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Mike J

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Mike J last won the day on October 8

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  1. Just saw this article and thought you may be interested in what the author has to say about what effect it will have on pensions. https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/boris-johnson-pension-investment-retirement-conservative-election-uk-means-2019-104439139.html The Conservatives’ decisive election victory should give the next UK government a better chance of passing new laws to tackle difficult domestic issues. Many pressing issues have been put on the backburner since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016. Not only has Brexit dominated much parliamentary debate—which may continue—but also weak or non-existent majorities have made passing any legislation harder. One issue the Conservatives could move to address is pension reform, which featured little in the campaign but could affect many voters. “The new government has the political capital to tackle knotty domestic issues such as pensions and social care which would otherwise have been too difficult to even attempt,” said Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown. Here are some of the things to watch as prime minister Boris Johnson returns to power: Soaring stocks, soaring pension pots More than 45 million people in the UK are members of work pension schemes. Pension funds hold billions of pounds of employee and employer contributions, investing in a range of assets from government bonds to stock markets to increase the size of the pots. That means many fund managers will be cheering the soaring value of many of their investments on Friday morning after the election. Britain’s FTSE 250 index (^FTMC) has soared more than 4% to record highs, while UK government bond yields reached their highest levels since June. The pound (GBPUSD=X) meanwhile reached its highest level since mid-2018. Many investors hope the Conservative landslide will allow Brexit to happen on 31 January, giving greater certainty about Britain’s direction and a lift to the economy, at least in the short term, after years of political limbo. Stocks have also soared in sectors where Labour had pledged to nationalise firms such as energy, providing relief for pension funds with investments in or hoping to invest in such companies. Sajiv Vaid, fixed income portfolio manager at Fidelity International, sounded a note of caution though about how long the rally would last. “Brexit uncertainty is very much here to stay .... Investor attention quickly turns to the next round of negotiations for a further extension by mid-year and a trade agreement by the end of 2020,” he said. He said 10-year gilts had been pushed higher, but noted prospects for economic growth still looked weak, meaning “the implications for short rates are not clear-cut.” More protection for your pension McPhail said the new government would launch new pension reforms with big consequences for voters’ retirement plans. The government will continue efforts to pass its “oven-ready” pension bill, which should boost protections for occupational scheme members and create a whole new kind of collective defined contribution scheme. In the wake of high-profile controversies over workers’ pensions pots when major firms have collapsed, the Pensions Regulator will have new powers including £1m fines and prison sentences for management failures. The watchdog will take “tougher action against those who recklessly risk peoples’ pension benefits,” according to the government. A pension ‘dashboard’ to see all your pots The government could promote a long-promised ‘pensions dashboard,’ allowing people to see all their different pots from different schemes in one place. The watchdog may also receive new powers to “compel pension schemes to provide accurate information to consumers,” helping improve awareness of how their pots are managed. Pension tax reforms McPhail said the Conservatives could put tax reform “back on the table.” He said they had already recognised problems with the annual allowance taper and the way it has disincentivised high earners like senior doctors to work extra shifts, pledging a review. They have also acknowledged a problem with lower earners missing out on tax relief because of the way their employers run their schemes. “Tinkering will only make the pensions system more dysfunctional than it already is; the best answer would be a fundamental reform of the tax treatment of pensions across the board,” said McPhail. Continued pension rises under the ‘triple lock’ The Tory manifesto pledged to maintain the so-called ‘triple lock’ introduced after their 2010 victory to satisfy older voters. It means the state pension rises annually by the largest of either 2.5%, inflation or average income growth. Bad news for ‘Waspi’ women Labour had pledged to compensate so-called ‘Waspi’ women, who lost out under previous controversial increases to the female state pension age. A group called Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) had campaigned hard against the changes, affecting women born in the 1950s. But Conservative minister Nicky Morgan has said there “isn’t the money available” for such compensation, meaning the chances of it happening seem remote.
  2. This certainly speaks to the ingenuity of how the Philippine people can do much with little. Do read the actual article as there is a picture of the "shoes" made from strips of compression bandages. https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/girl-11-wins-races-unusual-180602532.html An 11-year-old girl in the Philippines has gone viral after she won gold at multiple races while wearing a pair of unusual running shoes. On Dec. 9, 2019, Predirick B. Valenzuela took to Facebook to share photos of Rhea Bullos, of Balasan, who had reportedly competed at the Iloilo Schools Sports Council Meet. Photos show her feet covered in nothing but plaster bandages with the Nike logo drawn on the front. Despite essentially wearing nothing, Bullos managed to win gold at the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,500-meter races, according to Valenzuela. Valenzuela's post also immediately went viral, receiving nearly 2,000 reactions and more than 400 comments. "It's a new running shoes design," one person joked. "Nike should study it..and pay the gold medalist girl for the new running shoes concept..well done young girl..and don't stop running..." "Congratulations, little girl!" another wrote. "You are so inspiring! Keep it up! God bless your everything!" Multiple people also offered to get Bullos sneakers, asking Valenzuela for the 11-year-old's shoe size. The girl's story was also shared on Twitter and caught the attention of Filipino-American coach and former professional basketball player Jeff Cariaso, who also currently serves as the CEO of basketball store Titan 22 and asked to be put in touch with the girl. He eventually managed to get in contact, thanking Twitter users for their help. "I was able to speak to Rhea and her adviser this morning," he tweeted a day after the girl went viral. "Thanks to those who messaged me also with her contact number."
  3. to all the posters who contributed to this thread in a polite and mature manner. I was especially impressed to read of those who were against the exit, but said it was time to move on because that is what the people voted for. I doubt you would see such civil discourse in any other group. Well done.
  4. Once watched young boys using a coconut palm frond as a sled. They would take turns pulling each other across the ground.
  5. Welcome Gery. Most of our members are older and already retired. Looking forward to hear of your experiences as a working expat who came here at such a young age.
  6. I have been called gwapo on multiple occasions. But the compliment that I will remember forever came from a man who said; "You have kano skin but a Filipino's heart. You are gwapo inside," and he patted his chest.
  7. There are "X" marks on fences, walls, buildings, etc all over Moalboal. The fruit stands in the picture have already been removed. I expect it will be more difficult going forward as some buildings and homes are literally at the edge of the road instead of being one meter back. The 20 meter easement zone referred to in the article is the beach front in Panagsama (about 5 km from Moalboal town) where resorts and restobars have been built right up to the water, and in some cases, out over the water. I cannot understand how a municipal council can overrule a DENR rule of 20 meter setback and replace it with a 3 meter setback. Seems like this is too high profile, like Boracay, to be bought off or ignored. https://www.rappler.com/nation/247080-structures-to-be-demolished-moalboal-beach-cebu Thirty-seven commercial establishments who own or lease 66 structures in barangays near the beach are given a notice of violation for being within the 3-meter easement of the shoreline CEBU CITY, Philippines – Regional environment officials ordered the demolition of 66 structures in the Cebu beach town of Moalboal for being within the 3-meter easement of the shoreline. Thirty-seven commercial establishments who own or lease 66 structures in barangays near the beach were recently given a notice of violation by the Central Visayas' Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia told Moalboal Mayor Paz Rozgoni and Vice Mayor Inocentes Cabaron last Wednesday, December 11, that she wants tagging to be done in areas where structures are supposed to be demolished. This is to highlight which structures should be demolished and which should be removed. "This will include structures within 'portions'; tags or marks are supposed to identify which parts should be exactly removed," Garcia said. While Moalboal has not been identified by the national government as a beach up for rehabilitation like Boracay, the number of resorts and food establishments there has mushroomed as the popularity of the destination has grown. Environmental officials previously named Puerto Galera, Panglao, El Nido, and Coron as next areas eyed for rehabilitation. The Cebu provincial government said they would take steps to prevent the town from reaching the levels of pollution seen in other beach destinations. According to a SunStar Cebu editorial, the DENR had previously ordered the structures within a 20-meter easement zone to be taken down. But instead of complying, the municipal council passed an ordinance to reduce the easement zone to 3 meters. Cabaron had argued then that demolishing all of the structures would have reduced the tax collection of the municipality and displaced the livelihood of residents who make their living from tourism. Garcia said she would meet the operators in the areas that are up for demolition on December 19.
  8. Almost blew the morning coffee out my nose. Good one sir.
  9. That would be a "pecker wrecker" for certain.
  10. My wife tells me the same thing, but after six years everyone in Moalboal knows that she is married to a Kano.
  11. My experience was very different with Amazon. I have ordered many things over the years and never had anything that was returned for any reason. The only minor issue was three years ago when I ordered a laptop. It was held at customs until I completed a form that said it was for my own use and not for resell. With Lazada I always use COD because I don't want to try and recover money if the shipment does not arrive for some reason.
  12. Great movie. Who could ever forget "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."
  13. One of the items I brought with me was diamond core bit. I demo first to make sure they know it needs water as a coolant/lubricant so the tiles does not crack. Our tile guys are all smiles when I show them how to use it with a cordless drill.
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