Rishi Sunak’s five-month extension of the furlough scheme has been hailed by industry leaders as a “bold and much-needed” lifeline through a bleak winter for thousands of companies.
The chancellor’s decision to preserve the taxpayer-funded scheme until March — at an estimated cost of £30 billion — prompted lobby groups to urge the Treasury to go further, warning that many businesses would collapse unless it filled “significant gaps”.
Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the CBI (pictured) , said that Mr Sunak had “built a bridge for business to spring 2021 and taken much needed steps to help firms across the UK survive this winter.”
Leading economic commentators are divided over the latest measures, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) criticising “wasteful” grants for the self-employed.
The job retention scheme, set up in April, will now run until March 31, with furloughed staff receiving 80 per cent of their standard
The Brexit negotiations remained stuck after a call between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen before a decisive week of talks.
The European commission president and the prime minister both highlighted in their post-call statements the contentious issues of EU access to British waters and agreement on future rules to ensure fair competition.
Von der Leyen tweeted that “some progress has been made, but large differences remain” with just over a week remaining before the UK and EU parliaments need to begin ratification of a trade and security deal.
A statement from Downing Street emphasised the need to “redouble efforts” when the two sides, led by the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and his British counterpart, David Frost, re-engage on Monday.
A Downing Street spokesman said after Saturday’s call: “The prime minister set out that, while some progress had been made in recent discussions, significant differences remain in a
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Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and MarketWatch.com, reported an 8 percent increase in circulation and subscription revenue in the first quarter.
Overall Dow Jones revenue rose s1 percent to $385 million.
During the quarter, total subscriptions to Dow Jones’ consumer products reached 3.88 million, an 18% increase compared to the prior year, of which digital-only subscriptions grew 29%. Subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal grew 19% compared to the prior year, to 3.10 million average subscriptions in the quarter.
Digital-only subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal grew 27% to more than 2.35 million average subscriptions in the quarter, and represented 76% of its total subscriptions.
Advertising revenue decreased $14 million, or 17%, primarily due to a 39% decline in print advertising revenues, driven by general market weakness and lower volume across The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s due to COVID-19, partially offset by