The Pre-Budget Report – help or hindrance?

first_imgby Paula Tallon, a partner of BDO Stoy Hayward, chartered accountantThe headline measure in the government’s Pre-Budget Report was the cut in the standard rate of VAT from 17.5% to 15%, which came into effect on 1 December, 2008, and will last until 31 December, 2009.For the baking industry, the amount of extra administrative work will depend on the proportion of sales that are standard-rated. For example, café and coffee shop operators will have to amend all of their menus, price lists, promotional material, tills and accounting records. On the other hand, bakers who do not sell any hot take-away food should have little or no changes to make, while bakery and eat-in/ take-away retailers will have to implement all of the changes in relation to the eat-in/take-away element.Another change allows businesses to carry back trading losses for up to three years, rather than just one year as at present. The proposal applies to companies that suffer a loss in an accounting period ending in the period 24 November, 2008, to 23 November, 2009, or unincorporated businesses that suffer a loss in the 2008/09 tax year.Perhaps the best piece of news for family businesses was the announcement that the ’income shifting’ proposals have been shelved indefinitely. These proposals would have interfered with the way in which family businesses allocate profits, salaries and dividends.The small companies’ rate of corporation tax, that was due to have been increased from 21% to 22% from 1 April, 2009, will not now be changed until 1 April, 2010.last_img read more

Asda, Délifrance and CSM unveil new bakery products

first_imgSource: CSM Bakery SolutionsBoob-shaped muffins and popcorn-topped chocolate brownies are among the latest products to hit the UK bakery scene.Speedibake, CSM Bakery Solutions and Délifrance, alongside others, have unveiled a host of sweet and savoury baked goods for the retail and foodservice sectors this month.We’ve rounded up some of our favourite new launches below: Source: SoreenChocolate malt loaf, SoreenMalt loaf brand Soreen has added a vegan chocolate flavour to its plant-based malt loaf line-up. Sold as part of a multipack of four, the product joins the existing banana and malt variants.“Veganism has been a key trend within the food industry for the last few years now, so we’re immensely proud to bring a vegan, plant-based chocolate product to market that retains that flavoursome, treat like taste without being high in sugar or fat – important for a healthy and nutritious diet,” said Bethan Brown, marketing director at Soreen. Source: Country ChoiceSpeciality breads, Country ChoiceCountry Choice has launched a trio of specialty breads – a sourdough bloomer (£20/pack of 12), a 310g West Country farmhouse Cheddar cheese bloomer (£20/pack of 12) and a hand-stretched 285g ciabatta loaf (£22/pack of 13).Made from a mother dough starter, the sourdough variant goes through a slow proving process to produce a ‘delicate sour flavour and a soft crumb texture’, the brand said.Its cheddar cheese bloomer is described as soft, aerated with a ‘flavoursome crumb and a natural burst in its crust’.The ready-to-bake ciabatta loaf, made with Italian extra virgin olive oil, is hand-stretched, turned, and then shaped into a slipper shape before being baked on a stone surface resulting in a ‘waxy crumb and crisp crust’.All three loaves have a shelf life of one day once baked. Source: CSM Bakery SolutionsPopcorn brownie, CSM Bakery SolutionsCSM Bakery Solutions has extended its tray bake range with a premium Popcorn Brownie.An addition to its Baker & Baker brand, the brownie is topped with milk and dark chocolate, popcorn and a white chocolate drizzle. It joins the chocolate brownie, tiffin, rocky road, caramel shortcake, granola and flapjack as part of the range.The Popcorn Brownie is free from palm oil and made with free range eggs. Available in individual portions, it is thawed and ready to serve within 90 to 120 minutes and will remain fresh on shelf for up to seven days.It taps into the trend for ‘loaded’ tray bakes and demand for multi-textured bakery products, said the firm.“With the brownie being primarily trend-led, we know that it will be a hit with customers. It meets the desire to consume premium products at home across different occasions,” added Holly Wales, traditional trade activation manager at CSM.center_img Source: SpeedibakeRaspberry Muffins, Speedibake and AsdaYorkshire bakery Speedibake has teamed up with Asda to launch raspberry flavoured muffins that look like a pair of boobs.The NPD was created for the retailer’s Tickled Pink campaign, which supports the work of two breast cancer charities.The muffins are filled with raspberry jam, coated with pink icing and topped with a jelly dot sweet. They’re available in a pack of two (rsp: £1/200g) from the supermarket’s in-store bakeries and wrapped in packaging which urges women to check their breasts for changes.“We’re really pleased to support the brilliant work of the Asda’s Tickled Pink campaign this year for the first time,” added Kate Robinson, NPD and innovation manager at Speedibake.“We did have some fun with the muffins to make them look like a pair of boobs, but the product does have a serious message to help raise consumers’ awareness to be breast aware.”Speedibake will donate to charities Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! for every pack sold. Source: DélifranceNordic Loaf, DélifranceDélifrance has developed a seeded Nordic Loaf with a crunchy crust. Made from wheat, rye and barley flour, the bread also contains sunflower, linseed and sesame seeds.The brand claims one slice of the 70g loaf has as much protein as 70g of cooked lentils, as much omega-3 as walnuts and is a source of minerals including zinc and magnesium.“As the wellness trend continues, it’s essential operators respond,” said Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director for Northern Europe and North America at Délifrance.“Consumers want to see fresh, traditional breads that offer a premium and authentic experience, as well as nutritious ingredients. That’s why we’ve developed our Nordic Loaf. A cleaner, healthier bread that delivers an extraordinary and guilt-free sensory experience.”last_img read more

BitTorrent Launches ‘Discovery Fund’ To Provide New Artists With Cash Grants

first_imgUndiscovered artists, take note! BitTorrent has your back.The once-torrent website has taken a new approach with their musical offerings, teaming up with artists to release content bundles and letting the artists decide the price. Several artists have taken advantage of this program, including a recent live release from funk artist, Lettuce.BitTorrent is taking things a step further in the music community, launching The Discovery Fund to help promote undiscovered artists with cash grants that range from $2,500 to $100,000. You can read their description of the program below:You create it. You own it. We back it.We back creators. We don’t buy content. Because fuck content. Because music and film is more than that. Because outside voices need to be heard. The BitTorrent Discovery Fund is an open initiative dedicated to supporting a diverse group of creators seeking global distribution for uncompromising, original work.Through this initiative, we’ll partner with 25 creators; providing cash grants and promotional resources to help artists unlock new fans and build impactful releases.To find the guidelines and apply, head here.last_img read more

Improve decisions through slower thinking

first_imgThe research and insights of Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and 2002 Nobel Prize winner in economics, are extremely valuable to leaders as they seek to improve strategic decision-making. Hahnemann’s best-selling book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”, illuminates how the mind works based on his years of research.  His fascinating results can alert leaders about unconscious cognitive processes that are influencing thinking, often causing sub-optimal decision-making.  Sound decisions based on best available data are the hallmark of a leader, but the natural workings of the mind can interfere. Kahneman describes two brain processes. “Fast thinking” is impulsive, automatic, and intuitive. This legacy of human evolution had inherent survival advantages, allowing humans to take rapid action when needed.  “Slow-thinking” is thoughtful, deliberate, and analytical.  It activates when the mind faces a situation it does not automatically comprehend.  Slow-thinking involves conscious mental activities such as self-control, choice and focused attention, which are the tools of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and strategic decision-making.  Having awareness of cognitive traps gives you the ammunition you need to avoid them.  You will improve decision-making by moving away from “thinking fast” and the traps described below, whereas “thinking slow” will produce a better outcome.  We have a default tendency to make fast thinking snap judgments that oversimplify analyses of complex situations.  Shortcuts or “heuristics” allow for quick decisions, but we tend to overuse them.  With the substitution heuristic, we substitute an easier question for the one that we actually need to answer.  In hiring, for example, the tough question: “Will this person be successful in the job”, which requires significant study of their background and history of success, is replaced by the easier question: “Does the person interview well”. The availability heuristic overestimates the importance or probability of something that is most personally relevant, recently heard, or vividly remembered.  Managers working from memory in conducting performance appraisals will weigh more heavily employee behaviors that are most easily recalled, which are usually dramatic examples, whether good or bad.  Furthermore, more recent memories are automatically weighted more heavily.  There is a natural unconscious tendency to seek out and rely on information that confirms our beliefs. This confirmation bias also downplays or dismisses information that might change our minds.  The result is decision-making informed with only partial information and not all that is required. When preparing your proposals and strategies, actively seek out opposing information and viewpoints, and have your team do the same.  In meetings, you might have the person making a proposal argue against it.  An opponent of the proposal can in turn, in good faith, argue for it.  Another unconscious bias, the endowment effect, means that just owning something makes it more valuable to that person.  Along with the related loss aversion effect, people would rather leave things as they are than risk a loss. Most strategists are good at identifying the risks of new businesses, but it is much more difficult to see the risk of failing to change. Analyzing existing businesses, products and operations with the same scrutiny as a new investment will help avoid this trap.Avoidable statistical mistakes are made regularly.  As with confirmation bias, the resulting decision-making utilizes only part of the needed information.  There are numerous types of probability-related errors. Let’s examine just one.  Base rate neglect occurs when we ignore general information about a population and focus on specific information that applies only in a certain case.  Almost half of Harvard medical students made the following base rate error in an exam: A serious, but rare, the disease affects 1 in 1000 people. How worried should you be in receiving a positive determination using a test with 95% accuracy? Most people would worry that they had a 95% chance of having the disease.  Half the Harvard students thought that as well. However, because the base rate is very low (1/1000), the actual likelihood is roughly 2%, and the chance of a false positive is 98%. Traps like these can negatively impact your decisions.  Avoiding them will give your decisions more power.Would these illustrative statistics ever come to mind? People fear death from sharks, but in America cows or horses are 40 times more likely to kill (mostly kicks), and deer are 130 times more (auto-accidents). 65SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Stuart R. Levine Founded in 1996, Stuart Levine & Associates LLC is an international strategic planning and leadership development company with focus on adding member value by strengthening corporate culture.SL&A … Web: www.Stuartlevine.com Detailslast_img read more

Binghamton men drop season opener to Marist in overtime

first_imgSophomore Brenton Mills led all scorers with 20 points. Senior Thomas Bruce put up a double-double in his return, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. “I thought going into it, it was just going to be a starting point, whatever that was,” said coach Tommy Dempsey. “Whether we won by twenty, lost by twenty, it was just nice to get out there and try to start to put your group together.” Off an inbound from George Tinsley, Cooperstown native Tyler Bertram hit a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds on the clock, to tie the game at 60 and bring it to overtime. The men head to Marist tomorrow for a 4 p.m. game against the Red Foxes. Dempsey said after starting a group today that had never played together, he saw a lot of good things they’ll build off moving forward. center_img “The key is the inbounder. Obviously, he hit a big shot, I’m not taking anything away from Tyler, it was a big shot, a lot of guts. He hadn’t played a lot in the second half and came in after sitting down for awhile,” said Dempsey. “I thought we played hard. You know we rebounded the ball well, we went after loose balls and guys played together, shared the ball,” said Dempsey. VESTAL (WBNG) — In an overtime battle, the Binghamton men’s basketball team fell to Marist 68-65 to open the season. last_img read more

London Plan under threat from Crossrail chaos

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Governor Wolf Announces Record Drop in Prison Inmate Population

first_img January 11, 2019 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Governor Wolf Announces Record Drop in Prison Inmate Populationcenter_img Press Release,  Prison Reform Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today the largest reduction of inmates in the Pennsylvania state prison system since record keeping began.In 2018, the total DOC inmate population dropped from 48,438 to 47,370, a decrease of 1,068 inmates or 2.2 percent over 2017. The inmate population has declined six of the past seven years.“The 2018 calendar year reduction represents the single largest year-over-year decrease of inmate population on record,” Gov. Wolf said. “The historic decline demonstrates that common-sense criminal justice reforms work and bolsters the case for expanding reforms while ensuring the safety of all citizens.”“Only a decade ago, Pennsylvania was shipping inmates to other states because of overcrowding,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel. “The work of the Department of Corrections and Board of Probation and Parole along with the reforms under the Justice Reinvestment Initiative made the seemingly impossible possible: Reducing the prison population, while at the same time crime rates are among the lowest in a generation.”A major contributor to the decline was a significant decrease in prison admissions during 2018. New court commitments dropped by 617 inmates from 2017 to 2018 (a 7 percent decrease), while parole violator admissions dropped by 575 from 2017 to 2018 (a 6 percent decrease).“It is difficult to ascertain why court commitments dropped during 2018, but it may be due to continued crime drops across Pennsylvania or to other efforts by the counties to divert appropriate cases from state sentences,” Wetzel said “The drop in parole violator admissions is likely due to improved efforts, under the DOC/Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole consolidation, to divert technical parole violators from lengthy returns to state prison.”Amid the record decline in prison population, Pennsylvania continues its leadership role in common-sense criminal justice reform. Gov. Wolf signed the “Clean Slate” bill in June 2018, with some provisions in effect beginning Dec. 26, 2018. The first of its kind in the nation, Clean Slate helps those who have committed low-level offenses and have paid their penalty get back on the path to a blemish-free record, removing potential roadblocks to jobs, housing, health care, and education.“The introduction of Clean Slate, a model for the nation, is one more step forward in creating effective, bipartisan criminal justice reforms that do not compromise on public safety,” Gov. Wolf said. “I have long expressed my support for these reforms and will continue to push to ensure we are doing the right thing when it comes to fixing Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system.”The criminal justice reforms Gov. Wolf is calling for include:Passage and implementation of JRI 2 to address the high cost of incarceration in the state, to strengthen support for county probation programs, and to fix inadequate sentencing guidelines.Reforming the pre-trial system to make certain that those accused of a crime have access to competent legal counsel and a reasonable bail system.Reforming the post-trial criminal justice system to ensure work towards rehabilitation of individuals and preparation to reenter society, rather than creating further risks for recidivism.Focusing on probation reform to ensure the right individuals have the right level of supervision and technical probation violations do not mean an immediate return to incarceration. This works hand-in-hand with first ensuring sentences are commensurate with the severity of crimes committed.last_img read more

Sophie Monk’s Gold Coast house is for rent as she moves interstate

first_img MORE REAL ESTATE NEWS: Honey, I bought a house while you were in lockdown Inside the Gold Coast mansion where sports are king Sophie Monk, with her dog Rupert, has put her Gold Coast home up for rent. Picture: Adam Head.Aussie golden girl and television personality Sophie Monk has put her Gold Coast estate up for rent and is reportedly moving interstate.The Love Island host’s five-bedroom, three-bathroom home on a massive 4000 sqm of land in Helensvale is on the market for lease for $1200 a week.center_img The Helensvale property Sophie Monk has put up for rent.Leasing agent Brent Martens of Harcourts Coastal said Ms Monk had recently the renovated the house since buying it four years ago.Mr Martens said the house itself was “immaculate” and the property was unique because it was rare to find such a big block on the water. The property has an in-ground pool.He said Ms Monk was leasing the property because she was moving interstate.“Since listing it last week, we had three people through on Friday and have another three coming on Wednesday,” Mr Martens said.“It’s great for families, with direct ocean access and a four-car garage.” The kitchen has recently been renovated.There is also an in-ground pool, a boat ramp, boat storage area and jetty ready to use for days out enjoying the Gold Coast’s renowned waterways.Monk, 40, got her big break with pop group Bardot in the late ‘90s on the reality TV show Popstars, and a few years ago starred in The Bachelorette. Sophie Monk’s Gold Coast home has a boat ramp, boat storage and a jetty.She is now the face of Hello Fresh and the host of Love Island Australia.The Gold Coast local recently spoke to News Corp about falling in love with her boyfriend Joshua Gross — an entrepreneur who specialises in neurosurgical robotics. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours ago Sophie Monk is the host of Love Island Australia. Source: Channel 9.Gross had been staying with her in the Gold Coast home during COVID-19 lockdowns, but recently Monk has been spotted filming commercials in Sydney.Mr Martens said the high-end rental market had remained strong during COVID-19 restrictions. Sophie Monk and Joshua Gross as seen in Instagram post.“This end of the rental market has been really busy lately,” he said.“We had four (properties) over $2000 a week rented last week.”He said overseas expats were particularly showing interest in renting on the Gold Coast while they look to buy a property. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:56Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:56 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenCOVID-19: Spring property predictions 202002:57last_img read more

MarineSpace Nets London Array Consents and Licensing Contract

first_imgUK consultancy MarineSpace Ltd has won a contract from London Array Limited for the provision of consent and licensing services at the 630MW London Array offshore wind farm in the Thames Estuary.The five-year contract will involve the provision of ongoing and future consent and licensing support for both the generation and transmission assets of the development, which is currently the world’s largest offshore wind farm.The contract also covers a range of potential additional services which will be delivered on an as/when needed basis.In addition to this recent contract award, MarineSpace has also provided consent and licensing support to twelve OFTO projects in recent years.The London Array wind farm was officially inaugurated in July 2013.London Array Limited is owned by a consortium of E.ON (30%), Ørsted (25%), La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (25%), and Masdar (20%).last_img read more

90 people killed in a fire at a petrol station in…

first_imgMore then 90 people have died in a fire at a petrol station in Ghana’s capital, Accra.Media sources in Ghana say the National Fire Service has confirmed that officially 90  people are dead and there are fears that the number could rise as the rescue operation continues.There are reports that those involved in the rescue operation say they have seen more than 90 bodies.The fire broke out a the Goil Filling Station at the Nkrumah Circle in Accra during heavy rains on Wednesday.Sources say most of those who were ought up in the fire were sheltering at the petrol station from the heavy down pour in Accra.It is not clear what caused the fire which followed heavy downpour in Accra that led to power outages in several homes.Hundreds of workers in the capital have were left stranded at their work places as the heavy downpour submerged the city.last_img read more