When a 75-year run is broken, something significant has probably happened. If you are of a certain age, ‘Keep going well…’ could have you instantly remembering the rhyming counterpart; ‘Keep going Shell’. At the end of April 2020 that 1960s advertising slogan suddenly looked particularly jarring to many investors. Royal Dutch Shell, to give the…

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The Covid-19 pandemic has created problems for the statisticians who calculate the rate of inflation. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), fell sharply in April to just 0.9% against 1.5% in the previous month. The main reason for the drop was energy costs: Ofgem’s new price caps for gas and electricity standard…

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Deadline written on a calendar - July 31

The imminent payment on account does not have to be paid. The last Friday in July is the due date for the second 2019/20 self-assessment payment on account. At least, in theory it is… One of the many measures introduced by the government as part of its Covid-19 programme was the option to defer that…

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The fall in world stock markets has cut the value of many pension pots. Which would you choose as investment performance, assuming a £10,000 investment that would be untouched for 10 years? A steady return of 5% a year throughout the period; or Two years of 20% annual losses followed by eight years of 12.39%…

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The covid crisis may see the introduction of negative interest rates says a recent survey

Could UK interest rates head into negative figures? Source: Bank of England The Bank of England’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, suggested in mid-May that negative interest rates were one possible response to the economic fallout from Covid-19. The comment was surprising because in the past the Bank has been opposed to the idea that its…

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On Friday 29 May the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, presented further details of how several key schemes will develop over the coming weeks and months. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) In an announcement on 29 May the Chancellor provided more details of the extension of the CJRS to the end of October. After some apparently managed…

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Following the range of updates over the last several weeks, we have now rounded up the latest information from the government on specific schemes where additional detail was released. This update covers measures through to 22 May. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) On 12 May the Chancellor announced the extension of the CJRS by four months to the…

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The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted many aspects of life which had previously gone unnoticed or ignored and found the holes.  The full extent to which supply chains are global is an obvious example. Our reliance on internet connections and their surprising robustness when the world turned to Netflix and Zoom is another. Of crucial importance…

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The government could end up borrowing five times as much as it expected on Budget day.  In the Budget on 11 March, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimated that in 2020/21, the government would have to borrow about £55bn to make up the difference between what it spent and what would be raised in…

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One perhaps unsurprising side-effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been an upsurge of interest in wills and estate planning. However, the lockdown is constraining options.  Press reports have suggested that the increased interest in will writing has been particularly high among those in the older age brackets who are more vulnerable if they become infected. …

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