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Coronavirus Update: Jobless claims surge and large business loan scheme increased to £200m

19/05/2020 Coronavirus Daily Update

Monthly increase in jobless claims surge to the highest rate since 1996

Statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown an increase of 856,500 in people applying for benefits through Universal Credit in April. This is the highest level seen in the UK since 1996, with 2.1m people applying in total. It is believed that the number would have been significantly higher if it was not for the government’s furlough scheme. The government is set to ask employers to share the cost of the furlough programme from August. Experts have predicted that, in such an event, the unemployment rate may further increase as businesses fold.

Large business loan scheme to increase to £200m from £50m

The UK government has announced an increase, from £50m to £200m, in the government backed business loan available to large companies. The Treasury has, however, stipulated that dividends to shareholders and bonuses to executives are banned for those that take the extended scheme.

Coronavirus uncovers risks to supply chains before Brexit

According to a survey conducted by the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service, 82% of small and medium sized manufacturers have admitted that the virus outbreak has affected their supply chains. With just 7 months remaining until Brexit is finalised, the pandemic serves as a wake-up call for British businesses and leaders to plan for the impending breakdown of trading relationships in decades. “Reshoring” has been a trending catchphrase in recent times by populist politicians. They believe that globalisation has resulted in certain countries being over-reliant on others and have called for manufacturing to return. With the delays of supplying PPE for the NHS, the pandemic is a perfect example of why it is vital to have manufacturing return to Britain.

What does it mean for you?

With unemployment claims skyrocketing and potentially further redundancies in August, it is difficult to say how the UK economy would be in the coming months. Economic uncertainty has prompted the Bank of England to consider the possibility of negative interest rates to entice borrowing and spending. Taking this into account, it may be better for those considering selling their properties immediately and to cash-buyers only to ensure that transactions are not reliant on mortgages.

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