised concerns that Amazon may escape paying significantly more tax in some of its biggest markets unless world leaders close a large loophole in a historic global deal. Finance ministers in London from the G7 group of wealthy nations, including representatives of the UK, US and EU, on Saturday agreed the landmark deal aimed at making the biggest companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook pay more tax. - Guardian.
The decision to reopen on June 21 has been made "more difficult" by the Indian variant’s spread to the most dominant variant in the UK, the Health Secretary has said. Matt Hancock told Sky News that the latest advice the Government has received is that the so-called Delta mutation first identified in India is 40 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant Kent variant. - Sunday Telegraph.
First-time buyers in England will be able to apply for a discount of up to 50% on a new-build home under a government scheme. The First Homes initiative could save buyers £100,000 or more. But some experts say that with demand for these cut-price homes likely to exceed supply, it could spark a scramble for properties and add more fuel to the house price boom. - Guardian.
The US securities watchdog told Tesla last year that CEO Elon Musk had twice violated a settlement requiring his tweets to be preapproved by company lawyers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Musk and the US Securities and Exchange Commission agreed in 2019 that the electric car maker would vet any material public communications Musk made regarding Tesla. - Guardian.
The nations that make up the G7 have pumped billions of dollars more into fossil fuels than they have into clean energy since the Covid-19 pandemic, despite their promises of a green recovery. As the UK prepares to host the G7 summit, new analysis reveals that the countries attending committed $189bn to support oil, coal and gas between January 2020 and March 2021. In comparison, the same countries – the UK, US, Canada, Italy, France, Germany and Japan – spent $147bn on clean forms of energy.
The UK would reap an extra £14. 7bn annually by adopting Joe Biden’s proposal for a new global minimum corporation tax rate of 21%, according to a major thinktank. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) Centre for Economic Justice has urged the government to embrace and push for the US president’s proposals at the forthcoming G7 summit, arguing that the global system would both be fairer and allow the UK to raise billions in vital revenue. - Guardian.
Daily coronavirus cases have risen by nearly 40 per cent in a week to 3,240 while deaths remain flat at just six as 537,000 more vaccinations were carried out in England yesterday. It comes as ministers prepare contingency plans to extend restrictions beyond June 21, amid fears that a surge in cases of the Indian variant could lead to a spike in hospital admissions and deaths. Department of Health figures published this afternoon show that daily cases have risen from 2,325 last Sunday to 3,240 today, while deaths rose just one in a week - from five last Sunday to six.
More than £700,000 is lost to bank transfer scams every day, which works out at £491 a minute, according to research by the consumer body Which? It claimed the banking industry’s approach to reimbursing victims of this type of fraud was “unfair and inconsistent,” with less than half of losses being returned to those affected. - Guardian.
Boris Johnson has been warned by business leaders that a fresh package of economic support would be required if rising Covid-19 infections prevent the further relaxation of pandemic restrictions next month. After the reopening of hospitality venues indoors across all four nations of the UK, the Guardian’s latest monthly assessment of economic developments suggests the country is on course for a short-term growth boom this summer. - Guardian.
The total value of homes sold in the UK is expected to reach £461bn this year, a jump of 46% on 2020, indicating the current housing market boom is likely to continue, according to a new prediction. The property website Zoopla said its projections indicated the property market in 2021 was on course to be the busiest for 14 years. - Guardian.