HM Treasury chief gives buyers glimmer of hope over Stamp Duty deadline

first_imgEstate agents hoping for a straight answer from the HM Treasury over the ‘will they, won’t they’ on extending the Stamp Duty holiday were disappointed today during the much-anticipated parliamentary debate on the subject.Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman (pictured) responded to the e-petition that has been signed by 138,000+ people.But, apart from thanking the MPs who spoke during the debate and saying he understood the frustrations of those trying to complete before the deadline, Norman said he couldn’t comment on fiscal policy including whether the deadline would be tapered or extended.The only glimmer of hope that hundreds of thousands of buyers gained from the session came when Norman reminded the 5,000 people watching that HM Treasury would consider ‘substantial performance’ as well as ‘completion’.Substantial performanceHM Treasury’s own advice says that ‘substantial performance’ is accepted as a legally recognised term alongside completion. “‘A contract will be substantially performed where the purchaser obtains “the keys to the door” and is entitled to occupy the property (however this is documented)” its own guidance says.Other MPs speaking included Elliott Coburn, who summarised the arguments on both sides including how conveyancers, lenders and surveyors are struggling to get their work completed in time.Diane Abbott also spoke about the problems in Hackney, where hackers brought down the borough’s property search capability, leaving thousands unable to progress purchases.Several MPs quoted TwencyCI research that shows most constituencies in England currently have between 250 and 300 transaction that are likely to miss the deadline.But the strongest message to come through was that two thirds of those waiting to complete transactions started them because of the Stamp Duty holiday – which will put huge pressure on the Chancellor to make some sort of concession early March during his next budget statement.Read more about the stamp duty holiday.Watch the debate.Industry saysKevin Shaw, Group Managing Director of Residential Sales at LRG (left): “So much hinges on the housing market in the UK, and there is no doubt that the Stamp Duty holiday is a great window of opportunity for buyers. Whilst it’s looking unlikely that the Holiday will be extended indefinitely, we think it would only be fair for it to be extended until the end of 2021.“This will allow for buyers that didn’t get through in time to still take advantage of the reduction in Duty, and help keep the housing market thriving.”Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Adviser, Propertymark: “We welcome today’s important debate on the issue of the Stamp Duty holiday, and are pleased to see that there is clearly cross-party support for a holiday extension or tapered end given the concerning cliff-edge is now only two months away.“We are continuing to call on the Government to rethink these timings, so pressure on the system can be released to allow transactions to complete and avoid a disorderly and distressing period for movers and businesses throughout the market.”Karen Rodrigues, sales director, eConveyancer: “It’s unsurprising that the parliamentary Stamp Duty debate hasn’t resulted in an extension to the holiday today. Noise from HM Treasury in recent weeks has very much been that the end of March was a hard deadline.“This focuses the mind for those who have transactions they want to complete ahead of that date and serves as a timely reminder about the importance of quality conveyancers who understand the importance of excellent customer service and how to use technology to deliver it.”e-petitions Jesse Norman HM Treasury sdlt stamp duty February 1, 2021Nigel LewisOne commentDavid Jabbari | Solicitor | Founder and CEO of Muve | [email protected] |, Muve Muve 2nd February 2021 at 4:03 pmSubstantial performance is a red herring and it is not clear why Jesse Norman mentioned it. Before estate agents and conveyancers get too excited, thinking that there might be a way of backdating the effective date of the property transaction, it is important to know what “substantial performance” means. According to section 44(5) of the Finance Act 2003 a contract is substantially performed when:• The purchaser or a connected person takes possession of the whole or substantially the whole of the land , or• The whole or a substantial amount of the consideration is paid or provided.So while this provision does have some application to commercial property (eg where a development agreement for a lease allows the tenant access for fitting out), and there may be some residential cases where a purchaser gets early access, the truth is that there are very few residential cases where “substantial performance” of the property contract will be made out.Log in to ReplyWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » HM Treasury chief gives buyers glimmer of hope over Stamp Duty deadline previous nextHousing MarketHM Treasury chief gives buyers glimmer of hope over Stamp Duty deadlineJesse Norman wouldn’t comment on plans to extend or taper the Stamp Duty deadline, but reminded viewers that ‘substantial performance’ would be test, as well as completion.Nigel Lewis1st February 20211 Comment54,313 Viewslast_img read more

Taylor named Division II Bulletin Player of the Month

first_imgUniversity of Southern Indiana senior guard/forward Jeril Taylor (Louisville, Kentucky) was named the Division II Bulletin Player of the Month for January. The award is the first for Taylor, who becomes the seventh Screaming Eagles to earn the honor.Taylor, who was honored with two of his four Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week awards this month, averaged 24.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.4 steals in January’s 10 games. He also set the USI single-game record with 50 points versus Truman State University on the road and had a triple-double with 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists in the win over Bluefield State College.The Screaming Eagles, who were 8-2 in January as a team, and Taylor return to the friendly surroundings of the Physical Activities Center for Homecoming Week when they host Missouri University of Science & Technology Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Drury University in the homecoming game Saturday at 3:15 p.m.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Speech: Telegraph’s Investing in Britain Forum: Chief Secretary’s speech

first_imgI am excited for the future economic prospects of our country.Of course, in my job, I can see there are economic challenges ahead of us.But when I travel around the country, I see lots of exciting things happening.From Liverpool and its super-port, which will now be able to take ships through the Panama Canal;To Bristol with its world leading high-tech spin outs;To Cardiff where the Welsh dragon is roaring.All of these are contributing to our economic story.GDP has grown for five years solid.Employment is at near record levels.And manufacturing has had its longest growth streak in 30 years.I am ambitious about the future.So I want to ask, how do we make Britain the most energetic, most exciting economy on Earth?We already have the five foundations of our Industrial Strategy to boost productivity and earning power by investment in skills and infrastructure.But I want to lay out five more secrets of Britain’s future economic success.Number 1: we must celebrate entrepreneurs and encourage individual endeavour.I have an instinctive admiration for the individuals who take risks and start something new.The academics who left Oxford to establish the University of Cambridge in the 13th century. Without those mavericks, we may never have built the first computer, discovered the structure of DNA, or split the atom.And I admire Anita Roddick who cared about ethical purchase and founded the Body Shop.And the 12 people who were laid off by BBC Micro, who kept believing in themselves and founded ARM, which now powers around 90% of the world’s microprocessors.Underlying these achievements is the creative urge of individuals who wanted to change the status quo for the better.Millennials are often derided as soft and lazy. But I have found this generation one of the most independently-minded, enterprising and anti-establishment of our times. They have the courage to do things differently, develop new technologies and challenge traditional industries.And I want to make sure Britain has a culture that encourages the thrill-ride of risk and reward, for today’s entrepreneurs – and tomorrow’s.Number 2: we need to keep control of the size of government.It is a basic fact that state-owned companies compete for space and resources with private companies, starving them of oxygen.[Political content removed]If taxes get too high, the desire to work, or set up a company is reduced.Of course, we need taxes to fund universal education, healthcare, a welfare safety net, pensions, police and armed forces.We currently spend £28,500 per household to make this happen and make sure everyone has a fair chance.But it’s a delicate balance. When taxation goes too far, we end up wasting money, and losing trust.If it gets out of control, working people and successful companies are punished, in order to plump the pillows of the privileged, and resuscitate lumbering zombie companies, long past their best.That’s why we must maintain vigilant and control of the size of government.Number 3: I believe in the benefits of shaking up markets.I am resolutely on the side of new entrants and upstarts when others attempt to stop them entering the market.And I’m aware there are those who want to shut down the new economy.Those who campaign against Uber.Those who rail against Airbnb.The record labels in a tug-of-war with music streaming services.But I am instinctively pro-disruption and anti-vested interests. It’s in my interest, because it gives me more freedom: I can go where I want, when I want, stay where I want – and listen to Whitney Houston whenever I want.I am proud of what we’ve done to encourage competition.We’ve made it easier for expanding businesses to take on new staff.We’ve taken over a million self-employed people out of restrictive and costly health and safety regulations, because they posed no danger to others.And we’ve authorised 15 new banks, reducing the market share of the big four in the UK.But we have to go further. In the utilities sector, despite our independent regulators, the big incumbents still don’t face enough competition.Perhaps we should learn from South Korea, where utilities are viewed as a single market and have to compete against each other. This has resulted in very low cost and high roll-out of all utilities.The last time UK utilities regulation had a serious shake-up was the 1990s, before the emergence of internet.Number 4: we have to keep our important professions open to newcomers.Just as we need to enable new entrants to succeed in the market, we need to enable new entrants in the workplace.British professions are some of the best in the world, but elements within seem to be constantly lobbying to put barriers up to prevent new people joining them.We know that professional regulations can be a damaging restraint on trade. They can reduce opportunities, keep women out of the best roles, and limit the overall number of jobs available.This is nothing new. In the 18th century, James Watt, who would later become the inventor of the revolutionary Watt engine, was denied a job in the city of Glasgow by the local guild of instrument-makers. Why? Because he had done his apprenticeship 25 miles up the road in Greenock.Today, licensing is the most restrictive form of occupational regulation in the UK, covering around a quarter of groups in the labour market. We now have more regulated occupations than France, Italy or Belgium.We are working hard to address this.We’ve introduced free schools – where teachers don’t have to have traditional training and instead bring other experience to those roles.We’ve brought nurse associates into hospitals to help the established nursing teams deliver first-rate care.We’ve encouraged the growth of Alternative Business Structures, which can provide certain legal services without having to identify as a law firm.But we must try harder. For my part, I am doing my best to open up politics, once a closed shop for men only, to more women – and particularly those from the North!Number 5: we must take on the NIMBYsOpening up planning and building houses in the right places is the fastest things we could do to boost our country’s productivity.When I moved to London from Leeds as a graduate in the 1990s, I came because of the opportunities on offer here. I could afford to find somewhere to live. But young people these days struggle to get flats near their jobs.This is deeply economically damaging, as growing companies need to attract new staff to continue developing.And we know this would help increase wages: doubling the size of a city leads to an increase in its productivity of up to 5%.But it’s not just about economics. Accepting the status quo is bitterly unfair.There are lots of claims that increasing return to capital, rather than workers, is being driven by industrial and technological factors.But in fact, according to a study by the American economist, Matthew Rognlie, increasing wealth inequality can be blamed almost entirely on disparities in housing wealth.That’s why Sajid Javid’s bold planning reforms are so important.[Political content removed]We also need to liberate business planning in high-growth, free enterprise areas, and remove the strict controls that get in the way of prosperity.That’s why we’re piloting a manufacturing zone in the East Midlands, where all the planning is pre-agreed and manufacturers can get straight to work on building their factories.And we could do even more. I would like to see more of the development model used to build Canary Wharf.We could see it bettered up in Leeds or Newcastle – a Canary North!What could stop us taking advantage of these opportunities? What could stop us unleashing the secrets of our success?The answer is – those people with a vested interest in more government.They want a thicket of regulation to grow, as they are the ones who know how to hack through it. Who benefit from the status quo, oppose change, and want to pull up the ladder behind them.They can be the lobbyists.They can be the unions.They can be the bureaucrats.They can be the NIMBYs.I call them The Blob. Gloopy. Treacly. Hard to define. Harder to resist.They say they want to protect people and jobs. They say they only want this tiny change in legislation. And they will ask again and again for government favours – arguing that they are the exception, that their cause deserves coddling and sympathy.This effect is described in The Captured Economy, by Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles.They talk about the situation in the US, where too many companies are lured away from truly productive activities, and towards rent-seeking, hunting for special favours and handouts.I believe one of the main roles of government – and this government in particular – is to challenge, not succumb, to the Blob and to keep our economy free and fair.It’s vital to our mission that we fight the forces of vested interest and make sure our country’s opportunities are open to everyone – big or small, north or south, man or woman.[Political content removed]I am confident that we can continue to hold back the forces of The Blob.Britain is the home of economic freedom, with liberty guaranteed by the independence of our state institutions, and an absence of corruption assured by transparency.We’ve come a long way in the last seven years – championing free enterprise, tackling the abuse of lobbying and keeping the voices of protectionism at bay.There are many countries across the world that do not get this right, and give in to the intoxicating embrace of institutionalised corruption. Even seemingly healthy democratic countries.Because the biggest secret is what we don’t do, rather than what we do do. We are a free country where we eschew suffocating central control and regimented planning.We believe individuals makes better decisions for themselves. And we believe in people being the agents, not the victims, of their economic destiny.Thank you.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: You Could Perform for Sondheim & More

first_img Heeeeeeeere’s Johnny!…On Stage You wait forever for a play about Johnny Carson and then two come along at once. Or something. The New York Post reports that two productions are being developed about the king of late-night talk. One show is based on Henry Bushkin’s biography, Johnny Carson, and is being workshopped this summer. The Bushkin adaptation will probably delve deeper into the host’s scandalous side than the other, which is officially sanctioned by the Carson Entertainment Group and will feature music from the 1960s and 1970s. Cameron Mackintosh Admits He Was ‘Stupid’ Over Original Broadway Saigon Casting After David Henry Hwang recently revealed that he lied to Cameron Mackintosh over the “Yellow Face” controversy surrounding the 1991 Broadway transfer of West End hit Miss Saigon, the mega-producer has admitted that he thinks he was “stupid” over the casting of Jonathan Pryce in the leading Eurasian roll of The Engineer in the production. Mackintosh told The Telegraph: “I said it was a storm in an Oriental tea-cup, thinking I was being clever.” He now agrees that the protestors had a point about the character being played by an actor of Asian descent. A new production of Miss Saigon opens in London tonight; Jon Jon Briones, who was born in the Philippines, is starring as the Engineer. Win the Chance to Perform Your Work for Stephen Sondheim Jonathan Larson was so influenced by Stephen Sondheim that he used the legend’s “Sunday” from Sunday in the Park with George as the basis for a whole number in tick, tick… BOOM!, which will soon be revived at Encores! Off-Center, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo. Those behind the production are giving you the opportunity to take any number from Sunday, remix it and enter into this competition. Win and you get to perform the work in front of Sondheim himself! View Commentscenter_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Loudon Wainwright III to Star Off-Broadway in Surviving Twin Loudon Wainwright III opens off-Broadway in Surviving Twin, an 80-minute one-man show, on June 9. According to The New York Times, the production will be a mix of his old hits, new work and a “posthumous collaboration” with his father, the Life magazine columnist Loudon S. Wainwright, Jr., who died in 1988.last_img read more

Casting & Creative Team Announced for Into the Woods Off-Broadway

first_img Directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, the production will feature set design by Derek McLane , with costimes by Whitney Locher , lighting by Christopher Akerlind, sound by Darron L West , choreography by Lisa Shriver and musical direction by Matt Castle/ Into the Woods We now know who will be going off-Broadway Into the Woods! Jessie Austrian, Noah Brody, Paul L. Coffey, Andy Grotelueschen, Liz Hayes, Claire Karpen, Jennifer Mudge, Patrick Mulryan, Ben Steinfeld and Emily Young will appear in the Roundabout revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s classic musical. Previews will begin on December 18 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, with opening night set for January 22, 2015. Related Shows The tuner will play a limited engagement through March 22. View Comments All the actors are reprising their roles in the Fiasco Theater stripped down production, which has played both at New Jersey’s McCarter Theatre Center and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Austrian will play the Baker’s Wife, with Brody as Lucinda, Wolf & Cinderella’s Prince, Coffey as Mysterious Man, Grotelueschen as Milky White, Florinda & Rapunzel’s Prince, Hayes as Cinderella’s Stepmother & Jack’s Mother, Karpen as Cinderella & Granny, Mudge as Witch, Mulryan as Jack & Steward, Ben Steinfeld as Baker and Emily Young as Little Red Ridinghood & Rapunzel. The beloved reimagining of fairy tales centers on a childless Baker and his wife, who embark on a quest to find the four items required to break a witch’s spell: the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 12, 2015last_img read more

Saint Michael’s College, Vermont Law School sign agreement that helps SMC grads to enter VLS

first_imgAt the same time that Saint Michael’s College has instituted a new Environmental Studies major, the college has made an arrangement that will help graduates enter Vermont Law School upon graduation. And, Vermont Law School was just re-named as having the top environmental law program in the country by U.S.News & World Report.On March 17, 2011, SMC President John Neuhauser and Vermont Law President Geoffrey Shields signed an Articulation Agreement between the two institutions, which states the purpose to be‘To guarantee admission into Vermont Law School’s JD, MELP, or Joint JD/MELP degree programs to Saint Michael’s College students who successfully complete Saint Michael’s requirements for the bachelor’s degree (BA or BS) and who also meet the entrance requirements stated below.’ The requirements are essentially to match the standards applied to current Vermont Law students.Saint Michael’s students can enter into a Juris Doctor (JD) progam, Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) program, or a joint JD/MELP program, resulting in both degrees.‘This new agreement with Vermont Law School presents a terrific opportunity for our students and is very much in keeping with out own efforts in developing the area of Environmental Studies,’ said Saint Michael’s President John Neuhauser.Saint Michael’s students must have earned their SMC bachelor’s degree with a grade point average (GPA) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) ‘equal to or exceeding the average GPA and LSAT of the first-year JD or MELP class in residence at Vermont Law at the time of the SMC student’s application.Saint Michael’s College, The Edmundite Catholic liberal arts college, is external) . Saint Michael’s provides education with a social conscience, producing graduates with the intellectual tools to lead successful, purposeful lives that will contribute to peace and justice in our world. Founded in 1904 by the Society of St. Edmund and headed by President John J. Neuhauser, Saint Michael’s College is located three miles from Burlington, Vermont, one of America’s top college towns. It is identified by the Princeton Review as one of the nations Best 371 Colleges, and is included in the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Saint Michael’s is one of only 280 colleges and universities nationwide, one of only 20 Catholic colleges, with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Saint Michael’s has 1,900 undergraduate students, some 500 graduate students and 100 international students. Saint Michael’s students and professors have received Rhodes, Woodrow Wilson, Pickering, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and other grants. The college is one of the nation’s top-100, Best Liberal Arts Colleges as listed in the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings.-30-last_img read more

Innovation advice from a mobile payments rock star

first_img continue reading » Chuck Davidson is the man behind Starbucks’ payments app, one of the most successful payments apps to date.Today, nearly 30% of the coffee maker’s transactions occur through the app—which is “nuts,” Davidson says.Davidson, who is now the head of customer engagement at Cardfree, discussed the development process behind the app during the AXFI Conference in Minneapolis.His approach to innovation:Watch: Observe your customer using your products or services. This can be better than focus groups or even talking to people.Ideate: Brainstorm with cross-functional teams and without idea boundaries.Test and prototype: Be quick and dirty. Learn but don’t be invested at this stage. Iterate and course correct. 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Thailand to cull ducks in avian flu fight

first_imgFeb 11, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Thai government has announced plans to cull about 2.7 million free-range ducks to stem the spread of avian influenza, the Bangkok Post reported today.Ducks have been found to shed high levels of the H5N1 virus without appearing ill. The national avian flu committee agreed in principle yesterday to cull free-range ducks, the newspaper reported.More than a million adult ducks have been moved to farms or slaughterhouses, while another 5.5 million were confined to areas in northern and central provinces to be sold to the government, the Post reported.The government’s measures will destroy a way of life for about 4,000 farmers but won’t control the spread of avian flu, Somnuek Promchaiwattana, leader of the Free-Range Duck Traders and Producers Club, told the Bangkok newspaper. Shifting to closed farming will cost more and force farmers to raise ten times as many ducks to realize a profit, he said.The plan to cull ducks was announced less than a week after officials said hundreds of wild birds had died of avian flu in Thailand’s central province of Nakhon Sawan.Between Jan 18 and Feb 3, nearly 500 open-billed storks were found dead at the Boraphet reservoir, Thailand’s largest freshwater swamp, according to a story by the Chinese news service Xinhua on Feb 5.Wildlife officials burned and disinfected areas where sick storks were found, the Bangkok Post reported on Feb 5, but officials stopped short of proposing a mass cull of the migratory birds.The die-off bears a close resemblance to the deaths of more than 500 open-billed storks and 300 other birds in the same reservoir a year ago, according to the Xinhua report.Thailand remains in the midst of widespread avian flu outbreaks in poultry. The country reported 10 new outbreaks in Phichit, PhitsanuLok, and Suphan Buri provinces in the last week to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Twenty-eight other provinces are on avian flu watch, the Bangkok Post said today. More than 60,000 poultry have been culled in Thailand since early December, according to the country’s reports to OIE.Unlike Vietnam, Thailand has not had any confirmed human cases of avian flu since October 2004.last_img read more

Exporting coronavirus? Infections among US deportees reach Haiti, Mexico

first_imgThree Haitians who arrived in the Caribbean country two weeks ago tested positive while in quarantine, a Health Ministry official told Reuters. The flight had raised objections from human rights advocates worried about exporting the virus to the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.In the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo, one man deported from Houston infected 14 others at the Catholic church’s Nazareth migration shelter, state authorities and the city’s bishop said. Cubans, Mexicans, Hondurans and a migrant from Cameroon were among those who caught the virus, officials said. The 15 who tested positive, who include three children 16 years old and under, have been placed in isolation, shelter authorities said.It is not clear where the deportees contracted the virus, but the new cases led to calls for deportations to be suspended unless US authorities can test migrants before they leave the country.Workers at some US deportation and migrant detention facilities have tested positive for the virus, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has said. Topics : Rachel Schmidtke, Refugees International’s advocate for Latin America, said that while the source of the infections was still not known, keeping migrants in crowded detention centers increased the risk of contracting the virus.”Nobody should be deported unless they have been tested and they test negatively for Covid-19,” Schmidtke said.Haiti so far only has 57 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Haiti’s prime minister, Joseph Jouthe, said another flight carrying more than 100 Haitian deportees was expected this week.”These are Haitians, they are coming home, we must accept them,” he told a local radio station. Jouthe did not mention the infections on the earlier flight.US Representative Andy Levin, a Democrat, said on Twitter that the new flight to Haiti should be stopped to prevent a wider spread of the disease.”These deportations are immoral, and they put both Americans and Haitians at risk,” he wrote.Guatemala has temporarily suspended flights while officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) review the test results of an April 13 deportation flight to Guatemala.Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said on Monday a total of 51 migrants deported by the United States to the Central American country had tested positive for the coronavirus.Neither the CDC nor the US Department of Homeland Security, which oversees deportations, has commented on the number of cases among deportees.”Review is a good practice any time laboratory or epidemiology results vary from previous expectations,” Jasmine Reed, spokeswoman for the CDC said on Monday. center_img Mexico and Haiti have detected coronavirus infections among migrants deported recently from the United States, officials said on Tuesday, part of a growing trend of contagion among deportees.The new infections come after an outbreak among deportees to Guatemala, where the government at the weekend linked almost a fifth of all cases of the new coronavirus in the country to flights returning migrants from the United States last week.All three affected countries have far fewer confirmed cases of the disease than the United States.last_img read more

Bottlenecks? Glass vial makers prepare for COVID-19 vaccine

first_imgWith thousands dying from COVID-19 every day and attempts to contain the virus plunging the world into recession, drugmakers and healthcare groups including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and the GAVI vaccines alliance are pushing to mass produce vaccines even before they are shown to work in trials.They want to be sure a successful jab can be rolled out as quickly as possible to billions of people across the world.But that is creating worries about supplies.AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot; the head of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Richard Hatchett; and the director general of global drugmakers’ lobby group IFPMA, Thomas Cueni, have all warned there may not be enough glass vials available for a global immunization campaign. Topics : Privately-held Schott, the biggest supplier of borosilicate glass for medical bottles and syringes, is confident vial makers can meet the challenge, but says it has had to make some very difficult business decisions to try to ensure that is the case.Heinricht said Schott had turned down requests from major vaccine developers for future delivery of 800 million to 1 billion glass vials, which typically hold 5-10 doses, because the company believed it was too early to make such a commitment.”That is the dilemma we are in,” Heinricht said, adding Schott’s cautious stance may have contributed to an industry view that vials, which drugmakers buy for less than 10 euro cents apiece, may become in short supply.Pulling out the stopsFrance’s SGD Pharma, a maker of vials and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of molded glass for the pharmaceutical industry, said it had a public health duty and would do everything to avoid vial shortages.”We trust our clients, with whom we have long standing relationships, not to make speculative moves. If this was to be the case, we would put the reputation and the mission of SGD above any cash gain,” Chief Executive Christophe Nicoli said.He sought to allay concerns over shortages, saying SGD expected an additional pandemic demand for vials of no more than 3% of underlying annual volumes.Schott, whose founder Otto Schott invented heavy-duty borosilicate glass in the 1890s, also said it was pulling out all the stops for its part in supplying a billion multi-dose vials which it says will be needed for a global immunization drive, potentially next year.Schott, with 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in annual sales, competes in the market for borosilicate glass tubes with Nippon Electric Glass, Nipro and Corning Inc .It also makes the finished bottles, or vials, where it competes in a more fragmented market with companies including SGD, Germany’s Gerresheimer and Italy’s Stevanato Group.Corning this week won $204 million in U.S. government funding to boost output of its vials for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. That came a day after the U.S. government awarded $143 million to SiO2 Materials Science to boost production of its vials and syringes.Schott’s Heinricht said the industry supplies about 50 billion medical borosilicate containers per year, of which 15-20 billion are medical vials, even without a pandemic. The glass type is favored by the pharma industry because it does not react with contents.Schott and its peers will manage to add about 1 billion vials likely needed for a global immunization effort, he said. That would require a vial to be used for multiple injections.Schott has invested in glass and vial production over recent years because China is switching to higher-quality borosilicate containers, standing the company in good stead for the pandemic, and 200 million euros were earmarked for new production lines this year.”The day a vaccine nears approval we will be ready and I am certain that not only we but also our competitors will deliver,” said Heinricht.center_img Drugmakers are warning of a potential shortage of vials to bottle future COVID-19 vaccines, but their rush to secure supplies risks making matters worse, some major medical equipment manufacturers warn.Schott AG, the world’s largest maker of specialty glass for vaccine vials, says it has turned down requests to reserve output from major pharmaceutical firms because it does not want to commit resources before it is clear which vaccines will work.”We have to keep the door open to give capacity to those who really are successful in the end. We don’t want to be portrayed in the press as the ones who were unable to package the best vaccine,” Chief Executive Frank Heinricht told Reuters.last_img read more