Edinburgh recruitment drive launched | Eat Out support scheme drives down inflation | Amazon pays just £6.3m in UK corporation tax

Edinburgh recruitment drive launched | Eat Out support scheme drives down inflation | Amazon pays just £6.3m in UK corporation tax
Edinburgh recruitment drive launched | Eat Out support scheme drives down inflation | Amazon pays just £6.3m in UK corporation tax

Hamilton-based LOVE Care is organising an event in Edinburgh to boost recruitment into the care sector amid the economic and unemployment turmoil created by Covid-19. 

Days after online research revealed that people in Edinburgh are among the most worried in the UK about redundancy, Hamilton-headquartered LOVE Care has announced plans to host a recruitment drive on October 2 and 3 at Gorgie Farm. The Scottish capital’s famous urban farm was acquired by the charitable arm of LOVE Group, a social enterprise based in Hamilton, earlier this year. 

LOVE Care said it is seeking to attract workers who are new to the sector, alongside senior and experienced care workers and social care students. 

“This recruitment event comes against one of the greatest public health challenges in recent history combined with the economic uncertainty presented by the pandemic,” LOVE Care chief executive Lynn Bell said.

READ MORE: The young, men and over-50s will be the chief employment casualties of Covid

“Covid-19 has highlighted something we have always been vocal about and that is the essential role that social care workers play in taking care of the most vulnerable members of our society, and as such they deserve more gratitude and better working conditions. 

“The event will have a dedicated are for attendees to share their views on how the care sector should be transformed and help shape ongoing discussions with the Scottish Government on what needs to be done in this respect.” 

The announcement follows the release of a data study earlier this week by employment specialist KLG Law which found that Edinburgh Stoke-on-Trent and Cardiff are the top three cities in the UK most concerned about job security. The findings were based on an analysis of Google search data for phrases including the word “redundancy”. 

A hefty drop in meal prices spurred by the Eat Out to Help Out scheme helped push August’s inflation rate down to its lowest level in almost five years. 

Consumer prices rose by 0.2 per cent in annual terms last month, according to official data from the Office for National Statistics. That was the smallest increase since December 2015 and a sharp slowdown from July’s 1.0% increase. 

Discounts for more than 100 million meals were claimed last month through the Eat Out programme which was designed to help the hospitality sector through the coronavirus pandemic. This offered diners a state-funded price reduction of up to £10 per meal purchased on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at participating outlets.

READ MORE: Late night venues welcome ruling on coronavirus-related insurance claims

“The effects of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme have been two-fold,” Scottish Friendly savings specialist Kevin Brown said. “It has helped to partly revive the UK services post-lockdown, but clearly it’s also contributed to a sharp fall in prices in August. 

“The month-on-month decrease of 0.8% is the biggest decline since 2008 and inflation is now at its lowest level since 2015. The scheme has been the catalyst for renewed consumer spending over the summer but now that it’s officially come to an end it is likely that inflation will begin to rise again slowly from March.” 

Amazon’s main UK subsidiary, Amazon UK Services, paid just £6.3 million in corporation tax last year despite reporting more than £13.5bn in sales in Britain. 

Amazon said the low figure, published in accounts today, reflected the underlying condition of its UK business. 

“Corporation tax is based on profits, not revenues, and our profits have remained low given retail is a highly competitive, low-margin business and we continue to invest heavily,” the company said in a statement.

READ MORE: Scottish retail recovery ‘painfully slow and protracted’, industry body warns

Amazon does not publish its UK profits. British sales are reported largely through a web of Luxembourg-based companies, principally Amazon EU Sarl, which is also subject to UK tax on a portion of its earnings. However, that company reported a tax credit of nearly £270m last year. 

Amazon has faced criticism for its tax practices in the UK for years, and is currently fighting a legal battle with the European Commission over claims, which Amazon denies, that it received unfair tax advantages from Luxembourg. 

Last week, the company published a report on its tax contribution to the UK which said it incurred taxes of £293m in 2019. 

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