Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to unveil an emergency Covid-19 rescue plan that aims to protect jobs.
Following warnings from MPs and unions, the chancellor has ruled out the autumn budget and will instead launch a ‘Winter Economy Plan’, Sky News reports.
To help the economy cope with the latest restrictions, including 10pm curfews on pubs and restaurants and office staff told to work from home, the scheme will be centred around a multi-billion-pound package.
Modelled on a similar scheme in Germany, the scheme will subsidise wages of workers who are returning to work part-time after being furloughed.
It is also expected that the VAT cut to 5% will be extended until the end of March rather than January.
Those hard-hit businesses are also likely to see the extension of four loan schemes until the end of November, which include terms increased from six to 10 years to reduce monthly repayments.
Mr Sunak spoke of the unusual step to not announce a November Budget because ‘now is not the right time to outline long-term plans and people want to see us focused on the here and now’.
A source told Sky News: “No-one wanted to be in this situation but we need to respond to it. The chancellor has shown he has been creative in the past and we hope that people will trust us to continue in that vein.
“Giving people reassurance and businesses the help they need to get through this is uppermost in his mind.”
They added: “It is not about health versus the economy, but about the balance between keeping people in jobs and finding them new ones, and that ‘what remains true is that our priority is one word: jobs’.”
The Treasury explained that the chancellor is promising a ‘flexible and adaptable approach to economic support, because people have needed the help and they’ve needed it quickly and at the right time’.
Adding that he will be ‘very honest with people’ about the trade-offs the government faces as it deals with rising infection rates and an economic slump.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds told Sky News that Labour has been: “saying for a very long time that it’s critical we have a targeted system of wage support in place”.
Dodds added: “I’ve called for that 40 times and 20 times the government has said they’re not willing to put that into place.
“Obviously, if the government has shifted, I’m pleased. It’s come very late, however. We’ve already seen a number of redundancies because of the one-size-fits-all withdrawal of the furlough scheme.”
The Prime Minister told MPs: “What we will do is continue to put our arms around the people of this country going through a very tough time and come up with the appropriate creative and imaginative schemes to keep them in work and keep the economy moving.”
Labour MP Grahame Morris demanded an expansion of the Covid Job Retention Scheme, saying: “Make no mistake: a tsunami of job losses is in the pipeline within 38 days.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer warned of a ‘wave of job losses in the winter’ because ‘it makes no sense to bring in new restrictions at the same time as phasing out support for jobs and businesses’.
The shop workers union also warned of ‘a tsunami of job losses’.
General secretary Paddy Lillis added: “If we are going to save the high street, there needs to be radical and bold action to level the playing field between online retail and ‘bricks and mortar’ shops.
“The time is long overdue for the government to look seriously at introducing some form of online sales tax.
“As a society we have a choice, do we want to see the high street go to the wall or do we want to save it.
“Retail is the cornerstone of our towns, cities and communities. It employs around three million people and needs urgent assistance to get the industry back on its feet.”
Celebrate Embankment Kitchen’s fourth birthday with prizes to be won throughout October
There’s some fantastic prizes to be won throughout the whole month
Manchester restaurant, bar & grill Embankment Kitchen is celebrating its fourth birthday, where diners will receive a scratch card to win a variety of prizes throughout October.
Celebrations kick off on Wednesday, October 4th at the sophisticated venue, located in the CitySuites Aparthotel, and will continue throughout the entire month.
The birthday month will feature live music every Thursday, a special birthday cocktail menu, and the chance to win some big prizes too.
Diners also receive 25% off* their food bill, throughout October, every Tuesday to Saturday (*This offer is for the a la carte menu only).
Guests could also find themselves sipping on free beer, prosecco and cocktails, or even enjoying a meal on the house – all to be won on the Embankment birthday scratch cards.
The live music features a range of talented artists performing throughout the evening, from duos covering modern songs to the fabulous gypsy jazz band The String Beans.
Embankment’s special birthday cocktail menu includes the Peach Blossom Bellini, made with Grey Goose Vodka and Baron de Marck Champagne, with notes of Peach and Rosemary.
Sip on the delightful A Toast To 4, made with Beefeater gin, strawberry and lemon flavours and topped with Baron de Marck Champagne.
The EK Sour is made with Havana 7, Disaronno, Lemon, Pineapple, and the Birthday Bubbles cocktail is made with Tanqueray 10, Aperol, Passionfruit, Lemon, Soda – perfect for the celebration.
Guests who chose to dine at Embankment Kitchen throughout October will receive a scratch card with one of the below prizes:
- 15% off food (*Food only. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or set menu)
- Free beer or prosecco
- Free cocktail
- Free starter or dessert (*When dining with a main)
- Your meal on Embankment – x2
To book a table and celebrate with Embankment and be in with the chance to win great prizes, click HERE.
Embankment Kitchen, CitySuites Aparthotel, 16 Chapel St, Salford
Sunak announces HS2 leg to Manchester to be scrapped
Rishi Sunak announces at the Tory party conference that the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the HS2 is to be scrapped.
The Prime Minister made a key speech at the conference held in Manchester city centre where he confirmed the rail line will stop in Manchester but from Birmingham it will switch onto using the existing West Coast Mainline track.
This means the high speed route, to connect the north with the south, will no longer exist, effectively confirming days of speculation.
After being introduced by his wife, Akshata Murty, as a ‘wonderful father, my best friend, your prime minister’, Mr Sunak thanked both his wife and the audience.
Speaking live from Manchester, Mr Sunak called HS2 the ‘ultimate example of the old consensus’.
The Prime Minister then said he’s cancelling ‘the rest of the HS2 project’ – which means everything outside the London to Birmingham leg, and is currently under construction.
He then said he ‘will reinvest every single penny’ saved from HS2 – £36 billion pounds – into hundreds of new transport projects in the North and in the Midlands, as well as across the country.
He went on to say that the north would benefit from the new projects rather than HS2, saying he ‘challenges anyone to tell me with a straight face that all of that isn’t what the north really needs’.
Mr Sunak said: “With our new Network North, you will be able to get from Manchester to the new station in Bradford in 30 minutes, Sheffield in 42 minutes, and to Hull in 84 minutes on a fully, electrified line.”
He continued: “So those who wish to disagree with me, I respect that. But they should have the honesty to admit that they would now be cancelling the hundreds of alternative projects right across the country that people will benefit from instead.
“I think our plan is simply a better long term investment of £36 billion pounds of taxpayers money.”
He also said that he will keep single bus fares capped at £2 ‘across the whole country’.
The prime minister added: “I say, to those who backed the project in the first place, the facts have changed. And the right thing to do when the facts change, is to have the courage to change direction.
The anticipated announcement came after defence secretary Grant Shapps suggested a change in HS2 plans was thanks to fewer people travelling into work and instead choosing to work from home, following the coronavirus pandemic.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has labelled the, now confirmed, decision as ‘disgraceful’.
Gary Neville welcomes new £400m five-star hotel and residences to Manchester
The world famous W Hotel and W Residences will open in 2027
Exciting first look images are revealed for the hugely anticipated £400 million five-star hotel and residency set to open in 2027.
Gary Neville’s Relentless Developments has announced the St Michael’s development, currently being built between Deansgate and Albert Square, will be bringing with it a world famous hotel brand
The St Michael’s plot, soon to be home to luxury W Hotels and W Residences, will be the first outside London and one of 20 around the world, in a major deal with Marriott International.
The glossy new arrival will see hotel-inspired living offered at St Michael’s 217 apartments, offering buyers the opportunity to purchase a permanent residence within Manchester’s most exclusive postcode.
The iconic 41-storey tower will boast a 162-room hotel, with the tower also housing W Residences, a complex of 217 apartments which will be offered for sale from November, with occupancy also in 2027.
The live-in residences will also boast the facilities of the W Hotels, including 24-hour concierge (W’s whenever/wherever service), round-the-clock in-residence dining, laundry and dry cleaning, as well as the hotel’s gyms and other features.
“W Hotel and W Residences are going to put the distinctive 41-storey tower that is No.2 St Michael’s on the global map,” said Neville, Director, Relentless Developments.
“There is no better home for W Hotel in the North of England than Manchester.
“This is a bold city which continues to defy expectations and which embodies the same values of originality and passion that have made the W Hotel experience world-renowned.
“Situated alongside this, W Residences Manchester will be immersive, design-forward homes that will set a new standard in hotel-inspired living and massively raise the bar for city-centre home ownership.”
“I’d like to thank Marriott International and our developer partner, Salboy, for seeing the potential in this scheme and remaining committed to our vision,” he added.