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With lives and livelihoods still at risk, Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget is focused on short-term support for people's jobs and finances.

But there are signs of what will happen next and how this will affect the money in your pocket.

1. Paying the wages of those on furlough

Although it was announced in advance, like many other key measures, the extension of furlough is significant for millions of people.

The scheme - which pays 80% of employees' wages for the hours they cannot work in the pandemic - has been extended until September.

Young and lower-paid people have been among the most likely to have been furloughed during the pandemic.

While this is designed to protect their jobs from redundancy, many will have found that their income has been a fifth less than they had anticipated over the course of 18 months.

The National Living Wage will rise to £8.91 from April, from £8.72. That is a 2.2% rise and will be for people aged 23 and over.

2. Jabs, then jobs

Money promised for the vaccine rollout does not directly affect the amount of money that goes into the pockets of individuals.

But the extra £1.65bn to help vaccinate every adult by the end of July should mean people can get back to work and the economy can start to recover.

Quicker jabs mean more jobs protected, which means that incomes can recover or be maintained.

3. Support for the self-employed

Furlough supports employed people. The equivalent for the self-employed comes in the form of grants through the Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

From next month, claims can be made for a fourth grant worth 80% of three months' average trading profits, up to £7,500 in total.

This will then be followed by a fifth grant later in the year, covering May to September.

However, the amount paid will depend on the amount of turnover lost. People whose turnover has fallen by less than 30% will receive a grant that is equivalent to 30% of average trading profits.

While many self-employed people remain ineligible - the source of considerable debate - those who can show they were trading in 2019-20 from their tax returns will now be eligible for the first time. They can receive the fourth and fifth grants.

 

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56263581

 

Published in Accounting

Britain's blue-chip benchmark index finished down around 95 points lower, or 1.3%, at 7,286, going below 7,300 for the first time in seven weeks. FTSE 100 index closed decidedly in the red on Friday as January ended on a sour note and health fears continue to weigh on global markets.

Britain's blue-chip benchmark index finished down around 95 points lower, or 1.3%, at 7,286, going below 7,300 for the first time in seven weeks. Over the week as a whole, Footsie lost 3.9%.

The FTSE 250 shed over 148 points on the day to close at 21,143.  Over on Wall Street, the Dow Jones lost 382 points, while the S&P 500 shed around 40 points and the Nasdaq plunged 86 points.

Chris Beauchamp,  chief market analyst at online trader IG noted that few people would have suggested that  a ‘major virus outbreak’ would have been seen as a big risk for markets in 2020.

 

source: https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/911933/ftse-100-closes-down-13-as-january-ends-on-sour-note-911933.html

 

Published in Accounting
Tuesday, 04 February 2020 16:20

Bye, Bye, Britain: Pain Ahead for the UK and GBP

There are a few special days in my career that stand out because of the historical events I was privileged to live through and comment on – memorialize, perhaps – to my colleagues. The two that stand out most:  I remember the morning meeting I gave on 10 November 1989, the day after the Berlin Wall fell. Luckily in those pre-internet days I had a copy of Trotsky’s The Russian Revolution and so could get the quote right:  You are bankrupt, your role in history is played out. Go out where you belong – onto the dustheap of history. I remember the day Barack Obama was elected; choking back emotion, I quoted to my colleagues the words of Martin Luther King:  "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” I thought Obama’s election signaled that that day had arrived in the US. How wrong I was. 

But what am I to say to my colleagues today, Brexit Day? A day nearly as heavy with historical import, but for me, totally bereft of the hope and vision of a new, better future that these other landmark dates were imbued with. On the contrary, this seems to me to be a country rejecting the future and turning to a mythical past, and in the process committing economic and political suicide:  the impoverishment of the people leading, most likely, to the dissolution of the centuries-old alliance among the several nations of the United Kingdom. This time the map is being redrawn out of fear, not out of hope.

 

 

Source: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/bye-bye-britain%3A-pain-ahead-for-the-uk-and-gbp-2020-01-31

 

 

Published in Accounting