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COVID-19 News Bulletin 04/06/2020

Daily Press Conference Transport Secretary Grant Shapps gave today’s press conference. There has been a welcomed drop on the use of public transport. Considerably higher testing numbers, as we have seen over the course of this week and in the 24 hours to 4 June, 220,057 tests completed or posted out. Mr Shapps stated that as of Monday 15 June, face coverings will become mandatory on public transport in England, with exceptions for young children. adding that the government are going on what other countries are doing and that we need to ensure that every precaution is taken. Todays conference said that face coverings offer some, albeit it limited, protection. And that those on public transport who don’t comply can be stopped from travelling and passengers can be fined. Earlier today, Scotland First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said that her government were considering making the wearing of face coverings mandatory in enclosed public spaces in Scotland.

Further news from today press briefing is that the Cycle to Work tax break is being extended to apply to e-bikes. Travel companies have a duty to offer a refund for cancelled holidays if the customer does not want a voucher for a later booking. And business Secretary Alok Sharma is self-isolating and has been tested for coronavirus after falling ill yesterday.

Latest updates from us Its fair to say that many of us over the last few months have been looking at our finances, seeing where we can trim a few pounds each month and make savings. And I am all for that! With mortgage rates at historically low levels, is now a good time to make a purchase or review your current mortgage deal?

Covid-19 has certainly had a major impact on the property market, and on the back of Brexit, it has been a turbulent 6-months. We started the year with house prices rising on the back of a new government and a Brexit plan. By contrast, at the start of April the property market was brought to a virtual standstill with the government advising people not to move house and physical valuations unable to be completed by surveyors. However, the last few weeks have shown evidence of a bounce back.

Mortgage rates remain at historically low levels and there are very attractive long-term fixed rates available for both residential and Buy-to-Let properties. Perhaps now is a good time to make further investments on the back of potentially negotiating a discount on the purchase price due to the current market conditions.

It is also a chance for self-employed to reflect on their own financial situation. Many of our dentists with private contracts have seen a dip in income. From a lenders perspective they will look at April 2018 and April 2019 accounts when assessing affordability and for Buyto- Let purchases the rental income is the important factor. Most lenders don’t require April 2020 accounts until October 2020. So as long as the lender is confident your business will still be viable (which of course it will be!) you should have no issue obtaining a mortgage for either a residential or Buy-to-Let purchase.

money4dentists can provide you access to expert advice and help plan a personal strategy for you. We are offering an initial review without charge so please get in touch to discuss how we could help you save money and provide financial security for your future.

In anticipation of practices being able to open on Monday, some of our clients have informed us of this PPE provider who have stock available and ready for immediate dispatch, so I wanted to include this in tonight’s bulletin. As ever, do feedback your experience.

You may be aware from the Chancellor’s speech last Friday that the Furlough scheme is changing from 1st July 2020. There is more specific information on this further into tonight’s bulletin. But I wanted to ensure you were aware of the key point that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June.

From 1st July, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30 June. This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June in order for the current 3-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June.

I wanted to highlight this to you as you plan the reopening of your business and give consideration to your staffing requirements over the coming months.

For further information please refer to the following link;

The Prime Minister has updated the guidance and information on returning school children to education and has been updated this afternoon with this information. If you would like to read about the decision to return and the governments basis of the evidence and the future move forward with wider opening of education and childcare, you can click on the below for the latest. 434c-897b-d91d62d37920&utm_medium= email&utm_campaign=govuk notifications&utm_content=immediate

Update on the markets

A flat day on the global markets.

And for those with an interest in monitoring the crypto market;

Share markets have had a positive week overall, with most assets rising, despite increasing political tensions between the US and China over Beijing’s imposition of security laws in Hong Kong. There were widespread demonstrations in the city and markets were cautious ahead of President Trump’s speech on Friday in which he would outline his response. There was however a sigh of relief when Trump’s address lacked any threat of direct action against China or any intention to pull out of the first phase of the trade deal.

As a result, US markets closed effectively flat at the end of last week and UK and global markets railed on Monday, having lost ground ahead of his speech at the end of last week.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed on Friday that the furlough scheme will be gradually unwound. Starting from August. Amended limits Are;

So, in summary, this means that from August, employers will have to pay employer national insurance and pension contributions for furloughed staff. In September, employers will have to pay 10% of wages, rising to 20% in October. However, companies with furloughed staff will be able to bring staff back on a part-time basis from 1 July, a month ahead of what was first proposed, giving companies some flexibility.

The general sense within the market seems to be that the worst of the virus is over and that the re-opening of the economy will proceed.

Should you have any concerns or questions, we are here for our clients and will happily arrange a telephone or video call appointment to provide guidance, please either call our practice mobile 07543 368 478 or email to arrange your appointment.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks’ update and if you need to discuss anything in todays bulletin, do get in contact.

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