Linos and Rothstein believe our tax system is too complicated, and that we should make claiming the EITC, and filing for taxes more generally, much simpler. Linos says the good news is that other countries provide examples of systems that don’t require mind-numbing paperwork to file for taxes or receive government benefits. … … … Nudges are simple, low-cost interventions aimed at gently guiding people to make better decisions. For example, making retirement plans the default option when you join a job, which has been shown to significantly increase the likelihood you save more for retirement. The California Policy Lab and its partners decided it would try and nudge workers to claim the EITC by sending them letters and text messages. The solution seemed like a no brainer: inform people how they can get free money, and they’ll get that free money! If only it were that simple. … “We found a very precise zero effect,” says Elizabeth Linos, a behavioral scientist at UC Berkeley who was also behind the study. Many of those who received the messages, she says, did visit the website advertised in the messages to help them sign up for the EITC. But in the end, they didn’t fill out the forms to receive their credit. They turned down free money. “We weren’t able to increase the rate at which people file for taxes and we weren’t able to increase the number of households that claim the EITC,” Linos says. … The Earned Income Tax Credit supplements incomes through the tax code, awarding thousands of dollars each year primarily to low-wage workers with kids. But there’s a problem: a huge population of eligible workers fails to file their taxes and get the money each year. In 2018, the state of California and the California Policy Lab, an interdisciplinary think tank of scholars from various University of California schools, started trying to solve this problem, and they commissioned one of the most fascinating experiments in “nudging” we’ve seen in a while. A dark view of the findings might write off this population as doomed to poverty because of bad decision-making and self-destructive behavior. But psychologist Eldar Shafir and economist Sendhil Mullainathan suggest a more charitable lens, which they call the “psychology of scarcity .” Their research suggests the poor bear a unique cognitive burden that hurts their decision-making. They work long hours. They have higher stress. They’re consumed with thinking about paying their rent, getting their kids medical care, and putting food on the table. Shafir and Mullainathan find these stresses lower their “mental bandwidth,” and it might help explain why so many low-income Californians are turning down free money. Read the whole story: NPR More of our Members in the Media >
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Danish shipping and offshore energy conglomerate Maersk Group reported its profit at USD 224 million for the first quarter of 2016, a drop of 86 percent compared to USD 1.6 billion seen in the same period a year earlier.Maersk’s underlying profit was at USD 214 million for the quarter, against USD 1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2015, with six out of eight businesses returning to profit.Maersk added that the underlying profit was significantly lower than same period last year due to all businesses except Maersk Drilling, Maersk Tankers and Damco being lower and Svitzer being at the same level.The company said that the result was negatively impacted by the low oil price and low average container freight rates.The group’s revenue decreased by USD 2 bn or 19 percent compared to the same period of 2015, predominantly due to 37 percent lower oil price and 26 percent lower average container freight rates. This was partly offset by 7 percent higher container volumes and 15 percent higher oil entitlement production.“The Maersk Group delivered an underlying profit of USD 214m in the first quarter. While market conditions remain challenging, we continue to adjust our cost base to the new conditions and maintain a good operational performance across our businesses,” Group CEO Nils S. Andersen said.“We maintain our focus on strengthening the group’s position in the market and have completed acquisitions within APM Terminals and Maersk Oil, and in Maersk Line we have defended our market leading position,” he added.Maersk Line’s profit dropped to USD 37m from USD 714mThe group’s subsidiary Maersk Line saw its profit slide to USD 37 million for the period, against the USD 714 million reported in the first quarter of 2015.Revenue of USD 5 billion was 20 percent lower than in same period a year earlier, driven by a 26 percent decline in average freight rates to 1,857 USD/FFE from 2,493 USD/FFE in 2015, and only partially offset by a 7 percent increase in volumes to 2,361k FFE.“The freight rate decline was attributable to lower bunker prices and deteriorating market conditions. Container freight rates declined across all trades, especially Maersk Line’s key trades to/from Europe as well as Latin America and North America were impacted,” the company said, adding that the recognised freight revenue decreased from USD 5.6 in the first quarter of 2015 to USD 4.5 billion.The group’s APM Terminals also experienced a decrease in its profit from USD 190 million to USD 108 million, mostly attributed to a weak demand, especially in Europe, slowing growth in China, and the low oil price.Decreased volumes on the westbound Asia-Europe trade lane impacted terminals in both China and Europe.Image Courtesy: DP World London GatewayAPM Terminals’ revenue decreased by 15 percent to USD 962 million, while operating businesses generated an underlying profit of USD 116 million.Maersk Tankers, however, was positively affected by improved commercial performance and cost savings, therefore the company saw an increase in its profit from USD 36 million to USD 48 million.The group’s Maersk Supply Service business made a loss of USD 2 million for the quarter, against a profit of USD 38 million reported in the same period a year earlier.“The market situation in the offshore industry continued to be challenging with significantly reduced demand for offshore services,” the company said.
The housing minister, Gavin Barwell MP, has been on a whirlwind tour of the country since the launch of the white paper in January 2017. He’s spoken to large and small housebuilders; housing associations, and local authorities, city regions and rural communities among others. The consensus is that he is navigating well, a tricky position of a genuine desire to deliver more homes, faster, and with a mix of tenures, while not upsetting traditional conservative interests, including the protection of the green belt.And he is doing all of this without any new money, as evidenced by the deathly silence of any mention of housing in the Budget this week.However, the Budget and other recent announcements signal a direction of travel that may have significant implications for the relationship between the government and those involved in housebuilding.The first set of announcements are the plans to strengthen local authorities powers to accelerate development, including compulsory purchase orders to help speed up housing deliveryThe first set of announcements are the plans to strengthen local authorities powers to accelerate development, including compulsory purchase orders to help speed up housing delivery, “to support the build out of stalled sites” and “to hold developers to account” as stated by secretary of state, Sajid Javid. And speaking at a recent Commons Communities and local government committee on the Housing White paper, Gavin Barwell discussed the idea of publishing performance tables for housebuilders, showing the number of homes they are building. And potentially fining developers for not building sites out. Build out or be punished is the message.The second set of announcements, at first glance are only indirectly related to housing. An industrial strategy green paper sets out an ambition to support growth across the UK. In the Budget there was confirmation of £690m for local authorities to get local transport networks started, as well as devolution of further responsibility to the GLA and the regions for infrastructure investment.The GLA has already pioneered the idea of housing zones, which see infrastructure funding used to provide a catalyst for home building in regeneration areas. The announcement of a taskforce to pilot a new approach to funding infrastructure is likely to take this a stage further. And the announcement following the Budget that there will be a £329m investment in the Midlands Engine scheme to support transport upgrades, has housing as a key target within the strategy. This follows the Autumn Statement 2016 announcement of the Housing Infrastructure Fund to support the development of new homes. Housing is now infrastructure.It is clear that the ministers want growth, have housebuilders in their sights and that local authorities are being given the responsibility and powers to ensure delivery. An anticipated review of the Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 agreements in the autumn 2017 budget suggests levers to push this will be developed further.The relationship between housebuilders and the government is therefore likely to be an interesting one over the coming months.Steve Douglas is a partner at Altair
One in 10 chambers has given partial notice on its lease in a bid to relieve financial pressure, according to a survey which backs up the Bar Council’s prediction of a profession-wide move to flexible working.Carolyn Entwistle, head of services at the Bar Council and chair of the Covid-19 working group, said chambers have seen ‘very little increase’ in the number of members returning to the office and ‘some sets may never return to their previous model’.In a survey conducted by the Legal Practice Management Association and the Institute of Barristers’ Clerks, 10% of respondents said that their chambers had given partial notice on its lease, with a further 21% indicating that they are considering taking similar action in a bid to relieve financial pressure.Writing on the Bar Council’s website, Entwistle said: ‘A reduction in the space available to chambers’ members and staff heralds the beginnings of change, with those same sets presumably planning to maximise on the reductions to their square footage and introduce “work smart” policies which offer greater opportunity for flexible working.’She added: ‘It’s clear that many chambers are not planning to return to work now and that, having adapted to paperless working and a virtual working environment, some sets may never return to their previous model. What this will look like in reality remains to be seen but, for a multitude of reasons, it is a change that is arguably overdue and one that the Bar Council plans to support wholeheartedly.’However, Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council, has previously said the ‘immediate advantages’ to downsizing need to be weighed against the ‘very important role a physical chambers plays in all barristers’ careers’.‘This is especially so for those at the junior end and pupils, where chambers’ help is essential to establishing and developing a practice. Chambers is a great support for barristers not just by sharing professional expertise and friendship, but with wellbeing and mental health issues too. None of these advantages should be compromised in any moves towards alternative ways of working,’ Pinto said.
RUSSIA: On May 21 Bombardier Transportation and Transmash Holding signed an agreement at the Third International Rail Business Forum in Sochi to establish an joint venture to develop locomotives with asynchronous traction equipment for the CIS market.The Russian-based joint venture will be equally-owned by the two companies. Transmash Holding is the major supplier of locomotives to RZD, and said it is ‘confident that the combination of Russian design experience with Bombardier’s technological know-how’ will allow the joint venture to ‘achieve significant results in the near term’. The companies already co-operate in component production under an agreement signed in May 2007. Bombardier Transportation Transmashholding AG was formed last year, with Transmashholding Bombardier Transportation (Engineering) Rus as its engineering subsidiary and TMBT (Industrial) Rus manufacturing traction converters based on Bombardier’s Mitrac family.
Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Liar returns for a second series on ITV on Monday and it looks like Laura Nielson’s (Joanne Froggatt) nightmare is far from over.If you want to avoid spoilers for Liar, stop reading now.The first series saw Laura accuse Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd) of raping her after a date resulted in her not remembering anything that happened. As Laura tried to prove that she was telling the truth, Andrew continued to taunt her and added another victim to his ever-growing list after raping DI Vanessa Harmon (Shelley Conn).<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>In the final episode of the series Laura concocted a plan to make sure that a new rape conviction against Andrew would stick but her plans were thwarted when he escaped. Cornered by Laura and Vanessa, Andrew pointed out that if he were to be arrested, they would find GHB in his system and it’s Laura that would get put in prison for drugging him.They reluctantly let him go and as the series came to a close, we discovered that Andrew had gone missing. His lifeless body was shown, leaving a huge question mark over who killed him?Did he commit suicide? Could it have been Laura or Vanessa? Or was it Vanessa’s partner Jennifer Robertson (Jill Halfpenny).The synopsis for series 2 episode 1 is:Three weeks after his disappearance, Andrew’s body is found on the Kent marshes. His throat slit, it’s declared he was murdered. Laura meanwhile is trying to move on from her ordeal. She’s slowly growing in confidence in her new relationship with Ian and has returned to work.Yet her initial relief upon learning of Andrew’s death is cut short. As DI Renton (Katherine Kelly) and DS Maxwell (Danny Webb) seek to determine who killed him, Laura finds herself drawn into Andrew’s destructive path and once again must fight to be believed.Liar series 2 begins at 9pm Monday on ITV. Preview the episode with our gallery below: Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV Credit: Two Brothers Pictures / ITV
Sharing is caring! 140 Views no discussions Share Share Tweet Chief Executive Officer of VF Inc. Dr Valda Henry (file photo)A summer program which focuses on building self esteem and self confidence among the youth is expected to commence later this month.VF Inc’s Summer Youth Series, which is in its 6th year, will run from 29th July to 3rd August, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Goodwill Parish Hall from 29th July to 1st August, while the career fair, exhibition of student’s work and closing ceremony on August 2 will be held at the Windsor Park Stadium.The 2013 summer youth series will culminate with the hike of Segments 10 and 11 of the Waitukubuli National Trail on 3rd August.The weeklong event is organized around themes including: sports, arts, music, culinary skills, sewing, history, agriculture, drama and poetry & song writing. The method which will focus on experiential learning includes lectures, role-plays, field trips, individual and group activities. The morning sessions will be devoted to the topic; “Self Esteem & Confidence”, while the balance of the day will be spent on an area of choice. Students will have the choice of devoting themselves to an area for the entire week or move across areas over the week. Registration to participate in the event is open to children between the ages of 10 to 18 years at a cost of $100. This fee includes meals, course material, field trips, hike, bags, pens and/or pencils.Last year over 165 young people participated in the 2012 Youth Series held at the Windsor Park Stadium under the theme “Empowering Our Youth for a Better Future”.To obtain additional information on the 2013 Summer Youth Series, one can visit VF Inc’s office on # 37 Cork Street, Roseau or call (767) 449 9649.Dominica Vibes News Share LocalNews VF Inc to host 6th Summer Youth Series by: – July 1, 2013