FOB Chief Executive’s Weekly News for 13th July 2020

Dear All,

Detailed below is Weekly News and Covid 19 Update for 13th July.

Hope you have a good week.

Gordon Polson

Chief Executive – Federation of Bakers Ltd

CBI Covid Update: Here is some of the progress we have seen over the course of the last week:

On Tuesday, we heard the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, set out the government’s plan to support, create and protect jobs. Headline announcements included a Job Retention Bonus, a Kickstart Scheme, a cut to stamp duty, a targeted VAT reduction and a ‘Eat out to Help out’ scheme. Flattening the daunting unemployment curve about to hit our country could not be more important. Joblessness scars lives and hits the young and most disadvantaged hardest. The Chancellor’s jobs plan marks an important step forward. For young people, the Kickstarter Scheme will help create jobs in the short-run that can turn into opportunities for the long-run, and businesses look forward to working with government to get it up and running quickly and effectively. It was also good to see direct support for apprenticeships and careers advice, which will help build the skills as well as the jobs of the future. Revitalising demand through targeted VAT cuts for hospitality, an imaginative voucher scheme and stamp duty relief has been warmly welcomed by many businesses and will help give consumers confidence to spend.

But prevention is better than the cure. Many viable firms are still facing maximum jeopardy right now. The job retention bonus will help firms protect jobs, but with nearly 70% of firms running low on cash, and three in four reporting lack of demand, more immediate direct support for firms, from grants to further business rates relief, is still urgently needed.

Ahead of the Chancellor’s speech, the government also published their green jobs package. This included a £3 billion package of green investment to decarbonise public buildings and cut emissions from Britain’s poorly insulated homes. Investment in green jobs and technology must be at the centre of our efforts to revive the economy. Help to create new, sustainable jobs for the future and improve energy efficiency will bring benefits to consumers and business customers alike across the UK. This £3 billion package of measures will undoubtedly fast-forward progress towards net-zero. With the government’s own manifesto promising £9.2 billion on energy efficiency alone, we are looking forward to seeing the full details on delivery of its ambition to build back greener.

On Thursday, Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, announced pledges to build an employer-led, ‘German-style’ further education system which will include targeted investment in the UK’s colleges. Mr Williamson described this as being vital to improve the country’s productivity and confirmed that the government will be publishing a white paper this Autumn to outline the details behind the plan. Colleges are the engines to the levelling up agenda – they equip people of all ages with the skills they need to succeed at work and drive regional prosperity. But they have been underfunded for a generation, so this renewed government support is warmly welcomed. These reforms must go hand-in-hand with support for our world-leading and highly respected universities that are struggling so acutely in the face of coronavirus. The Further Education white paper is a golden opportunity to join up higher and technical education, drive inclusion and prosperity, delivering the high-skilled, high-paid jobs that communities need now and in the future.

Finally, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, Oliver Dowden, delivered a welcome announcement on Thursday that beauty salons, tanning shops and tattooists can reopen in England from today, and gyms and indoor swimming pools will be allowed to let customers return on 25th July. The safe reopening of these sectors will help protect jobs and stimulate the economy and marks another important step forward in the UK’s recovery. The key now will be to build consumer confidence in starting to visit and use these services.
Barclays Economic Update: UK total trade exports decreased by 19.3% in three months to apr’20

According to the data published by the office for national statistics (ONS), UK total trade exports, excluding non-monetary gold and other precious metals, decreased by 19.3% in the three months to apr’20 with a value decline of £33.1bn. UK trade imports decreased by 17.6% in the three months to apr’20, with a value decline of £29.9bn.

A major decline in trade was seen in machinery & transport equipment and other manufactures & fuels. In machinery & transport equipment, the decrease in both exports and imports was by £7.1bn and £5.6bn respectively in the three months to apr’20, mainly due to the closure of car manufacturing plants. Fuels saw export and import declines of £2.6bn and £3.3bn respectively in the three months to apr’20, due to a decrease in global oil demand in apr’20.

Declines in the UK trade activities were seen across both European Union (EU) and non-EU countries in the three months to apr’20, with the largest decline in both regions in apr’20.

In apr’20, the largest decline was seen in trade with the united states (US), with a decrease in exports by £1.3bn and imports by £0.9bn, compared to mar’20.

Recovery from Covid 19-The Chancellor has set out a ‘Plan for Jobs’ that will spur the UK’s recovery from the Coronavirus outbreak. The Chancellor has announced a package of measures to support jobs in every part of the country, give businesses the confidence to retain and hire and provide people with the tools they need to get better jobs. As the UK enters the second phase in its recovery, the Chancellor’s plan is designed to support jobs by focussing on skills and young people, create jobs with investment in shovel-ready projects and greening our infrastructure and protect jobs through a VAT cut for the hospitality sector and a landmark Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme for diners.You can find the link to the ‘Plan for Jobs’ update in full here.

HMRC Update: Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus.

This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31‌‌‌ ‌January has been received. More information about this scheme will be available by 31‌‌‌ ‌July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.

Other new measures announced

The Chancellor also announced other measures, including:

  • the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme – during August, diners can get 50% off Monday to Wednesday on meals and non-alcoholic drinks, up to £10 per person, when eating at participating restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments that have registered
  • VAT reduction – from 15‌‌‌ ‌July until 12‌‌‌ ‌January 2021, the UK government will cut VAT from 20% to 5% on any eat-in or hot takeaway food and drinks from restaurants, cafes and pubs, excluding alcohol. This VAT reduction also applies to all holiday accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites and caravan sites, as well as attractions like cinemas, theme parks and zoos
  • an increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold in England and Northern Ireland – increasing the threshold under which no SDLT is paid on the purchase of a main home from £125,000 to £500,000, with immediate effect until 31‌‌‌ ‌March 2021.

For more information, search ‘plan for jobs’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Updates on CJRS scheme

We would also like to make you aware of some key dates on the CJRS scheme that might affect you:

Claiming for employees furloughed on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June

You need to claim by 31‌‌‌ ‌July for employees furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June.

Get ready for changes from 1‌‌‌ ‌August

You will no longer be able to use a CJRS grant to cover National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees from 1‌‌‌ ‌August. You can submit your August claim in advance, from 20‌‌‌‌‌‌ ‌July.

Working out your claims

You can use our online examples and calculator to help you work out what you can claim, for claims ending on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌July. From 10‌‌‌ ‌July you will also be able to use these to help you work out claims ending on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌August. Search for ‘calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌‌‌‌.UK.

Made a mistake on your claim?

You can now delete a claim online within 72 hours of submitting it. Search ‘claim for wages through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

Calls to customers

We are contacting selected employers to discuss their claims. These calls will be to check they haven’t made any mistakes and to help make sure they’re claiming the correct amount.

Further support

Live webinars on changes to the scheme and how they impact you are available to book online – search ‘help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus’ on GOV‌‌‌.UK. Please leave our phone lines open for those who need them most.

Protect yourself from scams

Stay vigilant about scams which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Search ‘scams’ on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to and texts to 60599

Britiah Baker Reports The sharp drop in plantings has left Britain facing the threat of a ‘tiny’ crop of wheat suitable for bread.

Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) data, published yesterday (8 July), revealed the wheat planting area in Great Britain was down 25% year on year, with every region recording a decline.A key reason was wet weather last autumn and winter, which meant many growers couldn’t plant and switched to spring crops instead. A dry spring has compounded the situation and raised fears that crops may produce less grain than usual.

“For most growers, this has been a season they would rather forget,” said AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds Board chair Paul Temple.Based on the planting figures, the AHDB has used two different regional yields, a five-year average less 10% and a 2012/13 yield, to arrive at a possible wheat production of 9.1Mt to 10.2Mt for England and Scotland.

This would be 35-42% lower than last year and down 31-39% against the five-year average.Using the same yield scenarios, hard ‘milling’ wheat production could be between 3.6 Mt and 4.0Mt, compared with 5.7Mt last season.

“We can take this a step further and look at average pass rates for a reduced quality specification (Protein 12.5%, Hagberg 180s, Specific weight 74kg/hl) in the AHDB Cereal Quality Survey,” stated James Webster, senior analyst at AHDB Market Intelligence.“The functional Group 1 and Group 2 hard wheat milling crop* could be tiny, at 2.4-2.8Mt, against 4.1Mt last season.”“With this in mind, attention will very much be placed on the value of imported milling wheat this season.”

Action on obesity “more important than ever”

Responding to a question from Dr James Davies, the Public Health Minister Jo Churchill said that “Covid-19 makes it more important than ever to support the nation in achieving a healthy weight.”  She referred to the Government’s “Covid-19 Recovery Strategy”, which proposes investment in preventative and personalised solutions to ill-health, empowering individuals to live healthier and more active lives.  She also noted that the Government is “committed to looking at what further action can be taken to improve our weight management services and we are actively looking at how we can better support people living with obesity to achieve a healthier weight.” [Source: Parliament website 8 July

UK consultation on nutrition labelling & standards legislation

The Government is consulting until 30 July on nutrition labelling, composition and standards (NLCS) legislation which will take effect from 1 January 2021. The proposals aim to ensure certain aspects of the law relating to nutrition continue to operate effectively after the transition period from 1 January 2021.  The proposed changes would: amend the Nutrition (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 in order to reflect the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (NIP) in law; revoke the Nutrition (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019; and account for changes in EU NLCS legislation since March 2019.  Nutrition policy is a devolved matter, but officials across the 4 UK nations are working closely together to prepare the UK for the end of the transition period, by establishing Common Frameworks for a number of policy areas, including NLCS policy. These frameworks will set out a common UK approach, and provide clarity on the appropriate role of Ministers and the governance of any shared structures in line with the devolution settlement. [Source: Department


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