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Covid Roadmap Delay – 14.6.21

17/06/2021

PM statement at coronavirus press conference: 14 June 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement at the coronavirus press conference.

The following is copied verbatim from the gov.uk website –

 

“When we set out on our roadmap to freedom a few months ago, we were determined to make progress that was cautious but irreversible. And step by step – thanks to the enormous efforts of the British people and the spectacular vaccine roll-out we now have one of the most open economies and societies in this part of the world.

And as we have always known and as the February roadmap explicitly predicted – this opening up has inevitably been accompanied by more infection and more hospitalisation. Because we must be clear that we cannot simply eliminate Covid – we must learn to live with it. And with every day that goes by we are better protected by the vaccines and we are better able to live with the disease.

Vaccination greatly reduces transmission and two doses provide a very high degree of protection against serious illness and death. But there are still millions of younger adults who have not been vaccinated and sadly a proportion of the elderly and vulnerable may still succumb even if they have had two jabs.

And that is why we are so concerned by the Delta variant that is now spreading faster than the third wave predicted in the February roadmap. We’re seeing cases growing by about 64 per cent per week, and in the worst affected areas, it’s doubling every week. And the average number of people being admitted to hospital in England has increased by 50 per cent week on week, and by 61 per cent in the North West, which may be the shape of things to come. Because we know the remorseless logic of exponential growth and even if the link between infection and hospitalisation has been weakened it has not been severed.

And even if the link between hospitalisation and death has also been weakened, I’m afraid numbers in intensive care, in ICU are also rising. And so we have faced a very difficult choice. We can simply keep going with all of step 4 on June 21st even though there is a real possibility that the virus will outrun the vaccines and that thousands more deaths would ensue that could otherwise have been avoided.

Or else we can give our NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them. And since today I cannot say that we have met all four tests for proceeding with step four, I do think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.

By Monday 19th July we will aim to have double jabbed around two thirds of the adult population including everyone over 50, all the vulnerable, all the frontline health and care workers and everyone over 40 who received their first dose by mid-May. And to do this we will now accelerate the 2nd jabs for those over 40 – just as we did for the vulnerable groups – so they get maximum protection as fast as possible.

And we will bring forward our target to give every adult in this country a first dose by 19th July that is including young people over the age of 18 with 23 and 24 year olds invited to book jabs from tomorrow – so we reduce the risk of transmission among groups that mix the most. And to give the NHS that extra time we will hold off step 4 openings until July 19th except for weddings that can still go ahead with more than 30 guests provided social distancing remains in place and the same will apply to wakes. And we will continue the pilot events – such as Euro2020 and some theatrical performances. We will monitor the position every day and if after 2 weeks we have concluded that the risk has diminished then we reserve the possibility of proceeding to Step 4 and full opening sooner.

As things stand – and on the basis of the evidence I can see right now – I am confident we will not need any more than 4 weeks and we won’t need to go beyond July 19th. It is unmistakably clear the vaccines are working and the sheer scale of the vaccine roll-out has made our position incomparably better than in previous waves.

But now is the time to ease off the accelerator because by being cautious now we have the chance – in the next four weeks – to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people. And once the adults of this country have been overwhelmingly vaccinated, which is what we can achieve in a short space of time, we will be in a far stronger position to keep hospitalisations down, to live with this disease, and to complete our cautious but irreversible roadmap to freedom.”

Published 14 June 2021

2021 Budget – How it affects businesses

03/03/2021

Budget 2021 sets path for recovery

In a Budget which ‘meets the moment’, the Chancellor has today (3 March) set out a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses as we emerge from the pandemic and forge a path to recovery.

SEISS

To protect the livelihoods of those hardest hit, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended to September and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue with a fourth and a fifth grant. The Chancellor announced that more than 600,000 people, many of whom became self-employed in 2019-20, may now be able to claim direct cash grants under SEISS.

Business Rates

In addition, the business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional three months. That means 750,000 retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will pay no business rates for three months from 1 April when combined with Small Business Rates Relief, with further relief available for the rest of the year.

VAT

To continue supporting the 150,000 businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors and to protect 2.4 million jobs, the government has extended the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021. To help businesses manage the transition back to the standard rate, a 12.5% rate will then apply for a further six months, until 31 March 2022.

Grant Funding

Grant funding will be available to businesses in England through a new £5 billion Restart Grant scheme to help the high street, providing up to £18,000, bringing the total spent on business grants to £25 billion.

Recovery Loans

A new Recovery Loan Scheme will also be launched to replace the existing government guaranteed schemes which have supported £73 billion of lending to date and close at the end of March.

Apprenticeships

As part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs to support, protect and create jobs, the Chancellor is increasing support with £126 million of new money to enable 40,000 more traineeships, and doubling the cash incentive to firms who take on an apprentice to a £3,000 payment per hire.

National Living Wage

The National Living Wage will be increased to £8.91 from April and there will also be a six-month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, with eligible Working Tax Credit claimants receiving a one-off payment of £500.

Alcohol

To put more money in the public’s pocket, fuel duty will be frozen for the 11th consecutive year and there will be a freeze in duty rates for beer, cider, wine and spirits.

To balance the need to raise revenue with the objective of having an internationally competitive tax system, the rate of Corporation Tax will increase to 25%, which will remain the lowest rate in the G7. In order to support the recovery, the increase will not take effect until 2023. Businesses with profits of £50,000 or less, around 70% of actively trading companies, will continue to be taxed at 19%. A tapered rate will also be introduced for profits above £50,000, so that only businesses with profits of £250,000 or greater will be taxed at the full 25% rate.

An investment-led recovery

The Budget will spread investment and opportunity across the UK, helping businesses to grow, and improving access to skills, capital and ideas.

New English Freeports will be based in East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside and will be special economic zones with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business. Combined with changes to immigration rules, the Towns Fund, the UK-wide Levelling Up Fund, and the UK Community Renewal Fund, opportunities for well-paid jobs, innovation and growth will be leveled up across the country.

The Budget also coincides with the publication of the the government’s new Build Back Better: our plan for growth strategy, setting out how infrastructure, skills and innovation will drive the UK economy.

130,000 small and medium sized businesses will be supported through the new Help to Grow scheme, providing the digital and management tools needed to innovate, grow and help drive recovery.

Beginning April 2021, a new super-deduction will cut companies’ tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment meaning they can reduce their taxable profits by 130% of the cost. This is worth £25 billion to companies over the two-year period the super-deduction will be in full effect.

 


You can view the full details at the government’s website by clicking the following link –

Government announces roadmap to leave lockdown

23/02/2021

Roadmap out of lockdown

Press release copied directly from gov.uk on 23/02/2021

From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.

Chancellor announces ‘lockdown’ business grants

05/01/2021

£4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor has announced.

England’s 3rd National ‘Lockdown’

05/01/2021

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 3rd ‘lockdown’ for England, beginning on the following day, Tuesday 6th January 2021.

Great Yarmouth (& Norfolk) placed into Tier 4 restrictions (26.12.20)

29/12/2020

Please click on the following “Read More” link for details on how this may affect you, local businesses and local public services.

The information below is correct at time of writing – 29.12.2020, check the gov.uk Tier 4 web-page  for any further guidance.

Borough council has £13.7m offered for town centre regeneration

29/12/2020

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has secured an offer of £13.7m investment from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund towards its vision to transform and revive Great Yarmouth town centre as a vibrant economic, cultural and community hub.

Go Trade project aims to to boost support for local markets

17/12/2020

Known as Go Trade, the scheme aims to support the footfall and offer at nine traditional markets in England and France, with 16 project partners working together, along with market traders and other town centre businesses, to develop and implement the activities as part of supporting town centres and visitor economies.

Great Yarmouth at Christmas

09/12/2020

With retailers and hospitality now reopened following the November lockdown, Great Yarmouth is once again “open for business”.

New National Lockdown – from 5th November

02/11/2020

Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Saturday, it has been confirmed that England will be entering a new national lockdown from midnight on Wednesday 4th November  2020 until Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

Please see below information taken from the gov.uk website, highlighting the impact to businesses.

To read the full details on the gov.uk website click here :

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