Nov 30, 2020 - Rishi Sunak faces state pension dilemma

Retired people are set to receive a 4.1% rise in the state pension in April 2022, an official forecast predicts.

The state pension is going up by 2.5% in April 2021, but the bigger forecast rise in 2022 will come at a time when unemployment is expected to be high.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will face a balancing act between keeping to a manifesto promise while addressing claims of intergenerational unfairness.

The UK state pension remains one of the less generous in Europe.

Near the end of each year, the government sets the level of state pension to be paid from the following April.

The increases ...

Nov 27, 2020 - Brexit: Trade negotiations between the UK and EU are still deadlocked

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses told  that their members really need to know what arrangements to make for next year after the UK leaves the EU’s single market and customs union.

A little progress has been made in the past several months with the negotiations between the UK and EU; however, the two largest barriers to a deal are future fisheries arrangements and the UK’s future state subsidy regime, which is a part of discussions over the so-called level playing field.

The level playing field is a trade-policy ter...

Nov 25, 2020 - Key points from Rishi Sunak's Spending Review

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Spending Review and latest economic forecasts to Parliament on 25 November 2020. 

Rishi Sunak says the Spending Review comes as the coronavirus health emergency is not over and the economic emergency has only just begun, and it will be years before the country fully recovers.

Saying he will prioritise jobs, businesses and public services, the chancellor says the government is spending £280bn to get the country through Covid-19.

In his first Spending Review, the Chancellor told MPs the UK economy is expected to shrink by 11.3 per cent this year - the lar...

Nov 24, 2020 - What to expect from Rishi Sunak's Spending Review?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will detail how taxpayers' money will be spent on health, education and the poorest households over the next 12 months, as he delivers his Spending Review on Wednesday.

This process, known as a Spending Review, will also include details of how the government plans to deliver on some of the promises it made during the last election campaign, such as improving the economy of less wealthy areas of the UK.

Rishi Sunak is also expected to announce pay cuts for public sector workers and give details on how much more money will be required to fight the coronavirus crisis.


Nov 24, 2020 - Coronavirus update for immigration rules as of 24 November 2020

General policy

Some people who were in the UK when the pandemic hit were unable to leave before the expiry of their visa because of travel restrictions. The government had been allowing people in this situation to easily extend their visas through a simplified online application process, but that concession has now been replaced with “exceptional assurance”, a promise of extra time to stay that falls short of proper leave to remain.

Exceptional assurance was initially available only to those with a visa expiring up to 31 October, but has now been extended to 30 November as part of the second E...

Nov 23, 2020 - UK-born murderer to be deported after renouncing British citizenship

A key tenet of UK deportation law is that British nationals cannot be deported: section 3(5) of the Immigration Act 1971.

And yet, Sajid Zulfiqar, a man born British in the UK, will, barring any further appeals, be deported to the land of his fathers: Zulfiqar (‘Foreign criminal’ : British citizen) Pakistan [2020] UKUT 312 (IAC).

Mr Zulfiqar is a sympathy free zone. He was convicted of murder in 2004, having beaten a man to death in the street with two others. He got 15 years, and it was not his first brush with the law.

As a holder of Pakistani (as well as British) nationality, he attempted t...

Nov 23, 2020 - Court of Appeal reverts to Home Office-friendly approach to service of decision letters

The Court of Appeal has decided in Alam v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1527 that sending a decision letter to a person’s last known address will generally be sufficient proof that the letter has been received. To prove otherwise, it must be shown the letter was intercepted and did not arrive, not merely that the person was unaware of the letter.

Despite the change in approach brought about by the Court of Appeal’s decision in Alam, the central lesson remains the same: advising the Home Office when you move address is important.

If the Home Office sends an importan...

Nov 21, 2020 - Spending Review: Rishi Sunak plans to reform anti-Northern spending bias

The government has confirmed it will make a major reform to the way it assesses the value for money of big spending projects.

Northern leaders have tentatively welcomed government plans to rip up rules for the way major infrastructure funding is allocated – which currently favour the south-east.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he will remove and reform longstanding bias, which sees less investment directed to the regions than the capital and its surrounding towns.

The changes would come in Wednesday’s Spending Review and would be made as part of the government’s “levelling up” agenda, he said.

It ...

Nov 20, 2020 - UK national debt hits highest October level on record

Government borrowing in October hit a record level for the month as the UK continued heavy spending to support the economy during the Covid pandemic.

Borrowing makes up the shortfall between spending by the government and the amount received in taxes.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, reached £22.3 billion last month, the highest October figure since monthly records began in 1993.

ONS said the pandemic had had a "substantial effect" on public sector borrowing.

Since the beginning of the financial year in April, government borrowing has reache...

Nov 20, 2020 - How does Brexit affect Irish citizens in the UK?

The UK government’s policy is that Brexit will not affect Irish nationals at all. Other EU citizens have to apply for a new “settled status” or risk losing their right to live and work in the UK after June 2021.

The government has set up an application system for EU residents to get “settled status”, allowing them to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit. Irish citizens are in a unique position when it comes to the settled status scheme: unlike all other EU citizens, they may apply for it but do not have to. That is because:

  • On one hand, Ireland is part of the EU, and settled...