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UAE celebrates launch of first Arab interplanetary mission

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uae celebrates launch of first arab interplanetary mission

The United Arab Emirates has celebrated the launch of its ‘Hope’ probe to Mars – the first interplanetary mission by an Arab nation.

The long-anticipated blast-off of the unmanned spacecraft in the early hours of Monday morning from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center was met with rapturous applause in the Emirates.

Meanwhile, the command and control centre at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) – which spearheaded the Mars project on which some 450 people worked, more than half of them Emirati – was abuzz with excitement.

The United Arab Emirates has celebrated the launch of its 'Hope' probe to Mars - the first interplanetary mission by an Arab nation

The United Arab Emirates has celebrated the launch of its 'Hope' probe to Mars - the first interplanetary mission by an Arab nation

The United Arab Emirates has celebrated the launch of its ‘Hope’ probe to Mars – the first interplanetary mission by an Arab nation

The long-anticipated blast-off of the unmanned spacecraft in the early hours of Monday morning from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center was met with rapturous applause in the Emirates

The long-anticipated blast-off of the unmanned spacecraft in the early hours of Monday morning from Japan's Tanegashima Space Center was met with rapturous applause in the Emirates

The UAE Mars mission's deputy project manager, Sarah al-Amiri, said it was 'an indescribable feeling' to witness the rocket launch

The UAE Mars mission's deputy project manager, Sarah al-Amiri, said it was 'an indescribable feeling' to witness the rocket launch

The long-anticipated blast-off of the unmanned spacecraft in the early hours of Monday morning from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center was met with rapturous applause in the Emirates

The UAE Mars mission’s deputy project manager, Sarah al-Amiri, said it was ‘an indescribable feeling’ to witness the rocket launch.

‘This is the future of the UAE,’ Amiri, who is also Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, told Dubai TV from the launch site.

‘We are waiting for the moment of separation and the first signal… I thank the UAE for this opportunity,’ she said.

‘Hope’ – or Al-Amal in Arabic – has been a source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space.

Emirati men claps as they watch the launch of the "Amal" or "Hope" space probe at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Emirati men claps as they watch the launch of the "Amal" or "Hope" space probe at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Emirati men claps as they watch the launch of the ‘Amal’ or ‘Hope’ space probe at the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

'Hope' - or Al-Amal in Arabic - has been a source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space

'Hope' - or Al-Amal in Arabic - has been a source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space

‘Hope’ – or Al-Amal in Arabic – has been a source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space

Emiratis are pictured at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai ahead of the expected launch

Emiratis are pictured at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai ahead of the expected launch

Emiratis are pictured at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai ahead of the expected launch

A screen broadcasting the launch of the "Hope" Mars probe at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai

A screen broadcasting the launch of the "Hope" Mars probe at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai

A screen broadcasting the launch of the ‘Hope’ Mars probe at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai

‘A message of pride, hope and peace to the Arab region, in which we renew the golden age of Arab and Islamic discoveries,’ the government of the UAE, which is made of seven emirates including the capital of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, said on Twitter.

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, lit up before blast-off with a symbolic 10-second countdown in anticipation of the launch that had already been delayed twice this month due to weather conditions.

It is expected to reach Mars’s orbit by February 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, lit up before blast-off with a symbolic 10-second countdown in anticipation of the launch that had already been delayed twice this month due to weather conditions

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, lit up before blast-off with a symbolic 10-second countdown in anticipation of the launch that had already been delayed twice this month due to weather conditions

Dubai's Burj Khalifa lit up in support of the United Arab Emirates "Hope" Mars probe

Dubai's Burj Khalifa lit up in support of the United Arab Emirates "Hope" Mars probe

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, lit up before blast-off with a symbolic 10-second countdown in anticipation of the launch that had already been delayed twice this month due to weather conditions 

While the mission objective is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in Mars’s atmosphere and pave the way for scientific breakthroughs, the UAE wants the project to serve as a source of inspiration for Arab youth, in an often volatile region.

”Hope’ belongs to millions of young people in this region who long for progress, inspiration & opportunity; it’s a direct challenge to those who continue to suppress these aspirations,’ tweeted Hend al-Otaiba, director of strategic communications at the UAE’s foreign ministry.

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Sir Trevor McDonald, 81, separates from his wife of 34 years

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sir trevor mcdonald 81 separates from his wife of 34 years

Sir Trevor McDonald has separated from his wife after 34 years of marriage, according to reports.

The veteran newsreader, 81, who rose to prominence as the presenter of ITN’s News at Ten in 1992, is claimed to have moved out of his family home and is now living in a bachelor pad after splitting with his wife Jo, 65.

It is understood that the separation was ‘amicable’ and that Sir Trevor and Jo ‘are still speaking’ with each other.

Sir Trevor McDonald, 81, has split from his wife Jo after 34 years of marriage, according to reports

Sir Trevor McDonald, 81, has split from his wife Jo after 34 years of marriage, according to reports

Sir Trevor McDonald, 81, has split from his wife Jo after 34 years of marriage, according to reports

A source told The Sun: ‘It is sad but Trevor and Jo realised they weren’t making one another happy any more, and that it was time to move on with their lives.’

The source went on to explain that the split was no secret among those is the couple’s inner ­circle.

They added: ‘He and Josephine have a long history so obviously they are still speaking, and everything is amicable.

‘Trevor has moved into his own apartment and friends are joking it is his bachelor pad.’ 

The couple, who first crossed paths after meeting at ITN, went on to tie the knot in 1986. Together, they share a son, Jack, aged 31. 

The news presenter also shares two children, Joanne and Tim, with his first wife Beryl who he divorced in 1985.     

Sir Trevor first rose to prominence as the presenter of ITN’s News at Ten from 1992 to 1999 before going on to to host ITV’s flagship current affairs programme Tonight with Trevor McDonald in 1999.

The ITV newsreader and his wife Jo (pictured together after Sir Trevor received his Knighthood) married in 1986

The ITV newsreader and his wife Jo (pictured together after Sir Trevor received his Knighthood) married in 1986

The ITV newsreader and his wife Jo (pictured together after Sir Trevor received his Knighthood) married in 1986

He is known for his interviews with prominent figures including Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela and former US  President Bill Clinton and was named Newscaster of the Year in 1993, 1997 and 1999.

In 1999 he was also awarded a knighthood in 1999 for his services to journalism. 

Since his retirement from nightly news in 2008, he has fronted documentaries on topics ranging from the mafia to death row.

Earlier this year, Sir Trevor said nothing in his career had compared to the ‘immense, international’ nature of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to presenter Julie Etchingham on the ITV News podcast Coronavirus: What You Need To Know, he said: ‘I don’t remember a story which has so internationally involved us all.

‘We are connected much more than we ever thought. We’re anxious to hear what’s going on all over the world.’

He added: ‘It is very, very strange to go through a week knowing that you have so few things which are absolutely planned. It’s a bit difficult having all the time on your hands.

‘In my personal case, the lack of social contact and having to stay in a lot is at times fairly depressing, really. You just have to try and find ways of dealing with it.

‘I must confess I’m not too sure I’ve done terribly well for finding those ways!’ 

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New ‘traffic-light’ lockdown system that will send automatic alerts to phones is set to be used

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new traffic light lockdown system that will send automatic alerts to phones is set to be used

A traffic light system that will send automatic alerts to people’s mobiles is set to be used to trigger local lockdowns.

Local infection rates will be used to split parts of the country into one of three categories that will determine the restrictions in place in the region under the plan.

This system will work in tandem with the NHS Test and Trace app, which includes a feature where users can scan a barcode to check in and out of bars and restaurants.

Users will also be sent messages when lockdown conditions change due to shifts in the infection rate, the Daily Telegraph reported.

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England, Wales and Scotland today posted 27 more Covid-19 deaths while Northern Ireland recorded none in the preliminary toll

The new plan was approved at a meeting of key cabinet ministers last week and is now waiting for the Prime Minister’s approval.

It is hoped that the system will work alongside the new raft of restrictions announced by Boris Johnson on Tuesday, if he signs off on it.

A three-tier system is seen as being clear and provide a simple way for people to know what they can and cannot do in their areas.

Greater Manchester already has different boroughs under different restrictions and some locals have said it is difficult to know what rules do and do not apply in their area.

Mr Johnson pointed to a greater use of localised restrictions when he told the House of Commons: ‘One of the great advantages of NHS Test and Trace… is that we now have the ability to see in granular detail where the epidemic is breaking out and exactly which groups are being infected.’

The new plan was approved at a meeting of key cabinet ministers last week and is now waiting for the Prime Minister's (pictured on Wednesday) approval

The new plan was approved at a meeting of key cabinet ministers last week and is now waiting for the Prime Minister's (pictured on Wednesday) approval

The new plan was approved at a meeting of key cabinet ministers last week and is now waiting for the Prime Minister’s (pictured on Wednesday) approval

He also said: ‘Test and Trace enables us to isolate the cases of the virus in ever greater detail, which we were not able to do before.

‘There would be far more damage to the economy throughout our country if we failed to control the virus now and we were obliged to put in seriously damaging lockdown measures that really affected every business in the country.’

It is hoped a three-tier system could allow parts of the country to reopen their economies if infections are low and it could help assuage the concerns of some Tory MPs who are opposing new restrictions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Housing and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick are understood to back the new system.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured on Wednesday) and Housing and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick are understood to back the new system

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured on Wednesday) and Housing and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick are understood to back the new system

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (pictured on Wednesday) and Housing and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick are understood to back the new system

A Cabinet minister told the Daily Telegraph: ‘At the moment there is a range of different measures being applied in different places.

‘A three-tiered approach that is more consistent across the country will set out the steps we will take as the ‘R’ rate increases.

‘The virtue is that it gives greater clarity and consistency. What is in the tiers is subject to further discussion.’

But it is not certain that it will be introduced, with a source telling the Telegraph: ‘There is a proposal in the Whitehall system to look at a tiered approach.

‘It is in the system, it is being considered, but no decisions have been made and it has not been signed off yet.’

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Sunak splashes the cash AGAIN: Chancellor is to unveil ‘winter plan’ TODAY with ‘flexible furlough’

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sunak splashes the cash again chancellor is to unveil winter plan today with flexible furlough

Rishi Sunak will unveil a multi-billion pound ‘winter plan’ today with a VAT cut and new ‘flexible furlough’ for staff returning part-time after dire warnings that 540,000 hospitality jobs could be lost. 

The Chancellor cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November, with sources saying it was ‘not the time’ for long-term plans.

Instead he will map out an emergency ‘Winter Economy Plan’ today designed to help firms cope with new Covid restrictions which Boris Johnson has warned will last for six months.

Whitehall sources last night said the Chancellor’s plans would include a new wage subsidy scheme modelled on a German scheme that helps fund salaries at firms where there is only enough work to go back part-time.

Government officials are looking at whether the state can help cover the costs for staff able to do 50 to 60 percent of their normal hours, according to the Financial Times, which would be considerably cheaper to run than the furlough scheme that has cost almost £4 billion in the last four weeks.

By comparison, the German kurzarbeit (short- working) model would cost around £500 million a month.

The ‘flexible furlough’ scheme would allow for companies to hack back workers’ hours while keeping them on their books, with the Government making up the difference but with a cap for salaries up to around £30,000, according to the Sun. 

As the Archbishops of Canterbury and York warned of the economic costs of Covid:

  • Hospitality groups said a quarter of pubs and restaurants could go bust this year; 
  • HMRC and Goldman Sachs were among employers abandoning their drives to get people back to the office;
  • Pictures showed high streets boarded up as shops reacted to the clampdown; 
  • The travel industry faced fresh despair when Downing Street warned of the risk of booking half-term holidays; 
  • Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza are keeping two thirds of outlets shut; 
  • MPs demanded extra help for theatre and music venues;
  • No 10 said a ban on household visits could be extended across large swathes of England;
  • A mobile tracing app is finally being rolled out – four months late;
  • Matt Hancock’s target for half a million virus tests a day by the end of next month was under threat from equipment shortages;
  • Scientific advisers suggested that students could be told to remain on campus over Christmas.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabinet meeting to be held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, ahead of MPs returning to Westminster after the summer recess on September 1. The Chancellor last night cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabinet meeting to be held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, ahead of MPs returning to Westminster after the summer recess on September 1. The Chancellor last night cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (left) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson leave 10 Downing Street, for a Cabinet meeting to be held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London, ahead of MPs returning to Westminster after the summer recess on September 1. The Chancellor last night cancelled plans for a full-scale Budget in November

Mr Sunak is also expected to extend a number of cheap loan schemes for business. And the Prime Minister hinted yesterday there would be additional help for the self-employed. 

Ministers are also looking at a bailout scheme for struggling sports clubs hit by a ban on crowds. 

This year’s VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism industry to 5 percent, which has cost £4 billion, was due to last until January but will now run until the end of March, The Times reported. 

Furious Tory MPs have turned on 'authoritarian' Boris Johnson as he ordered the British public to obey his draconian new coronavirus restrictions – or face an economically devastating second national lockdown

Furious Tory MPs have turned on 'authoritarian' Boris Johnson as he ordered the British public to obey his draconian new coronavirus restrictions – or face an economically devastating second national lockdown

Furious Tory MPs have turned on ‘authoritarian’ Boris Johnson as he ordered the British public to obey his draconian new coronavirus restrictions – or face an economically devastating second national lockdown 

Treasury sources said the Chancellor had rejected calls to extend the £35billion furlough scheme, despite warnings that its closure at the end of next month could result in more than one million redundancies.

‘The Chancellor has shown he has been creative in the past and hopes that people will trust us to continue in that vein,’ a source said. ‘Giving people reassurance and businesses the help they need to get through this is uppermost in his mind.’ Mr Sunak played a pivotal role in helping persuade Mr Johnson not to move to an immediate second lockdown this week.

But the decision to tighten Covid restrictions on the hospitality sector and order millions of office staff to work from home until spring has put him under huge pressure to bring forward more support.

Today he is expected to warn that the Treasury does not have a bottomless pit of money to prop up the economy indefinitely – and cannot save every job.

Allies said he would be ‘very honest with people’ about the ‘difficult trade-offs’ the Government faces as it tries to deal with the twin challenges of surging Covid cases and a battered economy.

‘It is not about health versus the economy, but about the balance between keeping people in jobs and finding them new ones,’ the source said.

The Treasury was tight-lipped about the Chancellor’s plans last night. But it is understood he will press ahead with a version of Germany’s ‘kurzarbeit’ scheme, which ensures workers who have had their hours cut by struggling firms receive a minimum of 60 per cent of their lost pay.

Questions had already been raised over whether the Chancellor's set piece autumn announcement, broadly penned in for November, would go ahead

Questions had already been raised over whether the Chancellor's set piece autumn announcement, broadly penned in for November, would go ahead

Questions had already been raised over whether the Chancellor’s set piece autumn announcement, broadly penned in for November, would go ahead

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What is the German-style system that Rishi Sunak could use in place of the furlough scheme? 

Germany’s has used its Kurzarbeit job subsidy measures during the coronavirus pandemic and has recently extended its use until the end of 2021.

Unlike the British furlough programme, an emergency scheme which pays companies to pay employees not to work, the Kurzarbeit system, which already existed before the pandemic, surrounds short-time working.

It allows employers to reduce employees’ hours while keeping them in a job.

The government pays workers a percentage of the money they would have got for working those lost hours. 

According to the Munich-based Ifo Institute for Economic Research, at the height of the pandemic, half of all German firms had at least some of their staff on the scheme. 

Influential British political figures including former prime minister Gordon Brown have urged the government to bring in such a scheme, or a similar French-style system, after the furlough scheme ends in October.

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A similar scheme proposed by the Confederation of British Industry would see subsidies for firms that can offer staff at last 50 per cent of their normal hours, with the cost for non-working hours shared equally by the company, the Treasury and the employee.

The final scheme is likely to be significantly cheaper than furlough, which has paid 80 per cent of the wages of staff unable to work and helped protect 9.6million jobs. But it will fall short of demands from Labour and the unions for the furlough scheme to continue indefinitely.

In the Commons yesterday, Mr Johnson was repeatedly urged to extend the furlough scheme in the wake of his decision to tighten Covid restrictions for at least six months.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged him to ‘stop and rethink, support the businesses affected, not to withdraw furlough’.

Mr Johnson said the furlough scheme had ‘already been extended’ once, adding: ‘I do not think that it would be sensible simply to extend the current existing furlough scheme in its present form beyond the end of October.

‘But we will do everything we can to support businesses and to support those in jobs and, indeed, the self-employed.’

Mr Johnson said the Government had already paid out £160billion to prop up the economy, with business support more generous than in most other countries.

Entrepreneur and former Pizza Express boss Luke Johnson told the BBC’s Newsnight programme that closure of the furlough scheme at a time when the economy was still operating under tight restrictions would lead to mass redundancies next month. ‘I would estimate of the three million [still on the furlough scheme], at least a million… will be made redundant,’ he said.

The decision to cancel the Budget is a blow to the Treasury’s hopes of getting the public finances back on a more even keel.

Mr Sunak had been considering tax rises to help offset a budget deficit expected to top £300billion this year. But decisions on tax will now have to be delayed until next year.

The cancellation of the Budget could also prove a blow to the aviation industry, which had been hoping for a cut in Air Passenger Duty.

A Government source last night told the Mail that ministers were also looking at a rescue package for threatened football and rugby clubs.

‘We cannot have a situation where local football clubs are going to the wall,’ the source said. ‘They and other similar sports clubs are critical parts of their communities.’

It’s criminal! Amid howls of anger from business chiefs over SIX-MONTH crackdown that threatens millions of jobs, one boss delivers his damning verdict…

By Daniel Martin, Tom Witherow and Lucy White for The Daily Mail   

One of Britain’s top business bosses yesterday led a backlash against ‘criminal’ Covid curbs that he claims could threaten millions of jobs.

Julian Metcalfe, the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions.

Nearly a quarter of pubs and restaurants fear they will fail by the end of the year unless Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils significant support for them, a poll found.

Shoppers and workers get their takeaway from Pret A Manger in Chelsea while wearing masks before it becomes compulsory in shops in England on Thursday

Shoppers and workers get their takeaway from Pret A Manger in Chelsea while wearing masks before it becomes compulsory in shops in England on Thursday

Shoppers and workers get their takeaway from Pret A Manger in Chelsea while wearing masks before it becomes compulsory in shops in England on Thursday

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months.

This was before the latest restrictions for pubs, restaurants and the wider hospitality sector were announced.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance'

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance'

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance’

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from tonight and made table service mandatory. In addition, he ordered people to work from home if they can – a U-turn on his call for staff to return to the office in a bid to shore up ailing city high streets.

Responding to the restrictions, Mr Metcalfe said he did not know whether Itsu would survive the measures. ‘The repercussions of this six months is going to be devastating to so many people, to local councils, to industry, to people all over our country,’ he told Radio 4’s World At One.

‘We have just not begun to touch the seriousness of this. People who work in hotels, restaurants, takeaways and in coffee shops are devastated. A great many are closing down – we’re losing thousands upon thousands of jobs. How long can this continue, this vague ‘work from home’, ‘don’t go on public transport’? The ramifications of this are just enormous.

‘I hate to think how many people will be made redundant – it’s just heartbreaking. It’s hundreds of thousands of hospitality businesses, and the knock-on effects of people who look after them and service them and bring them food and clean them. It’s millions of jobs.’

Mr Metcalfe turned his fire on Mr Johnson, accusing him of announcing a policy of ‘exaggerated nonsense’.

‘To turn to an entire nation and say ‘stay at home for six months’, and to spout off some Churchillian nonsense about we’ll make it through – it’s terribly unhelpful to this country,’ he said.

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from Thursday night and made table service mandatory. Pictured, people drinking outside in Soho, London, on Wednesday night

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from Thursday night and made table service mandatory. Pictured, people drinking outside in Soho, London, on Wednesday night

Boris Johnson ordered all pubs and restaurants in England to close at 10pm from Thursday night and made table service mandatory. Pictured, people drinking outside in Soho, London, on Wednesday night

Emma McClarkin (pictured), chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge'

Emma McClarkin (pictured), chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge'

Emma McClarkin (pictured), chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge’

‘This talk of six months is criminal. It should be ‘we will review the situation each week, each hour’ – not ‘everyone stay home for six months and let’s see where we are’. Because the scientists are all disagreeing with each other.’

And while Mr Metcalfe welcomed Mr Sunak’s furlough scheme, he said: ‘We can’t as a country go on borrowing, borrowing, borrowing money, pretending it doesn’t matter…. Of course we’d love furlough to continue, but it can’t.’

Major firms including HSBC and Goldman Sachs have halted their return-to-the-office programmes, leading to increased fears for pubs and restaurants.

Citigroup has also eased its return to the office programme and has asked staff to exercise judgment. Barclays and Lloyds are also set to reduce their back to workplace programmes.

The Chancellor has drawn up plans to help hospitality firms, but businesses fear it won’t be enough.

The survey by the three trade bodies found that one in eight hospitality staff has already been made redundant, and more jobs in the sector are expected to be lost when the furlough scheme ends.

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months. Pictured, people drinking outside a bar in Blackpool on Wednesday night

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months. Pictured, people drinking outside a bar in Blackpool on Wednesday night

A survey by the British Beer and Pub Association, UK Hospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping exposed concerns that as many as 540,000 jobs could go over the next few months. Pictured, people drinking outside a bar in Blackpool on Wednesday night

Julian Metcalfe (pictured), the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions

Julian Metcalfe (pictured), the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions

Julian Metcalfe (pictured), the founder of sushi chain Itsu and sandwich shop Pret a Manger, tore into No 10 for its decision to impose six-month restrictions

On average, businesses believe their workforce will be 25 per cent lower by February 2021 compared to February this year.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: ‘This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge.

‘Now the Prime Minister has announced even more restrictions for them, it is clear much more support will be needed from the Government to ensure they survive.

‘Only by taking these measures can the Government save our pubs, hospitality businesses and as many as 540,000 jobs.’

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, added: ‘The future of the sector is still very much in the balance. The additional restrictions announced this week place even further burdens on a sector that is operating with razor-thin margins and needs all the help it can get. It is vital that these restrictions are reviewed regularly.’

People drinking outside the Old Compton in Soho, London, Wednesday night. Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home

People drinking outside the Old Compton in Soho, London, Wednesday night. Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home

People drinking outside the Old Compton in Soho, London, Wednesday night. Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home

The chief executives of Deliveroo, KFC and Pizza Hut last night wrote to the Chancellor urging him to ensure that incomes remain stable, an extension of VAT reduction on food for six months, and an extension of business rates relief.

Catherine McGuinness, from the City of London Corporation, said safety had to come first, but expressed disappointment at the blanket call for office workers to return to working from home.

She told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘It’s clear that this virus isn’t going to go away quickly so we need to find a way of living with it that doesn’t cripple our economy.’

Last night a Government spokesman said: ‘The aim is to reduce transmission in areas where people are enclosed and where they might come into contact with people they don’t know. This can include public transport and can include places that are not fully Covid secure. It is a way of reducing those chances transmission which is the name of the game.’ 

How much more of Britain will be boarded up now? 

Commentary by Alex Brummer for The Daily Mail 

The Chancellor’s emergency decision to cancel the November budget and instead unveil a new winter plan today to preserve jobs and support enterprise is an indication of the grave economic uncertainty this country now faces.

Uncertainty made far worse by the Government’s latest measures to contain the pandemic.

Rishi Sunak’s surprise autumn package, which comes after his July ‘Plan for Jobs’, shows that amid the havoc wreaked by Covid-19 and the Government’s cautious response to rising infections, the Chancellor is having to make decisions on the hoof irrespective of their financial and economic consequences.

Picture shows closed shops on Kensington High Street after coronavirus lockdown left retailers unable to sustain business

Picture shows closed shops on Kensington High Street after coronavirus lockdown left retailers unable to sustain business

Picture shows closed shops on Kensington High Street after coronavirus lockdown left retailers unable to sustain business

Closed down shop front on Golders Green Road in North West London. It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election

Closed down shop front on Golders Green Road in North West London. It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election

Closed down shop front on Golders Green Road in North West London. It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election

Just a few weeks ago the big debate was about whether the time was right for raising taxes in the budget. But now, with the new clampdown on the hospitality sector and office working, any plans he had to deal with the ballooning budget deficit and debt have been put on hold until next year. Sunak is having to reach deep into his bag of tricks to prevent the economy going back into lockdown.

It is the second time in a year that a Chancellor has been forced to postpone the budget. Last November Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid called off his plans when Boris Johnson called the December election.

This time, the cause of the postponement is more chilling. The uncertainty caused by the Prime Minister’s doom-laden response to the virus this week has sapped business confidence and caused huge sectors of the economy – particularly the hospitality, sport and aerospace industries – to knock on the Treasury’s door for help.

Without measures from No 11, vast swathes of Britain’s high streets and city centres, already desolate, risk being boarded up forever. In making the latest batch of spending decisions, designed to keep the economy running, Sunak and the Treasury will almost be flying blind. Most government departments still have to submit their budget plans for 2021-22 and these are likely to be outlined in a spending review later in the Autumn.

A Vision Express was closed down in Camden High Street, London. The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November

A Vision Express was closed down in Camden High Street, London. The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November

A Vision Express was closed down in Camden High Street, London. The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November

Closed shop premises on King Street in Manchester city centre. Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid

Closed shop premises on King Street in Manchester city centre. Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid

Closed shop premises on King Street in Manchester city centre. Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid

The tragedy is that there were signs of a strong bounce in the economy in the summer – it recovered almost half the output lost during the first half of the year as we caught a small glimpse of the desired ‘V’ shaped recovery.

However, the combination of the end of furlough in October and imposition of new lockdown rules will deliver a devastating blow to output and jobs. Sunak is known to be concerned that if the furlough were kept in place he would be in danger of supporting ‘zombie jobs’ that will never come back. But he will also want to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ in which millions suddenly find themselves out of work.

The precise direction of the public finances and the outlook for the economy will not be fully revealed until the Office for Budget Responsibility releases its twice yearly forecasts in mid-November. What we do know, however, even before Sunak’s latest expensive package of assistance, is that Britain now faces the worst peacetime budget crisis of modern times.

Government borrowing in the current financial year is already projected to reach at least £300billion. Debt levels have reached an alarming £2trillion, which is the equivalent of a whole year of national output pre-Covid. The Chancellor has spent £35billion so far on the furlough scheme and will be anxious to make sure the money has not been totally wasted.

One possible way of saving jobs would be to replace it with a German-style support scheme under which employers put people back to work on a part-time basis and the Government makes up the shortfall in wages, allowing the economy to gather momentum.

As the country rides the coronavirus roller-coaster, all the normal rules of predictable economic policymaking have been torn up. The Chancellor is having to adopt a dynamic approach of a kind never seen before.

But whatever happens tomorrow, when the pandemic has passed, Britain will face a massive task in restoring fiscal responsibility and credibility. 

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