Birmingham Mail : 2020-09-25

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12 @birmingham_live BIRMINGHAM MAIL FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 National Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a virtual news conference in Downing Street after he presented his package of measures to help workers to MPs in the House of Commons MINUTE BRIEFING Matt Hancock has not ruled out the prospect of students being asked to stay on campus over Christmas ‘Xmas on campus’ HEALTH SECRETARY Matt Hancock has said he is not ruling out the prospect of asking students to stay on campus over Christmas, amid coronaviru­s clusters in university halls. In an interview on Times Radio, Mr Hancock was asked whether students would be encouraged to stay at university over Christmas. He said: “We don’t rule out the suggestion you just made but I don’t want to have to say that. It is some time off.” Chancellor reveals job support plans Flights cost £246k THE travel costs for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s highprofil­e family tour to southern Africa cost the taxpayer nearly £246,000, new accounts show. Harry and Meghan took their then fourmonth-old baby son Archie Mountbatte­nWindsor to South Africa in September last year on his first royal overseas trip, with the duke also travelling solo to Angola, Malawi and Botswana. claim the Job Retention Bonus, which is a one-off payment from the Treasury of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the furlough scheme, and who remains continuous­ly employed through to January 31, 2021. Mr Sunak said: “I have been developing plans to protect jobs and the economy over the winter period. “Plans that seek to strike the finelyjudg­ed balance between managing the virus and protecting the jobs and livelihood­s of millions.” He said “there are reasons to be cautiously optimistic” because we now know far more about the virus. And he said there had been three consecutiv­e months of economic growth, while millions of people have moved off furlough and back to work. Mr Sunak said the Government will provide similar support for the self-employed. He told the Commons: “I am extending the existing self-employed grant on similar terms and conditions as the new Jobs Support Scheme.” instead of making them redundant, while ensuring employees still have a reasonable income. Mr Sunak said the radical measures were needed because the coronaviru­s crisis – and the damage it causes to the economy – was expected to last at least another six months. Mr Sunak told the House of Commons: “It is now clear for at least the next six months the virus and restrictio­ns are going to be a fact of our lives. “Our economy is now likely to undergo a more permanent adjustment.” He said there would be no u-turn on the decision to end the furlough scheme. But the Government would help businesses employ people. All small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible for the scheme, and larger businesses will be eligible if their turnover has fallen. It will last for six months, starting in November. Employees do not need to have been placed on furlough to be eligible. But if they were, firms will also be able to By JONATHAN WALKER Boris denies charges Political Editor THE Government is to subsidise the wages of millions of workers for six months in an attempt to avoid mass unemployme­nt. Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the plans in an announceme­nt to the House of Commons. He said: “I am announcing today the new Jobs Support Scheme. The Government will directly support the wages of people in work.” The aim is to help firms that have seen their incomes plummet due to Covid-19 and the ongoing restrictio­ns, and do not have enough work for their staff. Wages will be subsidised for staff who are working at least a third of their normal hours. Employers will be expected to pay the salaries for the hours that are worked, and also to make a contributi­on towards the subsidy. The Chancellor hopes this will allow firms to shift workers onto part-time hours TENNIS champion Boris Becker has denied a string of criminal charges over his bankruptcy as he was told he could face seven years in jail. The 52-year-old German former tennis star, who was declared bankrupt in 2017, is accused of not complying with obligation­s to disclose informatio­n. Becker, who appeared at Westminste­r Magistrate­s’ Court, is being prosecuted by the Insolvency Service. He was bailed to next appear at Southwark Crown Court for a preliminar­y hearing on October 22. Jason gets skates on JASON DONOVAN has been announced as the fifth celebrity contestant to join Dancing On Ice. The Australian actor, left, joins soap actress Faye Brookes, Denise Van Outen, Emmerdale star Joe-Warren Plant and Myleene Klass in the line-up. Instagram debut Sunak defends Eat Out scheme amid virus increase SIR David Attenborou­gh has joined Instagram, using his debut post to warn “saving our planet is now a communicat­ions challenge”. The veteran broadcaste­r, 94, shared a video message in which he explained his reasons for joining the social media platform. Sir David will share video messages explaining “what the problems are and how we can deal with them”. He added: “Join me, or as we used to say in those early days of radio, stay tuned.” RISHI SUNAK has defended his Eat Out To Help Out scheme from suggestion­s it could have contribute­d to the increase in the spread of coronaviru­s. The Chancellor said it would be “simplistic” to connect any economy by encouragin­g consumers to dine out after months of being told to stay indoors. But some scientists have questioned whether it could have contribute­d to the surge in the virus’s spread as the public are again told to work from home if they can. Mr Sunak did not directly answer whether the Government’s scientific advisers had modelled what the impact of his scheme could be on the spread of the disease. one thing to the rise in cases, which has prompted new restrictio­ns aimed at preventing a second national lockdown. More than 100 million cut-price meals were eaten across the UK under the programme to boost the PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­r.com +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW

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