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BBC Front Page News

Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak vows to protect jobs but tax hikes loom

The chancellor says his Budget can rescue the Covid-ravaged economy, as UK faces highest tax burden since 1960s.

Nicola Sturgeon 'had no reason to want to get' Alex Salmond

Scotland's first minister tells an inquiry that claims of a plot against her predecessor are "absurd".

Budget 2021: Million more set to pay income tax by 2026

People who get a pay rise between this April and 2026 may find themselves paying a higher rate of tax.

Brexit: EU says UK grace period extension breaches international law

The latest Brexit flare up is over checks on goods to NI, which remains in the EU's single market.

BBC news for Surrey

Brazil variant: Search for mystery case narrows to 379 households

The health secretary says 379 households in south-east England are being contacted.

Covid-19: Free rapid testing for pupils' families in England

Schoolchildren's household and bubble members will be offered Covid tests to take at home twice a week.

Billy Monger completes 'epic' Comic Relief challenge

The racing driver, who had both legs amputated in 2017, has walked, cycled and kayaked 140 miles.

MPs investigate ditching smart motorways

A coroner says the roads - where hard shoulders become lanes at busy times - create a death "risk".

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. How to get more done. One of the drawbacks of working from home is the amount of distractions at your fingertips, whether it be a full pantry of food or living distractions like family members and pets. The temptation to relax and doing chores are the top two biggest work-from-home distractions. Time-management skills are key to helping with these distractions. READ MORE

2. Latest data shows vaccine reduces transmission. There is "early data" showing a reduction in transmission in people who have had a coronavirus vaccine, the health secretary has said. The Health Secretary said hospital admissions were falling "much more sharply" than they were in the pandemic's first wave. The government aims to offer a first jab to all adults in the UK by the end of July, with one in three adults already vaccinated. Boris Johnson will unveil his plan for ending England's lockdown by close of business today. BBC

3. WTO appoints first woman chief. Former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO), becoming the first woman and first African to hold the director-general role. It comes after US president Joe Biden overturned Donald Trump’s block on her appointment. Okonjo-Iweala, who spent 25 years at the World Bank, will take over the Geneva-based institution at a make-or-break time for the global trading system, as governments seek to navigate the economic and health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. The Independent

4. House prices reach record high. House prices rose by 8.5% in 2020, the highest annual growth rate since October 2014. The average price for a property reached a record high of £252,000 in December, with the most growth recorded in the northwest: 11.2%. London prices rose by 3.5%. UK house prices soared in the second half of the year, but mortgage offers and online asking prices suggest that prices will fall back this year by around 2%. Office for National Statistics

5. Companies focus on wellbeing. Workplace wellbeing has become a more significant consideration for employers, research suggests. During the pandemic, several major companies, such as insurer Aviva, have offered staff days off for wellbeing. In the UK, research from insurer Westfield Health shows the cost of mental health absenteeism increased in 2020, but also that the majority of employers plan to spend more on employee wellbeing in coming years. Long-term flexibility and mental health programs at work were both cited as popular options by employees in the study. Wellbeing is one of 10 tutorials on 10/10, our government supported leadership development and mentoring programme. LEARN MORE

 

 

6. Stop the guilt of pandemic laziness. You're sitting at home, scrolling through Netflix recommendations when you're suddenly hit with pangs of guilt for being lazy. Been there? Same. One social psychologist tells us to stop this nonsense, explaining we feel this way because "we use external cues as an 'anchor' to help us gauge whether we are spending our time well enough." Not every moment we're home needs to be spent working. In fact, they encourage "cyberloafing," or a mindless scroll through the internet or social feeds, as research shows we often come back “more productive and focused” after such an activity. CNBC

7. What’s the future of work. Once the world gets past the pandemic, what will stick around in our professional lives, and what will go away? McKinsey Global Initiative research involving the US, UK and other countries found that more than 100 million workers will likely need to transition to new jobs by 2030, which is up to 25% more than pre-COVID estimates in advanced economies. The research also shows that working from home and virtual meetings will stick around, though "less intensely," and the adoption of automation and artificial intelligence will speed up, especially for work that involves physical proximity. The Times

8. How to raise the subject of salary. When's the right time to ask about compensation in a job interview? Should a candidate inquire about pay right off the bat, or wait until later on in the job search process when they've solidified that they’re a strong fit for the role? Among our top tips: [1] Wait until the end of the first interview or call to broach the topic. [2] Be honest, informed, and realistic about your expectations. [3] Consider delaying the question if you're meeting with a hiring manager or future employer, as opposed to a recruiter. Editor

9. What happens when you work from bed? After almost a year working from home, many have realised that working from bed isn't as comfy as it sounds. Though many have tried it during the pandemic, according to research by Buba, a majority of home workers in the UK have reported aches and pains due to their lack of proper desk. And working from bed isn't just bad ergonomically, with experts advising that it can be bad for productivity and sleep, due to the brain associating bed with work. BBC

10. The bottom line. Just under 60% of the 50,888 people who died with Covid in England between January and November last year were disabled, though disabled people only make up 17.2% of the population. Office for National Statistics