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Britains new finance minister keeps March 11 budget date

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Britain’s new finance minister Rishi Sunak said he will stick with the March 11 date for the government’s first post-Brexit budget, dispelling speculation that the plans, likely to entail a big increase in spending, would be delayed, Reuters reported.

Sunak’s predecessor Sajid Javid, who was already working on plans to increase public investment after a decade of tight controls on spending, resigned unexpectedly last week.

His departure raised questions about whether the budget would be delivered on schedule.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Sunak said: “Cracking on with preparations for my first Budget on March 11. It will deliver on the promises we made to the British people – leveling up and unleashing the country’s potential.”

British government bonds have underperformed U.S. and euro zone debt this month as investors believe that Sunak will obey to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s wishes to increase government spending by more than Javid was prepared to do.

Johnson has promised to reduce the wealth and opportunity gap between parts of Britain by channeling investment into northern and central England, where he won votes from many traditional supporters of the main opposition Labour Party.

It remains to be seen if Sunak will rewrite the new fiscal rules for the government that were announced last year by Javid.

Under those rules, day-to-day spending will not be funded by borrowing within three years’ time, public sector net investment would not average more than 3% of GDP, and spending plans would be reviewed if debt interest payments reach 6% of revenue.

The rules would allow the government to use low borrowing costs to boost investment and help the Conservatives to meet election promises of up to 20 billion pounds ($26 billion) a year in extra investment in road, rail and other infrastructure.

Asked directly on Friday whether the government was still committed to this framework, a source in Johnson’s office declined to comment.

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Azerbaijan

Iran death toll from coronavirus reaches 210

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At least 210 Covid-19 patients have died in Iran, sources within the country's health care system have told BBC Persian.

This figure, as of Thursday evening, is way above the official figure of 34.

The official figure for infected people is at 388 but many have challenged official figures. Most victims are from the capital, Tehran, and the city of Qom where the Iranian outbreak started.

Iran's government has defended its response to the spread of the virus and denied it is withholding information about the number of people affected. News.Az

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Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani President allocates AZN14m for improvement of water supply in Aghdam

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Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has signed an Order to provide funding to improve water supply for irrigation and drinking in 18 residential areas in Aghdam district.

Under the presidential Order, Azerbaijan Irrigation and Water Management Open Joint Stock Company is allocated AZN1.4 million for digging 20 sub-artesian wells to improve irrigation of cultivable lands and supply of drinking water for 24,740 people in 18 residential areas in the district.

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Azerbaijan

TABIB Coronavirus doesnt have deadly effect on children younger than 10

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“There are 7 varieties of coronavirus. From these, 4 are the diseases causing nasal discharge in people and take their course with such easy fly symptoms as a sore throat. Other varieties of this disease which were detected in the recent past and are spreading now have caused epidemics”, said Vasif Aliyev, head of TABIB’s Working Group, member of Operative Task Force under Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan, APA reports.

He said there is no standard, specific, antivirus treatment method for any of these varieties: “Only the symptomatic treatment is applied to them. There is neither vaccine nor antiviral medicinal preparation for these diseases. Just some medicinal preparations are used for treatment, but their efficiency hasn’t been completely proved”.

V. Aliyev noted that according to the statistics, this virus doesn’t have deadly effect on children younger than 10: “Mainly the elderly people, the people suffering from a chronic disease – diabetes, chronic kidney, heart and liver failure, as well as the people have undergone organ transplantation, and the people suffering from oncology diseases bear this disease more heavily due to their weak body resistance. Some patients can recover in two weeks, but others can suffer more heavily, at the same time there is a likeliness of the repeated contraction of the virus. Similarly to the repeated contraction of the flu virus, the coronavirus can also be caught repeatedly. This is a case for all viruses”.

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