Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced several measures to support people affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. Much of Wednesday's budget (summed up here ) focused on the pandemic, with some schemes being extended and some new ones introduced to the tune of an extra £65 billion, bringing the total spend on COVID-19 since March 2020 into the next financial year to £407bn. Here are all the COVID -related announcements: Furlough Mr Sunak has extended the furlough scheme to 30 September. It was due to expire at the end of April after starting last March when the crisis began. Wages for millions who are unable to work due to the restrictions will continue to have up to 80% of their salary subsidised by the government, with a maximum of £2,500 a month. This will gradually be lifted, with the government reducing its contribution to 70% from July and employers having to pay 10% for hours not worked. In August and September, the government will pay 60% and employers 20%. … [Read more...] about Budget 2021: What COVID-19 support measures were announced and extended?
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PRINCE Philip is "slightly improving" but his treatment for an infection and pre-existing heart condition "hurts", Camilla Parker-Bowles said today. The Duke of Edinburgh , 99, was transferred to St Bartholomew's in London on Monday where he will stay until at least the end of the week. Follow our Prince Philip live blog for the very latest on the Duke ... He is undergoing testing for his pre-existing heart problem at the hospital, which is one of the country’s leading specialist cardiac centres. The Duchess of Cornwall gave an update on her father-in-law today as she visited a vaccination centre in Croydon, South London. She confirmed his condition is "slightly improving" but his treatment "hurts at moments". Camilla added: "We keep our fingers crossed". Timeline of Philip's stay in hospital Tuesday February 16 2021 - The duke is admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital on a precautionary basis after feeling unwell. He travels from Windsor Castle … [Read more...] about Prince Philip ‘slightly improving’ but Camilla reveals his treatment ‘hurts at moments’
Here are the key points from Chancellor Rishi Sunak's budget speech: • Economy expected to return to pre-COVID levels by the middle of next year, six months earlier than previously thought • GDP growth forecast for this year downgraded to 4% (from 5.5%) according to Office for Budget Responsibility • Unemployment expected to peak at 6.5% • Forecasts show government borrowing reaching £355bn in 2020/21, of 17% of the national income - the highest level since the Second World War. For 2021/22 it climbs to £234bn, 10.3% of GDP. • Debt is set to peak at 97.1% of GDP in 2023-24. • An additional £65bn in spending in response to coronavirus takes total fiscal support to £407bn • £1.6bn will go towards continuing the vaccine roll-out and improving future preparedness • Chancellor confirms furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September, with the government paying 80% of salary though employers will asked to put in 10% from July and 20% from August • Help for … [Read more...] about Budget 2021 key points: What was announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s speech?
A Bridgerton actress who was criticised for her weight after posting images of her Golden Globes outfit on Instagram has called for actors to be judged for their work, not their body. Nicola Coughlan posted a photo of her wearing a pastel yellow Molly Goddard evening dress and cropped black cardigan for the Golden Globes virtual red carpet on Sunday night. Despite a host of likes and positive responses - including from the designer herself - a comment from one journalist calling the 34-year-old "the fat girl from Bridgerton" quickly took the conversation in a negative direction. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) Big Calf podcast host Amanda Richards wrote: "The fat girl from Bridgerton is wearing a black cardigan at the Golden Globes [because] no matter how hot and stylish you are, if you're a fat girl there will always be a black cardigan you think about … [Read more...] about Bridgerton star hits back at podcast host’s ‘fat’ jibe after Golden Globes appearance
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines are both highly effective at preventing over-80s from being admitted to hospital, according to a new study. Researchers in Bristol found that 14 days after one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, it was 79.3% effective at preventing people in that age group from developing symptomatic illness severe enough to be admitted. For AstraZeneca 's COVID-19 jab, the effectiveness was 80.4%. Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world What EU leaders said about AstraZeneca vaccine - and the data forcing a rethink The study tallies up with the Public Health Scotland (PHS) and Public Health England (PHE) reports released in February and on Monday respectively. Advertisement Professor Adam Finn, professor of paediatrics and chief investigator of the study at the University of Bristol, said his team took a different approach, using a smaller geographical area and … [Read more...] about COVID-19: Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines ‘highly effective’ at preventing hospital admissions in over-80s, study finds