Daily Update 26/05/2020


The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 37,048 as of today, an increase of 134. For the first time since March there were zero deaths recorded in Northern Ireland. Nationwide this week has seen the lowest number of Coronavirus deaths in six weeks. 

Over the weekend it was alleged by several newspapers that Dominic Cummings, a key advisor to the Prime Minister, had broken the rules of the quarantine and travelled do Durham to visit his family between 27 March and 14 April. In a statement on Monday Cummings denied breaking the conditions of the lockdown, claiming that his decision to travel to Durham to care for his four-year-old child was a response to what he perceived to be “exceptional circumstances.” By travelling to Durham, Cummings claimed that, he was exercising his “personal judgement” within the guidelines of the lockdown in response to exceptional circumstances. 

In response to Cumming’s refusal to apologise for his actions several Conservative MPs have resigned from their positions and called for the Prime Minister’s adviser’s resignation. 

Daily Update 22/05/2020


The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 36,042, an increase of as of today 368. 

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, started the daily briefing by drawing attention to mental health awareness week. Hancock announced that the government have given £4.2 million to mental health charities like Samaritans and Young Minds. 

Hancock also went on to give information about the antibody tests being developed by researchers in the UK. These tests, the Health Secretary warned, do not tell us whether people are immune to the virus but instead only reveal whether people have developed antibodies which may help to fight off the virus in future. 

Daily Update 20/05/2020


The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 35,704, an increase of 363 as of today. 

In Prime Minister’s Questions Boris Johnson stated that by June the government will have a test, track and trace system in place. 

The government’s plans to reopen schools in June if the rate of infection allows for it has been met with criticism from teachers unions and local authorities. 

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has warned that the UK’s economy could suffer permanent “scarring”. “We are”, the Chancellor stated, “likely to face a severe recession, the likes of which we haven’t seen.”

An Update from The Speaker


On 15 May, The Speaker of the House, The Leader of the House and the Shadow Leader of the House issued a further update for Members of Parliament and their staff.

The update contains guidance for Members’ staff and constituency offices, information on the measures in place in Parliament and information from Public Health England.

To view the update, please see this page on the intranet: https://intranet.parliament.uk/business-news/news-current-issues/news/2020/may/an-update-from-the-speaker-leader-and-shadow-leader-of-the-house-of-commons/

Daily Update 19/05/2020


The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 35,341, an increase of 545 as of today. 

In the daily Coronavirus briefing George Eustice, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, announced that the government was encouraging British nationals to apply for farm harvesting jobs around the country. This call comes in response to a shortage in farm labour from countries such as Romania that usually make up Britain’s seasonal work force. The government have launched a website, www.pickforbritain.org.uk, where information on farm harvesting vacancies can be found. 

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the UK jumped to its highest rate on record after the start of the Coronavirus lockdown, according to new figures from the ONS.   

Daily Update 18/05/2020


The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 33,796, an increase of 160 as of today. 

The chief medical officers have stated that anosmia, loss of taste and smell, should be added to the other two warning symptoms for Coronavirus, a continuous cough and a high temperature. Anyone experiencing any of the three symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days. 

Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU are still ongoing. The main point of disagreement is that the EU is demanding that any future trade deal come with an enforceable level playing of regulations. The EU negotiators mandate that the UK continue to continue to apply the Bloc’s state-aid restrictions, keeping pace with environmental and labour regulations set by the EU. 

Daily Update 15/05/2020


The rate of infection, the so-called R number, for Coronavirus is now between 0.7 and 1. The increase in the rate of infection has led some news outlets to question the government’s decision to loosen lockdown restrictions this week.

The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 33,998 an increase of 384. 

In the daily briefing Matt Hancock, the health secretary, stated that all care home residents in England, with and without symptoms, are now being tested for Coronavirus. 

Negotiations between the UK and the EU on the future post-Brexit settlement have become deadlocked. According to an article in the Financial Times the chief stumbling block is whether the UK will maintain the same standards in areas such as labour and environmental law as the EU. EU officials have stated that the deal must be struck by October in order to be ratified in time. 

Daily Update 13/05/2020


The total deaths as a result of Coronavirus now stand at 33,186, an increase of 494. 

In the daily briefing Robert Jernick, the Housing Secretary, told the public that restrictions on exercise have been lifted and that workers unable to work from home should speak to their employers about arranging a possible return to work. People have also been allowed to meet one person from outside of their household in a public space. 

The government has also allowed the housing market to restart, allowing estate agent’s offices to report, removal companies to return to work, and people to move into new homes. The government has also removed restrictions on the supply side of the housing market, allowing construction companies to restart building and work up to 8pm in residential areas and later outside of these areas. 

Daily Update 12/05/2020


The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced that the government will continue their job retention scheme until October. The scheme, which allows workers to be paid 80% of their wages up to £2,500 a month, will allow require employers to make contributions from August but also allow them to move workers onto part-time hours. This change comes after the government faced pressure from unions to ensure that that the percentage of worker’s wages paid to them through the scheme would not be cut.

The total death toll as a result of Coronavirus now stands at 32,692, an increase of 627 in the last 24 hours. 

Tax Debt and Mental Health


When debts start to mount up, it can have an adverse effect on an individual’s mental health and well-being.

This guide offers lots of helpful information such as:

  • Understanding the impact of debt to mental health – the different kinds of debt (e.g. tax debt) and how they can be a key source of stress, depression, and anxiety if not planned and managed properly.
  • Advice for dealing with debt such as setting up a Debt Management Plan or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), qualifying for a Debt Relief Order (DRO), or even filing bankruptcy to get some protection and keep life essentials like pension savings safe from creditors.
  • What to do if debt problems begin affecting your mental health. This includes recognising the symptoms and early warning signs of mental health problems associated with debt as well as advice on where to turn to for help and support.
  • Other useful information and resources, including debt charities and organisations that are dedicated to helping people conquer their debt problems

Tax Debt and Mental Healthhttps://www.riftrefunds.co.uk/tax-rebates/uk-tax-refund-advice/tax-debt-and-mental-health/