Just like Osborne and Hammond, Rishi Sunak will have to balance the books

Chancellor Rishi Sunak stood at the podium last week during his virtual conference speech and paid tribute to George Osborne, Philip Hammond and (presumably for form’s sake) Sajid Javid for their work. His message was clear – it is because of their work that the Government is able to take the action it is now to safeguard the economy, incomes and businesses. And when we are out of the current emergency, he will have to do the same as them. 

I am no longer in the business of drafting speeches for Conservative Conference. (In fairness, David Gauke, my former boss, liked significantly to write his own – and I’m not sure many in this Government would be in the business of accepting wording crafted by me.) But this is certainly text with which I can associate. 

On 13 May, I wrote in these pages that “Former Chancellor George Osborne has

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Rishi Sunak pledges hope for all those who lose job with launch of new scheme

The Treasury has already announced help for workers who are able to go back part time, as well as retraining for the long-term unemployed, but the JETS scheme is aimed at those who have been out of work for 13 weeks or more in England and Wales.

The Department for Work and Pensions will recruit an extra 13,500 work coaches, doubling the current number, to help jobseekers with interview coaching, CVs and specialist advice on getting jobs in growth sectors of the economy.

The scheme is expected to help up to 250,000 people, and will begin in the North East, North West, Southern England, Wales and South London before being rolled out across the rest of England later this month.

Mr Sunak is also expected to use his speech to promote the Government’s “Building Back Greener” policy, aimed at making Britain the Silicon Valley of clean electricity generation.

He will

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OakNorth CEO Rishi Khosla on COVID-19, UK economy, and Brexit

Some sectors of the economy will never return to pre-COVID levels, the chief executive of Britain’s fastest growing bank has said.

“There’s segments where the new normal will have real scarring, and by scarring eventually they won’t return, in our view, to 2019 levels,” Rishi Khosla, the chief executive of OakNorth, told Yahoo Finance UK in an interview last week.

Khosla said High Street retail was a “perfect example” of a sector that will never return to normal.

“In our estimation, for each percentage increase in online sales, you lose about 1.5-1.7% of retail square footage physical,” he said.

“If you play that through, if you’re talking about a 10% increase in online sales in the new normal — clearly at the moment it’s higher — then you’re looking at anywhere between 15-17% reduction in retail sales square footage and I would say that would disproportionately hit High Streets.”


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Certain doubts cloud launch of Rishi Sunak’s Kickstart jobs initiative


The Chancellor’s flagship initiative to get young people into work launched on Wednesday, amid worries companies would struggle to take on new staff due to the Covid crisis.

Rishi Sunak’s Kickstart Scheme aims to create thousands of jobs. Under the plan, employers can offer people aged 16-24 who are claiming Universal Credit a six-month work placement with the Government paying 100% of the national minimum wage, National Insurance and pension contribution costs for 25 hours a week’s work.

Employers are able to top up the wages while Government will pay £1500 for set-up and training costs under the scheme, initially open until December 2021.

Sunak said: “This isn’t just about kickstarting our country’s economy – it is an opportunity to kickstart the careers of thousands of young people who could otherwise be left behind as a result of the pandemic.

Tesco, the UK’s biggest retailer, said that 1000 staff

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Rishi Sunak could hike business rates for ‘most valuable properties’

The Chancellor has asked for industry feedback on whether high end shops, offices and other large premises should pay a new, higher business rate - Reuters
The Chancellor has asked for industry feedback on whether high end shops, offices and other large premises should pay a new, higher business rate – Reuters

Rishi Sunak is considering an increase in business rates for the “most valuable properties”, with fears being raised that the move could hurt firms already struggling amid the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

The Chancellor has asked for industry feedback on whether high end shops, offices and other large premises should pay a new, higher business rate, with responses due ahead of the autumn Budget.

In a call for evidence as part of a business rates review, the Treasury said failing to raise enough revenue from them could put pressure on “other parts of the tax system”.

Business rates are based on shop rental values, typically calculated every five years and paid by tenants rather than property owners. Critics say the system is unfairly

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Rishi Sunak considering sales tax for internet purchases

Getty Images
Getty Images

Rishi Sunak is considering plans for a new tax on goods sold online as the government looks for ways to raise income and protect the high street amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A call for evidence on the issue announced last week acknowledged that many retailers are opposed to such a levy but noted that the existing business rates system favoured online firms over those with high-rental value shops.

Downing Street said the coronavirus pandemic had already had a “significant impact” on the way business is done and the government needed to ensure that the tax system raised enough money to fund public services.

The call for evidence was examining the business rates system and potential alternatives.

“As part of this we will consider the case for introducing alternative taxes as part of the review, including an online sales tax,” the spokesperson said.

“The pandemic has had a significant

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‘Rishi Sunak: Apprentices have been overlooked’

Young people across the UK have had their work, studies and lives upended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many are working from home, while others have been furloughed or even made redundant.

There could be more than one million young workers who are without a job, if the overall UK level of unemployment goes up from the current 4% of workers to 10%, according to the Resolution Foundation think-tank.

On top of that, under-30s have been hardest hit by a fall in their income during lockdown as more of their money goes on essentials.

So what did they think of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s speech on Wednesday?

‘Apprentices have been overlooked’

Emma-Jayne is an apprentice chef from Dorset, earning £5 per hour.

She is one of the many workers who were furloughed in the hospitality sector. The scheme was introduced by the government to minimise coronavirus-related job losses, and it pays

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