Clampdown on tax loophole for thousands of second homes registered as holiday lets – Sky News

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Second home owners face a clampdown over a tax loophole that can save them money by claiming the properties are available for holiday lets. Currently 60,000 properties classed as holiday lets are liable for business tax rather than council tax, which in the vast majority of cases currently means paying nothing at all. The Treasury…

Builders told to remove ‘unfair’ ground rent terms – BBC News

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When a leasehold flat or house is first sold, a lease is granted for a fixed period of time, typically between 99 and 125 years – but sometimes up to 999 years. People may extend their lease or buy the freehold, but this can be complicated and expensive and involve legal fees. Source

Hand-sanitisers popped into inflation basket as white chocolate melts away – Sky News

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Hand sanitisers are in and white chocolate bars are out as the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation undergoes its latest reshuffle. The impact of the pandemic on consumer habits is apparent in the announcement from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which also sees casual clothing and home exercise equipment added….

Roblox shares rocket as it lists on Wall Street – but can the popular platform turn a profit? – Sky News

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Anyone with children aged between nine and 15, its core demographic, will require no introduction to Roblox. The computer game developer’s online platform is used by an estimated 37.1 million players on a daily basis. And it has also spawned a side industry of participants who film their exploits and share them on social media…

London Covid: Expert explains how mystery person with Brazil coronavirus variant was found in Croydon – My London

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An expert has explained exactly how the mystery person with the Brazil Manaus coronavirus variant was actually found. Public Health England’s Dr Susan Hopkins shared how a team of 40 people were needed to track this one person down. After a few days of searching, the person thought to be carrying the variant of concern…

Vindictive EU risks losing far more over ‘equivalence’ row than the City – Telegraph.co.uk

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It’s a start, I suppose. By giving the go-ahead to listing rule changes recommended by Jonathan Hill, a former EU financial services commissioner, the Government hopes to usher in a lighter and nimbler approach to financial regulation that will serve the country well in its new, post-Brexit form. Light touch regulation; now where have we…

British Airways owner records biggest ever loss – Financial Times

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The owner of British Airways has slumped to the biggest loss in its history after the coronavirus pandemic closed borders and grounded its aircraft. International Airlines Group, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, called on governments to introduce health passports to help travel restart after reporting a full-year operating loss after exceptional items…

Boeing 777s grounded around the world after FAA order following Denver engine failure – The Independent

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Boeing 777s have been grounded around the world after the US aviation regulator announced an investigation into the United Airlines flight that suffered an engine failure on Saturday, showering debris over homes in Denver. The aircraft’s manufacturer recommended the grounding of all 777s using the same Pratt and Whitney 4000 engines, which includes scores operating…

Barclays reports 38% slide in net profit for 2020, resumes dividend payouts – CNBC

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Barclays on Thursday reported a full-year profit of £1.53 billion ($2.11 billion) for 2020, down 38% from 2019 but outstripping analyst expectations. The British lender posted a fourth-quarter net profit attributable to shareholders of £220 million, despite the U.K. navigating fresh nationwide lockdown measures amid a resurgence of Covid-19. Strong performance in the corporate and investment…

The ‘Great Lockdown’ slump earns its place in the history books – The Times

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Until yesterday, there had been only 15 years since 1700 in which the economy had shrunk by more than 4.5 per cent. The financial crisis was not one of them. In 2009, at the height of what some call the Great Recession, GDP fell by 4.1 per cent. Now the Office for National Statistics has…