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KEYS, REEL RETRACTABLE HOLDER, BADGE ID CARABINER RRT/LUNGS NURSE, RESEARCH RN, Unisex ID & Document Holders

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25 october 2021: nao highlights 48% rise in criminal courts’ backlog amid pandemic; uk now in global top three issuers of green bonds; uk joins terms agreement talks on new international tax rules.

a national audit office review has revealed a 48% increase in the crown courts’ backlog of cases between 31 march 2020 and 30 june 2021, and a 308% rise in the number of cases waiting more than a year. the figures highlight the impact of the pandemic on criminal courts. her majesty’s courts & tribunals service spent £63m on pandemic response and recovery in the criminal courts, in addition to that spent on expected operational activities. the estimated system-wide costs of delivering a long-term criminal justice action plan for 2022-23 and 2023-24 are £2.2bn. 

the second sale of the uk’s green gilt has raised £6bn to help fund green projects across the country. the order book was 12 times oversubscribed and combined with the first sale last month – the largest green issuance by any country – totals £16bn. the uk is now one of the top three biggest national issuers of green bonds in the world, the treasury announced. it said the money will support projects such as zero-emissions buses, offshore wind and schemes to decarbonise homes and buildings.

the uk will contribute to terms of agreement for transitioning from the existing digital services taxes to a new multilateral tax regime. austria, france, italy, spain and the us also agreed to the terms discussion, which aims to ensure participants implement the oecd/g20 inclusive framework’s regime in a way that supports their national economies and public finances. moving to the new regime will allow for the termination of trade measures adopted in response to digital services taxes. the six countries have therefore committed to continuing discussions on processes through constructive dialogue.

KEYS, REEL RETRACTABLE HOLDER, BADGE ID CARABINER RRT/LUNGS NURSE, RESEARCH RN, Unisex ID & Document Holders

scottish power ceo keith anderson is calling for the energy price cap to be abolished. he said the recent energy crisis has exposed flaws in the way the market is structured and there are serious failures on the part of regulator ofgem. "we estimate the total cost to the industry of between £4bn and £5bn…the risk is that you will end up going back to the big five or the big six,” he added. anderson instead proposes a tariff for people in fuel poverty, the bbc reported

the uk has agreed a free trade deal with new zealand which it says will benefit consumers and businesses. the deal is expected to cut costs for exporters and open up new zealand's job market to uk professionals. tariffs will be removed on uk goods including clothing, ships and bulldozers, and on new zealand goods including wine, honey and kiwi fruits. professionals such as lawyers and architects will be able to work in new zealand more easily, the government said.

a record high of more than £6.5bn was invested by venture capital firms in uk scaleups over the third quarter. this takes the total to £20bn so far this year, kpmg’s venture pulse report revealed. while fintech was the hottest area of investment in the uk, a diversity of other companies also attracted fresh funding. more than £290m was invested at seed level, a decline from the first half of the year and significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels . however, corporate venture capital investment in uk innovators reached a new high of £2.8bn, up 9% from the previous quarter.

21 october 2021: rise in cost of living slows in september; fca launches £11m investsmart campaign; pm and bill gates £400m partnership to boost green investment.

the increase in the cost of living dipped to 3.1% in the year to september, down from 3.2% in august, as the economy continued to reopen. the consumer prices index found higher prices for transport were the biggest contributor to price rises, with the price for fuel being the highest recorded since september 2013. the latest figure remains far above the bank of england's target of 2%, the bbc reported

the financial conduct authority (fca) has launched a £11m five-year investsmart campaign targeting inexperienced investors. it asks investors to consider their appetite for risk and ignore hype, city a.m reported. the campaign follows an fca survey which found 75% of young investors in high-risk products such as cryptocurrencies are driven by competition with friends and family, 68% liken it to gambling and 58% purchase due to hype on social media and in the news. 

prime minister boris johnson and bill gates have formed a £400m partnership to develop new climate and clean energy technologies needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. the partnership between breakthrough energy catalyst (bec) and the uk government will mobilise £200m of uk private sector funding over 10 years as part of the government’s £1bn net zero innovation portfolio. investors and businesses partnered with the bec will now match that investment. it will focus on four key green technology areas: green hydrogen, long term energy storage, sustainable aviation fuels and direct air capture. 

20 october 2021: investors pledge £9.7bn at uk global investment summit; charities defrauded almost £8.6m in one year; households to get £5000 to replace boilers; cma clears ways for ihs markit and s&p global merger.

the prime minister has announced that £9.7bn of new foreign investment has been secured at the uk global investment summit, which will create an estimated 30,000 jobs. the package of 18 deals supports growth in green sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture and storage. the announcement coincides with the department for international trade’s launch of investment atlas, an online platform helping international investors identify and execute high priority investment opportunities in the uk. 

the fraud advisory panel and charity commission are warning leaders to “take action on fraud and cybercrime”, after charities reported almost £8.6m of lost funds in the last financial year. action fraud found 1,059 separate incidents of fraud were reported from april 2020 to march 2021. around 65% of charities feel the pandemic increases their risk due to more remote working and virtual sign-off processes. all trustees are being encouraged to sign up to the fraud pledge, the regulator reported

homeowners in england and wales will be offered subsidies of £5,000 from next april to help them to replace old gas boilers with low-carbon heat pumps. the government is allocating £450m for the subsidies over three years, covering a maximum of 90,000 pumps. the grants are part of a £3.9bn plan to cut carbon emissions from heating buildings, aiming for no new gas boilers to be sold after 2035. the funding also aims to make social housing and public buildings more energy-efficient, the bbc reported.

the competition and markets authority (cma) has announced that the $44bn tie up between ihs markit and s&p global could be allowed to go ahead. for this to happen they must address concerns surrounding their significant combined presence, city a.m reported. the cma warned that the firms “compete closely with one another and would face only limited competition after the merger”. 

19 october 2021: boe says it will act on inflation; treasury presses ahead with online sales tax; ford to invest £230m in uk electric vehicle plant.

the bank of england "will have to act" over rising inflation, governor andrew bailey has warned, suggesting that uk interest rates may rise soon. he warned that surging energy prices will push inflation higher for longer than previously thought. while there is no indication of when the bank will increase rates from the current record low of 0.1%, it has said uk inflation is set to exceed 4% before falling back as the economy recovers from covid-19. new figures are due out on wednesday, the bbc reported

the treasury has reportedly sped up work on a new online sales tax. the ‘amazon tax’ will help bricks-and-mortar high street stores after the expected overhaul of the business rates system was delayed. officials are reportedly looking at what goods and services would be covered by a potential levy, with an official announcement likely held off until spring, according to city a.m. 

us carmaker ford will invest £230m in upgrading a merseyside transmission factory to make electric vehicle parts. the move will help maintain about 500 jobs at the plant and ford will reportedly receive uk government support worth about £30m. the company said in february that all the cars it sells in europe will be electric by 2030, the guardian reported. 

18 october 2021: ftse 100 tops pre-pandemic high on commodity rally; shoppers start to use new £100 contactless payment limit; nao launches recommendations tracker to promote parliamentary spending scrutiny.

rising commodity prices boosted industrial stocks on london markets, taking the capital’s premier ftse 100 index to its highest level since before march 2020. the blue-chip index reached to 7,242.73 points in early trading, reported city a.m. the ftse 100 is up over 10% in the year to date, with gains driven by central banks stimulating the global economy at historic levels.

the spending limit on a contactless card transaction has now increased to £100, but not every shop will take payments at the new level. the change from the previous £45 limit has been planned to make purchases such as grocery shopping more convenient. retailers have said it could take some months before all shoppers can spend up to £100, as payment terminals need to be updated. there have been warnings that the rise could lead to increased thefts, while one bank boss questioned whether shoppers want a higher limit, reported the bbc.

the national audit office has launched an interactive tool that brings together recommendations it has published since april 2019. it aims to increase transparency of the outcomes of nao recommendations, and promote scrutiny and parliamentary accountability for government spending. for each recommendation published between 1 april 2019 and 31 march 2021, the tracker provides information on whether government has accepted the recommendation, and if so, the progress it has made with implementing the actions required. for recommendations published after 1 april 2021, the tracker includes descriptive data but no information yet on their acceptance or implementation. the tracker will be updated periodically with new recommendations and information.

job adverts have rocketed by over 600,000 since late august to a new record high, according to the latest figures released, reported sky news. the high number of vacancies in the uk suggests that the labour market has not fully recovered from the worst of the covid-19 pandemic. there were a record 2.29 million active job adverts in the uk in the week to 10 october. there were also around 235,000 new job postings, which was the second highest weekly figure since data collection began, according to the recruitment and employment confederation’s latest jobs recovery tracker.

15 october 2021: g7 finance ministers agree to work together to address global supply chain pressures; britain’s homes could be worth £9.2tn on open market, report shows; tfl to reopen night tube on central and victoria lines

the chancellor has welcomed an agreement from g7 finance ministers to work together to monitor supply chain pressures as the global economy rebounds from the pandemic, according to hm treasury. during a meeting hosted by chancellor rishi sunak in washington dc, g7 finance ministers and central bank governors have agreed to work together to monitor global supply chain pressures. sunak also announced that the uk will commit over £1bn worth of special drawing rights to support vulnerable countries, and gives its backing to a new imf trust to help developing countries support green and sustainable economies.

britain’s homes could be worth up to £9.2tn on the open market, it has been claimed – four times the value of the uk economy, and £550bn more than this time last year, reported the guardian. house prices have rocketed since the restrictions on home-buying began to be eased in spring 2020, powered both by a stamp duty holiday and a desire for bigger homes. historically low mortgage rates have also lifted prices. the property website zoopla said the recent boom had seen britain’s housing stock climb in value by 20%, or £1.6tn, since 2016.

the mayor of london, sadiq khan, has announced that the night tube will resume next month on the network’s two largest lines. from november, the 24-hour weekend london underground service will return on the central and victoria lines, after being postponed at the beginning of the pandemic. over past weeks there has been a surge in complaints that the lack of a night tube, and a reduction in the number of uber drivers, was making london less safe for women, reported city a.m.

14 october 2021: restaurants, bars and festivals helped economy pick up in august after rules eased; £2bn loss in 15 mins: thg in the dark over what caused share price drop of 35 per cent; amazon could owe drivers £140m in rights claim, says uk law firm.

uk economic growth picked up in august as bars, restaurants and festivals benefited from the first full month without covid restrictions in england, official figures show. the office for national statistics found that gross domestic product (gdp) increased by 0.4% month-on-month, slightly below experts' average forecast of 0.5% growth. the report also found that july gdp - initially estimated to have shown a 0.1% increase - now believed to have seen a 0.1% decline, sky news reported.

online retailer thg - formerly known as the hut group - said today (wednesday) it did not know what caused its share price to nosedive by 35 per cent during a shareholder meeting yesterday afternoon, wiping £2bn off its value. the firm said in a statement that they had not revealed any new information that might have caused such a major swing in the company’s share price. the event had been called to calm the nerves of shareholders but had the opposite effect, city a.m reported.

amazon could owe compensation totalling £140m to thousands of drivers delivering its parcels, according to a law firm leigh day. the firm believes that at least 3,000 drivers - known as “delivery service partners” - are affected and could be entitled to an average of £10,500 in compensation for each year they have delivered for the online retail giant, and has launched a group claim on their behalf, the guardian reported.

brexit: eu to offer fewer northern ireland border checks on british goods, the bbc reported. the uk is keen to change the deal struck as part of post-brexit arrangements so goods can circulate more freely between great britain and northern ireland. under the current rules, there are too many barriers to the sale of chilled meats and other products, the uk said. proposals from the eu are described as far-reaching and are likely to see fewer checks on goods and medicines.

13 october 2021: job vacancy numbers hit record high; energy bills for british businesses could double this winter; shipping container dwell time soars; £10,900 a year needed for retirement. 

the number of job vacancies hit a record high of 1.1 million in the three months to september, as the post-pandemic labour market continues to recover. sky news reports that the number of vacancies increased by 318,000, with all industry sectors above or equal to the levels seen between january to march last year, before the uk's first coronavirus lockdown. 

british businesses could see their energy costs rise by 125% this winter, as they are not included in ofgem’s price cap which limits household bills. city a.m. writes that while the average household in the uk benefits from an energy price cap that is currently set at £1,277 per year, businesses are not included and face being rolled onto out-of-contract rates by energy suppliers aiming to cover the losses from spiralling wholesale energy prices.

the average shipping container which arrives at felixstowe, britain's biggest container port, is spending more than nine days at the port before it is collected. this is double the average 'dwell time' for import containers in 2020, according to itv news.

a single person will need post-tax annual income of £10,900 for a minimum standard of living in retirement, academics have estimated. bbc news writes that this spending budget increases to £16,700 for a couple, calculations from the pensions and lifetime savings association suggest.

12 october 2021: industry calls for energy price cap; asos chief departs as profits plunge; night-time economy loses 390,000 jobs; hammond joins crypto startup.

industries hit by soaring energy costs have made another appeal to the government for action, as factories in sectors such as ceramics, paper and steel manufacturing consider stopping production to cut costs. the bbc reports that talks between ministers and industry representatives will continue, with firms calling for a cap to protect them from rising prices.

british online fashion retailer asos has parted ways with ceo nick beighton as it warned supply chain pressures and consumers returning to pre-pandemic behaviour could reduce 2022 profit by more than 40%. reuters writes that shares in asos, which sells fast-fashion aimed at generation z, were down 12.2% on monday, extending a decline this year to 49%.

research has estimated 393,000 jobs have been lost across the night-time economy due to covid-19, including 86,000 in the “night-time cultural economy”, which includes nightclubs and theatres. the guardian covers the study from the night time industries association, which called on the chancellor to extend the reduced 12.5% vat rate for hospitality businesses until 2024 to help the sector recover.

former chancellor philip hammond, has joined cryptocurrency startup copper as an adviser, writes city a.m. founded in 2018, copper is a custodian and trading platform which caters to over 400 institutional clients, including banks. 

11 october 2021: starter salaries rise at fastest rate in 24 years; deloitte investigated for essar oil audits; us senate votes to extend debt limit.

starting salaries and temporary staff wages have risen at the sharpest rate for 24 years. a survey of 400 recruitment firms by kpmg and the recruitment & employment confederation found that an increase in demand for staff is being fuelled by rising economic activity. meanwhile there are fewer candidates for jobs, driving big increases in starting pay, the bbc reported. there is especially strong demand in sectors such as accounting, law, it, hotels and catering. accountancy recruiter robert walters group said it was “seeing wage inflation of 20% upwards... we've had cases of 100% so it's significant."

deloitte is being investigated for its audits of essar oil uk. the inquiry began in august. the big four firm stopped providing auditing services for the oil company in october 2020, blaming governance concerns in relation to its audit strategy. however, deloitte had cleared its accounts, spanning 18 months, in july 2020 with no concerns mentioned. the investigation examines whether deloitte should have flagged its concerns earlier, city a.m reported

the us senate has voted to temporarily raise the nation's debt limit by $480bn (£352bn), which will cover the us until early december. the breakthrough came less than two weeks before the country would become unable to borrow money or pay off loans for the first time ever – dodging the start of a recession. the bill now has to be approved by the house of representatives and will then be sent to president joe biden to be signed into law, the bbc reported

8 october 2021: council tax could rise by £220; hmrc crackdown on holiday let tax avoiders expected; only eight ftse 100 ceos are women.

council tax in england could rise by as much as £220 per year within three years. this is to keep local services running and help pay for social care reforms, the institute for fiscal studies think tank says. under current government spending plans, council tax bills will need to rise by at least 3.6% a year to keep services running at pre-pandemic levels – meaning bills will have to rise £160 by 2024-25. however, extra cost pressures that eat into central government grants could push council tax up by 5% a year, or £220 by 2024-25, the bbc reported.

hmrc is expected to crackdown on tax avoidance by owners of uk holiday lets following britain’s record staycation boom over the last two years, uhy hacker young accountants warn.

. it has the power to request information from and review the databases of holiday booking sites “for the purpose of checking the taxpayer’s tax position”. holiday let prices have seen increases of 35% from last year in some tourism hotspots, while some sites have seen bookings increase by 300%. ahead of the 31 january 2022 deadline, owners will be filing self-assessment tax returns covering the first year of the covid-staycation boom, city a.m reported.

britain’s top businesses have progressed on gender targets but still have too few women in senior leadership positions. ey-sponsored research by the cranfield school of management has found the proportion of women on ftse 100 boards is at an all-time high, but there is not enough female chairs, ceos and cfos. just eight of the ceos in the top 100 uk companies are women, though this is the highest figure for the female ftse board report since it was first published in 1999, the guardian reported

7 october 2021: nz rates raised for first time since 2014; frc investigates mazar’s french connection audit; global deal on 15% minimum tax rate for multinationals nears.

new zealand's central bank has raised interest rates for the first time in seven years as it tries to rein in property prices and inflation. the reserve bank of new zealand increased its cash rate by 0.25% to 0.5%. it plans to remove more stimulus measures as the economy continues to recover. economists had expected the hike last month but the bank held off due to an outbreak of the covid-19 delta variant. new zealand is one of the first developed economies to reverse rate cuts put in place during the pandemic, the bbc reported

the financial reporting council (frc) has launched an investigation into retailer french connection’s audit by mazars for the year ending 31 january 2020. it comes after french connection on monday agreed a £29m takeover by one its second-biggest shareholder apinder singh ghura. the decision to investigate the audit was made at a meeting of the frc’s conduct committee, with the case being handled by its enforcement division.

almost 140 countries, representing more than 90% of the world economy, are in the final stages of talks for a global deal on the taxation of multinationals. an agreement on a minimum 15% rate of corporation tax is set to be announced as part of a landmark statement at the oecd in paris on friday. the deal is expected to also include other measures designed to stop multinationals shifting profits into tax havens, the guardian reported

6 october 2021: investors urged to ditch china stocks; tv producers warn against channel 4 sale; frc investigates crowe uk’s akazoo audits.

city insider baroness helena morrissey has called on investors to ditch their stakes in chinese companies due to accusations of human rights abuses in the country. she also criticised hsbc and the city of london corporation for their stance on china. last year hsbc, alongside standard chartered, backed china’s new security laws for hong kong and froze the accounts of pro-democracy activists in hong kong. meanwhile, policy chair of the city of london corporation catherine mcguinness failed to publicly condemn the chinese government for human rights abuses against uighur muslims, city a.m reported.

forty-four small tv and film production companies are warning the government’s proposed privatisation of channel 4 could put them out of business. channel 4 is state-owned but commercially funded through tv ad revenue and is not required to turn a profit. selling it would be the antithesis of the government’s pledge to “level up” businesses and communities across the country and “would cost jobs, reduce investment, and place companies at risk in the nations and regions” the group said in a full-page daily telegraph ad. the ad was timed to hit readers during the conservative party conference in manchester, the guardian reported

the financial reporting council (frc) has launched an investigation into accountancy firm crowe uk’s audits of akazoo’s financial statements. it is examining the music streaming company’s statement audits for the years ended 31 december 2016, 2017 and 2018. the frc says it will be conducted by its enforcement division under the audit enforcement procedure.

5 october 2021: government urges uk workforce investment amid temporary visa scheme; new iod chief economist slams nic hike; more than 11.9 million financial documents leaked.

under a new scheme, temporary visas will immediately be issued to 300 overseas fuel drivers in the uk so they can work until the end of march. additionally, some 4,700 visas intended for foreign food haulage drivers will be extended by two months to the end of february. however, the government warns these visas are not a long-term solution and is calling on firms to invest in a uk workforce, the bbc reported

the institute of directors’ (iod’s) new chief economist kitty ussher has slammed the tories’ decision to hike national insurance by 1.25%, city a.m reported. she is urging the government to ease the tax burden on business and households at the upcoming budget. “the government went too far and overshot what they needed to do in march’s budget…i’m not convinced [it] needed to raise employers’ nics as tax receipts have actually come in much stronger than expected,” ussher said.

a leak of more than 11.9 million financial records and documents has occurred. the documents detail undisclosed stores of wealth held by world leaders, including king abdullah of jordan, czech prime minister andrej babis and associates of russian president vladimir putin, reuters reported. they have been published by major news organisations under the international consortium of investigative journalists and are allegedly linked to around 35 current and former national leaders and more than 330 politicians and public officials in 91 countries and territories. 

4 october 2021: congress votes to keep funding us government; financial services director sentenced for offering fake jobs; uk business confidence collapses.

us president joe biden has signed into law a temporary measure to keep the government funded until early december and avoid yet another federal shutdown. congress narrowly passed the bill hours before funding lapsed, which would have forced federal museums, national parks and safety programmes to close. the bill also includes money for hurricane relief and afghan refugees. a separate vote on biden's $1tn (£750bn) infrastructure bill was postponed, the bbc reported

an accountancy firm and the director of a london-based company recruiting financial services trainees have been convicted of fraudulent trading. the director has been banned for five years and received a suspended 18 month jail sentence for advertising fake jobs where applicants paid for training before being accepted. tshovo accountancy services limited was convicted of further fraudulent trading offences and will be sentenced later this year, city a.m reported

business confidence in the uk has fallen from +22 points to –1 point during september. the month has seen supply bottlenecks, rising energy prices, fuel shortages and looming nic and tax increases combine to stifle growth, the guardian reported. the institute of directors said its latest economic confidence index findings add to fears that britain is on course for a dose of 1970s-style stagflation. “a higher proportion of our members expect costs to rise in the next year than expect revenues to rise,” it said. 

1 october 2021: hmrc updates dividend payment guidance; new £500m fund to help poorest households; nicolas sarkozy guilty of illegal campaign financing; australia to expand double tax treaty.

hmrc has updated its tax and national insurance guidance regarding dividends payments to former employees of an insolvent entity. the updates clarify when this needs to be recorded, such as holiday and redundancy pay, arrears of pay arising before the date of insolvency, and pay in lieu of notice claims. hmrc has also added a q&a section and explained how to set up a paye scheme. 

the government has announced £500m of new grants to help families struggling with the cost of living. the cash will be made available in october when local councils in england will distribute small grants to support millions of households. scotland, wales and northern ireland will receive up to £79m, the bbc reported. the move comes as uk energy and fuel bills increase, the furlough scheme ends – likely prompting another wave of redundancies – and the £20 increase to universal credit removes support provided during covid-19.

former french president nicolas sarkozy has been found guilty of illegal campaign financing over his failed 2012 re-election bid. prosecutors said his team spent nearly double the €22.5m (£19.4m) allowed under electoral law on extravagant campaign rallies and hired a friendly public relations agency to hide the cost. the sentence has not been announced and sarkozy has denied wrongdoing, reuters reported

australia’s double tax treaty network is set for expansion, with plans to enter into 10 new or updated double tax treaties by the end of 2023. the first phase will include a revised indian–australian treaty as well as new treaties with luxembourg and iceland, while more are being proposed with greece, portugal and slovenia. the expansion aims to stimulate the country’s economic integration through foreign investment and trade, the international tax review reported.

30 september 2021: call to stop 300 uk financiers providing £40bn in deforestation funds; fca calls social media a “gateway” for scammers; frc lab to conduct esg data use research

around 300 city and uk-based financiers are providing £40bn in funding to companies that threaten rainforests. nature charity wwf is calling on the government to stop uk banks and other financiers from funding deforestation in countries such as brazil and indonesia, city a.m reported. the funding is provided through both investments and loans, benefiting companies involved in the production of beef, palm oil, soy, cocoa, timber, paper and rubber - all of which contribute to the destruction of the planet’s most diverse natural habitats.

the financial conduct authority is threatening action against social media platforms that do not crack down on financial scams. sites such as facebook and instagram serve as a “gateway” for fraudsters, the city watchdog said. it is “putting them on notice that we expect them to be involved in this process of protecting the community,” otherwise it will “have to take action”. the call comes amid a spike in online fraud which the home office says makes up about 86% of all fraud in the uk, the guardian reported

the financial reporting lab is calling for participants for a new project looking at how companies produce esg data. the project is part of wider research into the production, distribution and consumption of esg data. companies, service and systems providers, investors and other interested parties are invited to contribute. it is expected to cover what esg data companies collect; the methodologies used to measure esg data; the systems used to collect and produce the data; how they get comfort on the accuracy of the data; and how they transform the data into useful external disclosure. the lab says it is particularly interested to learn what data companies collect for internal decision-making rather than solely for external disclosure.

29 september 2021: petrol prices hit eight-year high; uk enters first talks for cptpp trade bloc; afghanistan bank sector nears collapse.

petrol prices have hit an eight-year high due to a rise in wholesale fuel costs. the average price of a litre of petrol in the uk increased from 135.87p on friday to 136.59p on sunday, the highest level since september 2013. motoring organisation the rac warned that prices could rise further as retailers pass on the cost of rising wholesale prices. the government has also put the army on standby to help ease fuel supply problems caused by a shortage of lorry drivers to make deliveries, the bbc reported

the uk has entered its first round of negotiations with the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-pacific partnership (cptpp). its 11 member states have a combined gdp of £9tn. joining offers the uk access to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, including japan, australia, canada and chile – boosting its economic prospects in the process. the government’s department for international trade said global trade is moving away from europe and towards the asia-pacific and fast-growing markets in cptpp, city a.m reported. 

the islamic bank of afghanistan’s ceo has warned the country’s banking system is near to collapse. syed moosa kaleem al-falahi said “only withdrawals are happening, most of the banks are not functioning, and not providing full services.” inflation is rising in the country while its currency is falling. afghanistan's economy relies on about 40% of its gdp to come from international aid. however, it is having to look for new funding, namely from china, after the west froze international funds. this included assets it could have accessed with the world bank and international monetary fund, the bbc reported


tn (£750bn) infrastructure bill was postponed, the bbc reported

an accountancy firm and the director of a london-based company recruiting financial services trainees have been convicted of fraudulent trading. the director has been banned for five years and received a suspended 18 month jail sentence for advertising fake jobs where applicants paid for training before being accepted. tshovo accountancy services limited was convicted of further fraudulent trading offences and will be sentenced later this year, city a.m reported

business confidence in the uk has fallen from +22 points to –1 point during september. the month has seen supply bottlenecks, rising energy prices, fuel shortages and looming nic and tax increases combine to stifle growth, the guardian reported. the institute of directors said its latest economic confidence index findings add to fears that britain is on course for a dose of 1970s-style stagflation. “a higher proportion of our members expect costs to rise in the next year than expect revenues to rise,” it said. 

1 october 2021: hmrc updates dividend payment guidance; new £500m fund to help poorest households; nicolas sarkozy guilty of illegal campaign financing; australia to expand double tax treaty.

hmrc has updated its tax and national insurance guidance regarding dividends payments to former employees of an insolvent entity. the updates clarify when this needs to be recorded, such as holiday and redundancy pay, arrears of pay arising before the date of insolvency, and pay in lieu of notice claims. hmrc has also added a q&a section and explained how to set up a paye scheme. 

the government has announced £500m of new grants to help families struggling with the cost of living. the cash will be made available in october when local councils in england will distribute small grants to support millions of households. scotland, wales and northern ireland will receive up to £79m, the bbc reported. the move comes as uk energy and fuel bills increase, the furlough scheme ends – likely prompting another wave of redundancies – and the £20 increase to universal credit removes support provided during covid-19.

former french president nicolas sarkozy has been found guilty of illegal campaign financing over his failed 2012 re-election bid. prosecutors said his team spent nearly double the €22.5m (£19.4m) allowed under electoral law on extravagant campaign rallies and hired a friendly public relations agency to hide the cost. the sentence has not been announced and sarkozy has denied wrongdoing, reuters reported

australia’s double tax treaty network is set for expansion, with plans to enter into 10 new or updated double tax treaties by the end of 2023. the first phase will include a revised indian–australian treaty as well as new treaties with luxembourg and iceland, while more are being proposed with greece, portugal and slovenia. the expansion aims to stimulate the country’s economic integration through foreign investment and trade, the international tax review reported.

30 september 2021: call to stop 300 uk financiers providing £40bn in deforestation funds; fca calls social media a “gateway” for scammers; frc lab to conduct esg data use research

around 300 city and uk-based financiers are providing £40bn in funding to companies that threaten rainforests. nature charity wwf is calling on the government to stop uk banks and other financiers from funding deforestation in countries such as brazil and indonesia, city a.m reported. the funding is provided through both investments and loans, benefiting companies involved in the production of beef, palm oil, soy, cocoa, timber, paper and rubber - all of which contribute to the destruction of the planet’s most diverse natural habitats.

the financial conduct authority is threatening action against social media platforms that do not crack down on financial scams. sites such as facebook and instagram serve as a “gateway” for fraudsters, the city watchdog said. it is “putting them on notice that we expect them to be involved in this process of protecting the community,” otherwise it will “have to take action”. the call comes amid a spike in online fraud which the home office says makes up about 86% of all fraud in the uk, the guardian reported

the financial reporting lab is calling for participants for a new project looking at how companies produce esg data. the project is part of wider research into the production, distribution and consumption of esg data. companies, service and systems providers, investors and other interested parties are invited to contribute. it is expected to cover what esg data companies collect; the methodologies used to measure esg data; the systems used to collect and produce the data; how they get comfort on the accuracy of the data; and how they transform the data into useful external disclosure. the lab says it is particularly interested to learn what data companies collect for internal decision-making rather than solely for external disclosure.

29 september 2021: petrol prices hit eight-year high; uk enters first talks for cptpp trade bloc; afghanistan bank sector nears collapse.

petrol prices have hit an eight-year high due to a rise in wholesale fuel costs. the average price of a litre of petrol in the uk increased from 135.87p on friday to 136.59p on sunday, the highest level since september 2013. motoring organisation the rac warned that prices could rise further as retailers pass on the cost of rising wholesale prices. the government has also put the army on standby to help ease fuel supply problems caused by a shortage of lorry drivers to make deliveries, the bbc reported

the uk has entered its first round of negotiations with the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-pacific partnership (cptpp). its 11 member states have a combined gdp of £9tn. joining offers the uk access to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, including japan, australia, canada and chile – boosting its economic prospects in the process. the government’s department for international trade said global trade is moving away from europe and towards the asia-pacific and fast-growing markets in cptpp, city a.m reported. 

the islamic bank of afghanistan’s ceo has warned the country’s banking system is near to collapse. syed moosa kaleem al-falahi said “only withdrawals are happening, most of the banks are not functioning, and not providing full services.” inflation is rising in the country while its currency is falling. afghanistan's economy relies on about 40% of its gdp to come from international aid. however, it is having to look for new funding, namely from china, after the west froze international funds. this included assets it could have accessed with the world bank and international monetary fund, the bbc reported


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