Jul 07, 2020 - Summer statement 2020: key points of the chancellor's recovery measures to support the UK economy.

Delivering his Summer Economic Update in Parliament, the Chancellor announced a package of measures to support jobs in every part of the country, give businesses the confidence to retain and hire, and provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs.

Rishi Sunak’s plan includes the following measures:

Furlough scheme

The furlough scheme will wind down flexibly and gradually until the end of October, Sunak confirms.

A jobs retention bonus will help to wind down the scheme: businesses will be paid £1,000 to retain furloughed staff. This would cost the Treasury more than £9bn if every j...

Jul 06, 2020 - UK Government could AXE stamp duty for six months on homes up to £500k in boost for housing market

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce plans for a temporary exemption for homes at the lower end of the market in his Autumn Budget. Treasury officials are looking at raising the threshold at which homebuyers start paying stamp duty.

The temporary measure would remove tax on the purchase of homes to target those most in need of help following the coronavirus crisis.

Currently the levy is not charged on the first £125,000 of the property selling price, with a 2 per cent rate up to £250,000 and 5 per cent on the next £675,000.

The new threshold, which would be put in place for six month...

Jul 05, 2020 - Coronavirus: Government commits to £1.57bn emergency investment in UK culture

The UK government has announced a £1.57bn rescue package for the country’s beleaguered cultural sector to help theatres, museums and music venues make it through the coronavirus crisis.

Described by the government as the largest one-off investment in culture, the bailout has brought relief to an industry that appeared on the verge of collapse with hundreds of theatres and music venues warning they would close for good without government support.

The bailout includes £1.15bn of support for cultural organisations in England, comprising £270m of repayable loans and £880m of grants. The government...

Jul 02, 2020 - Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors

You do not have to self-isolate on arrival in England if these are the only places you have been to or stopped in during the previous 14 days.

Exemption rules

From 10 July 2020 you will not have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you:

  • are travelling or returning from one of the travel corridor countries
  • have not been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the travel corridor list in the previous 14 day

This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.

If you have been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the travel corridor list ...

Jul 01, 2020 - Coronavirus and the UK immigration system (as of 02 July 2020)

Application and Service Centres in the UK

If you have given your fingerprints before

Since 02 July 2020 if UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) can technically reuse the fingerprints you have already given, you will be emailed with instructions on how to send them an image of your face and your supporting documents.

This will mean you do not have to attend a UKVCAS or an SSC service point appointment to provide biometric information.

If you cannot send the information through the instructions given, you’ll be able to book an appointment.

If, however, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) cannot technical...

Jun 30, 2020 - Downing Street team sent in to investigate work visa system

A science and research plan published today suggests increased central government scrutiny on Home Office work visa rules and operations. The plan promises a new “Office for Talent” operating out of 10 Downing Street, which “will make it easier for those with the most talent, potential, energy and creativity to come to the UK”.

According to a press release issued by the Business Secretary:

The Office will begin work immediately to review the effectiveness of the current rules and ensure excellent customer service across the immigration system, so that it is simple, easy, and quick. They will a...

Jun 30, 2020 - UK to extend residence rights for British Nationals (Overseas) citizens in Hong Kong

British national (overseas) is someone who was a British overseas territories citizen by connection with Hong Kong was able to register as a British national (overseas) before 1 July 1997. British overseas territories citizens from Hong Kong who did not register as British nationals (overseas) and had no other nationality or citizenship on 30 June 1997 became British overseas citizens on 1 July 1997.

Under the current immigration rules, British nationals (overseas) are allowed to come to the UK as tourists for the period of up to six months only. They are not allowed to work or study in the UK...

Jun 30, 2020 - Flexible furlough scheme starts today (1 July)

From 1 July 2020, furloughed workers can return to work on a flexible, part time basis. Employees will still be entitled to receive at least 80 percent of their reference pay (subject to a cap of £2,500 per month) for non-working time (pro-rated against any working hours).

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has so far helped protect more than 9.3 million jobs through the pandemic, with employers claiming more than £25.5bn to support wages.

From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern, while still being able...

Jun 29, 2020 - UK mortgage approvals fall 90% to record low in May as coronavirus hits housing market

New mortgage approvals collapsed by 90% compared to pre-pandemic levels and represent just a third of the lowest level seen during the 2008 financial crisis.

Lenders approved just 9,300 mortgages for home purchases in May, down 90 per cent on February’s total and just a third of the trough experienced after the financial crash in 2008.This is the lowest level since comparable records began (in 1997), according to data from the Bank of England.

Approvals for remortgage have also fallen, to 30,400, over 40% lower than in February.

Analysts warned that a “two-tier” mortgage market has emerged, wi...

Jun 29, 2020 - Coronavirus: PM Boris Johnson sets out 'ambitious' economic recovery plan

Boris Johnson says now is the time to be "ambitious" about the UK's future, as he set out a post-coronavirus recovery plan.

He said the UK "cannot continue to be prisoners of this crisis" and the government was "preparing now, slowly, cautiously to come out of hibernation".

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 we’ve already seen the vertigino...