Training school for
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has revealed
plans for a ‘customs agent academy’, which
would train 50,000 agents to process the
additional customs forms required for post-Brexit
trade with the EU.
The private sector training school has been earmarked for a location in Kent.
It would provide courses and industry-recognised qualifications for handling the
additional red tape generated by a Canada-style trade deal with the EU, which is
estimated to be around 200m additional customs declarations each year.
Experts have said it will be an enormous challenge to recruit and train the
50,000 customs agents needed to process this extra documentation before the end
of the current transition period on 31 December, particularly in the midst of the
coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Expert guidance on Covid-19 tax planning
Coronavirus (Covid-19) poses many tax- and employment-related issues
for businesses, and a timely guide by specialist tax publisher Taxcafe sets
out some of the main ones. With chapters covering government support for
businesses, future tax increases, capital allowances and loss relief, the book
provides a practical guide to the key issues that directors in the removals
industry will be grappling with.
For more information, visit www.taxcafe.co.uk
Lift on lockdown to get housing market moving
Restrictions to halt the spread of
coronavirus (Covid-19) effectively
% change of sales agreed for homes listed on Zoopla
froze the property market
between late March and mid-
May. However, analysis suggests
that consumers under lockdown
remained determined to press
ahead with moves at the earliest
opportunity, and that a sharp
upswing could be on the cards
for removers following the recent
reopening of the market.
June 2020 Removals & Storage 11
extended by four months
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain open for
claims until the end of October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.
Furloughed workers will continue to receive 80% of their salary (up to £2,500 per
month) until the end of July. From the start of August, it is understood that a part-time
furlough scheme will be introduced, and employers will be asked to pay a percentage
towards the salaries of their furloughed workers.
Details of the new scheme will be provided when further information becomes available.
For advice on furloughing employees, contact BAR Affiliate
Backhouse Jones Solicitors at email@example.com
or on 01254 828300.
According to Rightmove, sellers did not withdraw
property from the market in any great number after
the lockdown announcement, as available stock
fell by just 2.6% between March and April. The
number of fall-throughs also remained in line with
Rightmove’s expectations for a typical three-week
period. This could suggest that the majority of
ongoing sales intend to proceed as soon as possible
after restrictions end.
Rightmove’s findings are corroborated by data
from BAR Affiliate TwentyCi, which shows that
consumers whose transactions have been frozen
23 March: Estate agents close
due to locakdown
were holding their position rather than
withdrawing from agreed sales. Property sales
agreed in February were 16% less likely to fall
through than they were a year ago, while sales
agreed in March were 35% less likely to do so.
However, TwentyCi adds the caveat that this could
change once lockdown ends and consumers re-evaluate
their financial circumstances.
Less optimistically, property consultancy Knight
Frank predicts that 520,000 home sales will be lost
in 2020 because of the Government’s freeze on
transactions in March. As a result, removals
companies will lose out on around £395m this year.
Knight Frank is predicting a relative bounce-back
in market activity in 2021 as pent-up demand is
released: volumes next year are anticipated to
increase 18% above last year’s levels, although this
will only offset around half of the transactions
which are expected to be lost this year.
Zoopla similarly estimates that the number of
completed sales across the UK this year will fall to
around half of 2019 levels. It believes that some
373,000 property sales, amounting to £82bn, have
been held up in the pipeline.
03 Mar 09 Mar 15 Mar 21 Mar 27 Mar 02 Apr
Source, Zoopla, Newly agreed property sales down 70% but demand is in line with Christmas 2018, published 8 April 2020