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Mixed business reactions to end of ‘plan B’ restrictions

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced an end to all the COVID-19 measures he introduced to combat the Omicron variant next week.

From 26 January, compulsory mask-wearing on public transport and in shops, work from home orders and ‘vaccine passports' will cease.

The Prime Minister also told the House of Commons people with COVID-19 would not have to self-isolate when the...

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Inflation hits thirty-year high

Soaring food costs and the energy bill crisis pushed inflation to 5.4% in the 12 months to December 2021, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

The last time inflation was higher was in March 1992, when it stood at 7.1%. The current rate is far above the Bank of England's target of 2%.

Rising prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed the most...

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ONS: Workers on payroll increases 0.6%

The number of payrolled employees grew 0.6% in December 2021, with 184,000 more employees on payroll compared to the previous month.

There were 29.5 million payrolled employees in December 2021, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

That represented an increase of 409,000 since February 2020, when the pandemic began.

A record number of 1.25m vacancies are...

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Govt. closes second-home tax loophole

Owners of second homes who take advantage of a tax loophole by claiming their additional often-empty properties are holiday lets will have to follow new measures, the Government announced last week.

From April 2023, second homeowners will have to prove holiday lets are being let out for a minimum of 70 days a year to access small business rates relief, where they meet criteria.

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UK economy surpasses pre-pandemic level

UK GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.9% in November 2021 and is above its pre-pandemic level for the first time, by 0.7%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Services and construction output are both 1.3% above pre-pandemic levels after having increased by 0.7% and 3.5% respectively between October and November 2021.

Production remains 2.6% below its size in...

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