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Budget 2014

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

So … Growth is up, house prices are up and it’s a golden age for pensioners and bingo players!! PRimage take on the Budget Buzz …

PRimage View On Work & Life ….

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

This is Judy Viitanen’s ethos …. At PRimage we always do our best to work hard and be nice to people! :)

Budget Basics – The Budget 2012: Changes That Will Affect You

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

So …. After all the speculation and hype, George Osborne has finally revealed all. The draw down of Afghan operations has given the Chancellor a £2.4bn bonus.

Tax
Income Tax
  • Personal allowance will rise by an extra £1,100 in April 2013 in addition to the increase to £8,105 already scheduled for this April.
  • This means you’ll be able to earn £9,205 before you pay any tax.
  • The 50% ‘high earner’ tax rate will be lowered to 45% from April 2013.
National Insurance
  • The plan to merge Income Tax & National Insurance is still likely to go ahead.
Tax for pensioners
  • The age-related additional personal allowance will be phased out to leave a single personal allowance that applies to all.
  • This will be rolled out from April 2013 and, according to Osborne, no one receiving a pension will lose out because of it.
VAT
  • Loopholes in the VAT system will be closed to reduce tax avoidance.
  • The current VAT exemptions on food, children’s clothes, books and newspapers will not be affected.
Tax statements
  • Personal tax statements will be sent to all taxpayers.
  • These will set out your average tax rate for the year, how much tax and NI you’ve paid in total and how this has funded both public spending and public debt.
Corporation tax
  • Corporation tax will be cut by 1% today in addition to the 1% reduction scheduled for April – together this will take the UK rate of corporation tax to 24%.
  • Two further cuts are scheduled for next year so by 2014 UK corporation tax will be reduced to 22%.
  • To ensure these cuts don’t benefit the banks the bank levy rate will be increased to 0.105% next January.
Other tax
  • Capital gains tax on residential properties owned by companies will be introduced.
  • A cap on tax relief for high earners will be introduced in April 2013. This means anyone that claims upwards of £50,000 in tax relief will be limited to receive a maximum of 25% of their income.
  • A general tax avoidance rule will be introduced to tackle tax evasion, details of which will be set out next year.
Benefits
Child benefit
  • The child benefit cut for higher rate tax payers will stay but changes have been made.
  • Those earning less than £50,000 will get to keep child benefit.
  • Those earning more than £50,000 will have their child benefit payments reduced by 1% for every £100 they earn over the £50k threshold.
  • Those earning more than £60,000 will not receive child benefit payments.
Housing
Affordable housing
  • The Get Britain Building scheme that extends funding to companies that build new houses will be upgraded to encourage affordable property development.
Stamp duty
  • Individual-owned residential properties worth over £2 million will be liable for 7% stamp duty.
  • The stamp duty rate will increase to 15% for residential properties that are bought by a company.
  • The government will investigate retrospective stamp duty charges for residential properties already owned by companies.
Armed forces
  • An extra £100 million will be used to improve accommodation for those in the armed forces.
  • Members of the armed forces serving overseas will also benefit from 100% council tax relief.
  • This will be funded by a £2.4 billion saving on the cost of operations in Afghanistan.
Planning permission
  • Next week the government will publish an overhaul of planning regulations that should make applications for planning permission far simpler.
Alcohol & Tobacco
Alcohol
  • There will be no change to taxation on alcohol.
Tobacco
  • Duty on all tobacco products will rise by 5% above inflation at 6pm tonight.
  • This will increase the cost of an ‘average’ pack of cigarettes by 37p.
Transport
Fuel
  • There will be no additional changes to fuel duty.
  • The Fair Fuel Stabiliser will still apply so fuel duty will go down when the cost of fuel rises and increase when fuel prices fall.
Road tax
  • Vehicle Excise Duty will increase by inflation only.
Trains
  • Rail links to the North of England will be improved.
  • The London underground and train network will be extended.
Flights
  • Additional airports may be built in the South East of England.
Employment & Education
Employment
  • Local authorities will be given the flexibility to introduce local pay rates for civil servants whose pay freezes end this year.
  • This is to bring public sector pay in line with wages available in the private sector.
  • There will be investment in manufacturing with the aim of doubling UK exports.
  • New Enterprise Zones will be introduced in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Education
  • A scheme that extends Enterprise Loans to young people to start and grow their own businesses will be piloted later this year.
Pensions
State pension
  • A single rate, contribution-based pension that pays a minimum of £140 will be introduced for future pensioners in the next Parliament.
  • Plans for an automatic review of the state pension age will be published this summer.
Entertainment
Sunday trading
  • Sunday trading laws will be relaxed for eight consecutive Sundays from 22nd July to coincide with the Olympics.
Broadband
  • Ultrafast broadband will be rolled out in 10 of the UK’s biggest cities.
  • A number of smaller cities will also benefit from ultrafast broadband speeds.
  • Improvements will be made to broadband connection speeds in rural areas.
Entertainment industry
  • UK companies that produce video games, animation or high end TV programmes will be eligible for tax relief.
  • A new gambling duty on games machines will be introduced.

HAPPY 2012! Love and best wishes from Judy Viitanen and PRimage

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•☆☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

In 2012….I hope the kindness you’ve given to others returns many times to you.
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you’re going,
And the insight to know when you’re going too far.
May hope, love, and warmth be in your heart’s possessing,
And may the New Year bring you and yours many blessings.
Happy New Year!

Judy Viitanen

Pessimism on both sides of the pond? PRimage comment

Friday, July 15th, 2011

In the UK we are going through tough times, but Americans are deeply pessimistic about the future, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll – over 63% believe that their country is on the wrong track.

We found this an interesting article and viewpoint on the dynamics across the pond: This Is No Time for Games – WSJ.com http://t.co/gt6tfTB

PRimage has read that a rule of thumb in presidential polling is that when the “wrong track” number is in the “60s,” the incumbent’s prospects for re-election are sharply diminished.  Watch this space!

Taking politics to the people …. PRimage loves this!

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

 

The ‘joys’ of political canvessing! …..

Budget 2011 – PRimage Comment: Not bad, given the circumstances!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Spent time this afternoon trying to assess the Budget announcements …. And overall, our view at PRimage is: ‘not too bad, considering the circumstances’. The eye-catching Budget headlines are, of course, on fuel and corporation tax. Nice to finally see a little bit of light relief for the motorists of this country!

As the owner of a small business, Judy Viitanen was especially interested in the announcements relating to business – noted George Osborne signalling his desire to merge National Insurance and income tax. Osborne is ideologically a fiscal conservative, and this move paves the way for a low-tax future, by convincing Brits they pay too much tax!

Osborne also announced the Government’s Plan for Growthhttp://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/ukecon_growth_index.htm?dm_i=3QN,E7KN,K8LG6,14ROS,1 – a package of measures aimed at supporting private sector investment, enterprise and innovation. This includes measures to increase the competitiveness of the UK tax system; reduce the burden of regulation; and increase incentives for business investment.

Key measures in the Budget for businesses include:

  • A reduction in the main rate of corporation tax by a further one per cent. From April 2011, the rate will be reduced to 26 per cent with further yearly reductions of one per cent until 2014 when it will reach 23 per cent;
  • New Controlled Foreign Company rules to allow groups based in the UK to compete more effectively with those based overseas;
  • The abolition of 43 tax reliefs whose rationale is no longer valid – following recommendations from the Office of Tax Simplification;
  • Dropping existing proposals for specific regulations which would have cost business over £350m a year;
  • £100m for local authorities to repair potholes caused by the cold winter weather;
  • Increase the rate of R&D tax credits for small and medium-sized enterprises from 175 per cent to 225 per cent by April 2012;
  • 21 new Enterprise Zones, to focus growth in specific parts of the UK;
  • Fuel duty will be cut by one penny per litre from 6pm on March 23. The April 2011 inflation-only increase in fuel duty will be deferred to 1 January 2012; the April 2012 increase will be implemented on 1 August 2012;
  • A further increase to the income tax personal allowance for under 65s of £630 to £8,105 in April 2012;
  • Additional work experience placements and additional apprenticeships for young people;
     
  • Help for homeowners facing difficulties by extending the temporary changes to the Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme for an additional year and providing £250m to support first time buyers to purchase a new-build property.

The business value of trade shows

Friday, March 4th, 2011

At PRimage we are great fans of trade shows: if used strategically they can prove to be great value for our healthcare clients in the UK and the US.  

Aside from the opportunities for selling, reinforcing existing business relationships, gaining new clients and contracts and launching new products; exhibitions and trade shows also offer companies the benefit of learning and understanding more about the latest trends in their industry, and crucially to gain knowledge about their competitors.

So, we are interested at the findings of a new piece of research from PricewaterhouseCoopers which shows that trade seminars, face to face business meetings and the like have pumped nearly $1 trillion into the American economy. Cumulatively, these events created 1.7m jobs!

New year = new positive working ….

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage plan to take inspiration from this collection of time management quotes in order to make the most of our working day and manage our time more effectively. Our mission is to get a good work/life balance in 2011. Make that yours – and ensure that this year you play hard AND work hard!

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr

“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most”
Stephen R. Covey

“A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life.”
Charles Darwin

“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”
Henry David Thoreau

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
M. Scott Peck

“Never leave ’till tomorrow which you can do today.”
Benjamin Franklin

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
Michael Altshuler

“One always has time enough, if one will apply it well.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
Stephen R. Covey

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
Auguste Rodin

“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
Muhammad Ali

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
William Penn

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Nelson Mandela

“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
Napoleon Hill

“Do we need more time? Or do we need to be more disciplined with the time we have?”
Kerry Johnson

“The bad news is time flies.  The good news is you’re the pilot.”
Michael Althsuler

Top Tips for Personal Productivity

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

At PRimage Judy Viitanen tries hard to follow these useful steers to achieving the maximum out of her life – and to increase work time productivity. ideasIf you’re like Judy, with a lot to get through each day, why not try these lifestyle tips and see if they help you?

  1. Make sufficient sleep a top priority. 23082006_clock1Schedule your bedtime, and start winding down at least 45 minutes earlier. Ninety-eight percent of all human beings need at least 7-8 hours a night to feel fully rested. Only a fraction of us get that much regularly, in part because we buy into the myth that sacrificing an hour or two of sleep a night give us an hour more of productivity. In reality, even small amounts of sleep deprivation can take a dramatic toll on our cognitive capacity, our ability to think creatively, our emotional resilience, the quality of our work, and even the speed at which we do it.
  2. Create only one ‘to-do list’ that includes everything you want or need to do, on and off the job. Include everything, including any unresolved issues that merit further reflection. where-nextWriting everything down helps get it off your mind, leaving you free to fully focus on what’s most important at any given moment.
  3. Ensure you do the most important thing first when you start work each morning, when you’re likely to have the highest energy and the fewest distractions. Decide the night before what activity most deserves your attention. creativityThen focus on it single-mindedly for no more than 90 minutes. Productivity isn’t about how many tasks you complete or the number of hours you work. It’s about the enduring value you create.
  4. Live like a sprinter, not a marathoner. 1201749_athletes_at_start_of_raceWhen you work continuously, you’re actually progressively depleting your energy reservoir as the day wears on. By making regular renewal and refuelling  important, you’re regularly replenishing your reservoir, so you’re not only able to fully engage at intervals along the way, but also to maintain high energy much further into the day.
  5. Monitor your mood. When demand begins to exceed your capacity, one of the most common signs is an increase in negative emotions. stressThe more we move into ‘fight or flight’ the more reactive and impulsive we become, and the less reflective and responsive. The first question to ask your self is “Why am I feeling this way, and what can I do to make myself feel better?” It may be that you’re hungry, tired, overwhelmed, or feeling threatened in some way. Awareness is the first step. You can’t change what you don’t notice.
  6. Schedule specific times for activities in your life that you deem important, but not urgent. With so much coming at you all the time, it’s easy to focus all day on whatever feels most pressing in the moment. What you sacrifice is the opportunity to take on work such as writing, strategizing, thinking creatively, or cultivating relationships, which may require more time and energy, but often yield greater long-term rewards.positive-thinking

Good luck!