Labour revolt over empty rates

first_imgBrown slammed the tax as ‘destructive’ and hinted that exemption in some areas may be granted. A week ago, Lord Mandelson called the tax ‘good for business’, but MPs’ rebellion over the tax – more than 120 have signed commons motions against the tax – could force the government into a u-turn. MPs are now hoping that there will be some element of relief introduced at next week’s pre budget report following their campaign and the Property Week and British Property Federation’s campaigns against the tax. This week, the BPF will make a final representation to the government over empty rates. The Urban Regeneration Companies executives group, led by Leicester chief John Nicholls, have also submitted a dossier of evidence on demolitions caused by empty rates. Labour MP Chris Mullin, with colleague John Cummings, have also met with the Treasury recently and Brown suggested they had ‘got somewhere’. He said: ‘I do think the government could look at granting relief. We are in a position where people are pulling buildings down, which is an unintentional but destructive consequence of this, and the way to avert that is to grant relief.’Eric Pickles, Tory local government spokesman, said: ‘The fact Labour’s own Chief Whip is leading this tax revolt shows just how damaging this levy is.’BPF director Peter Cosmetatos said: ‘It would be highly cynical to offer relief just to areas where the government may lose seats. But the chancellor has an opportunity to make a small tax concession that would hugely help businesses survive the current economic bloodbath. It is vital he uses the pre-Budget report to do this, sending a clear message that the government wants to support, not hinder, recovery.’last_img read more

Hopkins Names Duke Vair to Vice President And Chief Human Resources Officer

first_imgHopkins Manufacturing Corp. has announced the addition of Duke Vair as vice president human resources and chief human resources officer. Vair will lead and direct all Human Resource-related activities for Hopkins, at the company’s 10 locations around the world.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementDuke Vair“We are pleased to have Duke join our team at Hopkins,” said Bradley Kraft, president and CEO of Hopkins. “His experience in building high-performing cultures, teamwork, talent management, employee engagement and acquisitions, along with his exceptional overall HR background, will be invaluable to position him to lead human resources and our strategic culture growth initiative.”Most recently, Vair was the vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer for Brakebush Brothers, a food processing, trucking/transportation, logistics, sales and marketing company. Prior to that, he served as vice president, human resources for AG Processing, a global soybean oil and bio-fuels manufacturing and processing company. Vair also has had human resources experience in a variety of industries, including architectural services, staffing services and telecommunications.Vair’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in business from the University of Nebraska and an Associate of Applied Science degree – Computer Science / Management Information Systems from Metropolitan Community College, in Omaha, Nebraska. He is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources.last_img read more

Pro bono conundrum and those left exposed by legal aid cuts

first_imgThe pro bono protocol says work of this nature is ‘always only an adjunct to, and not a substitute for, a proper system of publicly funded legal services’. This can be a difficult distinction at times, but it has been the mantra of the pro bono movement as it has grown over the past 15 years. So when legal aid minister Lord Bach told the joint national pro bono conference this week that there is a ‘dire need’ for pro bono work at a time of a capped legal aid budget, he seemed to be going that one step further – rather than topping up legal aid, pro bono could be the only way to maintain provision in those areas where legal aid is withdrawn. This is a tough issue for the profession to address. It is not for lawyers to relieve the government of its obligation to ensure citizens can secure access to justice, but it would be hard to turn one’s back on those left exposed by legal aid cuts in pursuit of a point of principle. But it will have to be the profession that says ‘only so far and no further’ – it is unlikely the government will do so either now or in the future. More positively, the conference showed how the movement is clearly up to the challenge. There is now a strong, motivated and coordinated cohort of people at the heart of pro bono that the profession can be proud of.last_img read more


first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community To continue enjoying, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAYlast_img read more

FMC calls for global regulatory summit on P3 Alliance

first_imgThe Summit would take place in Washington, DC, with regulators to discuss their respective regulatory roles in considering the impact of the announced Alliance. The three carriers announced they would begin cooperating in 2014 on routes covering Asia to Europe as well as transpacific and transatlantic routes to the United States. Early estimates by Maersk Line’s chief trading and marketing officer put market control of such an alliance at about 42 percent on the Asia to Europe route, 24 percent on the transpacific routes, and 40 – 42 percent on the transatlantic route. Indications are that the P3 network will be operated from new management offices in London and Singapore with a staff of approximately 200. The proposed Alliance has already named Maersk Line’s Lars Mikel Jensen as its chief executive officer. Joining in the call for the Summit is Commissioner William P. Doyle, who stated: “One of my concerns relates to media reports that a combined east-west fleet of 346 vessels will be reduced to 255 vessels once the proposed Alliance is consummated. I am interested in learning more about the impact this Alliance will have on services provided to consumers, shippers and U.S. terminal operations.” Commissioner Doyle added: “Maersk Line, Limited is the largest U.S.-flag carrier in the international fleet. To this end, I do not want the Alliance’s operations to harm or otherwise negatively impact the U.S.-flag international fleet when decisions are made to cascade or otherwise eliminate ships from service.” Commissioner Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr. also stated, “It is clear this Alliance is moving forward as if it has already met regulatory approval despite the lack of any significant filing with regulatory authorities in Europe, China or the U.S. Pushing behind the scenes and placing positive stories with the press is not a substitute for proper consideration of the consequences of this massive carrier alignment.” Commissioner Lidinsky will be attending the annual meeting of the European Maritime Law Organization this week in London where it is anticipated that the proposed P3 Alliance may be a topic of discussion. Chairman Cordero continued, “Like my fellow Commissioners, I am keeping an open mind about the parameters and impact of this Agreement until it can be fully analysed. The Commission is responsible for carrying out the congressionally-mandated goals of the Shipping Act, namely, non-discriminatory regulatory processes in harmony with and responsive to international shipping practices. Together with our European and Chinese counterparts, we as regulatory authorities, have responsibilities related not only to our nations, but to the global shipping structure to ensure that this proposed Alliance does not harm others, including consumers, the maritime community, and world trade. Once this agreement is filed, I envision all members of our American maritime industry – shippers, importers, exporters, consumers, ports, unions, intermodal entities – to fully express their views to the Commission in written comments or open hearings as to how this Alliance of foreign flag carriers would affect our waterborne commerce,” the Chairman concluded. The Federal Maritime Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.www.fmc.govlast_img read more

Second vaping-related death in Kansas brings nationwide total to 9

first_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Another person has died after vaping, this time it was a man over the age of 50 who lived in Kansas. He becomes the second vaping-related death in the state, according to a statement from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.The man who died had underlying health conditions, but no other details about the case were released.The state said it is working with public health officials in other states to gather information about what in e-cigarettes is leading to this kind of illness.“We are coordinating a response to combat this epidemic, so that families can avoid such tragic outcomes,” said Governor Kelly.There have been nine known deaths related to vaping in the US so far — two in California, two in Kansas, and one in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Oregon. That’s out of 530 confirmed and probable cases of lung injuries related to e-cigarettes as of September 17, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.This was the ninth confirmed case of a vaping-related illness in Kansas, including the two deaths. The cases range in age from 17 to 67. All were hospitalized according to a statement from the state, and two remain in hospital.The patients have used a mix of products and devices. Some report only vaping nicotine, others used THC, a cannabinoid product, some used only CBD and a combination of THC and nicotine.Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, will testify before US House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Wednesday about the effects of e-cigarettes.“E-cigarettes are unregulated, which means that we don’t know what’s in them,” Norman said in Monday’s statement. “And, of great concern to me, is that in the midst of all these illnesses being reported, the amount of young people using them is significant.”Governor Kelly urged people in her state to follow the CDC’s advice and stay away from e-cigarette products while what specifically is causing people to get sick is still being investigated.People who are getting sick typically have a cough, shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, and some people vomit, have abdominal pain, and fever.If you think you are sick and have been vaping, make sure you go see a doctor right away. Related Articles:Collier County Public Schools advocates against vaping with new postersGetting your teen to cut the vaping habitFDA TV ads educate youth on dangers of e-cigarette use‘Trading an evil for an evil:’ Vaping not a safe way to quit smoking cigarettes Author: Jen Christensen and Jamie Gumbrecht, CNNWriter:WINK News Published: September 24, 2019 1:39 PM EDT Charlotte County teen speaks out after nearly dying from vaping SHAREcenter_img (CNN) Second vaping-related death in Kansas brings nationwide total to 9 NCH doctor says vaping, COVID-19 can have very similar symptoms Recommendedlast_img read more

An easy way to save on your healthcare in 2017

first_imgAn easy way to save on your healthcare in 2017If you’re like most people, there are a few times a year when you sit down to review your expenses – your cable bill, entertainment expenses and grocery receipts, for example – and try to figure out where you and your family can save money.One item you should consider is your healthcare costs in 2017. Since the fall season marks the beginning of the annual open enrollment period for employees, now is the perfect time to sign up for a new health benefit plan or make changes to your current plan.Offered as part of those benefits, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are two simple ways for people to save money in the New Year. An FSA, which is provided by your employer, allows you to save funds for eligible healthcare expenses. An HSA – which you can obtain on your own or through your employer – is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows you to set aside money to cover medical expenses throughout your lifetime.A major advantage of both accounts is that individuals may use the full amount of their pre-tax dollars toward the care you and your family may need; employees who enroll in an FSA can contribute a portion of their salary pre-tax to pay for qualified medical or dependent care expenses, while an HSA helps individuals with qualifying high-deductible health plans pay for current and future medical expenses.The number of HSA accounts has risen to 18.2 million in 2016, a 25 percent increase since 2015, according to Devenir Research. In addition, according to the 2016 Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account Consumer Research study commissioned by Visa and conducted by C+R Research, 90 percent of FSA users agree that saving money, since contributions are pre-tax, tops their list of reasons for having an FSA. In fact, 40 percent of FSA users claim they would cut back on their medical expenses if they didn’t have an FSA.The study also finds that an FSA with no carryover option represents an important barrier to adoption amongst employees, who fear losing their unused dollars at the end of the plan year. 60 percent of non-FSA users noted they would sign up for this benefit if their employer offered the option to carryover up to $500 of their unused health FSA balances remaining at the end of the plan year.One of the most convenient ways to access funds in an HSA or FSA is with a Visa Healthcare Card, which allows employees to use funds in their HSA or FSA to pay for qualified medical expenses wherever Visa debit cards are accepted, making it easy to pay for expenses such as:*Copays and deductibles*Prescriptions*Dentist visits: Cleanings, orthodontia, dentures*Exams: Physicals, dermatologist*Vision care, including exams, new glasses, LASIK*Hearing exams and aids*Medical equipment such as blood pressure monitors, thermometers*Smoking cessation programsFor added convenience, most pharmacies, grocery stores and other retailers that sell healthcare products have the capability to distinguish between covered items and non-covered items when you pay for them, so you don’t have to wonder whether something is covered or not.By using a Visa Healthcare Card at these locations, you no longer have to pay out-of-pocket and then submit receipts to be reimbursed for your medical expenses, saving you time and money!There’s a reason why 78 percent of FSA users surveyed report having an FSA card and why 52 percent of HSA owners surveyed say they use a debit card linked to their HSA to pay for their medical expenses, as the 2016 Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account Consumer Research study commissioned by Visa and conducted by C+R Research found. As you review your options this open enrollment season, ask your employer if they offer an HSA or FSA with a Visa Healthcare Card to provide easy access to your funds. To learn more, visit read more

PNP Protests Corruption in Holness Administration With Anti-Corruption Vigil in Kingston

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica – In recent months, a myriad of corruption scandals have rocked the Andrew Holness-led administration in Jamaica, including the major Petrojam scandal, National Energy Solutions Limited’s contract controversy, and misuse of funds at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) which led to former Education Minister, Ruel Ried being fired from his post.To protest the high level of corruption within the Jamaican government, the opposing party, People’s National Party (PNP) has staged an anti-corruption vigil in Kingston today.The PNP’s @imani_dp flanked by @PhillipPaulwell and PNP President @DrPeterPhillips chanting at the PNP anti corruption vigil in Half Way Tree.— Abka Fitz-Henley (@AbkaFitzHenley) July 11, 2019Crowds of PNP supporters and politicians gathered at Mandela Park in Half-Way Tree, Kingston to pressure the government into addressing the multiple scandals that have come to light over the last year.Supporters attempted to move the protest to the entrance of Jamaica House, but police increased their presence at the building, foiling the PNP’s attempt.In a news release from PNP General-Secretary, Julian Robinson, the protest, being described as a ‘vigil’, comes “in light of the ongoing spread of allegations of corruption across several ministries and public bodies, and the lack of appropriate action by the Andrew Holness administration to hold its members accountable.”With regard to the many scandals, Robinson said that “The PNP, through its parliamentary groups and committees, has exposed… corruption in various ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of National Security and the Caribbean Maritime University, Petrojam, USF, NESoL, the UDC and through projects such as the $800 million de-bushing programme, and the $230 million purchase of used cars for the police that are yet to be delivered in full.”The PNP said the vigil is the first in a series of events across the island to bring awareness to the “brazen plundering of the public purse by members of the political executive and their operatives, who are yet to be brought to book”.The latest scandal to have rocked the government involve allegations of nepotism and cronyism at the Ministry of Education and the misuse of funds at CMU, for which Senator Ried was responsible. Reid is currently under a criminal investigation by the police as well as the Financial Investigation Division. The Auditor General’s Department is also conducting a probe at the Education Ministry.last_img read more

“K” Line Selected as Index Component by Dow Jones/RobecoSAM

first_imgKawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line) has been selected again as an Asia Pacific Index component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), one of the leading global indices for ESG investing (*), for the 9th consecutive year since 2011. *ESG investing describes an investment strategy which takes account of enterprises’ social, ethical and environmental aspects as well as financial performance. Author: Baibhav Mishra We have raised ESG as one of the important initiatives in our medium-term management plan. We will continue striving to fulfill our social responsibility through our business activities and contribute to sustainable progress of the society.center_img Sea News, September 19 DJSI, jointly operated by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC of the United States and RobecoSAM AG of Switzerland, measures the performance of companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria, through a corporate sustainability assessment, and only includes companies with remarkable performance. Among those indices, Asia Pacific Index selects 148 companies in the Asia-Pacific developed region (including 76 Japanese companies) as components, as a result of sustainability assessment of 600 largest companies in the region. Launched in 1999, DSJI is one of the first global sustainability benchmarks for investors which integrate sustainability consideration into their portfolios.last_img read more

WV girls spikers enter Nat’l PIRSAA semis

first_imgWESTERN Visayas secondary girls volleyball squad leaped to the semifinals of the PRISAA 2018 National Games with a 25-9, 25-10 victory over Region 10 at the Holy Name University Covered Court in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.WV dominated Region 10 in all departments on Wednesday to set up a semifinals date with Davao today.With veterans Shane Carmona, Alyssa Bertolano, Marianne Sotomil, and Joan Monares in tow, WV jumped to an early double-digit lead in the opening set before seeing Region 10 falter with their errors.It was almost the same story in the second set with Yen yen Celiz, Erika Deloria and Kiesha Bedonia spearheading WV’s offense for a double digit spread and never looked back. “We were able to fix our errors in our previous games,” said WV assistant coach Biboy Calamba. “We will be cautious of Davao even if we already beat them in the Palarong Pambansa.”The WV secondary girls beach volleyball team composed of Nohlin Jundana, Marixi Maligmat and Joan Doguna also made it to the semifinals round with an emphatic win on Wednesday at the VDT Advanced Learning Center Campus.In the tertiary basketball HNU Gymnasium, WV represented by Hercor College Jaguars bowed out of contention after losing to Region 3 in the crossover semifinals round./PNlast_img read more