Rishi Sunak’s short-term jobs plan tackles long-term failures in the UK economy

The writer is a senior fellow at Harvard University and advises the UK Department of Health and Social Care

So far, so V. The subtext to UK chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest £30bn package to protect jobs was that he is gambling on a pretty rapid economic recovery. His measures were certainly bold – and at any other time would seem extraordinary. But a sluggish recovery will require further swift action, to prevent too many people falling through cracks which Covid-19 has brutally exposed.

In previous recessions, those who lost their jobs could trade down to work in coffee shops. This time, low-skilled sectors have been wiped out. This crisis has laid bare the raw underbelly of an economy built on consumption. It is impossible to know how many of the 9m jobs supported by the Treasury’s furlough scheme will vanish when it expires at the end of October. The chancellor,

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Busting the lifetime allowance is music to my ears

I started my career in financial services in the 1990s, not long after heavy rock bands L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose merged to form Guns N’ Roses (the equivalent in the financial world was Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance becoming RSA in 1996).

I loved listening to 1990s music, and still do. My finance career was an Oasis, and I had plenty of Verve and ambition. One of my first jobs was undertaking maximum funding checks, which involved checking that companies were not putting too much money in their pension schemes. How times have changed.

My career in finance has been a Blur, and now sees me checking whether people have too much or too little in their pensions almost every day of my life.

Why? In 2006, the annual allowance governing what individuals could save tax-free into their pensions arrived. Back then, it was £215,000 (a far cry from

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Stamp duty holiday boosts buy-to-let landlords

Buy-to-let investors were handed a surprise boost in the chancellor’s summer statement as tax savings from the stamp duty holiday will also apply to landlords who expand their property portfolios or incorporate as a lettings business.

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, aimed to revive confidence in the post-lockdown property market by lifting the threshold at which stamp duty kicks in from £125,000 to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland. The new threshold took effect on Wednesday and will run until the end of March 2021. 

Although property investors and second homeowners must continue to pay a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge on purchases, they will pay no further duty on the first £500,000 of the property’s value. 

For an investor buying a £500,000 property, this would halve the rate of duty payable from £30,000 to £15,000.

Steve Olejnik, managing director of mortgage broker Mortgages for Business, said it was “great

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Turkish foreign minister says trade deal with UK ‘very close’

Turkey is “very close” to signing a free trade agreement with the UK covering manufactured goods, agriculture and services, Turkey’s foreign minister has said.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told the Financial Times that in principle there were no differences over the deal, but added that some technical issues needed to be finalised.

“It’s going very well and we are very close to finalising it,” said Mr Cavusoglu, who was in London where he met Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, and his foreign secretary Dominic Raab. “If you look at the volume of our bilateral trade, 95 per cent of it is industrial products, and we agreed on that . . . and 5 per cent is agriculture and services.”

The UK is Turkey’s second-largest trade partner after Germany, and securing an FTA with Britain is deemed critical for Turkish manufacturers, particularly carmakers, textile factories and white goods producers. Total UK-Turkish trade hit

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