The Government is perhaps in the final stages of preparation of Budget 2018, and as expected, citizens and businesses are eager to find out “what’s in it” for them. For example, would it contribute in any way to them having more disposable income to cushion the effects of rising prices? Would it put an ease on the heavy tax burden which currently obtains? Or, in a general sense, would it serve to contribute to the so-called better life, which the APNU/AFC had promised during the 2015 Elections campaign?If one were to go by the last two budgets, there would not be much optimism, as it could be recalled that there were many more negatives than positives for the populace, with both citizens and businesses still finding it very difficult to cope. In fact, there were many proposals in the last budget which militate against society. For example, putting VAT on electricity and water supplies placed additional hardships on poor families. While it may indeed not affect very small families directly, it certainly affects them indirectly, since the businesses from which they purchase will be forced to increase their prices to cover the increased costs.Also, in the last two budgets, there was hardly any provision included that was aimed at stimulating the positive generation of wealth. Areas of wealth-generation were completely neglected or forgotten. For example, agriculture, both small-scale garden farmers and producers of cash crops, as well as the national, economically important sugar and rice industries were literally ignored. It was only recently that a small market for rice was secured. As we have seen over the past year, to diminish or not to stimulate these industries results in unemployment, less money in circulation, and the lessening of a source of foreign exchange.As we had stated before, the makers of governmental policies in respect to agriculture are literally shooting themselves in the foot, and one could only hope that they would awake from their slumber.In other areas of wealth-generation for society, especially mining and commerce, the same trend has occurred.Further, one of the greatest disincentives to wealth generation is massive taxation. This is a fact well known in all societies, irrespective of the political doctrine they follow. In the 2017 Budget, there were dozens of new taxes imposed, and citizens are feeling the squeeze. The Government cannot reasonably expect to fund its operations via revenues from taxes alone; it must focus on stimulating growth and creating the environment for new investments etc.It is of no surprise that, at the recent Business Summit, the Government’s approach to taxation came under heavy scrutiny, with many of the stakeholders calling for a complete review. Of note, too, is that, during the discussions, it was pointed out that most of the measures that had been recommended by the Tax Reform Committee — aimed at ensuring persons have more disposal income and supporting local businesses etc — remain unimplemented.In addition to tax incentives, the committee had recommended the Administration increase the Value-Added Tax registration threshold from G million to G million; reduce the standard rate to 14 per cent; and introduce an intermediate rate of 7 per cent for some types of goods. Increasing the threshold for businesses would mean that, in addition to the reduced tax charged, businesses with a turnover of less than G million would not have to fall into the accounting regime.The Committee had also recommended that education services be exempted from taxation; and 21 items of education materials, including all textbooks, children’s books, dictionaries, pencils, lunch kits and charts, continue to be zero-rated; while others, including recipe books, instructional newsletters and music manuscripts, be charged at an intermediate rate of 7%.These are just a few of the issues which the Government must consider in preparation of Budget 2018. The general feeling is that Government’s tax-oriented approach to growth and policies is among the key factors responsible for the deteriorating economy. If Government is really serious about national development and creating the ‘good life’ for all Guyanese, it must urgently change its policies in relation to the unfriendly, burdensome tax regime, and put systems in place to stimulate real economic growth. In this regard, the 2018 Budget will serve as another test for the Administration.
0Shares0000Jonathan Moi is a renowned driver in the Safari Rally. Photo/TwitterNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20- Jonathan Toroitich, the son of former President Daniel arap Moi, who was a renowned rally driver in the Safari Rally died on Friday evening.In a statement, his brother Senator Gideon Moi described him as an amiable, social, down to earth and industrious man. 0Shares0000(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today) “We are distraught as family and we ask for your prayers and seek your understanding and indulgence to allow us mourn privately,” the Senator said.He however did not divulge details on what caused his death but has committed to keep Kenyans informed on the further arrangements.Jonathan won the 1998 Nyanyuki Rally when it joined the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) for the first time .He was one of the best drivers in the 90’s and was navigated by the late Ibrahim Choge synonymous with EX-Wax Toyota Celica.His contemporary divers were legendary Patrick Njiru, Azar Anwar, Ian Duncan and Paul Bailey.Jonathan also won the Equator Rally in 1997 navigated by Choge.Retired rally driver Jonathan Moi has passed on.. On Easter weekend which was usually Safari Rally weekend during his rallying years.. RIP..— Katami Michelle (@MichKatami) April 20, 2019On Easter weekend, when we’d usually enjoy Safari Rally when it was part of the of the World Rally Championships, Kenya mourns the death of one of the drivers from that era, Jonathan Moi. R.I.P— Celestine Karoney (@cjkaroney) April 20, 2019Easter holidays meant one thing, the Safari Rally.Ian Duncan was also super quick, schooling the WRC drivers.Patrick Njiru, the local hero and Jonathan Toroitich, the most consistent privateer pic.twitter.com/bNyJwuFU4X— Übermensch (@Trackmann) April 20, 2019Rest in peace Son of the soil Jonathan Moi. A celebrated Safari Rally driver. So sad#RIPJonathanMoi pic.twitter.com/9NeSAgLr6h— Nicholas Kigen 🇰🇪 (@Nicholas_Kigen1) April 20, 2019
Liverpool’s Anfield ground 1 Liverpool have been given the green light to start redeveloping Anfield.It emerged last week that the club’s proposals to expand their stadium had been recommended for approval by Liverpool council planners.A vote was taken on the scheme on Tuesday after elected members of the planning committee visited Anfield, with the Reds winning planning permission from the city’s council to proceed with phase one of the project – the extension of the Main Stand.In phase two, the Anfield Road stand would be increased, with the project as a whole taking the capacity from around 45,000 to around 58,800.The resolution from members of Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee to grant planning permission, subject to conditions and legal agreement, was unanimous.Construction work on the proposed Main Stand – during which matches will continue to be played at Anfield – is expected to begin early next year and be complete in time for the 2016-17 season.Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre said: “Today’s approval by the Planning Committee is another step on our journey which we embarked on nearly two years ago.“We received very positive support for our proposals during a public consultation exercise earlier this year and whilst we are delighted about the progress made today, there are still some steps that we need to navigate through in order to give us the certainty that we need to proceed with our expansion plans.”Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, added: “This is a very important milestone in our ambitions to transform the Anfield area, bringing new jobs, investment and housing.“The overall regeneration will see £260million invested in Anfield. Liverpool Football Club’s proposals for the stadium are a key part of this. The club is a major employer in the area and its stadium is a major draw for tourists and visitors.”
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes new manager Jose Mourinho has brought a winning mentality back to the club.The Portuguese, who has 17 major trophies on his CV including eight league titles in four countries and two Champions League triumphs with different clubs, replaced Louis van Gaal this summer.Although his predecessor won the FA Cup in his final match in charge the feeling at Old Trafford was the club was lacking the drive previously provided by Sir Alex Ferguson.Rooney said Mourinho’s arrival has corrected that.“It’s always great to get a new manager but when you get someone in the stature of Jose Mourinho he’s great to work under and he’s brought a winning mentality back to the club,” the England captain told Manchester radio station Key 103.“Manchester United as a football club we have to win and we have to deliver for him.“There’s pressure on the players but we’re ready and I think this season we’ll give a real challenge on all fronts.“He’s come in, he’s been great with the players. The training has been hard but enjoyable.“We’re ready, we’re working hard. We know it’s a big season for us.“He’s made, in my opinion, some great signings who have gelled in really well with the squad so it’s exciting times.”The 30-year-old starts the season needing just five goals to break United’s all-time scoring record held by Sir Bobby Charlton but he is already looking at life beyond his playing days.“I’ve started taking my coaching badges now so that will probably take about four or five years to complete,” he added.“Of course I’ve got a lot of experience playing football so I think it would be criminal If I didn’t try and pass that knowledge on so hopefully when I finish playing I can get some role as a manager or coach and try and use the experience I’ve built up over the years.” Jose Mourinho 1
LANCASTER – Greater Antelope Valley Association of Realtors awarded $25,000 scholarships to 18 young men and women. The scholarships were presented at an ice cream social July 18 at the Antelope Valley Inn. “These kids have demonstrated a past academic performance in their schools and commitment toward higher learning, so GAVAR not only wanted to give them a financial boost, but reward them with a celebratory party as well,” said Pamela Vose, the association’s chief executive officer. This was the fourth year for the scholarship program, which since its inception has given nearly $100,000 to students with relatives in the association. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesScholarships of $3,000 each went to Ashley Leon and John O’Connor. Scholarships of $2,500 each went to James Brooks and Jeffrey Galli. Fourteen scholarships of $1,000 each went to Ashlie Carter, Michael Eckman, Joshua Elliot, John Andrew Foss, Felicia Gutierrez, Michelle Healy, Jeffrey Herrera, Elizabeth A. Holland, Jeremy Kleidosty, Christopher Murphy, Cory Nations, Natalie Schaffer, Fatima M. Shanjani and Aaron Stickel. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Share This!Summer can be a brutal time in the theme parks. Aside from crowds, Mother Nature can make you feel like a bug under a magnifying glass with the heat of the relentless sun. Sometimes a day at a water park can be just the cure for that summertime heat. The Orlando area has a variety of water parks to choose from, but we wanted to know which one YOU would choose. Last week, we asked you:Which water park is best?Typhoon Lagoon was the overall winner (with more than 50% of the vote averaged on the blog and Twitter), and it’s hard to go wrong with this as a choice. With its giant wave pool, kids’ area, and waterslides, raft rides, and more, there is something for everyone. Whether your speed is more Crush ‘n’ Gusher or more laid back like Castaway Creek or the new(ish) Miss Adventure Falls, you’ll find plenty of fun in the sun.Blizzard Beach. ©DisneyComing in around 25% of the vote was Blizzard Beach. Perhaps the inclusion of a higher-thrill drop slide in Summit Plummet makes this park seem like it is more for teens and adults than for all ages, but there still is a lot for the whole family to do, including water slides where you can race your family. And yes, don’t forget to get your donuts while you’re there. There are some people who make a trip to the water park for that. (We don’t judge…especially when it comes to donuts.)Rounding up the bottom were Volcano Bay and Aquatica. Volcano Bay had a rocky start (pun intended), and it still is a tough sell that this is Universal Orlando’s third resort. As a water park, however, it has some of the biggest thrills in the area, and it is a visually stunning park. As operational issues get worked out, and as more people visit it during its second year, I would expect that this water park will grow in popularity.Picture courtesy of Sea World.What Aquatica lacks in name recognition and accessibility from a major theme park resort complex (like Walt Disney World of Universal), it makes up for in terms of quality. It has the requisite amount of slides and water play areas, but also neat features like a lazy river that goes “underwater” with views of tropical fish. The all-day dining pass is also a unique option, especially for families with older kids who want to go off on their own.Got any plans to hit the water parks this summer? What’s your go-to spot to stay cool? Let us know in the comments. Stay tuned for our next Ask It question on the blog.
Johannesburg’s roads have become evenbusier. Gauteng spokesperson Thabo Masebe at amedia briefing in Sandton. Metro police are on high alert.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Thabo MasebeGauteng Provincial GovernmentSpokesperson+27 82 410 8087RELATED ARTICLES• Top safety plan for World Cup• Gautrain rolls out this week• Transport on track for World Cup• SA gets tough on traffic crimeBongani NkosiThe 2010 Fifa World Cup has almost brought Johannesburg’s traffic to a standstill, an indication of the multitude of fans of the beautiful game that are in the city.On match day in the host city, capital of Gauteng province, main roads got congested as fans flock to its two magnificent stadiums, Soccer City and Ellis Park.It was an even worse scenario on 11 June, when the tournament kicked off at Soweto’s Soccer City. The Gauteng provincial government admits that traffic management was not at its best; the chief cause was the presence of private cars in the vicinity of the stadium.“The highways were congested… people were stuck in traffic,” said Thabo Masebe, the province’s spokesperson. “Traffic is of great concern to us.”With congestion starting from central business areas such as Braamfontein, people struggled to make their way south of the city, even hours before the opening ceremony began.“What we saw last Friday would not make anyone happy. We are not happy, Fifa and the LOC are not happy,” Masebe said.“There’s no way you can have thousands of cars going to Soccer City.”Besides staging the opening match, the world-famous city will host the final. It’s already hosted a match featuring the thrilling Brazil, which saw the theatrics of Robinho leading the South Americans to a 2-1 thrashing of North Korea.The problem, Masebe noted, is that football fans want to drive to the venues, instead of using public transport. Gauteng’s plan is that fans should use the transport laid on for fans, such as public buses, trains and minibus taxis.Public transport provided for the duration of the World Cup in the province is adequate and reliable enough to carry the scores of fans, said Masebe. “We’ve provided enough public transport, and we encourage fans to use it.”Johannesburg City’s rapid transit Rea Vaya buses are one option, others are Metrorail trains or Metro buses. Pretoria, staging matches at Loftus Stadium, also provides public transport.While Rea Vaya charges a minimum fee of R6 (US$0.79) per trip to both Ellis Park and Soccer City, trains provide free shuttle for fans with match tickets. Metro buses ferry fans from Park and Ride facilities in different parts of the city, for free.“There’s no way you can miss a train going to the stadium,” Masebe said.Gauteng’s new planThe provincial government has decided that it will close off certain roads to private cars in the city centre and main routes leading to the stadium. The roads will be closed and manned by traffic officials four hours before a game kicks off.Road closures will not inconvenience motorists when there are no matches. “On other days the roads will be open,” said Masebe.The Soweto Highway and Nasrec Road, main routes leading to Soccer City, will always be closed to the public on match day.Only private vehicles carrying VIPs, Fifa officials, and players, and other accredited cars will be allowed entry into the roads.“If [traffic police] find a car where it’s not supposed to be, they will impound it and you would have to pay a fee,” said Masebe.The province’s aim is to ensure free flow of traffic in both Johannesburg and Pretoria throughout the tournament. “Nobody should even think about traffic. It must run smoothly… We want to ease the flow of traffic,” Masebe said.“It’s all going well”There have been no major incidents of crime reported in Gauteng, contrary to speculation before the World Cup started.Police maintain a high visibility in many areas, especially those around high-volume venues like stadiums and public viewing areas. The men in blue have also taken control of all security in Soccer City and Ellis Park.“We have sufficient capacity to provide security,” said Masebe. “The police have enough capacity to deal with any situation.”
5 November 2013 To compete successfully in the global marketplace, South Africa must cultivate an investor-friendly environment while continuing to roll out socio-economic infrastructure, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Tuesday. Motlanthe was addressing over 200 high-level representatives of government, business, labour, civil society and academia at the inaugural South African Competitiveness Forum in Midrand, north of Johannesburg on Tuesday. “Beyond the competiveness of our products, we need to prove our worth on a number of socio-economic indicators such as political stability, cultivating an investment-friendly environment, greening the economy, transparency, predictability as well as having good macro-economic policies,” Motlanthe said.‘Platform for identifying risks’ The Deputy President congratulated Brand South Africa for initiating and hosting the forum. “As a first of its kind in South Africa, this forum will give leaders from all spheres a platform for debating our country’s competitiveness, as well as arriving at a common understanding of how to improve the competitiveness of our economy. “By acting in concert, this forum may prove to be an invaluable tool in the identification, management and minimisation of risks in governance, delivery systems, institutional arrangements and other existing procedures.” Motlanthe said South Africans had over the years made good strides in positioning the country as a stable democracy with the necessary institutions and mechanisms for attracting investment. This had resulted in significant investments in South Africa’s automotive, manufacturing, mining, petrochemical and other industries.Challenges of poverty, unemployment However, he said, “we have also fallen short of the development trajectory necessary to place us on par with many of our competitors. These glaring challenges show themselves through high rates of inequality, poverty and unemployment, especially amongst young people, who constitute the majority of our population. “Confronted by the challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, we are acutely aware that improvement in the competitiveness of our nation is proportional to strides in these critical areas that define the character of our nation today.” Motlanthe said the government had gone a long way towards improve the social wage through a raft of measures including social grants and investments in education, health care and human settlements. The government’s interventions were aimed at drastically improving training and skills sets, widening access to productive resources, lessening the burden of disease, and generally trying to improve the standards of living for all. Progress ‘predicated on innovation’ Motlanthe said that societal progress in the 21st century was predicated on innovation, adding that South Africa had to maintain its innovative edge in all key sectors of society, particularly the economy. “In turn, innovation assumes that our research and development capacity as a country is of international standards. Research and Development creates conditions in which innovation can keep thriving at every stage. “Logically, this then suggests that our education system be sound and solid, especially in the key areas of science, mathematics and ICT, all of which are the prime drivers of national development.” At the same time, Motlanthe said, education alone would not in the short-term reduce inequalities and unemployment. “We must therefore, in the short to medium term, implement measures that will lead to more rapid growth and creation of jobs. “Using state levers, we need to support growth and development through sound macro-economic policy, strong industrial policy plans and cultivating an investment-friendly environment.” Motlanthe said the South African Competitiveness Forum was an ideal platform for engaging on the challenge of achieving sustainable competitiveness, noting: “Economic growth activities that occur under fair market conditions and that enhance and restore the health of natural and social systems are the essence of sustainable competitiveness. “This forum is in a good position to contribute to a South Africa that continues to become a better place than it was before 1994.” Source: SAnews.gov.za
This past week I woke up earlier than normal because I need to do some last minute shopping and prep for a day of development for our managers. As most people tend to do, I had a list in my head of what I needed to purchase. I wanted to get into the store and avoid contact if possible so I could “get things done.”As I was hurriedly walking to the aisle for the supplies I was seeking, a cashier caught my eyes and greeted me. “How’s your morning going so far?”“Great !!” I replied. “How about yours?”She said, “Wonderful, always !!”I stopped walking. I was struck by her response. This was not your normal greeting. I smiled and made a note to remember her reply. I gathered my supplies and couldn’t wait to get to her checkout aisle. I just had to talk to her more. As I checked out, we chatted for a few minutes about the day ahead and how it was sure to be great. I thanked her and I went off to set-up my meeting . . . but my attitude had completely shifted.Did I mention that this interaction happened at Wal-Mart at 7:00am in the morning? Yes, Wal-Mart. There was something else that occurred as I was shopping. Every employee warmly greeted each other. Every. One. And, they didn’t do they typical “drive-by” greeting with the obligatory non-engaged response of “I’m fine” or “I’m good.” It was so refreshing to see and experience !!Let’s put things into context. The employees I was observing worked in a retail environment that gets more criticism than other retail outlets. People judge folks who shop at Wal-Mart and make offhanded, look down your nose remarks about them. However, the employees seemed more authentic and engaged than most employees I’ve seen in any workplace !!Now, I understand that all of us have “life” going on in varying degrees of challenges and/or success. That won’t change because life moves in waves. I wish we were always on the crest of those waves, but there will always be the inevitable troughs that come as well.I admire Carol (that is the Wal-Mart cashier I met) because regardless of what is happening in her life, she chooses to genuinely see things as “wonderful, always !!” I love that a front-line team member is positively authentic. It’s a posture that I try to take and would love to see be the truth of anyone who works in Human Resources.This isn’t about being naive or utopian in your approach to the day. It’s proven that if you start your day, and then continue through it, with a positive mindset that most of your interactions will go well. This is true even during the most emotional and/or dark circumstances you encounter during your day.This week be intentional and determine that you will start each day positively. Don’t just make this a resolution. Work on making it your norm.You have to trust me that when you do this things will improve. Your work will become manageable regardless of the obstacles that will occur. When you are out with your employees, you’ll brighten their day first before they have a chance to dump another load of crud at your feet. When you’re consistently positive on purpose, you eventually shape the culture of your company and the relationships you have with others.I hope that from now on you’re wonderful . . . always !!Originally published on Everyday People blog.
Steve Lucas, executive vice president and general manager of database and technology for SAP, said that “Big data is the unprecedented growth and convergence of social, device, equipment and corporate data. There is an incredible amount of noise being created and without a strategy, companies will get lost in the noise. Big data is instant access to data and with instant insight, companies can be agile, act on emerging trends, engage with their customer base and also expose potential risks.” More efficient business operations (59 percent)Improved sales (54 percent)Lower IT costs (50 percent)Greater agility (48 percent)Improved ability to attract and retain customers (46 percent) Small companies see opportunities in Big Data. A recent survey of SMEs by SAP finds that 76 percent have plans for using Big Data and analytics. 70 percent of SMEs making investment in Big Data initiatives expect to be able to achieve a return on their investment within the first year.Benefits that can be derived from Big Data include: