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Sunday’s Money pages

The Mail on Sunday reveals that Boris Johnson’s former economic adviser is set to hand Cabinet Ministers a detailed plan to safely reboot Britain’s economy.

Gerard Lyons, a highly respected economist who was in the running to become Bank of England Governor, will lay out how shops could reopen within weeks under strict social distancing rules.

The paper understands the blueprint will be one of several competing plans circulated in the Cabinet as Ministers debate a lockdown exit strategy.

They also ask whether clients should play safe with their ISA, or take a chance on revival. As the new tax allowance kicks in, they look at the best options for savers.

They urge mortgage borrowers coming to the end of a loan deal – or those eager to remortgage to get their finances in shape to help them through the coronavirus crisis – to act soon to avoid ending up on a costly standard variable rate.

The Sunday Times highlights eight ways the coronavirus crisis has hit personal finances, and looks at what the data says about the virus and your clients’ money, from a fall in cash use to disappearing dividends.

There is a sniff of good news – “Rescued from the turmoil — the older savers who made a profit”; an article which reports that some giant pension funds protected older savers from the coronavirus storm and in some cases even rose 9% as the market crashed. A study of eight of the biggest workplace pension schemes, known as master trusts, shows that many were able to shield those approaching retirement from the worst of the market turmoil.

There are also five heartening case histories of start-ups which are coping in the crisis.

The anomaly of how 3 workers earning £50k pa, each doing more or less the same job and working similar hours can pay 45%, 23% and 20% tax respectively is an interesting read, particularly under the present circumstances.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that buy-to-let investors are preparing to swoop on the housing market downturn; if house prices fall, investors can pick up properties with higher yields – especially as rents are unlikely to fall as much as sale values.

However, they also point out that the buy-to-let market is grinding to a halt as tenants are told to stay put. How can landlords navigate the crisis?

First world problems are still a nagging concern, of course –“I don’t need my nanny; can I put them (sic) on furlough?”

I hadn’t heard this one before, but it has a vague Easter topicality…”I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It’s chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one.” (Paul Simon)

Keep safe, all – enjoy Easter, keep your distance, wash your hands and be certain we’ll get through this.

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