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Purchase tax introduced 80 years ago

Purchase tax was introduced as a "temporary" wartime measure 80 years ago today on 23 April 1940. It remained until 1973, when replaced by value added tax. The tax became chargeable from 21 October 1940. It was introduced by Finance (No 2) Act 1940 Part V and commenced by SI 1940 No 1771. It was introduced for two reasons: to produced revenue to reduce demand for goods, and thus help...
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Coronavirus and audiovisual AGMs

Readers are reminded that existing company law allows an annual general meeting (AGM) of a company to proceed even when all the members cannot be physically present in the same room. In the case Byng v London Life Association Ltd [1989], the Court of Appeal held that an AGM held in separate rooms was valid, provided: members could attend the different rooms in time for the meeting, and ...
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Coronavirus innovation and development package

On 20 April 2020, the government announced a new £1.25 billion package of support for companies engaged in innovation and development in dealing with coronavirus. This includes a £500 million Future Fund to give loans to high-growth firms. Another £750 million is earmarked for small and medium-sized businesses for research and development. [20.04]  
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No 100% loan guarantee for CBILS

The government declined to increase its business interruption loan guarantee from 80% to 100% on 20 April 2020. The answer was given by Chancellor Rishi Sunak during the daily coronavirus press briefing. The CBILS loan scheme has a slow take-up rate with less than £2 billion of the available £330 billion taken up by 20 April 2020. Newspapers routinely report businesses that cannot get loans. ...
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Coronavirus loan scheme extended to larger businesses

A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) was introduced on 21 April 2020. This complements the existing CBILS scheme for businesses under which the government guarantees 80% of a bank loan of up to £5 million for businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million a year. Under CLBILS, businesses with a turnover of: between £45 million and £250 million , may borrow £2...
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Coronavirus and school meals

Provisions have been made for children who qualify for free school meals but cannot receive them because of the coronavirus outbreak. Schools may make their own arrangements, such as providing meals or food parcels for children, and arranging for them to be collected or delivered. If the regular provider cannot provide such meals, the school may make another arrangement, such as by using any...
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FT article on ventilators is inaccurate

The government has taken the unusual step of issuing a press release criticising a newspaper article. On 18 April 2020, FT Weekend published an article by Peter Foster called "muddled thinking punctures plan for British ventilator". This has been followed by a Twitter feed. The government statement can be downloaded from here. [20.04]
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Dividends suspended

About half of all listed companies have suspended dividend payments during the pandemic, according to City AM newspaper on 2 April 2020. This includes all UK banks. Although there are no restrictions on paying dividends, Tesco attracted criticism for paying a dividend while claiming support from the government. The London Stock Exchange has announced that companies may delay dividend payment...
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