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Coronavirus and the public sector

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is driving major changes in the public sector and dramatically affecting public finances. Find out more about what is happening and how it may affect you.

ICAEW insights

ICAEW response to EU fiscal consultation


An overhaul of the EU’s fiscal framework is underway as the European Union looks to adapt its economic governance rules to post-pandemic life, in what is likely to lead to some of this year’s most significant and politically-charged debates.

Chart of the week: Government borrowing rates


Our first chart of 2022 highlights how the cost of government borrowing remains extremely low for most of the 21 largest economies in the world, despite the huge expansion in public debt driven by the pandemic.

Tax news in brief


Highlights from the broader tax news for the three-week period ending 5 January 2022, including: an increase to late payment interest rates; the Welsh Budget; the Spring Statement date; refunds of VAT for businesses established outside the UK; COVID easements for heritage assets; and updated IHT forms.

The tax system in review


The impact of COVID-19 continues to cast a shadow over the UK tax system, says Head of Tax Faculty Frank Haskew as he takes a look back at the previous year and predicts what is in store for the months ahead.

Public debt at highest level for almost 60 years


While November’s deficit of £17.4bn is in line with expectations, public sector net debt is up by more than half a trillion pounds since the start of the pandemic and as a proportion of GDP, debt is the highest it has been since March 1963.

Chart of the week: Bounce Back Loans


Our chart this week is on Bounce Back Loans, one of the principal sources of financial support for businesses during the first year of the pandemic and the subject of a recent investigation by the National Audit Office.

Meet HMRC’s horizon-gazing futurists


The UK tax authority’s Futures team monitors trends in the economy and society that could have an impact on government revenues and tax administration.

Sovereign wealth funds


At the end of last year, there were 95 active sovereign wealth funds managing a combined $9trn of assets worldwide – an 8% increase on 2019. They make large investments in tech, services and life sciences, and they’re UK targeting trophy assets. David Prosser reports.

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External resources

Information hubs

Government Response – Global landscape

Government Stimulus tracker created by KPMG providing an overview of government measures and economic aid packages around the world in response to COVID-19. Summaries are given for each country or jurisdiction with general information, tax measures, economic stimulus measures, employment-related measures, customs measures, and other aid.

Guidance and commentary

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