Still uncertain who to vote for on June 8? Five reasons to vote Labour

 

You’re sat on fence ‘undecided’. When you stand in the ballot box on June 8, do you opt for the Tories and their detrimental assault on doctors, the disabled, the painfully patronisingly termed ‘JAMS’ – just about managings. Do you choose a government that will deny our school children a decent daily meal, a government that plans to scrap human rights, in favour of a weakened set of rights that compromise the protection and freedom of expression we have become used to?

Or do you place your cross next to Labour, a party that will protect our future for generations to come? Will safeguard our homes, our NHS, our jobs, our children’s education and improve our living standards and economy.

If you’re still struggling to make one of the most important decisions of your life, the following five reasons to vote Labour might help you decide:

  • Decent education for ALL children

Labour will stop the Tories’ cuts to education. Labour will keep class sizes to under 30 and ensure young school children have a nutritious daily meal. Labour will trash the Tories plans for elitist grammar schools and make education fair for all our children.

  • Protect our NHS

Labour will protect our NHS. Our precious nurses will no longer have to rely on foodbanks to eat. Labour will stop the cuts to A&E and the pay of our heroic NHS staff.

  • Give people a chance to a better home

Labour will build one million new homes, both council and private, during the next five years. Labour will make renting more affordable so less people are forced into the humiliation of sleeping on our streets.

  • Obliterate unfair working conditions

Labour will wipe out insecure zero hours contracts. Labour will introduce a £10 an hour minimum wage to help raise living standards and reduce poverty.

  • Fix our broken economy

Under the Tories, living standards in Britain have significantly slumped. By fighting poverty, creating education that is free and fair for all and ending our current low skill economy, Labour will build our broken economy, creating a society that works for the many and not just the few.

Never has your vote mattered so much than in this general election.

Vote Labour on June 8.

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The politics of beards: Survey reveals more than two thirds of people don’t like bearded politicians

Can the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn become the first bearded prime minster since Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, who resigned in 1902?

Well recent research from The Bluebeards Revenge male grooming brand suggests that Mr Corbyn might be on a sticky wicket, but it’s not down to his polices, it’s his facial hair that could prove to be the main barrier.

A recent survey of 2,406 people revealed that 69% of respondents do not like male politicians with facial hair. This feeling was particularly strong amongst female respondents, with 74% of those surveyed citing beards as a vote loser.

According to the survey, 67% said they thought a clean shaven politician looked more trustworthy, while 65% believe a fuzz free politician looked more professional than their bearded counterpart.

Other reasons why survey participants liked the clean shaven look ranged from “it made a politician appear more inclusive and approachable” to “it comes across as less aggressive”.

Nick Gibbens, spokesperson for The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “A lot people associate beards with what happens after you lose a campaign and you let yourself go. Despite the recent boom in men sporting facial hair, our research suggests that beards in politics are still seen as unprofessional, are considered lazy but perhaps even more worryingly, make a politician appear less trustworthy as it appears as they are trying to hide something.”

Mr Gibbens said there was still hope for Mr Corbyn on June 8th, but suggested that history was not on his side.

He explained: “Previous Labour administrations saw a number of bearded Cabinet ministers, with the likes of David Blunkett and Robin Cook finding facial fuzz no barrier to a high profile job in Government. But Alistair Darling did shave his beard off, amid widely reported rumours that the razor was wielded on the advice of New Labour image-makers.

“Margaret Thatcher’s time in charge of the country was a very low point for the political beard, with the then prime minister reported to have said she ‘wouldn’t tolerate any minister of mine wearing a beard’.”

A YouGov poll in March found that “beards are growing on the British public”. In 2016 almost a fifth of men flaunted a full beard, up by seven percentage points from 2011. Among 18- to 39-year-olds, 61% sported some form of facial hair.

The Bluebeards Revenge spoke to some of the leading experts in the hairdressing and barber sectors to get their opinion on beards in politics.

Here is what they said:

Keith Conniford – CEO/Registrar Hair & Barber Council
“In the last 12-24 months beards have become a fashion statement for men. Prior to this, the beard was perceived as an “un-kept” look, which is why I believe we haven’t had a bearded PM for over a century.”

Mike Taylor, head educator at the Great British Barbering Academy and co-founder of the British Barbers’ Association
“I think since the 1900s beards have been more of a fashion statement – hippies, hipsters, goatees and the 80s moustache spring to mind. So I would say the PM is seen as a serious person and should not be fashionable for people to trust the land in their hands. Today you still see that a lot of companies will not allow a beard which is bonkers. I would say the most trendy PM we have had was Tony Blair and that is not saying a lot.”

Matthew Batham, Editor of HJ Men
“Perhaps in the past beards were seen a obscuring someone’s face, suggesting there was something not to be trusted about them, but for the past few years beards have become a fashion statement again, sported by young on-trend guys. I don’t think Jeremy’s rather neat facial hair will scupper his chances. Perhaps he could try some beard oil or conditioner to give it a healthy sheen for all those TV appearances.”

Tom Chapman, an award winning barber and founder of the Lions Barber Collective
“I think when a politician is clean shaven it shows they are serious about their role and are committed to their appearance and position. Sometimes a beard can seem like they are hiding something behind all that hair. Clean shaven says ‘I mean business’.”

#ENDS#

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How to spot fake news?

In recent times, we have seen the dawn of the ‘post-truth’ age. It is certainly not a phrase that inspires much confidence in the people charged with running our world. And now, to add to the deception, a new term has entered our culture – ‘fake news’.

So, what is fake news? Is it just a harmless bit of fun or something intended for a darker purpose?

What is fake news?

Fake news is a story written with the sole intention to miss-lead the reader. Articles can be created for financial gain, the intention to spoof or – in many cases – a political tool used to smear an opponent or gain favour with the public for personal or party self-interest.

Fake news, born from history

Writing for The Telegraph, James Carson states that fake news originates form medieval times, where propaganda was as much a political tool then as it is today – he comments:

“Octavian famously used a campaign of disinformation to aid his victory over Marc Anthony in the final war of the Roman Republic. In its aftermath, he changed his name to Augustus, and dispatched a flattering and youthful image of himself throughout the Empire, maintaining its use in his old age.”

What harm can it do?

At face value, fake news can seem like a bit of harmless fun. Indeed, some of the headlines, such as: “WikiLeaks CONFIRMS Hillary sold weapons to ISIS” – appear so outlandish that a mere glance at the heading would discourage many readers from exploring the article further.

However, true democracy relies on its populace to be able to forge its political decisions based on the information it has at hand. If the information is fabricated or twisted in any form, then it can have serious implications for the democratic process.

According to BT, there is a suggestion that fake news may have inadvertently played a part in Donald Trump’s US election victory:

“There is a view that Donald Trump’s shock victory in the US election was helped by fake news stories. An example of this was the story that Democratic senators wanted to impose sharia law in Florida, which even Trump’s nominee for national security adviser Michael Flynn shared – at the time not realising that it was false.”

Equally as concerning, it appears that fake news is finding its way into the classroom. It is stated by The Express, that a third of teachers claim that children have producing assignments where the information was gained from fake news articles.

NASUWT Union general secretary – Chris Keates confirms:

“It is worrying that over a third of teachers had experienced pupils citing fake news or inaccurate information they had found online as fact in their work or during classroom discussions,”

What is being done about it?

Social media streams are now looking at ways to eradicate fake news from their platforms. Facebook have devised a fact-checking tool that alerts readers if content could be non-genuine.

The social media giant has collaborated with an independent firm of ‘fact-checkers’ to affirm news stories’ authenticity. If there is a question mark of the validity of a story, a ‘red-alert’ sign will pop up with the message ‘disputed content’ which will then lead to a secondary pop-up which gives further information of what the disputed content is.

7 tips for spotting fake news

Only use trusted sources: The easiest way to avoid fake news stories is to only use trusted sources in the first place. If you do use an unrecognised source, then it is advisable to read their ‘bio’ first to help establish the validity of the site.

Far-fetched headlines: Fake news stories will often try and catch peoples’ eye by dramatic headlines, all written in capital letters. Remember, if a headline looks far-fetched – it probably is.

Examine the URL: Some fake news sites imitate genuine news stories by making changes to the URL. This can be a sign that the story is fabricated. By comparing the URL to more trusted sources you can identify whether it is likely to be a fake news site or not.

Unusual format: Unusual or scrappy looking layouts are a prime indication of a fake news site or story. Always check for miss-spelling also, as this is usually an incriminating mark of a fake news story.

Lack of back-up evidence: Many fake news stories will contain quotes and evidence from un-named resources. It is advisable to check the reporter’s sources for accuracy.

Compare it with other news feeds, is the story the only one of its kind? If a story is true it will most likely have been covered by many other sources.

 

Examine the date: Does the story’s timeline correspond with that of the actual event? Many fake news feeds will have dates that have been altered or the timeline will not match.

 

Photographic evidence: Most fake news stories will have photos and other media resource such as audio and video feeds incorporated in it. Through your search engine, check to see if they have been manipulated in any way or been taken from another story, elsewhere on the internet.

 

This blog post was written by Aled Thomas, a freelance writer for PW Copy. If you require any high-quality articles, press releases, blogs or other content writing, get in touch with PW Copy, specialists in providing top-notch content around the world.

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Is your Twitter feed turning customers off? How to avoid these epic Twitter mistakes

Twitter forms an integral part of many businesses’ digital marketing strategy. What could be better? The service is free to use and it provides brands with an opportunity to engage with customers and promote their services to a global market.

According to Smartinsights, there are 317 million active Twitter users – worldwide. An Impressive statistic that show why every business should be exploring this avenue as part of their digital marketing strategy.

However, there are pitfalls that can turn customers off your Twitter feed and even some of the world’s most recognisable brands fall into them from time to time. American news firm – BusinessInsider, highlights a few of these examples:

McDonalds’ promotional hashtag backfires

You can’t control a hashtag. Fast food giants – McDonalds, discovered this to their detriment when they created the hashtag #McDStories. Their intention was to endorse the quality of their suppliers and encourage positive feedback from their customers. Unfortunately, this encouraged many followers to comment the complete opposite:

Not so charitable feedback

Many people support or donate to charity, in some form or another. Likewise, many of the world’s largest brands run their own campaigns to support local or global charities and Twitter is an excellent medium to promote such a campaign.

Bing intended to do just that with a campaign to support victims of the Japan earthquake. They promised to donate $1 for every retweet up to a maximum of $100,000.

 

This campaign backfired spectacularly. Instead of supporting Bing in their charitable quest, people saw this as a shameless marketing ploy by Bing to create extra interest in their brand and replied showing their disgust.

The result was that Bing issued an apology, donated the full $100,000 and removed the campaign.

The key here, was that Bing didn’t ignore the customer feedback and they instantly looked to make amends. This is essential, as Digital marketing and search specialist, Christopher Martin states:

“The No. 1 mistake I see businesses make on Twitter is not using it to address customer feedback. In an age where experience is everything, it is not sufficient to simply monitor social media. Businesses must begin to nurture relationships — built from both positive and negative feedback. Not responding to customer comments made via social platforms is akin to ignoring emails, but [it’s] worse, as it is amplified in a public space.”

5 top tips for avoiding Twitter mistakes


Use trustworthy third party Tweeters: Take extra care and monitor each tweet that is made on your businesses behalf. You cannot be too cautious here. If you are using the services of a third party to tweet on your behalf, be sure to establish that they are trustworthy and understand the do’s and don’ts of social media. It’s always worth remembering that It is very easy it is to offend people, even without intentionally doing so.

Remember, once the damage is done it is very difficult to make it right through a simple apology and it can take considerable time for a brand to re-establish its good name.

Never auto-generate content: It is essential that you do not accidentally associate your brand name with Twitter feeds that are unsuitable, offensive or undesirable. Keeping this in mind, never auto-generate content that can be linked with other firms or individuals content. It is a very risky strategy as you have absolutely no control over what their content is, and potentially, you could be associating your brand with content that is harmful to your business.

Research thoroughly: This may sound like an obvious point to make, but thorough research is essential for keeping your brand name safe from unsuitable content. Before following a hashtag -even if it appears harmless enough – investigate its meaning and its origin to be sure that associating with it will not cause your business harm further down the line.

Proof read: Before distributing any content, make sure it is proof-read thoroughly. Non-politically correct commentary or remarks or spelling mistakes can come across as callous or in extreme cases – offensive. Remember, protecting your brand name is critical, once it is tarnished it is difficult to regenerate its good name. Once your content has been released, any comical or offensive miss-haps are likely to be instantly retweeted and not all followers will be able to see the funny side.

Be Tactful: Never use the misfortune of others to promote your brand. Whereas this may be well intentioned, many followers may not see the perspective you intended and take offence – just as Bing’s followers did. Once a chain of negative replies and re-tweets gains momentum, it will be difficult to repress.

The simple rule of thumb is, if you’re unsure, then it is best not to put the content out to an often unforgiving global digital audience.

This blog post was written by Aled Thomas, a freelance writer for PW Copy.

For high-quality social media campaigns, PW Copy provides engaging, flawless and professional content to help develop your social media presence and extend your business’s digital reach.

 

 

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Article 50: What does the future hold for SMEs?

Today, nine months after the historic referendum that saw the UK vote to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May has triggered Article 50, officially beginning the two-year period of Brexit negotiations before the UK’s eventual exit from the trading bloc.

With so many questions about the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU left to be answered, it’s a time of uncertainty for businesses of all sizes in the UK. With that in mind, the UK200Group has asked its member firms what they expect the future holds for SMEs in the UK.

The UK200Group is the UK’s leading membership association of chartered accountancy and law firms, whose members act as trusted business advisers to over 150,000 SMEs. A number of the UK200Group’s members have given their views on how the triggering of Article 50 will impact the SME community, spanning industries as varied as agriculture, fintech, charities and sole traders.

Jonathan Russell, Managing Partner at UK200Group member ReesRussell, said, “Hopefully with the triggering of Article 50 much of the speculation and political positioning will cease, though I doubt it. We are in for a period of negotiation and in any negotiation the parties start at opposite ends of the spectrum and if successful the parties will move to a point where they can agree. However there must always be a point where the parties will not pass, and it is only when those points for both sides do not meet that a deal cannot be done. If a deal cannot be done then all that can be done is to walk away – in this instance Hard Brexit.

“Hard Brexit will suit neither the UK nor the EU and we will see where negotiations take us. UK has not been involved in such negotiations for many years and will have to find people with those negotiation skills. Equally, the EU may have negotiators but in the last 40 years they have not been successful in negotiating much; in part due to the need to get agreement from all individual members as well. As a single country UK can be more nimble in negotiations but with 26 members and different national objectives the EU may well prove obstinate.”

Chris Swallow, Partner at UK200Group member Howard Worth, said, “The triggering of Article 50 will start the long journey to clarity on this matter. However the Scottish Independence referendum calls will give an added dimension. The calling of a new Scottish referendum was always on the cards.

“Having a presence in the UK, including Scotland, together with mainland Europe will be more important than ever and the UK200Group allows us to have this footprint.”

Trevor Cook, Partner at UK200Group member Baines Jewitt Chartered Accountants, said, “It is understandable that there has been some unrest in the run up to triggering Article 50. Many individuals and businesses feel they are entering a period of uncertainty and there has been a lot of speculation. Until the formal discussions are underway, it is too early to predict exactly what changes will be made and what path the UK will follow in its future relationships.

“However, it is hoped that the forthcoming negotiations will have the UK’s best interests at heart, whether that means agreeing positive trading terms, taking advantage of the single market, understanding the impact on UK taxation, helping businesses and individuals to plan ahead or presenting the UK as an attractive place to do business.”

James Abbott, President of the UK200Group and Director at Abbott Moore, said, “Latterly I perceive much of the comment has portrayed a feeling which has, at best, been apprehensive about the Brexit process and, at worst, been quite negative. Counter that with a few outspoken individuals who seem to acknowledge few of the challenges we face in the break-up and as ever, it’s difficult to draw conclusions about our future. I suspect the success of the UK’s negotiations will lie somewhere in between those expectations.

“Whilst I am genuinely confident in our nation’s ability to thrive in whatever environment we face, we as SME advisors can’t sit on our hands and wait for the uncertainties during the negotiation process to be ironed out. It’s essential that we continue to open up new conversations and strengthening existing relationships, we can support our members’ SME clients in taking advantage of the opportunities Brexit will create.”

The UK200Group, established in 1986, represents a significant group of trusted, quality-assured business advisers – chartered accountants and lawyers – who have over 150,000 SME clients in total. As such, the UK200Group acts as the voice for 1,899 charities, over 12% of all registered academies, more than 3,887 farms, 800 healthcare businesses and over 4,000 property and construction professionals. The organisation remains impartial on political matters, and presents the individual views of its members.

Press release issued by ResponseSource: http://pressreleases.responsesource.com/news/92923/article-50-what-does-the-future-hold-for-smes-/

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Three in four women around the world believe there are unequal rights in their country

 

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On the eve of International Women’s Day, new data from Ipsos Global @dvisor shows that although the vast majority in 24 countries around the world say they believe men and women should be treated equally (88% on average), most still think the current situation is one of inequality in terms of social, political and/or economic rights (72% on average).  Women though are more positive when it comes to their own lives – six in ten on average agree they have “full equality with men in their country and the freedom to reach their full dreams and aspirations” – although this still means that in several countries many women disagree.

The survey, among online adults aged under 65 in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Britain, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States also finds a majority on average define themselves as a feminist (58% on average), even though a quarter (24%) say they are scared to speak up for equal rights – especially in India. Around one in five on average say they believe women are inferior to men or that women should just stay at home, although it is higher in India and Russia in particular.  Key findings – including the main differences between countries and between men and women, are outlined below:

Does equality exist?

·         Nine in ten around the world (88% on average) say they believe in equal opportunities for men and women, and the figure is high among both men and women (86% and 89% respectively).  A clear majority in each of the 24 countries believes in this (lowest in Japan at 71%). 

·         However, 72% on average say that inequality currently exists in terms of social, political, and/or economic rights, especially women (by 76% to 68% of men).  Again, a majority in every country believes inequality exists, with the exception of Russia at only 42%. 

·         Women are more positive personally though. On average, 60% agree that they have full equality with men in their country and the freedom to achieve their full dreams and aspirations – but 40% disagree.  However, in seven of the 24 countries a majority of women disagree, especially in Spain, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. 

 

Standing up for equal rights

·         On average, six in ten (58%) across the 24 countries say they would define themselves as feminist, with women more likely to do so than men (by 62% to 55%).  Less than half though in Germany, Russia, Japan and Hungary would call themselves feminist.

·         Most (68%) also claim to actively support women’s rights by speaking up to change things rather than just thinking about them (although this falls to just 28% in Japan).  Men are just as likely as women to say they actively speak up for women’s rights, and in some countries (Argentina, Canada, and the US) are even more likely than women to do so.  

·         However, one in four of both women and men say they are scared to speak up for equal rights for women (26% and 23% respectively).  Fear of speaking out among women is especially high in India (54%), Turkey (47%) and Brazil (41%), while in the US more men say they are scared to speak up than women (by 28% to 15%).

 

Gender roles

·         On average, one in five believe that women are inferior to men, or that women should not aspire to do anything outside of the household (18% and 17% respectively).  Across the 24 countries as a whole, men are slightly more likely to believe that women should just stay at home (by 19% to 14%), although both genders are equally likely to believe that women are inferior.  Attitudes in Russia and India stand outalmost half of those asked in those countries believe that women are inferior to men (46% each), as do one in three (33%) in Serbia.

·         A similar proportion, 25% on average, believe men are more capable of doing things in society such as working, earning money, being educated and teaching than women.  Again, men are more likely to agree with this than women (by 29% to 21%), and belief is particularly high in China (56%), Russia (54%) and India (25%). 

Commenting on the findings, Kully Kaur-Ballagan, Director, Ipsos MORI, said:

“Ipsos’ latest international study suggests that the principle of gender equality is making more progress around the world than the reality.  It’s encouraging that the vast majority of both men and women around the world believe in equal opportunity, and that ‘feminism’ doesn’t seem to be a minority pursuit – but at the same time most still believe that true equality of rights is not here yet.  There also remains a minority of both sexes who believe in male superiority – but perhaps most concerning are the one in four who are scared to speak up for equal rights, especially in some pockets of the world.  When it comes to Britain, we tend to have more liberal views than the international average, but even so seven in ten of us think women and men don’t have full equal rights at the moment, and only half of British men say they would call themselves a feminist.”

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Now or Never for Social Care

National disability charity, Sense, calls for urgent social care investment in upcoming budget

Ahead of the upcoming Budget next week, national disability charity, Sense, is calling on the Government to avert a disaster in the social care sector by delivering the substantial cash injection and long-term  sustainability plan needed to prevent its collapse.

The widely reported social care crisis, which has resulted in cuts to services across the country due to significant reductions in local government funding, has seen an 11.4% drop in the number of people receiving sensory support in the last year alone.

Sense, a national disability charity, supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives,

Richard Kramer, Deputy CEO of disability charity Sense, said:

“There is no doubt that without an immediate and substantial cash injection and a considered plan for its long-term sustainability, of the social care system, the social care system will crumble, which is why we are calling on the Government to take action before it’s too late.

 “Many of the people we support rely on social care services to enable them to live independently, with dignity and as active members of their community; however, in recent years, as repeated budget cuts have taken their toll, these essential services are being withdrawn and fewer people are able to access the vital support they desperately need for day-to-day life.

 “The sector has been waiting with bated breath for a long-term Government solution to the growing crisis and whilst some action has been taken, it has not been anywhere near enough to save the current system, which is completely unsustainable and at real risk of total collapse.

 “If it wishes to avert disaster, the Government must recognise in this Budget that it is now or never for social care, by delivering the funds and long-term sustainability plan that councils and care providers need in order to maintain quality services.”

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Hard Brexit and strong inflation data: Now is the time to ‘go more global’

 

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Theresa May’s Brexit speech and today’s strong inflation data should prompt investors to reduce exposure to UK assets and invest more internationally, affirms the boss of one of the world’s largest independent advisory organisations.

 

The observation from Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, comes as the British Prime Minister today said Britain would be prepared to leave the single market.

 

Mr Green comments: “After months of keeping her cards close to her chest, in her most important speech since becoming Prime Minister in July, Mrs May told the world that her plans for Brexit cannot allow the UK to remain in the European single market.

 

“Although this stance has been widely expected by the markets, it is likely that this confirmation of a hard Brexit will trigger several years of ongoing uncertainty.

 

“The markets detest uncertainty. As such, investors should take precautions against a potential fall in the value of UK assets and avoid firms dependent upon UK-only earnings.

 

“Investors can achieve this by increasing exposure to non-UK investments, such as international stocks, bonds and property.”

 

He continues: “Today’s stronger-than-expected inflation data – UK inflation has hit its highest level since the middle of 2014 – also adds weight to the argument to reduce portfolio exposure to UK assets as the Bank of England could be more inclined to now hike interest rates.”

 

 

Mr Green concludes: “Regardless of the hard Brexit and the increasing likelihood of a rate rise, many investors should be considering a rebalance of their portfolios away from the UK.  Investing across geographical regions is one of the fundamentals of a well-diversified portfolio – and those with a well-diversified portfolio are best-placed to mitigate risk in times of market turbulence and best-placed to take advantage of the opportunities.

 

“The greater diversification that is secured by ‘going more global’, the greater the reduction of overall portfolio risk.”

 

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Article 50 countdown drives rush to transfer UK pensions overseas

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The imminent triggering of Article 50 – the official start of the UK’s divorce proceedings from the EU – is helping to drive the current rush to transfer UK final salary pensions into overseas schemes.

 

deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, affirms enquiries have increased by 21 per cent since the beginning of December and pinpoints Brexit as the main influencer of this trend.

 

Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, comments: “Since the Brexit vote last June, there has been a groundswell of interest in overseas pension transfers. This has intensified in recent weeks as we begin the final countdown to the triggering of Article 50 by the end of March, when Britain will start negotiations with the EU over its exit.

 

“I expect the momentum to develop further, the closer we get to ‘trigger day’.”

 

He explains:  “It’s understandable why so many are considering transferring their UK pensions into an HMRC-recognised overseas pension scheme at the moment.  They recognise the golden opportunity right now.

 

“There are three key factors at play here.

 

“First, since the Brexit vote, gilt yields have reduced considerably and this has driven up transfer values. Indeed, they have reached record highs.  It is perhaps unlikely that the transfer values will remain at this level post-Brexit and people seeking to transfer are looking to take advantage of these possibly once-in-a-lifetime values.

 

“Second, final salary pension deficits continue to come under pressure, and they are being exacerbated by the Brexit-induced falling of gilt yields.

 

“It has been reported that Britain’s pension funding gap almost doubled during 2016 and it could soon reach a trillion.

 

“The size of the gap brings into question the survival of many company pension schemes. Certainly, many will need to make significant changes to the terms of employees’ pension schemes.

 

“And third, no-one knows for sure what a post-Brexit Britain will look like and how the economy will fare.  If there is an economic downturn, for example, it would become increasingly difficult to fund pension schemes. Plus, the value of the assets that the schemes invest in would likely depreciate.

 

“All in all, so-called ‘gold-plated’ final salary schemes are, in many cases, looking considerably less golden than they once did.  As such, people are, quite sensibly, looking to safeguard and take control of their hard earned retirement income.”

 

QROPS also offer a host of other associated benefits.  For instance, funds can be fully passed on to heirs after death, there is greater investment flexibility, and the pension can be paid out in most currencies.

 

The deVere CEO concludes: “Of course, an overseas pension transfer is not suitable for everyone. However, for those who do qualify, with the countdown on to the triggering of Article 50, now might just be the ideal time to do so.”

 

-ENDS-

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Sorry Dad, Mums Really Are Better! New Study Shows Who Buys the Better Presents

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Whose better at buying presents – Mum or Dad? When it comes to purchasing gifts for loved ones, Mums win hands down!

A new study, conducted by personalised gifting website, www.ijustloveit.co.uk, has shown that the majority of people prefer Christmas gifts from their mothers, and do not like buying for, or receiving, gifts from their fathers.

Over 10% of people enjoy buying for mothers; whilst only 1% of people enjoy buying for their fathers. People would rather buy for their pets (1.40%) than their dads!

It seems that mothers really do know best when it comes to festive buying, with fathers falling short in terms of their present-buying skills, as well as being difficult to buy for.

  • Over 10% of participants look forward to receiving a gift from their mum, and a measly 2% from their dads.

Parents are not the only ones who are setting the bar high. The majority of those asked have put their partners on a pedestal when it comes to Christmas gifts.

  • Over 30% of people asked most look forward to receiving gifts from their partners
  • However, it seems men prefer buying for their partners compared to women. Only 18% of women enjoy buying for their spouses, compared to almost 35% of men.

Unfortunately, fathers are not the only people who have a bad reputation. Results have shown that very few of us enjoy buying, or receiving gifts from our grandparents.

  • The survey revealed that only 0.45% of those asked said that they enjoyed buying or receiving presents from their grandparents.

Christmas is especially magical when you’re at a young age. The idea of Santa Claus paying you a visit followed by smiling faces on Christmas morning are never forgotten. It comes as no surprise then, that buying gifts for children has come out on top during the Christmas season, with almost 40% of the vote.

This survey was taken by I Just Love It, a personalised gifting website with over 4,500 customisable products. The website prides itself on being able to provide the perfect personalised present regardless of the recipient.

Kevin Sears, Ecommerce director at IJustLoveIt.co.uk, said: “Christmas should be all about food, friends, family and good times, without the worry of quality or the expense of gifts hanging over our heads.

These survey results show that the meaning of Christmas has somewhat shifted to the importance of present buying. Although this shouldn’t be the case, eliminate the stress of giving an unwanted gift and treat someone to a unique, personalised keepsake they can treasure,” he adds.

Other survey results include:

  • Over 47% of females enjoy buying for children the most, compared to only 30% of males.
  • The mother/father divide strikes again within both genders. Only 11% of women and under 10% of men enjoying giving gifts to their mothers, and a miniscule 1% enjoying giving gifts to their fathers.
  • Of all the people asked, nearly 60% (57.35%) of them had said they have received ‘unwanted’ gifts at Christmas, with over 50% (53.01%) of them choosing to then give them away, and 25% (25.20%) of people choosing to sell them. Over 40% (41.85%) of people are currently buying for 6-10 people, so potentially, of those people, at least half will give their gifts away.
  • Over 40% (44.75%) of those asked said they would spend between £100 – £300 in total on Christmas gifts. That’s nearly 50% less than data acquired in 2015.
  • The Selfie Stick was voted the worst Christmas present to receive at 40% of the overall vote, equally split between both men (38.57%) and women (40.88%).
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