Don't cry to mother if rates freebie comes back to bite

Pets at Home joins supermarkets and B&M in opting not to repay rates relief despite staying open during Covid crisis

Here’s another name to add to the list of retailers who will keep their relief on business rates – thanks very much, dear chancellor – even though their stores were open during lockdown.

It’s Pets at Home, which joins all the big supermarket chains and discount merchant B&M in the brazen bracket. There were mitigating factors in Pets at Home’s case – for example, it stopped the sale of pets for a while to discourage outings to its “free zoos” – but a 5% rise in half-year revenues says help from the public purse wasn’t necessary.

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Bank of England policymaker warns of 'pandemic hangovers', as private sector shrinks – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as the UK Treasury Committee questions the Bank of England

Earlier:

7.04pm GMT

Time to wrap up.

MPs have heard that the UK economy risks a ‘pandemic hangover’, even once Covid-19 vaccines are deployed.

Obviously it’s better to have a vaccine than not, but those are hangovers from the pandemic even as and when there is an effective vaccine, which I suspect will weigh on the economy for some time.

Speaking personally, it felt like the first time in eight or nine months that there is some lights coming at the end of the tunnel.

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AA to provide online road safety lessons for e-scooter riders

Users will be taught how to operate and park the vehicle and share the road safely

The AA is to give road safety lessons to e-scooter riders, as operators launch what is billed as the first theory test for the latest form of transport on Britain’s streets.

Under the scheme, e-scooter riders will be taught how to operate and park the vehicles and share the road safely with cars, pedestrians and vulnerable users.

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