Calls for green bank mount amid UK recovery plans

Business groups, economists and local leaders have urged ministers to create a “Green Infrastructure Bank” as part of Boris Johnson’s state-led recovery from coronavirus to ensure that efforts to stimulate the economy do not overlook the UK’s climate targets.

The push comes after green groups criticised the prime minister’s £5bn in new infrastructure spending announced earlier this week for being too light on green measures.

“We really need a national investment bank,” said Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. “It can have a very powerful effect, help bring down the cost of capital, and allow the private sector to come in.”

The rationale is to have a dedicated institution that could help finance climate-related projects that might otherwise struggle to access affordable capital, such as early-stage tech projects.

Lord Stern, who authored the UK’s official report on the economics of climate change

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Coronavirus: Cirque du Soleil axes 3,480 jobs – but plans to rehire most | Business News

Entertainment company Cirque du Soleil is axing more than 3,000 jobs in a restructuring after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out its revenues.

However the Canada-based group – known for its shows in Las Vegas and around the world – said it aimed to rehire a “substantial majority” of these employees once lockdowns are lifted.

It said it was filing for protection from creditors in Canada while it develops a plan to restart it business.

Las Vegas shows including “The Beatles LOVE” have been cancelled

The company said it was taking action “in response to immense disruption and forced show closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Montreal-based Cirque temporarily suspended its productions in March because of the outbreak.

It is now terminating 3,480 employees of the more than 4,000 who were furloughed at that time – the latter number representing 95% of its workforce.

The company said its

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UK borrowing plans suggest public finances are weaker than expected

Britain’s cash-strapped government announced on Monday that it needed to borrow another £50bn in August to meet its financing needs, suggesting public finances are weaker than expected.

In the third revision to its financing requirement since March, the Treasury has demanded its Debt Management Office raises £275bn in the first five months of the financial year, compared with a full year estimate in the March Budget of £156bn.

Between April and the end of August, the Treasury will have raised £55bn a month to fund its coronavirus spending, more than four times the Budget plan of £13bn a month.

There has been no strain in the gilts market so far and the government has easily raised these sums, sometimes benefiting from negative interest rates in short-dated government bond markets.

It has also been helped by Bank of England money creation, used to purchase almost exactly the equivalent quantity of existing

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UK Treasury plans Future Fund expansion after demand surge

The Treasury is set to expand a coronavirus bailout scheme aimed at supporting British start-ups to include those that have been blocked after moving their headquarters overseas to tap US investors.

The government is expected to end up with stakes in scores of the UK’s start-ups under its Future Fund programme, which offers loans of up to £5m that can convert into equity stakes in promising tech businesses that are struggling to survive the lockdown. 

The scheme is now set to be expanded, according to people familiar with the matter, to allow more start-ups to join given the strong demand in its first month in operation.

The Future Fund has so far been open only to companies incorporated in the UK, although this has meant that British entrepreneurs who have moved their legal headquarters overseas to raise funds from international investors have been left out.

Treasury officials have raised concerns

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