Money

Money

UK should prioritise green projects to kickstart economy

The British government should prioritise spending on green projects to create jobs and kickstart the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, the International Monetary Funds chief economist has said. Gita Gopinath, the IMFs economic counsellor, said that mounting unemployment triggered by the Covid-19 crisis would require swift action to prevent lasting damage, and that spending on low-carbon projects could be used in response. Speaking to MPs on the commons Treasury committee, she said countries such as the UK had an opportunity to “do public investment that also addresses the need for a greener planet, and at the same time as a jobs-rich recovery”. Boris Johnson outlined plans this week to bring forward investment in projects worth £5bn – including roads, bridges, hospitals and schools to reboot Britains economy. However, the prime minister was criticised for not spending more or making enough of a priority of green projects. Gopinath said countries had no option but to ta..

Money

UK government’s development bank to end fossil fuel financing

The UK governments development bank has bowed to calls to end fossil fuel financing abroad by promising to invest only in companies that align with the Paris climate agreement. The CDC Group revealed its new climate strategy, which will end support for the most polluting fossil fuel projects, including the production of oil and coal, and channel almost a third of its spending towards climate finance. The publicly owned investor, which invests in developing countries in Africa and Asia, will end financing for coal mining, and oil and gas production, as well as in new or existing power plants and refineries that use coal or heavy oil. The UK government is under growing pressure to end its support for overseas fossil fuel projects after campaigners revealed that over £3bn in public money was used to support polluting projects abroad since the Paris climate agreement was signed. The Guardian has revealed that senior civil servants are in talks over a government-wide policy to curb fore..

Money

2021 Ineos Grenadier: Sir Jim Ratcliffe unveils new British car today

Dyson had to withdraw from the battle late last year, but Ratcliffe – one of the UKs richest men – hopes he will triumph with his “Grenadier” 4×4 rugged off-road vehicle. Unveiled today, the Grenadiers no-nonsense styling is just what Sir Jim wanted. “It needs to be an uncompromising off-roader,” he said at the start of the project. Set to go into production in South Wales in 2021, it will create hundreds of jobs in the hard-pressed British car industry. CEO Dirk Heilmann is undaunted by launching a brand new car in the wake of a global pandemic economic crisis. “Im not nervous,” says the chief of Ineos Automotive, the car-making division of Sir Jim Ratcliffes petrochemical global empire. “Were not deterred by whats going on at the moment because we believe this vehicle has a place. Its durable, reliable and very capable. A tool you need to go exploring, pursue adventures you want to conquer.” Dyson spent £500 million of his own fortune before scrapping his car. “We are beyond conc..

Money

UK’s job retention scheme cost £25BILLION so far

THE cost of the government’s furlough scheme has soared past £25 billion, new figures revealed yesterday. It means 9.3 million jobs have now been propped up by the state since it was set up in March. The scheme, which pays 80 percent of salary costs for staff, rose £2.6billion this week from £22.9 billion the week before, according to data released by the Treasury and HMRC this morning. Additionally the support scheme for the self-employed rose to £7.7 billion, across 2.6 million claims. [contfnewc] [contfnewc] The furlough scheme will run until the end of October and from July 1 there will be greater flexibility for the scheme, allowing employers to bring back furloughed employees part-time. Banks have also lent small businesses £29.5 billion-worth of 100 per cent state-backed loans, up about £1.5 billion pounds from the previous week. Larger firms had received £11.1 billion from the government’s main lending scheme, with the biggest companies getting an extra £2.3 billion. The ..

Money

UK economy hit by sharpest fall in 41 years amid Covid-19 crisis

Britains economy contracted by 2.2% in the first three months of 2020 – its sharpest decline in more than 40 years – as the immediate impact from the Covid-19 pandemic provided an even more severe hit to output than first thought. Fresh data from the Office for National Statistics showed that gross domestic product fell by 6.9% in March, even though the government-imposed lockdown only came into force with nine days left of the month. Original estimates by the ONS had shown that the economy shrank by 2% in the first quarter as a whole and by 5.8% in March. New evidence found, however, that the closure of bars, restaurants and shops had an even bigger impact on consumers than the ONS had estimated. The 2.2% drop was the joint biggest since the third quarter of 1979. With people unable to spend their wages, the ONS said household consumption spending fell by 2.7% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. The £9.5bn fall in cash terms was the largest nominal fa..

Money

Boris Johnson refuses to rule out tax rises to fund recovery plans

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out raising taxes to meet the costs of tackling the Covid-19 crisis, as he promised to use infrastructure spending and planning reforms to “build, build, build” his way out of a looming recession. Delivering a major speech in Dudley College of Technology, the prime minister claimed his government would tackle the long-term problems in the UK economy revealed by the “lightning flash” of the pandemic. Acknowledging the scale of the oncoming downturn, he said: “We must work fast, because weve already seen the vertiginous drop in GDP, and we know that people are worried about their jobs and their businesses. “And were waiting as if between the flash of lightning and the thunderclap, with our hearts in our mouths, for the full economic reverberations to appear.” Johnson drew a contrast with the policy of David Cameron and George Osbornes 2010 government in the wake of the global financial crisis, insisting his administration would not impose spending cu..

Money

Harveys falls into administration with loss of 240 jobs

The Harveys furniture chain has gone into administration with the immediate loss of 240 jobs and putting more than 1,300 others at risk. Administrators from PwC are seeking a buyer for the retailer including about 20 stores and its three manufacturing sites. All its stores will continue to trade for now, but industry watchers believe a buyer is unlikely to be found. The retailer has been struggling for years and is also heavily reliant on sister chain Bensons for Beds with which it shares several sites. Bensons was also put into administration on Tuesday, but has been bought out in a pre-arranged deal by its private equity owner Alteri Investors, with the aim of saving between 150 and 175 of the chains 242 stores, its Huntingdon manufacturing operation and nearly 1,900 jobs. The buyout involves new investment of £25m into Bensons by Alteri. All current Harveys and Bensons orders will be honoured by the ongoing business. Zelf Hussain, joint administrator at PwC, said: “The group ha..

Money

Redrow shifts its housebuilding focus away from London

The housebuilder Redrow is scaling back construction in London in favour of suburban areas around the country as the coronavirus pandemic prompts buyers to look for more space and the ability to work from home. Redrow said on Tuesday it would focus on “higher-returning regional businesses”, including 1930s-style suburban developments, as it warned that profits for 2020 will fall substantially compared with 2019. Estate agents have reported more demand for properties outside cities since the pandemic as the government continues to urge people to work from home where possible. John Tutte, Redrows executive chairman, said recent surveys of buyers had shown stronger demand for larger homes with more green space, bolstering the case for the company to focus on developments outside the capital that offer quicker returns. “Were confident in a post-covid environment theyll continue to be attractive,” he said. “If the studies are proven to be right there will be more people looking to live ..

Money

Shell to cut £18bn from value of assets amid coronavirus crisis

Shell has warned it will slash up to $22bn (£18bn) from the value of its oil and gas assets as it counts the cost of falling fossil fuel prices during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Anglo-Dutch oil major expects the collapse in oil demand during the coronavirus crisis to drag on global oil prices for at least three years, wiping billions from the value of its fossil fuel reserves and casting doubt on whether new discoveries will be developed. In a market update on Tuesday, the oil company said it has slashed its oil price forecasts and would likely need to take a post-tax impairment charge of between $15bn and $22bn on its global oil and gas assets spanning Australia, Brazil and North America. Shell now expects Brent crude prices to average about $35 per barrel for the rest of 2020, before rising to $40 next year and $50 by 2022. The new forecasts are sharply below the oil prices expected by Shell only three months ago, which averaged around $60 per barrel for each year to 2022. Brent ..

Money

Coronavirus slump could delay housebuilding

More than 300,000 planned new homes may remain on the drawing board over the next five years, deepening the UKs housing crisis, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, new research predicts. Stalled construction and the recession will slash the number of new homes being built, with 85,000 predicted to be lost this financial year, according to a study by the property agency Savills with the housing charity Shelter. Construction of the cheapest social housing could fall to a “catastrophic” low of 4,300 units annually – the smallest number since the second world war. Shelter said this would not even be enough to clear the waiting list for a social home in Wakefield, never mind the rest of the country. The warning comes as polling for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank shows that since the pandemic, a fifth of Englands 8.6m renting households are now worried that they will not be able to afford their rent or a mortgage in the future. Boris Johnson is on Tuesday ..

1 2 569
Page 1 of 569