Lockdown Ends

Today is the day when lockdown three ended. With all legal restrictions removed, residents are once again free to go to the pub, shop for nonessentials and everything else we formerly considered normal behaviour. 

How About VAT

With hospitality venues reopening for in-person catering in the Isle of Man today,  Michael Josem of the Manx TaxPayers’ Alliance said that data shows that Manx residents businesses ‘obtained a real, concrete benefit from the UK’s VAT cut on hospitality last year’.

Mr Josem said: ‘On July 8 2020, the government of the United Kingdom announced that it would introduce a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT for certain supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation, and admissions to certain attractions. In July 2020, the price index of restaurants and hotels in the Isle of Man fell by 4.47% compared to June 2020. This shows that the UK VAT cut left more money in Manx diners’ pockets, likely leading to more money circulating through the Manx economy.’

More details, including charts (of course!) and the underlying data is available here:

Flight on Mars

NASA has completed another first by flying a helicopter on Mars. The drone, called Ingenuity, was in the air for less than 60 seconds, but NASA is celebrating what represents the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft on another world. Project manager MiMi Aung said the flight was this generation’s ‘Wright Brothers moment’.

Special Gone

It’s hardly surprising given the recent run of form, but Spurs boss Jose Mourinho was today sacked by the club after just 17 months in charge. The Special One took over from Mauricio Pochettino who was controversially sacked just months after guiding Spurs to their first Champions League final in 2019.  They are currently seventh in the league, having picked up two points from their past three league games, and were knocked out of the Europa League in March. Spurs face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

Super League

Of course the departure of Jose wasn’t the only football story to dominate the headlines in the last 24 hours as six of England’s biggest clubs announced plans to join a European Super League alongside some of the continent’s biggest clubs. Quite right the plan has been met with anger and condemnation from sporting bodies, the UK gov and supporters’ groups. In a press conference today UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said those behind the scheme are ‘liars’ and ‘snakes’. He also said players who play for teams involved in the closed league would be ‘banned from the World Cup and Euros’.

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