Feb 17, 2021 - Warnings inflation could breach 2% target as prices rise
Rising food prices drove up inflation in January during the toughest coronavirus lockdown measures since the first wave of the pandemic.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the consumer prices index rose to 0.7% in January – from 0.6% a month earlier – as shops including food retailers and household goods stores pushed up their prices with less discounting this year on items such as beds and settees.
Some experts warned inflation will exceed the Bank of England's 2% target by the end of 2021.
The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) rose 0.9% in the 1...
Feb 17, 2021 - Justice Secretary hails attack on migrants’ Article 3 and human trafficking rights
The government wants to restrict the ability of migrants to resist removal from the UK by invoking their right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment, the Justice Secretary has said. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Robert Buckland “confirmed plans to restrict the use of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights” in immigration and asylum cases.
These plans are “confirmed” rather than “revealed” because the same outlet reported plans for an attack on Article 3 rights last year. The idea is to put the government’s interpretation of what constitutes “torture and inhuman or d...
Feb 16, 2021 - 450,000 families ‘behind on rent because of Covid’
Almost half a million UK families are thought to have fallen behind on rent, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to the Resolution Foundation.
It said more than 750,000 had been behind on housing costs last month.
That is 450,000 more than January 2020.
"Despite widespread calls for forbearance in the face of the Covid-19 shock, just 3% of private renting families have been able to negotiate a lower rent over the last 10 months," the think tank said in a report.
Meanwhile, one in 20 private renters in the UK said they had been refused rent reductions.
Many had taken "huge hits" to...
Feb 16, 2021 - Parents urged not to miss out on new Scottish Child Payment
Parents are being urged to apply for a new child benefit or face missing out on payments.
The Scottish government said it had received 77,000 applications so far, but 173,000 children are estimated to be eligible.
The £10-a-week Scottish Child Payment is available for each child under six in qualifying families. However, families who fail to apply by 15 February will miss out on some of their entitlement.
You may be able to get Scottish Child Payment if all of the following apply:
- you live in Scotland
- you or your partner are getting certain benefits or payments
- you or your partner...
Feb 15, 2021 - Pound hits three-year high on vaccination hopes
The pound has hit its highest level against the dollar in nearly three years, amid rising optimism about an end to lockdown in the UK.
It surpassed $1.39 on Monday, while also hitting a nine-month high against the euro at €1.147.
More than 15 million people have now had their first Covid jab, raising hopes that restrictions can soon be eased, and the economy start to recover.
Boris Johnson will set out his plan for exiting England's lockdown next Monday.
Chris Turner, global head of markets at ING, said: "[The pound] continues to reap the dividends of a successful vaccine rollout and momentum ...
Feb 15, 2021 - Indefinite leave to remain can be revoked, but not cancelled
We get it: immigration law is tricky. The relevant case is - C1 v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 242 (Admin).
The gist of the decision is that the Home Office has no power to cancel indefinite leave to remain (ILR) under Article 13 of the Immigration (Leave to Enter & Remain) Order 2000.
The claimant, C1, was granted ILR in July 2017 and travelled to Iran in November 2018. Shortly afterwards, the Home Secretary cancelled his ILR and made a decision to exclude him from the UK. C1 re-entered the UK last April by crossing the Channel on a small vessel. He was s...
Feb 15, 2021 - Post-Brexit trade: Half of UK exporters to EU are having Brexit difficulties
More than a month after the UK's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU came into force, complaints from British importers and exporters continue to mount.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said that 49% of UK-based exporters in a survey of 470 firms had suffered problems with post-Brexit arrangements since the start of the year, as companies struggled to adapt and faced higher costs due to extra border checks and paperwork.
Little more than a month into the UK’s new relationship with Brussels, the leading business lobby group warned that urgent action from both the British government and the...
Feb 15, 2021 - Travel bans, red lists and quarantines: how do they affect UK visa applicants?
With travel bans from so-called “red list” countries, the suspension of travel corridors and today’s long-awaited introduction of compulsory hotel quarantine, those already holding or who have applied for UK visas will be concerned about how these measures may affect their visas and ability to travel to the UK.
Continuing the government’s favoured “Australian-style” theme for any border policy, the Health Secretary, announcing the new restrictions on 9 February 2021, said that the government had “been taking advice from our Australian colleagues… on quarantine”. And so it is that we now have “
Feb 15, 2021 - Help to Buy deadline extended amid Covid delays
A deadline to buy a home under the current Help to Buy scheme in England has been extended to the end of May.
Covid-related delays meant more than 16,000 sales were at risk, with buyers facing large bills were purchases to fall through at the last minute.
Construction of newly-built homes, which qualify for the scheme, have been put back by as much as eight months.
Some buyers are worried that the new, two-month extended deadline will still come too soon.
In seven years, the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has allowed 278,000 households to receive an advance from the government to help pay the ...
Feb 12, 2021 - UK economy suffered record annual slump in 2020
The UK economy shrank by a record 9.9% last year as coronavirus restrictions hit output, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.
The contraction in 2020 "was more than twice as much as the previous largest annual fall on record," said ONS deputy national statistician Jonathan Athow.
In December, the economy grew by 1.2%, after shrinking by 2.3% in November, as some restrictions eased.
Hospitality, car sales and hairdressers recovered some lost ground.
Last month's growth means the UK economy looks set to avoid what could have been its first double-dip recession since the 1970s.