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Archive for March, 2012

Low-down on mobile local ad spend – PRimage like this!

Friday, March 30th, 2012

The BIA Kelsey forecast is that U.S. mobile advertising to grow from $790 million in 2010 to $4 billion in 2015.

HOUSING – PRimage NEWS BYTES

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Here at PRimage we regularly monitor the trending topics in the housing sector – in the UK and across the pond.  Some recent news and stats that have caught our attention ….

In the States there is a lot of debate on ownership versus rental …. It seems that in 71 percent of the cities in the U.S., owning is now currently cheaper than renting.

In 2011, 1.4 million new households entered the rental market due to foreclosures and demographics — i.e., the 80 million members of Gen Y are at their prime time for starting new careers, getting married and having kids. At the same time, the number of new homes being built has dropped substantially. As a result, the demand for rental properties has skyrocketed.

Bank of America is launching a pilot program that will allow homeowners at risk of foreclosure to hand over deeds to their houses and sign leases that will let them rent the houses back from the bank at a market rate.

A survey released earlier this month from the National Apartment Association and Houston-based J Turner Research gives multifamily owners insight into an important demographic: college students.

http://multifamilyexecutive.com/student-housing/naa–j-turner-survey-gives-multifamily-owners-insight-into-college-age-demographic.aspx

SOCIAL MEDIA – PRimage NEWS BYTES

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Some news stories that have caught PRimage and Judy Viitanen’s attention …..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/video/2012/mar/25/guardian-open-weekend-facebook-china

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/27/google-under-fire-from-mps?CMP=EMCMEDEML665

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303404704577305564283866708.html?mod=WSJEUROPE_hpp_MIDDLETopNews

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17369659

Good view on life ….. PRimage like this!

Monday, March 26th, 2012

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.

Social networks rocking all over the world in 2012! PRimage comment

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

New forecasts suggest that 1 out of every 5 people in the world will logon to a social network at least once a month. Those 1.43bn social network users represent an increase of 19.2% over last year. Think that’s something? By 2014, the forecast is that it will be 1 in 4. America is way out in front, but since almost everyone in America already has a Facebook account, other countries have a chance of catching up.

Check out India with nearly 50% of the US number. And Brazil with their 45.4 million Facebook users.