Three-quarters of UK manufacturers set to cut jobs this year

Almost three-quarters of UK manufacturers are preparing to cut jobs in the next six months, according to new figures that will heap further pressure on the government to protect employment ahead of an economic stimulus package expected next week.

More than 10,000 jobs have already been put at risk in the past week across industries such as retail and aviation. Now, manufacturers are also warning of widespread redundancies as the government’s furlough scheme begins to wind down.

More than 40 per cent of manufacturers said they would make job cuts before the end of the year, according to a survey of members by Make UK, which represents the sector. A further third said redundancies were possible. 

Next week, the chancellor is expected to reveal a package of measures to boost the economy, from tax cuts to investment pledges, with companies calling for the immediate extension of financial support to help

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Sunak damps hopes of big UK tax cuts

Rishi Sunak will put jobs at the heart of his set-piece economic statement next week as he tries to avert a post-coronavirus catastrophe, but he has told Tory MPs not to expect big tax cuts to boost the economy.

The chancellor’s attempt to manage expectations over fiscal stimulus measures came as Boris Johnson disappointed business leaders by confirming that the government would phase out the job retention scheme by October.

As the economy opened up, furloughed workers were simply being kept in “suspended animation”, the prime minister said in an interview with London’s Evening Standard.

Mr Sunak’s statement will mark a shift in his coronavirus strategy from a support phase, where the government “wrapped its arms around the UK economy”, to a stimulus phase, where it encourages households and companies to spend as normally as possible.

During the pandemic, the chancellor has sought to play down expectations before announcing more

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Coronavirus: Will-writing platform Farewill snaps up new funding | Business News

A will-writing app that has seen a surge in demand during the coronavirus pandemic has secured millions of pounds in new investment from a backer of

Sky News understands that Highland Europe is leading a fundraising for Farewill, which launched in 2015 offering cheaper and more easily accessible legal services than many traditional competitors.

Sources said the new funding, which was likely to total between £15m and £20m from across Farewill’s investor base, was likely to be announced next week.

Is £5bn enough to save the economy?

It is expected to value Farewill at somewhere in the region of £70m, according to a person close to the deal.

The latest fundraising comes 18 months after Farewill raised £7.5m to – in its words – “disrupt the death industry”.

It comes amid a probe by the Competition and Markets Authority into the funeralcare sector.

Farewill offers probate services as well

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Steelmaker Celsa strikes first UK bespoke rescue deal

The UK government on Thursday announced it would provide an emergency loan for steelmaker Celsa, in the first deal under a state scheme designed to bail out companies seen as strategically important.

The steel industry may end up as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Treasury’s rescue programme for individual companies called Project Birch, given Tata Steel is in advanced negotiations with the government about securing a loan.

The size of the state loan for the UK operations of Spanish steelmaker Celsa is believed to be about £30m. The company employs 1,600 people across the UK, with main sites in south Wales that supply steel to the construction industry.

A portion of the loan for Celsa could convert into equity in certain conditions — meaning the government would end up with shares in the company — despite the Treasury’s reluctance to take stakes in businesses. 

The government refused to

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