The Spending Review – business news 25 November 2020.

James Salmon, Operations Director.

The spending Review, pledge to help unemployed, call to snub black Friday and support local retailers, new rules and new powers, covid-19, market and other business news.

And find out which profession swears the most at work.

Here are CPA we want to share the business news stories we have seen that we think will affect our members and readers. Many of us are busy fighting to protect our businesses and therefore might have missed some of the news that could impact small businesses, their owners and those that sell on credit.

Sunak to pledge £4.5bn in spending review to help the unemployed back to work

As part of his spending review, Rishi Sunak will today pledge to spend £2.9bn to help a million unemployed people back into work.

As part of his Spending Review, the Chancellor will announce a new “Restart” programme that will see those who have been out of work for more than 12 months provided with intensive and regular support that is tailored to their circumstances.

Additionally, Mr Sunak will put another £1.4bn into extra help for those who have been jobless for more than three months. There will also be £1.6bn for the Kickstart scheme, launched in August, which the Treasury has said will create up to 250,000 state-subsidised jobs for young people.

Matthew Fell, policy director of the CBI, said the chancellor was right to focus on job creation as the economy looked to recover in 2021. “COVID-19 has swept away many job opportunities, for young people in particular,” he said. “The scarring effects of long-term unemployment are all too real, so the sooner more people can get back into work the better.”

The Spending Review

Rishi Sunak will unveil the Government’s spending plans for the coming year today with his Spending Review expected to include details on public sector pay, NHS funding, the state of the economy and a new jobs programme. The Chancellor will announce that the foreign aid budget will be cut by £4bn a year to £10bn as part of moves to shore up Britain’s finances as the country recovers from the pandemic. Ministers will introduce legislation to allow spending to be kept at a reduced level for several years. There have also been reports that the Chancellor is considering a pay freeze for all public sector workers except frontline NHS staff. The economy is projected to be 10% smaller than it was pre-virus with tax revenues dramatically down and public borrowing forecast to rise to £372bn, compared to the £55bn the Government had originally expected to borrow.

Government urged to tell shoppers to snub Black Friday sales

Retail and business groups have urged the Government to tell shoppers to avoid the Black Friday sales and save their Christmas spending for the high street. They warned that small shops could disappear from communities if they do not receive support when they reopen.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “After eight months of disruption, and fresh restrictions on the way, small businesses need your help now more than ever. We’re calling on all shoppers to buy from independents over Black Friday and beyond – be that online, or safely in-person when they’re allowed to re-open their doors. It would be fantastic to see politicians of all stripes getting behind this message.”

Booming retailers told to return coronavirus aid

The CEO of online electricals retailer AO World has urged fellow retail executives to reconsider their decision to keep business rates relief and furlough cash handed out during the pandemic. John Roberts said the argument that business rates were unfair was a separate issue – this is about whether it is right to pay out dividends on profits after taking taxpayers’ cash. Mr Roberts said: “The pandemic is a societal challenge, and I think all people and individuals and businesses should do their bit.” He added: “We live by the mantra of if I had to explain my actions to my mum over dinner tonight, would she be proud? Everyone knows what that means for their businesses. Maybe they [the supermarkets] should go and ask their mum.”

New council powers to tackle COVID-19 breaches

Downing Street has announced new powers for local authorities, allowing them to shut down businesses for up to a week for breaching coronavirus regulations. The new measures will allow councils to “formally request rapid improvement” from offending firms, and close premises for 48 hours or seven days “where appropriate through the issuing of notices”, according to the Prime Minister’s spokesman. Breaking improvement notices and restriction notices will attract fines of £2,000 and £4,000 respectively. Business leaders warned against a “heavy-handed” approach. “The last thing a small business needs right now is the return of Captain Clipboard,” warned Craig Beaumont of the Federation of Small Businesses

Covid-19 general news

The government has announced that at Christmas coronavirus restrictions will be eased to allow people to mix with a slightly wider circle of family and friends. Across the UK, people will be able to form “bubbles” of three households over a five day period, between the 23rd and 27th December.  The three households will be allowed to form a temporary “Christmas bubble” and mix indoors and stay overnight.  The bubbles will be fixed, so you will not be able to mix with two households on Christmas Day and two different ones on Boxing Day. Households you are in a Christmas bubble with can’t be in others. In England if you have formed a support bubble with another household, that counts as one household, so you can join with two other households in a Christmas bubble. People who are self-isolating should not join a Christmas bubble. If someone tests positive, or develops coronavirus symptoms up to 48 hours after the Christmas bubble last met, everyone in the bubble will have to self-isolate. pubs and restaurants will remain shut but you will be able to travel in the UK. Even if it is within the rules, meeting friends and family over Christmas will be a “personal judgement,” the government says. People should consider the risks to themselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable.

The U.K. government lost a “crucial month” in its fight against coronavirus because it was slow to respond to a shortage of ventilators, the House of Commons spending watchdog found. Ministers only started efforts to buy more ventilators on March 3, just over a month after the WHO declared the pandemic a public health emergency, the Public Accounts Committee said.

The number of new cases in the UK continued to fall under lock-down 2.0 with yesterday adding 11,299, its lowest level since the beginning of October when the second wave hit.

Globally 588,416 new cases were added yesterday.

The European Union said it would sign a sixth contract for an upcoming coronavirus vaccine, this time for up to 160 million doses of a jab developed by US firm Moderna Inc. Details of the contract, including any purchase options within the 160 million possible total number of doses, will be announced when it is signed on Wednesday. Deaths were still persistently high at 608 yesterday.

Meanwhile Germany is tightening restrictions, just as France started to loosen theirs. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned against relaxing virus restrictions too much and too soon as the risk of a third pandemic wave looms.

A Russian vaccine, Sputnik V,  showed an efficacy rate of 95 percent in preliminary results from a clinical trial. The figure was however  based on incomplete data.

New research shows that an early mutation in covid-19 made it more contagious and harder to contain. The mutation, known as 614G, was first spotted in eastern China in January and then spread through Europe and New York City. There is no evidence that the mutation causes more severe symptoms, or kills more people, or complicates the development of vaccines.


Markets are in full risk-on mode for now.

The FTSE 100 rose 1.6% yesterday, boosted by commodity stocks as investors were encouraged by political developments in the US and they remained hopeful of a swift economic recovery based on positive Covid-19 vaccine updates, while travel stocks gained after England sought to shorten quarantine with a new testing system.  The 250 rose 1.1%.

European indexes rose too, with Germany and France both up 1.25%

Wall Street’s main indexes jumped overnight too. The Dow hit a record high above 30k as the formal go-ahead for President-elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House ended weeks of political uncertainty and news of the appointment of the trusted Janet Yellen to the Treasury. Overnight, the DOW rose 1.54%, the S&P 500 rose 1.62%. and the NASDAQ rose 1.31%. Asian stocks are also responding positively.

The pound has sold off slightly and sits at 1.12 Euros and 1.333 US Dollars.

Brent crude is up at $48.5 on vaccine and political hopes and Gold is down at $1810 and looks set to break the psychologically significant $1800 level.

Tesla broke through the $500 a share mark, making Elon Musk the second richest man in the world.


Debenhams is in exclusive talks with JD Sports Fashion over a rescue takeover. It is understood leisurewear retailer JD Sports is interested in buying the whole of Debenhams and on Monday entered exclusive talks with Lazard, its adviser, and administrators at FRP.

Ministers told to extend access to Ombudsman

Hundreds of thousands more small companies must be granted access to independent redress services, the Government has been told, in order to address an “imbalance of power” with telecoms and energy suppliers. The size of businesses able to make a complaint about telecoms or energy, for example, is different – with the limits described as “arbitrary” by the FSB. Matthew Vickers, chief executive of Ombudsman Services, said that it was regularly forced to “turn away” businesses because they were too large and that dispute resolution in energy and telecoms should be brought into line with financial services.

Property boom as buyers trade up

With the stamp duty holiday boosting the property market earlier this year, residential transactions were up 8.1% to 105,630 in October compared to the year earlier period. “Residential transactions have increased incrementally each month [since May], reflecting the gradual easing of coronavirus public health restrictions for the property market and the introduction of residential transaction tax holidays within the various UK administrations,” HMRC said. Growth has been driven at the higher end of the market by householders looking to trade up for bigger homes, but analysts said some of this demand was starting to fade due a reduction in stock on the market

UK bosses rush to sell stakes over capital gains tax fears

City brokers and accountants say they had been swamped with calls from company bosses preparing to sell down stakes in businesses ahead of a potential increase in capital gains tax next year. Tim Stovold, partner at Moore Kingston Smith, calculated that selling a business worth £5m at current CGT rates would see an entrepreneur pay £900,000 in tax – a 10% CGT rate on the first £1m and 20% on the remaining £4m. However, if CGT and income tax rates were aligned and business asset disposal relief scrapped, an additional rate income taxpayer would pay CGT at 45% on the £5m business – a total of £2.25m. Heather Self, partner at Blick Rothenberg, said many of her clients who had been thinking about selling were bringing forward plans since a review commissioned by Rishi Sunak last week recommended aligning CGT with income tax. Separately, research by private equity firm Growthdeck found Londoners pay nearly 30% of the UK’s CGT despite being home to just 13% of the population, with taxpayers in Kensington and Chelsea paying the most. Gary Robins, head of business development at Growthdeck, said: “For over £500m of capital gains tax to be paid a year in Kensington & Chelsea is astonishing […] More taxpayers should look into whether EIS investment might be a sensible way for them to defer enormous CGT bills, as well as saving on income tax and inheritance tax.”

Government tipped to introduce 25% flat rate pensions tax relief

Rishi Sunak’s rumoured move to create a flat rate on pensions tax relief of 25% could leave a “big dent” in top earners’ pension pots according to Aegon. The Chancellor is said to be “very attracted” to the idea of moving to a flat rate, which could be announced in today’s spending review and would help the Government recoup some of the costs of COVID-19. Analysis from Aegon found under a flat rate of 25%, a basic rate taxpayer paying £100 a month into their defined contribution pension would see this topped up to £133.33 rather than the current £125, an extra £8.33. However, a higher rate taxpayer who currently sees their £100 increased to £166.66 would see this reduced by £33.33.

Energy industry calls for UK to adopt carbon trading after Brexit

The UK has been urged to reject calls for a carbon tax after Brexit and instead opt for a carbon trading system, arguing that this would be the most efficient way to cut pollution.

Accountants and bankers swear the most at work

A survey of 1,400 employees at 100 UK companies commissioned by Savoy Stewart found that bankers, accountants and lawyers are the most foul-mouthed during internal meetings across British workplaces. Accountants and bankers lead the league table in a survey of 14 business sectors. Lawyers were in second position, followed by workers in travel and hospitality and sales. The preferred expletive for bankers and accountants was the old Anglo-Saxon stalwart of f***. Lawyers, on the other hand, were more partial to bulls**t, presumably in reference to their opponents’ legal arguments. The research found that media professionals were mostly fond of boll**ks. Those working for charities and volunteering were found to be the least likely to swear during meetings.

Don’t let Covid-19 bust your business!

It will if your cash flow dries up, either sooner or later.

The Credit Protection Association (CPA) has been assisting thousands of UK businesses to get paid since 1914. We have seen many financial crises, this one will be particularly deadly for suppliers for sometime to come.

CPA eases cash from tardy debtors – Efficiently, Effectively, Economically and Ethically. Above all tactfully, because maintenance of goodwill is paramount.

To meet the needs of creditors in the current crisis, we have designed a “critical care” package especially tailored for the situation.

  • The annual package costs start at very low rates
  • A minimum performance warranty is provided
  • Several complimentary services included

Clients instruct CPA on-line via their PC or phone, completely user-friendly. Your late paying customers are told to pay you direct (not to us).

A very recent report shows a 23% increase in the number of unpaid invoices since March 11th THIS YEAR – are you getting a build-up of late payers?

Right now, overdue accounts must be a concern and CPA has a great track record of encouraging slow-payers to pay their suppliers quickly.

It takes less than 17 minutes to see how you would benefit, do you have the time now?

No face-to-face meeting required – just call Peter Uwins, CPA’s National Sales Manager, on 020 8846 0000 (business hours) or email today.

When you see your money come in, you will be so glad you used CPA.

Do you sell on credit?

With pressures on the cash flow it is essential that you stay on top of the credit limits you grant customers and watch carefully for any late payments.

Those customers will look for the easiest option to boost their cash-flow. Don’t let it be you.

You can’t just assume your customers can and will pay you eventually, no matter how big their name is.

It is essential to have credit management systems in place to monitor and check your customers credit worthiness.

It is also best practice to use a trusted third party like CPA to make sure you are paid on time by customers, no matter how good a name they have.

About CPA

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply on credit, help us help you identify the risks.

Why use a third party collector?

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When your customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

You might be hesitant about contacting a debt collection agency. What are they going to be like?

Can they help your particular type of business?

There is no need for concern. CPA are courteous, helpful and very probably have had direct experience of working with your type of business.

Debt collection agencies are not all alike.

Success lies in both recovering money and keeping customers happy. The Credit Protection Association was founded in 1914 and has helped tens of thousands of UK businesses to collect outstanding payments and reduce the risk of incurring bad debt. We believe that creditors deserve to be paid for the work or goods they have supplied but we fully understand the need to maintain
the best possible relationship with customers!

At The Credit Protection Association, we provide solutions, advice and back-up in all areas relating to the supply of services or goods on account. Client-members receive everything they need from a single source to reduce debtor days and write-offs.

The Credit Protection Association has helped has assisted tens of thousands of UK businesses with their credit control requirements, since the First World War.

We are polite, firm and efficient when it comes to recovering outstanding debt.

“We have used CPA for a number of years now. The website is easy to navigate around with lots of helpful reports. The staff are always at hand and very friendly. CPA has helped us reduce our debt over the years and keep track of potential issues with our customers.”
~ CPA client in Buckinghamshire

“The service from CPA has proved to be everything that you said it would be. We have already seen a huge benefit. We have had a number of overdue accounts paid promptly and directly to us. It is also a huge weight off our mind to know that once we have passed an overdue payment over to you, you take care of everything whilst keeping us informed.
~ Credit Controller client in Warrington

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections


Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are extremely passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs, with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cashflow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

You put up with the PAIN – now claim the GAIN!

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Did you know that your business is entitled to a minimum of £40 for every commercial invoice paid late to you over the past 6 years?

How many of your invoices are paid late each month – 20, 50, 100 or more?

At £40 per invoice that’s claim of £57,600, £144,000, £288,000 plus interest. The more invoices the bigger the claim! 

At £100 per invoice it’s £144,000, £360,000, £720,000 plus interest.

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

For over 20 years, CPA has calculated and recovered Late Payment Compensation on behalf of Clients!  

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cash-flow.

Don’t let your bankers control you, contact CPA today.

Discover NOW the potential value of late payment compensation hidden in your sales ledger!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

The “Why” of the late payment culture.

New PM should walk the walk and back small firms over late payments

Paying late is “crack cocaine” to big business.

Late payment culture risks “spiraling out of control”

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Do you realise you could be sitting on a fortune?

Late payments often result in a cash flow crunch and leave SMEs in need of a cash injection.

If you sold B2B on credit then there may be a hidden source of capital you can call on.

If you fancy an extra bit of extra cash in your business, rather than jumping through hoops with your bank, you could look to uncover the resources from an unexpected source within your own business.

Not many are aware but there could be a hidden fortune within your business, sitting there, just waiting to be uncovered and released.

We can help you uncover the pile of gold, you didn’t even know you were sitting on.

If you trade with other businesses and were often paid late then you could be entitled to significant compensation.

Under little known and under-utilised legislation your business could be due huge amounts in compensation that you didn’t even know about.

Let’s be clear – this is not a way to weaken any customer relationships you value. It is one that identifies who’s been paying late and then recover the potentially significant sums in compensation using Late Payment Legislation from businesses where the relationship has already ended.

You can pick and choose who you want us to follow up – but once we’ve agreed which companies you’d like to pursue compensation from it’s a fast process and there’s no financial outlay to you whatsoever. My team at CPA put its expertise to work to recover the compensation due and fight late payment culture.

That compensation could provide the cash boost your business needed.

But don’t delay, that compensation evaporates if not claimed within six years of the late payment.

How can CPA help?

CPA has developed a unique technology to dig into your accounting records and discover the cash injection you are due by means of compensation. The software does all the hard work. Our software interacts over the cloud with over 300 different software packages, working directly with your accounts package, just so long as it’s stored on a computer.

We recognise that most companies do not have the resources to spend time on the identification and calculation of Late Payment Compensation. Our service can produce an Analyses within just a few days with (usually) less than 30 mins of co-operation from our clients. We work directly with over 300 accounting packages but can also work with bespoke accounts packages. Indeed, speed is essential as the oldest invoices may fall foul of the 6-year time limit.

Once the Sales Ledger Analyses is made available to clients, all that is required is that management decide which commercially sensitive ex-customers to remove from the list and return it to us.

CPA then uses its years of collection experience to explain and recover the Late Payment Compensation Claims. Clients do not handle any part of the recovery process as our team will take all communications from the companies against who the claims has been made. Often, it’s simply a case of explaining the legislation, sometimes we have to go all the way and enforce the legislation through the courts.

The result is that we are realising clients’ claims worth tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds which, of course, is pure net profit. You may also be among the recipients of “hundreds of thousands of pounds” should you elect to take advantage of our services.

We do the work, you receive the cash.

If you have supplied goods and services to businesses on credit and were regularly paid late then you could be due significant sums in late payment compensation.

We are talking to companies and unearthing claims in the hundreds of thousands from former business customers who paid them late. Large business customers who abused their power to inflict unfair and sometimes illegal payment practices.

We are helping business owners who are looking to boost the returns from their business before they retire. We are helping businesses who have lost major clients after years of loyal service to get properly compensated for systematic late payment. We are helping companies that were looking to close down, who looked insolvent and finding that cash injection they need to avoid insolvency.

Those former clients who regularly paid you late can finally be made to pay.

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.

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Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

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Read our Cash Flow Advice

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Read our blog – What is credit management?

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The Credit Protection Association – Prompting Punctual Payments – Ethical, Effective, Efficient, Economical collections.