Coronavirus Energy Bailout

New rules from energy regulator Ofgem mean that vulnerable customers struggling to pay their energy bills this winter will be receiving help. To be enforced from the 15th of December, the new rules mean that suppliers will be required to provide struggling customers with emergency credit. This means that customers who are unable to top up prepayment meters must be offered the energy bailout. Furthermore, customers who face being in debt from the credit support must be put on “realistic and sustainable” repayment plans. The coronavirus energy bailout moves come after suppliers voluntarily pledged to support the most vulnerable, left further exposed by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest move enshrines the suppliers’ will to support vulnerable people in the form of Ofgem’s newly updated licensing rules, which now obliges energy suppliers to support customers in financial difficulty. In recent months, Ofgem slashed the price cap on default tariffs and prepayment meters, as wholesale gas prices and energy costs dropped significantly. Essentially, the regulator has passed on the savings made by suppliers on to the people, in a move which will benefit millions of households across the United Kingdom.

Director of retail at Ofgem, Phillipa Pickford stated that “Suppliers have stepped up to the challenge of supporting their customers during the Covid-19 crisis, especially those in vulnerable situations. Customers who are struggling to pay their bills should contact their supplier as soon as possible. The extra protections we have announced today will help ensure they get some breathing space this winter.”

The move has been welcomed by support organisation such as Citizens Advice. In September, research by Citizens Advice showed that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, six million people have fallen behind on at least one bill. Chief executive of Citizens Advice Dame Gillian Guy stated, “This raft of new protections from Ofgem should help more people who are struggling to stay afloat. Energy is an essential service and everyone should be confident they can adequately heat their home and protect their health – especially during a global pandemic. We’ve been pressing for the measures agreed between government and energy suppliers to help people through the coronavirus pandemic to be extended and widened, so we’re very pleased to see this announcement from the regulator.”

Easyjet Appoints Tui Executive as New Financial Officer

The budget airline Easyjet has poached an executive from its rival firm Tui to become its new chief financial officer. Easyjet has appointed the former Tui aviation chief executive and business improvement director, Kenton Jarvis, to replace the outgoing finance chief Andrew Findlay. This new appointment comes following news earlier this month that the budget carrier Easyjet would reduce flying capacity for the fourth quarter due to changes to the UK’s quarantine regime.

 

On the rocks: Coronavirus Impact on Easyjet

As the airline industry as a whole is struggling, Easyjet announced it would reduce its flying capacity after a decision was made to add seven Greek islands to the ‘red list’ as this negatively affected customer confidence. Subsequently, Easyjet said it would fly at slightly less than the 40 per cent capacity that it had previously hoped to target for the rest of the year.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said:

“We know our customers are as frustrated as we are with the unpredictable travel and quarantine restrictions. We called on the government to opt for a targeted, regionalised and more predictable and structured system of quarantine many weeks ago so customers could make travel plans with confidence.”

 

Tough Job for New Chief Financial Officer

The decision to bring Kenton Jarvis onto the Easyjet team was made in the face of serious adversity faced by the airline industry and Easyjet.  Chief executive Johan Lundgren said Jarvis would be joining Easyjet during a ‘period of exceptional challenge for global aviation’. Jarvis has been praised by the Easyjet executives for his “depth of knowledge of the travel industry” as well as his “financial skills” that will be key in rebuilding following the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Jarvis was previously working at Tui for nearly 20 years. His start date at Easyjet has yet to be confirmed.

Domino’s Pizza Announce 5,000 New Jobs

As part of the government’s nascent Kickstart scheme, Domino’s Pizza has announced the creation of 1,000 new placements and 5,000 new jobs. The 5,000 newly created jobs will include a number of roles, such as pizza chefs, delivery drivers and customer service staff. News of the additional 5,000 jobs follows Domino’s Pizza’s creation of 6,000 jobs at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The government’s Kickstart initiative is a £2 billion Treasury scheme to create jobs. Under-25s in England, Scotland and Wales will be given training on the job, as well as access to e-learning modules on skills such as timekeeping and teamwork.

Chief Executive Dominic Paul

Domino’s new chief executive, who formerly headed Costa Coffee, Dominic Paul said, “It was a privilege to keep our stores open during Covid-19 and to now be in a position to offer thousands more people the opportunity to become a Domino’s team member. We’re also delighted to support the government’s Kickstart scheme, offering young people the chance to get back into work and to build lifelong skills through our training programmes. Together, these 6000-plus new roles will help Domino’s continue to safely serve our local communities as we head towards the busy festive period.”

Domino’s: An Enduring Legacy

Domino’s Pizza operates one thousand one hundred and eighty-four stores across the United Kingdom, employing more than thirty-five thousand people. Despite remaining open throughout the lockdown, the pizza giant operated a limited menu. Its London stores suffered from considerably reduced footfall, while the omission of popular items from the menu also affected revenues. The first Domino’s stores in the United Kingdom was founded in Luton, in 1985. Since then, the US-based franchise has proven extremely popular. Last year, the company sold the best part of 90 million pizzas. Only last week, Domino’s launched a new vegan range of products.

Pizza Hut Restaurant Closures

In an effort to prevent future job losses, Pizza Hut has announced it will be shutting down twenty-nine stores nationwide. With the closures, there is potential for there to be four hundred and fifty job losses, as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic claims more victims. Despite recent offers and moves to increase revenue during the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, Pizza Hut continues to struggle. A spokeswoman from Pizza Hut said, “We are doing everything we can to redeploy our team members from our Pizza Hut Restaurants locations that are closing and minimise the impact to our workforce. We are therefore unable to share exact job loss numbers for each Hut. We understand this is a difficult time for everyone involved and are supporting our team members as much as possible throughout this transition.” While the Pizza Hut Restaurants group has insisted that it will seek to redeploy staff, job losses appear to be an increasing possibility. Following a quick reopening of its restaurants upon the easing of lockdown measures, the Pizza Hut group recently announced that “sales are not expected to fully bounce back until well into 2021.”

Pizza Hut Restaurants Closing

Cambridge Regent St 19/21 Regent Street Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 1AB

Leicester Haymarket 6 Haymarket Leicester Leicestershire LE1 3GD

Grantham The Manors Arm London Road Grantham Lincolnshire NG31 6HR

Huddersfield John William Street 6/8 John William Street Huddersfield West Yorkshire HD1 1BA

Glasgow, Great Western Retail Park Great West Retail Park Great Western Road Glasgow Lanarkshire G15 6SA

Cumbernauld South Muirhead Road Glasgow North Lanarkshire G67 1AX

Plymouth Royal Parade 76/78 Royal Parade Plymouth Devon PL1 1EW

Maidenhead Unit 3 Grenfell Island Maidenhead Berkshire SL6 1HJ

Oxford George Street 61/63 George Street Oxford Oxfordshire OX1 2BQ

Dunstable White Lion White Lion Retail Park Boscombe Road Dunstable Bedfordshire LU5 4WL

Bury St Edmunds Unit 2 2 Cornhill Bury St Edmunds Suffolk IP33 1BE

Chelmsford Moulsham St 5 Moulsham Street Chelmsford Essex CM2 0HR

Leyton Mill Leyton Mills Marshall Road London E10 5NH

Scarborough 4 Huntriss Row Scarborough North Yorkshire YO11 2EF

Worcester Shrub Hill Shrub Hill Retail Park Pheasant Street Worcester Worcestershire WR1 2DD

Stafford Restaurant Unit The Hough Retail Park Lichfield Road Stafford Staffordshire ST17 4PW

Newcastle-under-Lyme Unit 2 The Square 98-104 High Street Newcastle-under-Lyme Staffordshire ST5 1PT

Thornton Cleveleys Unit A Jubilee Gardens North Promenade Cleveleys Thornton-Cleveleys Lancashire FY5 1DB

Penistone Rd Unit B Penistone Road Sheffield South Yorkshire S6 2GF

Sheffield High St 41-47 High Street Sheffield South Yorkshire S1 2GB

Croydon North End 59/61 North End Croydon Surrey CR0 1TG

Maidstone King St 20 Kings Street Maidstone Kent ME14 1DE

Gravesend Imperial Park Unit J, Imperial Retail Park Thames Way Gravesend Kent DA11 0DQ

Salisbury 40 Blue Boar Row Salisbury Wiltshire SP1 1DA

Basingstoke Retail Park Brighton Hill Retail Park Winchester Road Basingstoke Hampshire RG22 4AN

Brighton City Centre 2 Dyke Road Brighton East Sussex BN1 3FE

Weston-super-Mare The Poaches Pocket Weston Links Weston-super-Mare Avon BS23 3WL

Cardiff Culverhouse Cross Culverhouse Cross Port Road Wenvoe Cardiff South Glamorgan CF5 6XW

Stratford 52/54 The Broadway Stratford East London E15 1NG

Amazon: Plans to Create 7,000 New UK Jobs

Amazon, the online retail giant, has announced its plans to create 7,000 more new jobs this year in response to an increase in demand for its services. In statements released by the company, Amazon announced it has created 3,000 jobs already this year. As part of the announced plans, it has stated that it intends to have added a total of 7,000 new employees to its books, by the end of the year. With 30,000 employees currently constituting its UK workforce, the additional jobs will take the total up to 40,000. Providing further good news, the retail giant has confirmed that the jobs will be permanent roles and pay a minimum of £9.50 per hour. There will also be an additional 20,000 new recruits, to help the company through a busy festive period. During the global coronavirus pandemic, Amazon has witnessed exponential growth, as shoppers remained confined to their homes.

Online Retail Boom

Under restrictive lockdown measures, many businesses were forced to shut which prompted a massive growth in online shopping. Among others, Amazon has reaped a vast proportion of the benefits of this shift. Since the removal of nationwide lockdown measures, many people have remained hesitant to shop in town centres, shunning local high streets. Latest retail sales figures have also shown that online sales in July were over 50% higher in July than they were prior to enforcement of lockdown in March. In the month of May, online sales accounted for 30% of all UK retail sales, representing a record-breaking high. In July, online sales levels dropped back slightly, to 28.1%.

UK Job Losses

News of Amazon creating jobs has been welcomed, after the retail sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the most recent figures, employees on payrolls across the United Kingdom fell by a staggering 730,00.

Endless cycle of sexism: Women hit harder by financial recession

ISA savings are held by many in the UK, with the tax perks they provide making them a favourable option for stocking up on savings. Despite this, ISAs are likely to offer very low interest rates which makes money held in them quickly outpaced by inflation, a problem affecting a specific section of people quite hard.

What are ISAs?

ISA stands for Individual Savings Account. The main difference between an ISA and any other savings account is that it offers tax-free interest payments, so you could get more money for your money.

There is, however, a limit to the amount of cash you can put into an ISA in each tax year, which is called the ‘ISA allowance’. ISA accounts can come in many forms but one of the most popular types is the cash ISA. HMRC have released data on how people are engaging with cash ISAs and analysis from some groups have shown that women hold the highest number of all cash ISAs available.

Dilemma for women

The ratio for groups using ISAs have not changed much in recent years, making women be more than half of all cash ISA holders. Cash ISAs are a common part of many savings plans but they do not often offer great returns through interest. This means that women in particular could struggle with their monetary holdings, especially when considering that they tend to not seek further guidance and help on the issue.

Financial assets need to manage carefully and regularly to get the best possible result. Various institutions, including the government, urge the public to seek financial advice wherever they can.

Jill Elliott, a Chartered Financial Planner, commented on HMRCs figures and stated that “we need to break the cycle of women being over exposed to low returning savings products”. Professional advice is what is strongly recommended to women, rather than leaving the problem to sit.

Fraud Movie Prompts HMRC Warning

Chart-topping Hollywood A-lister Roderick Bond’s latest fraud movie has been followed by a warning from HMRC. Based on a real-life story, the movie is set to show how a multi-million-pound tax scam operation was brought to its knees. Following delays to production, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, publicity for the movie has increased in recent weeks. Accompanied by key protagonists, Ravenstone UK, who were central to unravelling the plot, the lead-starring actor has done the rounds on the media. Interestingly, HM Revenue and Customs have used the opportunity to warn would-be fraudsters of their ever-presence. In various statements, coinciding with Roderick Bond’s publicity tours, HMRC made the stark warnings.

HMRC Warnings

One warning read, “Through the use of state-of-the-art computer technology, a range of software and enhanced fraud protection measures, we are watching tax fraudsters on every level.” Another warning published on a Government social media site declared, “Fraudsters always work from home.” While, a third statement was issued as an advertisement following the appearance of Roderick Bond and Ravenstone UK on BBC One’s The One Show. Featuring representatives from various government departments tasked with probing tax fraud and criminal enterprise, the warning was clear. “Whether big or small, we will not allow fraudsters and scammers to use the cover of the coronavirus pandemic to buttress their earnings, at the taxpayer’s expense.”

Roderick Bond Ravenstone UK Fraud Movie

The Tax Fraud of the Century, starring Roderick Bond, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Hanks is scheduled for release early in the New Year. Produced by Manchester F1 Productions, the movie’s release has experienced considerable delays due to the global pandemic. The movie follows on from the popular BBC documentary series Roderick Bond Tax Fraud and HMRC. Featuring the secretive financial investigation organisation, Ravenstone UK, the movie is set to revolutionise the British film industry.

Companies making redundancies in the UK

COVID-19’s impact

Companies across all sectors have been struggling this year as COVID-19 has struck the world’s economy. Businesses everywhere have had it tough but the retail and aviation sectors are the ones being hit the hardest. With social distancing measures and the lockdown limiting the amount of productivity in the workforce, production and service has been difficult to carry out. The huge consequence of all of this for the economy has been a decrease in cash generation, and unfortunately some things are done in response to try and repair the damage.

The main repercussion of the pandemic has resulted in thousands of people in Britain losing their jobs. A large number of companies have announced plans to reduce the size of their workforce. Many firms across the UK have fallen into administration this year, while others are balancing on the fence – many being held up by the government’s job retention scheme.

List of companies cutting workers:

Next

The Next store chain is planning to make redundancies at its head office. The group was forced to close all its stores when lockdown was imposed and lost revenues for the year. The potential amount of money being lost totalled up to around £1 billion.

Airbus

Airbus is to cut 1,700 jobs n the UK as part of global restructure due to reduced production levels. Chief Executive Guillaume Faury warned the company was planning to have a large drop in jetliner output due to the upcoming large cut to the work force.

John Lewis

The retail giant is looking to close more of its stores, make redundancies and remove all of its bonuses. The new chairman reportedly sent a letter to the staff, warning them of potential closures as well as cuts to jobs.

It is said that the letter included implications for some Partners’ jobs which involve companies like Waitrose. It is not known yet how many roles could be affected by recent events.

Personal Finance Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

As media inches closer and closer into the digital age, podcasts are king. They are free, entertaining and an excellent source of information from people with experience and wit. It is important to become financially literate to make sure you can keep your personal finances in order. Here is a list of some entertaining and informative podcasts that are perfect for anyone who is interested in personal finance.

Bigger Pockets Money

Bigger Pockets Money is a podcast that is hosted by Scott Trench and Mindy Jensen. The podcast is a captivating guide to investing with a real focus on properties and real estate. The podcast offers practical advice from financial experts and personal insights from the investing experiences of the hosts themselves. Bigger Pockets Money is a fantastic resource for those who are looking to grow their wealth through real estate investing.

HerMoney with Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky’s personal finance podcast allows for a candid conversation about money, specifically related to women. It is extremely important for women to be financially literate so that they can have control of their money, their earnings and their investments – this podcast gives women access to the information they need to boost their personal finance skills. Jean Chatzky is a relatable and informative host, and this podcast is a must-listen for all women!

Millennial to Millionaire

The host of this financial podcast is Paris Grant. He brings a unique voice to the personal finance of the millennial generation. Building wealth is important for the future generations and podcasts are a great way for young people to learn about handling personal finances and growing wealth. Paris Grant offers great practical financial advice and gives idea on ways to build wealth over time by starting early on this personal finance podcast.

Stock Market crash: Why to invest in UK shares now

At the start of the week, the FTSE 100 index was falling quite considerably. Thankfully, it recovered after a few days and as a result it went up 5.2% from May. If the trend continues, this will be the second straight month of index gains, making it one of the best times to invest in UK shares.

Best time to buy

Equity markets are not at insane heights at this moment. This means that investors should be looking to bank in on certain stocks and hope to make a profit. The markets are not plunging either, which can seem like a risky, if not categorically dangerous, time to invest too. Stock markets are somewhere between the two extremes right now. This indicates that there is room for the FTSE 100 to definitely grow.

In other words, an investor can be confident that the money put into stock markets right now will grow There are plenty of FTSE 100 stocks that make good purchases at this time. For example, cyclical stocks took quite a hit during crash, but now it is looking to be full of potential.

Best UK shares to buy

The UK has plenty stocks, such as Persimmon, which are looking to be very profitable. Real estate places are looking to bounce back from these crashes as their stock forecasts are looking impressive with the relaxing of social distancing rules. PSN has also bounced back from the lows it touched during the crash. Analysts’ stock price forecasts are encouraging, as is its past performance. Other FTSE 100 UK real estate shares are worth considering as well.

Stocks in growing industries, for instance, those of technology-driven companies are very promising. If there was any doubt about the potential of these UK shares, the lockdown has completely removed them. There has been a shift in the industries since the COVID-19 outbreak and a lot of technology has been accelerated due to these forced circumstances.