Freedom day March 14th 2017 – CNN

Today is designated Freedom from slavery day by the CNN news network.

May I try and prick the conscience of my fellow African brothers and sisters who employ house helps.

If theses house helps are under 15 years and  are not paid directly you just might be unwittingly involved in slavery and child trafficking, so please investigate each circumstance and also children under 15 should ideally be in education and not working as house helps.

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please visit our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

 

UK business confidence has rebounded to its strongest level since 2015

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UK business confidence has rebounded to its strongest level since 2015

The EU referendum sent the net balance of optimism to a four-year low of 39 per cent, but now the index has rebounded to 52 per cent, comparing favourably with other developed markets, data released today by the Markit UK Business Outlook Survey said. Values above zero indicate optimism for the coming 12 months, City AM reports.

The sharp rise in the headline index was the largest of any country monitored by the survey except the US.

Around 12,000 manufacturers and service providers surveyed said a resilient domestic economic backdrop and improving client demand so far in 2017 had boosted their confidence in February.

“While a number of firms cited heightened uncertainty about the path to Brexit, it seems clear that these concerns have receded in comparison to the projections reported last autumn,” said Tim Moore, senior economist at IHS Markit.

As firms become more optimistic and less fearful about the near-term impacts of political uncertainty, they’re expected to increase job hiring and capital expenditure (capex) plans for the year, the survey found.

The number of UK firms forecasting increasing their staff is at its highest since autumn 2015, at 27 per cent in February, up from 19 per cent in October.

The balance of firms expecting to increase capex in the year, at 13 per cent, was well above the average level seen in 2016 of seven per cent but down from the post-crisis peak in early 2014 of 24 per cent.

Prices are set to rise as cost projections surge

Some businesses said the slump in sterling’s value gave them a competitive boost, but others noted concerns about the impact of higher inflation on consumer spending.

“The fly in the ointment is sharply rising prices for imported materials, which contributed to an increase in overall cost projections to their strongest for six years,” Moore said.

“As a result, UK firms are expecting to increase their prices charged at the fastest pace since the survey began in late-2009.”

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please visit our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

Long shadow’ of financial crisis hits incomes

Typical household incomes in the UK will not grow for the next two years due to the “long shadow” of the financial crisis, a report suggests.

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‘Long shadow’ of financial crisis hits incomes

In five years’ time, median income will be 4% higher than it is now, the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts.

The recession and tepid recovery mean that from the start of the crisis to 2021, households will suffer the worst income squeeze for 60 years, reports The BBC.

They will be £5,000 a year worse off than they might have expected.

The IFS has produced a report on living standards for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which campaigns to reduce poverty.

It suggests, based on official forecasts produced for the government by the Office for Budget Responsibility, that long-term income growth is a relatively slow 2% a year.

“If the OBR’s forecast for earnings growth is correct, average incomes will not increase at all over the next two years,” said Tom Waters, an author of the report.

“Even if earnings do much better than expected over the next few years, the long shadow cast by the financial crisis will not have receded.”

This was generally the result of small increases in wages, low productivity levels, tax and benefit policies and the state of the UK economy.

The squeeze would be felt worst by low-income households with children, he said, owing primarily to the four-year freeze in working-age benefits.

In contrast, pensioners would see their income growing faster than working-age households – a reversal of the position a decade ago.

“Once you account for their lower housing costs and smaller household size, median income is projected to be nearly 8% higher for pensioners than for non-pensioners by 2021-22, having been nearly 10% lower in 2007-08,” the report said.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “These troubling forecasts show millions of families across the country are teetering on a precipice, with 400,000 pensioners and over one million more children likely to fall into poverty.”

He added: “It is essential that the prime minister and chancellor use the upcoming Budget to put in place measures to stop this happening. An excellent start would be to ensure families can keep more of their earnings under the Universal Credit.”

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokeswoman Baroness Kramer also called for the Government to take action in next week’s Budget.

“For all the talk about the ‘just about managing’ we have seen no real help for them,” she said.

A Treasury spokesman said: “We are taking action to support families with the costs of living by cutting taxes for millions of working people, doubling free childcare for nearly 400,000 working parents and introducing the National Living Wage – a significant pay rise for the lowest earners.”

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please visit our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

How To Lift The London Younger Generation Out of The Poverty Trap and Life on Social Benefits

We should be looking at the younger generation that live in the inner London boroughs and consider how to bring those in the poverty trap out of what seems a bleak future and life on social benefits.

I have some thoughts below which I would appreciate some comments and thoughts on so that we as a society can proffer ideas to put forward

  • work for social benefits in government institutions or voluntary organisations (to prevent private organisations taking advantage)
  • Free travel with strict behavioral conditions
  • grant for staying in college with conditions attached such as full attendance and behavioural
  • encourage university or further education with grants or discounted tuition and maintenance
  • offer internship and job placement or encourage further education such as master degrees

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please visit our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

Pound sterling is trading £1 for €1 at some airports after Brexit

Bureaux de change at UK airports are charging fees to Brits already hit by a slump in the value of the pound

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Pound sterling is trading £1 for €1 at some airports after Brexit

Holidaymakers heading to Europe will receive just one euro per pound at UK airports thanks to the combined effect of high charges and a Brexit-weakened pound, reports The Independent.

Those heading to the US will hardly get a better deal in dollars.

The worst rates are at Moneycorp’s Bristol Airport bureau de change, which gives customers just €1.0008 per pound, according to Caxton FX, a pre-paid card provider.

Scots flying from Edinburgh will get a similarly low rate of €1.007.

Those flying from London airports get the best deal, receiving €1.07, an extra €70 for £1,000 exchanged, from Heathrow or Gatwick.

However, at ICE’s desk at Luton airport the rate slides to just €1.007. At Stansted it is €1.015. All the airport prices were taken by Caxton FX on July 11.

The pound was trading at €1.194 at 4pm on Wednesday, meaning that consumers could be paying 18 per cent in commission and charges at some outlets.

“Currency exchange bureaus at the airport have a captive audience, so they can offer outrageously poor rates and are still confident that people will purchase foreign currency from them,” commented Rupert Lee Browne of Caxton FX.

The figures also highlight how far the pound has fallen since the June 23 EU referendum. Since the unexpected vote to leave, uncertainty around the UK’s economic future has seen sterling plummet from €1.30 to €1.19.

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please visit our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

BHS: Tina Green denies family firms are based offshore for tax reasons

Philip Green’s wife says companies behind retail empire are based in Jersey and BVI because of their ‘strong regulation’

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BHS: Tina Green denies family firms are based offshore for tax reasons

The wife of retail tycoon Sir Philip Green has defended their use of companies based in tax havens, praising their “strong regulatory regimes”, reports The Guardian.

Tina Green provided details of what has been described as the “complex web” of companies behind the family’s retail empire in a written response to MPs investigating the collapse of high street retailer BHS.

Lady Green, who is based in Monaco, gave details of 11 companies in which she or her wider family hold the controlling stake, with the majority incorporated in Jersey and the British Virgin Islands. However, she claimed the choice of jurisdiction was not related to the benevolent tax regimes.

“My understanding is that jurisdictions such as Jersey and the British Virgin Islands are commonly preferred for their strong regulatory regimes and well-respected regulators and the size and competence of their professional communities,” she wrote. “For the avoidance of doubt, my husband is not, nor has he ever been, a director or a shareholder of any of the non-UK companies referred to.”

The committee, jointly chaired by the MPs Frank Field and Iain Wright, wrote to Lady Green last month after evidence from advisers and executives linked to the BHS scandal raised fresh questions for the couple, who sold the department store chain to a serial bankrupt, Dominic Chappell, for £1 last year. The Greens have an estimated £3.2bn fortune.

The collapse of BHS in April also led to Philip Green being called before MPs to explain how the business had been left in such a perilous state. His wife was not called before the parliamentary inquiry.

At that time Wright said the evidence pointed to a “complex and very opaque web of privately owned family businesses” that helped make the deal possible. “We are keen to follow the money and look forward to Lady Green in her capacity as owner and ultimate beneficiary of these companies writing to us,” he said.

In her letter Green confirmed that she had been resident in Monaco since 1998 and was domiciled there. She also revealed income of £28.2m in the year to 30 September 2015, from the repayment plus interest of a £200m loan raised by one of the family companies to finance the purchase of BHS. The fixed-rate loan notes, which attract interest of 8% a year, are listed on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange.

Field said of Lady Green’s response: “I am not much closer to understanding the complex web of offshore Green companies but I am intrigued to learn that, while the attraction of Monaco is its fine schools, the British Virgin Islands and Jersey are favoured for their robust regulatory regimes.”

“What is clear, however, is that Green was paid £28m offshore, in the latest accounting year, for the acquisition of BHS by Taveta, another family company,” he added.

Field said there would be no more hearings before parliament breaks for the summer, but that it would soon publish its interim report.

Philip Green, who together with other investors collected more than £580m in dividends, rent and interest payments from BHS during his 15 years in charge of the retailer, told MPs during his appearance before the inquiry that he would“give assurance to the 20,000 pensioners that I am here to sort [the pension deficit] in the correct way”.

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please visit our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

Which Way Are You Voting: In or Out

For those of us in the United Kingdom, we have a once in a generation choice to make, in or out.

I would guess that most of us are not completely sure which way to support.

I was talking to a lady who said she was going to vote leave, I then suggested it might mean applying for a visa anytime you want to travel to another country in Europe, she immediately changed her mind and said she would definitely vote remain.

I also had a discussion with a young chap who works a lot in Europe and he said he would definitely be voting remain.

Last Sunday I was having a discussion with some guys after Church service and they were on the side of leaving the EU and having an immigration point system based on the Australian model. Bear in mind that they were all first or second generation immigrants.

I think most people will vote with either their heart, mind or how it affects them personally, but I doubt it will be with knowledge of how life will be outside the EU.

As a christian , in all this I pray the will of the Lord be done and may there be peace after the results whichever way the vote goes.

Please go out and vote

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please visit our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

Morrisons’ treatment of suppliers again highlighted by watchdog

The grocer had demanded some suppliers pay extra lump sums of £2m in 2015 after similar breaches the year before

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Morrisons’ treatment of suppliers again highlighted by watchdog

Morrisons has been forced to repay cash and discipline staff after it was found to have breached the grocery market code of conduct for a second time by demanding lump sums of about £2m from suppliers, reports The Guardian.

The grocery market watchdog said Morrisons admitted to making 19 requests which were above and beyond agreed deals with suppliers in contravention of an industry code in place since 2009.

The contraventions came to light after a number of suppliers contacted Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon after the Guardian revealed details of the demands for one-off payments in July last year.

The Guardian also revealed a letter from Morrisons’ legal team advising buyers to contact them for advice on how to “construct arguments that are credible” in order to continue to demand such payments – meeting the letter of the code but, it could be argued, not the spirit.

The GCA said she had received evidence from suppliers that senior Morrisons personnel were present at a meeting where lump sums of as much as £2m were requested from suppliers.

Some requests for cash had been accompanied by “clear indications that suppliers would suffer detriment, perhaps de-listing, if payments were not made”. These had “gone away when it hit the press”, a report listed on the GCA’s website notes.

Morrisons could have faced a full investigation and potentially a fine worth up to 1% of turnover, or more than £100m, but Tacon said there was no need to conduct an investigation because the supermarket had taken “swift action” to rectify the matter.

The chief executive, David Potts, ordered an internal investigation in which 66,000 emails were examined and employees interviewed, with disciplinary action taken when appropriate, including the departure of some staff.

The GCA said she had been “assured that additional training, more robust internal processes and increased audits are now in place and that Wm Morrison checked to see that no similar activity occurred at its year end in February 2016”.

Instead the GCA published details of the matter as a case study to clarify that such retrospective lump sum payments not explicitly agreed in supplier contracts were in breach of the code.

Morrisons had also contacted suppliers who had paid money for “no clear benefit” and offered them the money back which “in some cases was accepted”. It is understood that very few suppliers took up the payments.

“The GCA acknowledged that Wm Morrison had responded immediately when alerted to the issue, had conducted extensive internal investigation and this had led to the requests [for payments] not being followed up,” according to the published case study published.

Potts said: “These events happened a year ago and since then much has been achieved to ensure they don’t happen again. However, we are sorry they happened in the first place.

“Since then, we have completely changed the way we work with suppliers. I have brought in a new management team who have modernised and simplified all of our buying practices. We have also reorganised and retrained our buying team.”

It is the second time Morrisons has been found to have breached the code and had its poor practice highlighted by the GCA. In 2014, the supermarket was found to have breached the grocery code by overcharging 67 suppliers. In that instance the adjudicator publicised the case as a “case study” and Morrisons reimbursed the suppliers involved.

In a survey of suppliers published by the GCA a year ago, 30 per cent of Morrisons suppliers thought the supermarket rarely complied with the grocery code and a further 2 per cent thought it never did – making it the second worst performer of the big four supermarkets behind Tesco.

The latest issue with the industry watchdog comes as Morrisons faces a potential liability of up to £20m as My Local, the group that bought the Bradford-based group’s convenience store chain, looks at options for the business, including administration.

More than 2,000 jobs are at risk as My Local, which operates 120 stores, has brought in accountancy firm KPMG.

My Local, led by the retail veteran and Secret Millionaire star Mike Green, bought 140 Morrisons M Local convenience stores for £25m last September. The deal was backed by Greybull Capital, which along with OpCapita was one of the co-investors in the electrical retailer Comet, which collapsed in 2012.

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please vist our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

Microsoft avoids paying £100m a year in UK corporation tax

Microsoft sent more than £8 billion of revenues to Ireland since 2011

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Microsoft avoids paying £100m a year in UK corporation tax

Microsoft has reportedly avoided up to £100m a year in UK corporation tax by routing its sales through Ireland, reports The Independent.

The corporation has sent more than £8bn of revenues from computers and software bought by British customers to Ireland since 2011, as part of a deal with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Sunday Times reports.

The arrangements, known as advance pricing agreements, agree on the allocation of profit between various countries.

HMRC approved Microsoft’s offshore structure in 2012, in a deal which runs from 2011 to 2017.

Corporation tax in Ireland currently stands at 12.5 per cent, while the UK has a corporation tax rate of 20 per cent.

More than 140 tax deals have been arranged between HMRC and some of the world’s biggest companies, the Sunday Times investigation found.

Advance pricing agreements are now being investigated across Europe by the European Commission, which wants to ensure they do not breach rules on state aid.

Earlier this year, Facebook agreed to pay millions of pounds in tax after years of criticism of the company funnelling profits through Ireland and paying just £4,327 in tax in 2014, despite an annual profit of £1.9bn.

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please vist our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/

Rolls-Royce says Brexit will heighten investment risk

Engineering giant Rolls Royce has written to employees saying it wants the UK to stay in the European Union.

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Rolls-Royce says Brexit will heighten investment risk

Brexit would “limit any company’s ability to plan and budget for the future,” the firm said.

Meanwhile, the CBI has said a vote to Leave would “put British businesses out in the cold”.

But Leave campaigners said the CBI does not represent British business and is “the voice of Brussels”.

Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East said Brexit would give the aero-engine maker’s big American rivals a competitive advantage.

‘Hollow threats’

He told the Today programme’s Dominic O’Connell that a planned £65m new engine testbed facility was a “good example” of an investment that could be put at risk.

“It’s all about uncertainty and our position in Europe.

“We have a very interconnected operation around Europe… We’re making investment decisions all the time about where to place various parts of our operation… and uncertainty created by Brexit puts a lot of those decisions on hold, and that pause is something that our US competitors don’t have to cope with,” Mr East said.

But Vote Leave said that some of the UK’s leading firms “have been clear that if we Vote Leave, trade across Europe will carry on as before.”

“Of course pro-EU voices want to talk down the economy but the same hollow threats were proved nonsense over the referendum and the euro,” a Vote Leave spokesman said.

“Taking back control of trade deals wouldn’t disadvantage us with US firms, quite the opposite – as we could do a trade deal with the US that the EU is failing to do.”

‘Investment risk’

The company’s intervention in the Brexit debate is significant. As well as enjoying a famous name, it remains Britain’s premier engineering company, and accounts for £1 in every £50 of British exports.

It employs 37,000 people – three-quarters of its total workforce – in the European Union. It claims to support about 200,000 jobs across the trading bloc.

Mr East said its big American rivals – GE and Pratt & Whitney – would not suffer from the “pause” in investment caused by the uncertainty around Brexit.

“It is like we are running a multi-lap race and with each lap we are giving the competitors a ten-yard head start,” he said.

He has previously said Britain would be better off staying in the EU.

Rolls-Royce is the middle of a big expansion drive, with the intention of doubling the number of aero engines it makes from the current 400 a year.

As well as big operations in Derby, it has a significant presence in Germany, America and Singapore.

A number of firms have come down on the side of Remain.

This week BT bosses and union leaders backed Remain said they wanted the UK to stay in a reformed EU.

In February a group of firms including Marks & Spencer and Vodafone said an EU exit would deter investment in the UK.

But in March, Vote Leave published a list of 250 business leaders who it said supported Britain leaving the EU, including former HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan and hotelier Sir Rocco Forte.

‘Out in the cold’

Meanwhile, the CBI said on Wednesday that business groups from Switzerland, Norway, Albania and Canada had said maintaining full access to the EU single market is in the best interests of the UK.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director general, said: “Access to the single market allows ambitious firms to buy and sell easily in 27 other countries and smaller firms to be part of supply chains that span the continent, creating jobs here at home and making the UK more prosperous.

“The Leave campaign admit that their preferred choice means withdrawing British firms’ access to the EU single market of 500 million people. This will put British businesses out in the cold and hit jobs

Niyi PictMichael Kayode is the Managing Director of Moyak Insurance Services and can be contacted via email at info@moyakinsurance.co.uk or please vist our website at http://www.moyakinsurance.org.uk/