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News Report Page 14 of 38
Publication Date:- 2018-06-23
News reports located on this page = 4.

A 1% increase in income Tax could solve NHS budget issues

A simple increase of 1% on income Tax and National Insurance could pay for the 3.4% increase to the NHS budget announced by the Government over the weekend says leading accounting, Tax and advisory practice Blick Rothenberg.

Robert Pullen a Director at the firm said:- "The debate has been raging over the weekend about how the increase to the budget could be paid for. There was alarm recently when a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation said that the NHS would need an extra 4% a year; or ₤2,000 per UK household; for the next 15 years and that the only realistic way this could be paid for is by Tax rises of 3% on VAT, income Tax and National Insurance contributions. If a 3% Tax increase is implemented, this would undoubtedly cause further issues within the Government, but a more manageable increase of just 1% to income Tax rates could give the additional funding required. We have calculated the impact of a 3% increase for an employed worker who is not at retirement age. It would mean extra Tax of ₤892 for someone on ₤25,000 (3.5% effective Tax rate) up to ₤11,747 for someone on ₤200,000 (5.9% effective Tax rate.)"

It is potentially worse as the Tax brackets increase, Robert said:- "For the ₤25k earner, that equates to ₤17 per week or ₤74 per month and for the ₤200k earner ₤226 and ₤979 respectively. The NHS budget in 2016/17 was around ₤122bn, and so a 3.4% funding increase, as proposed, would broadly be equivalent to an extra ₤4.2bn per year. We calculated, using HMRC statistics, that if income Tax rates were increased by 1% then in the Tax year 2016/17 an extra ₤4.2bn would have been generated. This means that a 1% increase for an employed worker who is not at retirement age would mean extra Tax of ₤297.00 for someone on ₤25,000 (1.19% effective Tax rate) up to ₤3,196.00 for someone on ₤200,000 (1.96% effective Tax rate). This would go some way to filling the hole in the finances without relying on the 'Brexit dividend' crystallising, but if the dividend does come to fruition the 1% could be even less."

Sandwich generation aren't brave enough to talk to their parents about death and final wishes

NEW research from the older people's charity, Independent Age, reveals that 44% of the sandwich generation (40 to 64 year olds) do not feel comfortable talking to their parents about death. However, according to the older generation surveyed (over 65's), 58% think it's important to open up about death.

According to the survey, the sandwich generation admitted to feeling more comfortable talking about their weight or obesity (31%), the amount of alcohol they drink (27%) or their personal finances (26%) than talking about dying and final wishes (24%). In fact, 20% even admitted to feeling more comfortable talking about sexual orientation (11%) and sex (9%).

In the research, the sandwich generation cited not wanting to upset their parents (39%) and not wanting them to feel like death is on the horizon (37%) as the main reasons for not broaching the topic of death.

Comparatively, when asking the older generation why they think death is a taboo subject, 45% revealed they believe it's because people don't like the thought of not being here, with a similar amount (44%) believing it's because people fear dying. Although 39% did confess that even if they were to talk about it they simply don't know how to.

Corinne Sweet, Psychologist, author and broadcaster, commented:- "People find death a difficult topic to discuss as it usually brings up a lot of feelings of anxiety, fear, awkwardness or sadness. So it's no surprise, as a culture, we prefer to pretend that it's not going to happen. But when it does, we are thrown by the strong emotions it brings up. That's why it's incredibly important for all generations to talk about death; ahead of time; so that feelings can be faced, processed, relationships set straight and any final wishes are shared. Talking about death will always seem a bit tricky, especially talking about people closest to you, but there will be relief in airing things. Knowing time is finite can encourage people make decisions, take risks, experiment with experiences and learn new skills. You may even get closer in the process, and be able to put to rest any confusions, conflicts or unfinished business. This can bring great peace of mind to everyone concerned."

Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, added:- "It's understandable that many people struggle to talk about death and final wishes. It's an incredibly emotive topic and unsurprisingly, people don't always know how to broach the subject. The older you get the more aware you are of death. But wouldn't it be helpful if we could all be more open and share our final wishes earlier, so our later years can be filled with positivity, rather than awkward conversations? We believe it's really important for families to start breaking the taboo, so they can feel prepared for the eventualities of life, and the sandwich generation is really important in enabling this conversation. As a nation, we need to start embracing these conversations and promote a positive change in how we perceive and talk about this subject. We don't expect this to change overnight, but it's time to take action, be brave and talk about death."

Of the 70% of over 65's who have spoken to a family member, there was a clear distinction between men and women. While men were most likely to have spoken to their partner (78% v 50% of women), women were more likely to have spoken about their deaths with their adult children (77% v 57% of men).

To help break the taboo around death, and support families in opening up about the subject, Independent Age has prepared some advice and tips to help start the conversation...

How to start a conversation about death???

If you're struggling to talk to an older friend or relative about their death, here are a few things you can try:-

Be sensitive - Think about how you're going to introduce the conversation. You might want to prepare them in advance by saying something like 'I realised that if you became ill I wouldn't know what you wanted… Can we talk about that? When would be a good time?' Let them feel in control of communicating their wishes.

Make a list - Write down everything you need to discuss. There might be a lot to cover and it can be difficult to remember when you're discussing an emotional subject.

It's never too early to start planning - End of life planning isn't just for your parents. Perhaps you could agree to make your plans together. It might make it easier to discuss if you're doing it as a joint activity.

For the full list of tips, visit:- IndependentAge.Org.

You can also find out more about Independent Age's 'We need to talk about death' campaign by searching #TalkAboutDeath on Twitter.

The "Bank of Mum and Dad" lifeline and the Stamp Duty Land Tax trap

FLAGSHIP measures introduced by the Government to assist 1st time buyers, could actually be pricing them out of the market, say leading accounting, tax and advisory practice Blick Rothenberg.

"Due to a toxic combination of rising house prices, the squeeze on wages, high rents, stricter affordability tests for mortgages and higher deposits, the 'Bank of Mum and Dad' has become more important than ever to help 1st time buyers get a foot on the property ladder. In fact, some reports indicate that nearly 3 in 5 under 35's now need assistance from their parents. But this lifeline can come at a price." said Denise Yau a Tax manager at the firm.

To recognise the difficult property market, the Government has introduced various Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) reliefs and initiatives. The most recent of these was introduced on 22 November 2017 and structured as a SDLT relief for 1st time buyers purchasing homes costing up to ₤500,000, with no SDLT due on the 1st ₤300,000 of consideration.

She added, "In addition a 3% surcharge for purchases of additional properties was introduced from 1 April 2016, in an attempt to cool the "buy to let" market. Whilst the various initiatives and reliefs can therefore be commended to some extent, this can present a significant problem for some property transactions due to how the rules are drafted. The issue arises as banks often require parents' names to be on the mortgage and Title Deed for 1st time buyers because, in practice, it can be difficult to recover funds if they are only named as guarantors. Not only does this usually scupper the ability to qualify for the 1st time buyer relief (as the parents are not themselves 1st time buyers), if the parents' already own a home themselves, the entire purchase would then be subject to the additional 3% SDLT rates. The SDLT bill could therefore increase from ₤nil to ₤14,000 for a property costing ₤300,000. Usually, SDLT of ₤14,000 would only be for a purchase of a property for ₤480,000. Whilst we are aware that some mortgages are available which do not require the parents name to be on the Title Deed, the number of banks offering this is more limited, with the rate of interest usually higher."

Local Schools urged to enter the Kellogg's Breakfast Club Awards

LOCAL Schools could be in with the chance of winning ₤1,000 for their Pre-School Club to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Kellogg's supporting breakfast clubs in the UK. Schools are invited to enter the annual Kellogg's Breakfast Club Awards, and 1 club from each Region of the UK, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will win a cash prize. Winners will also be invited to attend an awards ceremony in The Houses of Parliament.

Breakfast Clubs provide many benefits; from improved attendance and attainment to tackling hunger in the morning and providing Pre-School care.

These awards champion the people and activities that make breakfast clubs fantastic; from inspirational volunteers to invaluable extra learning sessions.

A specialist panel of judges will hand pick the entries and the winners will be announced, on Monday, 29 October 2018.

Kellogg's managing director, Oli Morton, said:- "Kellogg's Breakfast Club Awards celebrate the fantastic people who make these clubs happen every day in Schools up and down the country. Brilliant progress has been made since the 1990's to increase the number of Schools offering pupils a safe and fun environment that provides a nutritious breakfast. We will continue to support breakfast clubs because we believe that every child deserves the best start to the day."

Over the last 20 years Kellogg's has supported breakfast clubs, offering funding, food and training to more than 3,000 clubs across the UK.  To find out more and to submit a Breakfast Club Awards entry, visit::- KelloggsBreakfastClubAwards.Co.UK. Entries close on Friday, 28 September 2018.

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