Weekly Digest – 20 April 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

IMF: GDP Growth to Slow to Worst in G7 in 2023

The IMF downgraded growth forecasts across the world, with 2022 GDP growth now expected at 3.6%, down from January’s forecast of 4.4%. Economic growth is expected to match the US in 2022, but in 2023, it will decline to the bottom of the league table of G7 economies and will also face the highest inflation.

UK Tightens Ties with Indonesia

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has launched a major new agreement with Indonesia called the “UK-Indonesia Roadmap“, which is aimed to boost trade and investment, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity. You can learn more about the roadmap here.

UK National Insurance Hike to Hit Business Hiring and Spending

The recent increase in national insurance is set to cause a number of UK businesses to reduce investment and job creation. According to a survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, around one in five firms said the tax rise would reduce their ability to invest, while one in six said they were less confident to create new roles.

UK to Make Fake Reviews Illegal

The government is proposing a package of measures that will make fake reviews illegal and establish clearer rules for businesses to make it easier to opt out of subscriptions. If this gets passed into law, the Competition and Markets Authority will be able to enforce consumer law directly, and will be able to fine businesses up to 10% of their global turnover.

UK Sets Target of 40% Women on Company Boards

Women should make up at least 40% of boards at UK-listed companies and one director should be a person of colour, according to the Financial Conduct Authority. Companies will be required to make annual statements showing how they are complying with the new rules or explain any divergences.

Energy Bills Support Scheme

The government recognises that many households need support to help deal with rising energy bills, which is why it is providing a package of support worth £9.1 billion from 2022 to 2023 which includes the Energy Bills Support Scheme. Under this scheme, domestic electricity customers will receive a £200 reduction in their electricity costs from this October.

Deadline Extension for Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Scheme

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy confirmed that it is proposing a 12-month extension to the non-domestic RHI’s application deadline, moving the date from 31 March 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Also set to be extended are the second and third allocations of the scheme’s tariff guarantee, which will allow organisations to secure a fixed tariff before their installation is commissioned and accredited.

£500 Million Plan for Jobs Expansion

Workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed individuals over 50 years old will be supported back into work as part of more than £500m expansion of the government’s Plan for Jobs. People earning the lowest wages will also benefit and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year as part of the new package.

Starting in April 2022, the Government is enhancing its programme of support for workers on Universal Credit.

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