Sir Gus O’Donnell calls for wealth tax as part of UK’s Covid-19 response

The UK government’s response to the coronavirus and the dramatic rise in public borrowing during the crisis should include a wealth tax on the richest in society, a former head of the civil service has said.

Sir Gus O’Donnell, who served as cabinet secretary under David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, said the Conservative government could prove it was serious about fighting inequality and levelling-up Britain by increasing taxes on wealth.

Describing the response to the coronavirus crisis as a “clear burning platform” for such a move, he said: “Covid has created a situation where we’re moving to a world where debt and deficit levels will be at levels we haven’t seen for decades.”

Speaking at an online eventorganised by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, O’Donnell said: “We’re going to have a debate where people will want increased spending on the NHS and things like that. When the coalition

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Ora Banda to raise $55m for Davyhurst gold

Gold developer Ora Banda Mining has launched a $55 million equity raising following the completion of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) at its flagship Davyhurst project in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields. 

The raising comprises of a two-tranche placement of up to 174 million new shares equating to about $40m, as well as the issue of about 66 million new shares in a 1-for-9 underwritten entitlement offer for a further $15m. 

All new shares under the offer will be issued at a price of 23 cents per share, representing a 9.8 per cent discount to the last traded price of 25.5 cents on 2 July this year. 

The Perth-based company said the proceeds of the capital raise would be utilised for the final-phase development and recommencement of the mine; including the kick-start of the previously shuttered 1.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) processing plant, associated site infrastructure and accommodation, as well

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Wyoming paper hires Willmon as editor

Mysti Willmon

Mysti Willmon has joined the Kemmerer Gazette as an editor. She says:

“I’ve had an interesting journey that has led to newspaper work. When I first started college, I was going to get a literature degree and thought I would like to work in the publishing business as I am an avid reader. I own 300 books and I usually read 40 to 50 books a year. But I discovered I loved writing just as much as reading. I have been editing friends’ papers since the 8th grade and loved doing it. I started taking journalism classes and loved them, so I chose to change my degree plan.”

Willmon is also editor-in-chief of The Western Front.

Previously, she was with Klipsun Magazine where she worked first as a reporter and then as copy editor. She has also interned at Bellingham Alive Magazine and served as a reporter at

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UK businesses say lockdown improving innovation and productivity

Research of office workers shows that more than 65 per cent of respondents said they’ve benefited from improved productivity levels since they started working from home.

James Longley, Managing Director at Utility Bidder who carried out the research takes a closer look at innovation and productivity in lockdown.

Businesses and workers have had to adapt. This is a fact. From furloughing staff to moving to a completely remote working team, there has been a shift to find a new normal during lockdown.

Management teams up and down the UK have had business discussions around the “P” word. Not necessarily “Pandemic”, but “Productivity”! Lockdown has forced organisations in most industries to reinvent and channel resource into collaboration and productivity. The need to adapt in one of the most challenging situations the world has faced has prompted businesses to think – and fail – fast.

When it was announced that many businesses

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UK car finance and pawnbroker payment freeze extended

The UK’s financial regulator has given customers of car finance and other forms of high-cost credit the option of freezing payments and repossessions for three more months, amid concerns about a mounting economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Friday that motor finance, buy now, pay later, rent-to-own and pawnbroking customers are entitled to ask to freeze or reduce payments for another three months if they have previously requested to defer or lower payments. Asking for the support should not have any impact on their credit files, the FCA said.

The extension also means that borrowers who have not yet asked for a payment freeze can make a new application to do so up to 31 October. However, some loans, including car finance deals, will continue to rack up interest during a freeze, so the FCA advises those who can make repayments to do

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