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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 178

Date:- 04 December 2004

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Who's breaching new driving law? 

DRIVERS in the West snap up most handsfree kits, but only so they can talk more! 25% off all car accessories in bid to encourage safer driving... 

Northern motorists are refusing to hang up on the roads and have bought less in-car kits than any other region, according to The Carphone Warehouse. Customers in the North of the UK have bought less in car kits than anywhere else, although the London area has not done much better with marginally higher demand than the North. Top of the in car kit charts, and suggesting they must be the most law abiding are drivers from the West who are a clear 10% higher than the North, with the Midland and the East in between the two extremes. 

The insights come after the leading mobile phone retailer analysed regional sales data from across its 600 UK stores for the one year after the ban of handheld mobile phones whilst driving was introduced on December 1st 2003. The company is currently offering 25% off all in car solutions in a bid for safer driving as we approach the year anniversary of the law on 1 December. 

The company also quizzed Britain's drivers about their reasons for buying in-car kits and found for many it was simply because they want to talk more easily at the wheel!

A survey held at the company's 60 installation centres around the UK revealed that the top three reasons for buying a handsfree kit were:- 

1. More convenient to talk - 67% 
2. Required for work - 20% 
3. Feel pressure by the law - 13% 

The Company is releasing the figures to encourage any drivers still defying the ban, to get kitted out with an in-car solution or stop using the phones when driving. Offenders now face a £60 fine and three points on their licences.

"As the largest mobile communications retailer in the UK we're able to provide the real customer picture and it's really interesting to note the differing perceptions to the legislation across the UK. Our figures provide a true insight into the way mobile phone users are responding to the law,"
said Andrew Harrison, CEO for The Carphone Warehouse. 

The findings come after a recent Government study revealed that the number of motorists who drive while using a hand-held mobile phone has dropped by just 25% since the national ban came into effect last year.


WITH more than £4.6bn donated to the Charity Aid Foundation's top 500 charities in 2003, Britain seems to be becoming a more generous nation. But you don't have to have the riches of Elton John, who plans to share his £175million fortune between his godchildren as well as leave substantial amounts to charity, to be able to ensure that others continue to benefit once you're gone. 

According to Kathryn Graham, partner at north west law firm Cobbetts, whilst people are increasingly giving to charity throughout their lives, most are not aware that they can continue charitable works after their death through their will. 

Comments Kathryn:- "As well as the knowledge that a benefactor will be continuing to support a particular charity after their death, an important benefit of such gifts is that they are exempt from inheritance tax. It's a factor that should not be overlooked since recent figures estimated that more than 2.4 million homeowners could now be liable for inheritance tax because of the value of their properties." 

There are three types of gift which can be made by will: specific, pecuniary or residuary. 

A specific gift is a gift of a particular asset, for example shares or a valuable antique and can be useful where there are items of social or historical interest that can be preserved for posterity or remain in the public domain. 

Explains Kathryn: "Once the specific gift is transferred the charity benefits from a huge tax advantage. Not only is the gift itself exempt from inheritance tax but if the asset is sold at a later date for a gain, the charity does not pay any capital gains tax on the proceeds of the sale." 

More common though is the giving of a pecuniary cash gift of a specified amount to a charity. According to Kathryn this has the advantage of certainty, but the amount should be reviewed from time to time so as to take inflation into account. 

The final option is to leave a residuary estate to charity, in other words what is left after all debts, liabilities and legacies have been paid. 

Says Kathryn:- "Even if you leave your residuary estate to family, it may be appropriate to provide that in the event your family dies before you, your estate passes to charity to ensure that it does not pass to the Crown." 

She concludes:- "Incorporating a charity element into a will is relatively straightforward. Many people mistakenly think that it's only the very wealthy that can afford to give to charity after their death, but with careful planning it is possible to continue to support favourite causes."

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