Tax increases will put the brakes on recovery, business leaders warn Sunak

“Senior Tories and business chiefs have told Rishi Sunak that putting up taxes on businesses and pensions to pay huge coronavirus costs could damage the economy. The chancellor wants to use the autumn budget to start repairing public finances after he said last month that the government had spent almost £190 billion fighting the virus and limiting the economic fallout of the lockdown. Mr Sunak has identified the pension triple lock, which guarantees annual rises of whichever is the highest of wage growth, price inflation or 2.5 per cent, as one target but faces opposition from Boris Johnson.” – The Times

  • Chancellor “will face revolt” if he presses ahead, says one Cabinet minister – Daily Mail
  • Sunak urged to extend Eat Out to Help Out scheme by targeting city centre restaurants…. – Daily Telegraph
  • … as he’s “set to axe foreign aid” to help UK’s Covid-19 bill in November budget – The Sun
  • Day of spending reckoning nears as Britain’s debt level soars – Daily Telegraph
  • Tax rises: how much more will I have to pay and what can I do to minimise the pain? – Daily Telegraph

Nick Timothy: From tax rises to the culture wars, the Tories must heed their voters

“In the midst of a public health crisis, and facing the possibility of a new wave of infections; during an unprecedented recession, and confronting the reality of rising unemployment; and four months before Britain’s relationship with the European Union changes forever, nine Conservative MPs demanded last week that the Government urgently change course. They were not writing about the pandemic, the economy or Brexit, but the Gender Recognition Act, which sets out how individuals may legally change their gender. If the Government does not liberalise the law, they said, the Conservatives will face a “new Section 28 moment”, comparing the maintenance of the status quo on changing gender to the notorious legislation, passed in 1988, that prohibited the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools.” – Daily Telegraph


Coronavirus 1) Office staff are reluctant to return to work

“The drive by ministers to get people back to work appeared to be stalling yesterday as figures revealed that most managers and professionals are choosing to work from home. Steve Barclay, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said that he was “keen to get people back in the office”, adding: “We think that’s best for the economy, to get back to normal as part of our recovery.” A survey by the AA found, however, that 40 per cent of people who normally drove to work were working from home all or part of the time. This rose to 54 per among senior or middle managers and professionals.” – The Times

  • Civil servants are told to stay working from home over second spike fears – Daily Telegraph
  • More than half of senior managers are still working from home – Daily Mail
  • China emerging as winner in vaccine race – Daily Telegraph
  • Refusal to wear a face mask linked to sociopathy – The Times

Coronavirus 2) Schools reopening: teachers put on alert for rowdy behaviour

“Schools have been warned to expect unruly and disruptive behaviour as pupils go back to school for the first time in nearly six months. In guidance issued to schools on how to manage the return to classrooms, the government admits that many young people will struggle to adjust to routine and discipline after being at home all spring and summer. The Department for Education said in the document: “It is likely that adverse experiences or lack of routines of regular attendance and classroom discipline may contribute to disengagement with education upon return to school, resulting in increased incidence of poor behaviour.”” – The Times

  • Labour calls for 2021 exams to be pushed back – FT
  • Head teachers to block their pupils’ return to the classroom – Daily Telegraph
  • Pupils could be sent home for “joke coughing” – Daily Mail
  • Universities “risk being generators” of a second wave – The Times

Coronavirus 3) Second wave of coronavirus this winter could kill 85,000 people

“A leaked government report says that 85,000 excess deaths in a second wave of the coronavirus is a “reasonable worst-case scenario”. The potential for tens of thousands of further deaths was laid out in a report prepared for the Sage scientific advisory group late last month. The document, which was first obtained by Newsnight, set out a “scenario, not a prediction” in which schools were reopened but other lockdown restrictions were reimposed for several months from November. The model suggested that between July and next March there would be 81,000 excess deaths in England and Wales, with a further 2,600 in Scotland and 1,900 in Northern Ireland.” – The Times

  • UK records 1,715 cases in largest weekend figure since mid-May – The Guardian
  • Police crack down on thousands attending illegal raves – The Times
  • Corbyn’s brother gets £10,000 fine for organising London rally – Daily Mail
  • Portugal may return to Coronavirus quarantine list – The Times

Coronavirus 4) Rollout of UK’s antibody tests awaiting regulatory approval

“The government has stalled the wider rollout of antibody tests, causing companies to voice frustration at being kept out of what was sold as an inclusive and “world-beating” diagnostics market. Once heralded by Boris Johnson as a “game-changer” in efforts to lift lockdown measures in the UK, the number of antibody tests being issued by the government has fallen to its lowest level since the beginning of the crisis, from over 40,000 a day in June to 5,000 a day over the past month.  Despite earlier claims that tens of thousands of antibody tests would be rolled out to care home residents and patients, and later millions to the wider public, antibody tests are currently still only being offered to frontline medical staff.” – FT

  • UK spending on Coronavirus consultants tops £100m – FT

Fight Tory MPs over planning reform, Johnson is urged

“Boris Johnson must “face down his party” over controversial planning reforms to build more homes, even if it means some element of sacrifice, a cabinet minister has said. The government is facing a backlash from Conservative MPs over the plans, which would lead to the construction of more than 300,000 homes a year. The number being built in London could treble to 93,532 a year. Tory MPs say the plans could destroy the character of their suburban constituencies by leading to the construction of large tower blocks to fulfil the targets. Mr Johnson is being urged by members of his top team to face down opposition from MPs and push ahead with the proposals.” – The Times

MPs will be made to take anti-racist training at work

“The House of Commons is piloting unconscious bias training for MPs and has set up a group to tackle racism in parliament after staff raised concerns about discrimination. Senior members of the Commons Executive Board, including John Benger, the clerk of the House, have expressed solidarity with staff from ethnic minority backgrounds and pledged to make improvements. Mr Benger is chairing a cross-parliamentary group established in response to the Black Lives Matter movement to help to tackle discrimination and reduce inequality in the Commons.” – The Times

  • Hundreds join march to protest against systemic racism in the UK – The Guardian

Patel “comes under fire” as deportations go to their lowest level ever

“Deportations have plummeted to their lowest level on record, putting Priti Patel under renewed pressure to toughen up the immigration laws. Figures show that the number of illegal immigrants, visa overstayers and foreign criminals leaving the UK fell by an astonishing 34 per cent last year. The figures were quietly released last week and could fall even further after it emerged Home Office lawyers are discreetly dropping challenges to dozens of asylum and immigration cases before they are even heard by judges. There are now fresh calls for the Home Secretary to clamp down on the record number of migrants making the treacherous trip across the Channel.” – Daily Mail

Johnson advisers split on TikTok’s move to London

“Downing Street is split over whether to formally encourage the Chinese owned social media app TikTok to move its headquarters to the UK. The Times has been told that Sir Edward Lister, one of the prime minister’s most senior aides, is keen to encourage the company to move to London. However, other advisers to Boris Johnson, including Munira Mirza, his policy chief, are said to want him to refrain from commenting. “Eddie wants to roll out the red carpet for TikTok and for Boris to say something, but others in Number 10 are worried about how it will look,” a government source said. “It’s very sensitive.” The video sharing platform was the most downloaded app globally in the first quarter of this year.” – The Times

New BBC chief warned to replace licence fee in funding battle

“The new BBC director-general will be told to come up with a replacement for the licence fee after decriminalisation of non-payment was described as a “done deal”. Tim Davie faces a three-pronged attack on the licence fee from the government when he takes up his job this week, senior sources said. Ministers are expected to announce within weeks that people who fail to pay the licence fee will face civil penalties rather than criminal prosecution from 2022. There are also moves to “level the playing field” by awarding broadcasting licences to commercial rivals. The media regulator Ofcom has already granted a licence to a new channel named GB News promising coverage “distinctly different from the out-of-touch incumbents”..” – Daily Telegraph

Government gives pupils sex advice on the roll of a dice

“Schools are being encouraged to teach children as young as 13 about intimate sexual acts using a dice game. The government has funded a tool kit written by the Proud Trust, an LGBT charity, which includes dice featuring words such as “anus”, “vulva”, “penis” and “hands and fingers”. Children are encouraged to throw the dice twice and talk about the sexual acts that can happen using the two body parts. The toolkits can be used by schools to help to meet statutory requirements to teach relationships and sex education (RSE) classes as part of reforms introduced for the coming academic year.” – The Times

Brexit chief fears being tied to EU by subsidy details

“Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator has privately voiced fears that the UK may be tied to European subsidies policy through the back door. Talks between David Frost and Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, this week will try to rescue the negotiations amid growing pessimism in European capitals. Mr Frost will tell Mr Barnier that the prime minister is ready to pull the plug on talks unless the EU drops a demand that Britain commit itself to a specific subsidy policy. After the EU dropped demands for Britain to be fully aligned on competition rules, policed by judges in Luxembourg, Mr Frost fears that any specifics will in effect tie Britain to EU rules.” – The Times

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