A round up from the Government press releases

I have been criticised for editing information or reducing it. Guilty as charged in using the useful bits of government press releases to pass on the info. If I added it in wholesale, it would be seriously laborious for you. But you can always dig out the info yourselves on the government’s own website if inclined.


Universal Credit

More than 135,000 new claims were made to Universal Credit on 30 and 31 March 2020. People who claimed on these two days will receive payments today.

Of the eligible claims, around 93% have been paid in full and on time. Where people haven’t been paid, it is often due to the claimant needing to provide information, such as a correct bank number, and staff will attempt to contact claimants to fill in any blanks.

Since the pandemic began, around 1.8 million claims have been made to Universal Credit and almost 700,000 advance payments made to people.

Secretary of State Therese Coffey said:

Five weeks ago today, more than 135,000 people made a claim to Universal Credit in just over 48 hours – more than we usually have a month.

Our hero workforce here at Department for Work and Pensions has been working flat out to process claims. Just this week we are paying more than £200 million to around 300,000 households who made their claim at the end of March.

The system has proved itself in the face of unprecedented demand over the last few weeks and scrutiny over the last few years”.


Business Rates Revaluation

A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.


Bounce back loans


More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2 billion have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme, the Chancellor has announced.

The seven largest lenders (Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander and Virgin Money) received more than 130,000 Bounce Back Loan Scheme applications on the first day of the scheme (4 May). Over 69,000 of these have been approved on the first day, and lenders are working hard to process and approve the rest as quickly as possible.

Bounce Back Loans are helping thousands of small firms get finance quickly at a low, affordable rate and with a 100% government-backed guarantee.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

Small businesses will be the driving force of our recovery from the pandemic, creating jobs and securing economic growth.

These loans will help them bounce back from this crisis – getting money fast – so it’s great to see more than 69,000 business benefitting in just the first day.

It’s vital this speedy progress continues in the days and weeks ahead.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme is one part of the government’s package of business support that includes: £8 billion to pay the wages of furloughed staff at 800,000 firms, nearly 700,000 business properties benefiting from £8.6 billion of business grants, generous VAT deferrals and scrapping businesses rates.


Sports fashion merger blocked

The CMA has blocked JD Sports’ purchase of close competitor Footasylum after finding it would leave shoppers worse off.


Yesterday’s coronavirus figures


  • there have now been 1,383,842 tests for coronavirus across the UK, including 84,806 tests yesterday
  • we know that 194,990 people have tested positive, that’s an increase of 4,406 cases since yesterday
  • and of those who have tested positive, 29,427 have very sadly died, and our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a loved one throughout the coronavirus challenge


Fertility clinics can apply to re-open

Fertility clinics across the UK can apply to reopen from Monday 11 May, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has confirmed, if they ensure the safety and protection of staff and patients.

The regulator has today set out new conditions for clinics, both private and NHS, to meet in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

All clinics will be required to set out a strategy to show they are meeting conditions to provide safe and effective treatment during the outbreak before they are given the green light to restart treatment.

Social distancing will be a requirement in waiting rooms and telephone appointments could be used where suitable. Appropriate personal protective equipment will also be provided where necessary.


New guidance on the opening of recycling centres

The government has today published guidance for local authorities on how they can safely re-open their Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs).

Councils are being encouraged to open sites to avoid the build-up of waste in homes and businesses and reduce the opportunity for fly-tipping – but only where social distancing can be maintained and the public and staff can be kept safe.

Under the terms of the lockdown, householders can travel to a centre if the waste in their home presents a risk of injury or a risk to public health or the local environment.



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