Tuesday, 7 March 2017
Is it really budget time already? It seems to come around quicker and quicker. This budget we have Phillip Hammond delivering his first one. There is an awful lot going on, but he is seen as a very safe pair of hands. With Brexit looming he will need to deliver a budget that inspires confidence. He is quite fortunate to have had an economy performing better than expected - so we may see some good news, for once...
So, where will Mr. Hammond splash his extra cash? There has been some suggestion that there could be some relief for those hit the hardest by the business rate rise. The obvious place is the NHS and social care, which needs more than a bit of help. He will probably put some of it in the bank as a backstop though, with some very big unknowns on the horizon.
It seems the case these days that we get little bits of info in the lead up to the budget. So far, we have heard that there will be £500 million for skills-based training in young people. We are heading for a big shake up in the post 16 education field - and about time too.
We already know that the ISA limit is set to be raised again, up to £20 000 in the next tax year. That was part of a timetable set by George Osborne. There is also an expectation that we will hear more about the Guaranteed Growth Bond.
There was an announcement about a £20 million D-Day memorial on Normandy Beaches, which will come from the fines paid by the banks - a nice use of the money.
The income tax threshold is due to rise to £11500 in April, and the higher rate to £45 000, but we will more than likely hear about further rises, to reach the target of £12500 and £50 000.
There have been a lot of other bits and bods in the news on possible changes being introduced. One of which is National Insurance for self-employed people, currently at 9% going up to 12%.
Cigarettes will once again be in the firing line, the rumour is that there will be a minimum price per packet of £8.68. There is also a possibility that pensions tax relief may see some action.
We would like to see more help given to SMEs. The government talks a good game, but it never quite delivers. The late payment issue only increases, and costs are going up and up, putting more pressure on the backbone of our economy.
Will we see an increase in fuel duty? We hope not...
One thing for sure, this won't be the most exciting, game-changing budget we have seen. Mr. Hammond will want to keep his powder dry as Brexit starts to dominate even more...
Monday, 16 January 2017
Following the success of our ‘new payer’ promotion last year, we’ve decided to give all our clients another chance to win, win, win, simply by signing-up new Direct Debit payers!
From the 1st – 28th February 2017, we’ll be reducing the cost of our normal ‘new Direct Debit payer’ fee. Gone is the usual £1.50 per new payer fee and in its place comes the discounted cost of just 99p. And if that wasn’t enough, when you sign up a new payer during the promotional period you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a meal for two at Pizza Express and two cinema tickets!
It couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is keep doing what you’re doing and encourage more and more of your customers to sign-up to Direct Debit. Our new payer set-up system is fully automated so we’ll be able to access your account and see when you signed up a new payer between the 1st and 28th February.
Just like last time, there is also an incentive for the client manager whose client wins the most new payers. SO they are quite keen for all our clients to get signing up new payers...
If you would like to know more get in touch with your client manager, or to find out how to become an Eazipay client visit www.eazipay.co.uk
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
Eazipay are advising all their clients to plan ahead for the festive season, so they avoid missing or delaying any payments over the festive season.
This year is a little different as Christmas falls on a non-processing day, meaning that this year the 27th December is also a Bank Holiday. This means that the first day after Christmas for payment processing is Wednesday the 28th December.
If you are making payments via Direct Credit or collecting via Direct Debit then files need to be processed no later than midday on Thursday 22nd December in order for the payment to go through on the 28th.
It is just the same with New Year too. New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, so Monday the 2nd of January is a Bank Holiday, meaning it is a non-processing day. Therefore, to have payments credited or debited on Tuesday 3rd January, files need to be with Eazipay by midday on the 29th December at the latest.
Luisa Grey, Eazipay's Operations Director said "We have seen in previous years that some people don't take the non-processing days into account, and that can result in some real problems. If companies plan ahead a little then staff and suppliers can be paid on time."
Perhaps for SME's Cash Flow is the most important part of the process. Luisa added "Companies rely on their money being in their account when they need it. Not planning for the non-processing days could mean life or death for some businesses."
So Eazipay are hoping that with some simple planning everyone can have a Happy, cash flow positive, Christmas.
Wednesday, 2 November 2016
Today marks the 80th anniversary of the launch of the first regular TV service. It started at 3pm and was the BBC broadcasting live from Alexandra Palace.
So the Press Association have released a chart detailing the most watched programmes since that day. Obviously, as TV's got more popular the numbers of viewers grew, but the peak happened a number of years ago. These days we all have a multitude of ways of consuming our programmes and it means that the viewer figures are never likely to reach the heady heights achieved in the 80's and 90's.
Can you guess what is the most watched programme? We'll let you know later. The oldest programme to make the list is a Royal Variety Performance from 1963 when 21.10 million tuned in. It did have one advantage though, the Beatles were performing.
The most watched factual programme of all time was the 1995 interview with Princess Diana by Martin Bashir. A whopping 22.8 million people watched it, just going to show you just how popular she was.
So did you guess right about the most watched programme of all time? To qualify, repeats are not added, this is sitting down and watching the programme when it was broadcast. The most watched programme of all time was.... Only Fools and Horses, specifically the programme from 1996 when Del Boy and Rodney find a valuable watch and are actually made millionaires. An amazing 24.35 million tuned in to watch it. That's more people than the entire population of Australia!!!
The list itself is below. The obvious missing programme is Eastenders. Back when Dirty Den asked Angie for a divorce, the BBC reported that 30 million people watched it. However the Beeb was adding repeats to the number, so it didn't count.
Thursday, 27 October 2016
It is the time of year when the mornings are dark still when you leave for work. So, the clocks go back an hour. They actually go back this Sunday morning, October 30th, at 2am. This is our time reverting back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and is most people's way of saying that's officially the end of summer.
Time's have changed. We used to have to remember to go and change all the clocks in the house and definitely change your alarm clock. You would also be able to enjoy your car clock being right for 6 months. These days loads of clocks change themselves. With smartphones being a lot of people's alarm clocks, they might not even know it has changed...
So when the clocks go back we are officially heading into hibernation. When you think that on 21st June we get a lovely 16 hours and 50 minutes of sunlight, but only 7 hours and 40 minutes on 21st December - bit depressing really.
We wrote a blog piece before about William Willett and his idea of British Summer Time. We are no nearer at all to abolishing Daylight Savings, even though a recent YouGov poll found that 53% supported moving time forward permanently for an hour, 32 % opposed it. The Scottish are particularly against the idea, for very obvious reasons.
We are not the only country to use Daylight savings. The map shows how it is done all around the world.
One final thought is the staff of the Royal collection. It takes them over 50 hours to adjust over 1000 clocks spread across the Royal Estate. They have to get up early in the morning and make sure all of the clocks are accurate.
Of course, being a direct debit bureau, we use computers to collect your money etc. so you don't need to worry about whether your money is being collected on time.
Monday, 3 October 2016
Now we know we are a direct debit company, and as such we tend to be about people's money and how to collect it efficiently and on time. But October is upon us, and it has now become synonymous with Stoptober, or stopping smoking if you prefer. It is an NHS campaign that has really started to get some traction. For more details go to https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/stoptober
So we thought we would look into what happens when you give up smoking. According to http://www.healthline.com there are some very surprising benefits of stopping smoking.
1. Apparently, within 20 minutes your heart rate will begin to drop to a normal level.
2. 2 hours after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and heart rate drop to almost normal levels. Your blood circulation improves, which will mean your extremities feel a bit warmer. The nicotine withdrawals start though, giving you intense cravings, anxiety, tension or frustration. You may also start to feel a bit drowsy and your appetite could increase.
3. 12 hours after that final puff your carbon monoxide levels will decrease and your oxygen levels will increase.
4. We get a bit more real here - smokers have a 70% increase in the risk of coronary heart disease. The good news is that just 24 hours after quitting your risk start to decrease. You are still at a higher risk, but the recovery has started.
5. Ask any ex-smoker about how they can smell and taste so much better after giving up. The really great news is after just 48 the nerve endings you have been damaging will start to regrow and your taste and smell senses start to return.
6. 3 days after you quit the nicotine is now out of your body. This is the danger zone. Your body will start to crave nicotine. You need to push through this stage, you will probably get some of the symptoms we mentioned above...
7. 3 weeks after you will start to get your breath back. That's thank to the increased oxygen and circulation. For most smokers the most challenging part is over, you can start to enjoy life.
8. 4 weeks after your ex-smokers journey your cilia will start to repair themsleves. This means you will be better at fighting off infections and clear your lungs of that nasty mucus.
9. After 9 months your withdrawal symptoms will probably have gone away altogether - pat yourself on the back.
10. 1 year is the time to really start celebrating. You have halved your risk of heart disease.
11. 5 years after you put the cigarettes away, you have decreased your risk of having a stroke.
12. When you list out the list of cancers associated with smoking, it really is quite frightening
Of course, Lung Cancer is the most associated disease due to it causing 90% of all Lung Cancer deaths worldwide. After ten years of not smoking, you will have decreased your risk by half.
13. It may take a while, but it will be worth it. 15 years after qutting your risk of heart disease will be the same as a non smoker.
If cigarettes were invented today they would be made illegal, but they weren't so we have to make a decision to stop smoking. The great news is that if you stop today you may well have managed to avoid some of the horrible health side effects. Good luck
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
2 months on from that Friday morning where we all woke up to the news that Britain had voted out, we thought we would have a look and see how things are going.
It didn't matter which side of the argument you were, most didn't see it coming.
Some were devastated...
Others were over the moon...
Regardless of your pre-brexit opinion, the fact remains that the UK voted to leave. After the initial shock, most were left asking "what now?" or "what does that mean?". Nobody knew the answers. The immediate response was the pound plummeting against the dollar. But the FTSE after an initial free fall bounced back.
Since then we have had warnings of financial meltdowns, using words like armageddon, tsunami and apocalypse. We have yet to see any of those things happen, but the pound has remained very weak against the dollar. The FTSE however, has performed very well. Experts are saying the pound has bottomed out, gained some footing and may start to creep back up again.
As we came closer to the referendum date, we had Obama telling us he would stick us in the naughty corner and then at the back of the queue if we voted out. Since then we have had both Presidential candidates step well away from that and talk about the 'special relationship' and making it stronger.
The economy as a whole was expected to freefall, but the opposite has happened. With a new Prime Minister, optimism has returned. Retail sales were up 1.4% in July, which was much higher than expected. The IMF believe the UK will grow faster than Germany, France and Italy this year and next year. House prices, that were said to drop 18%, but they have stayed buoyant and are expected to do the same next year. One of the most pessimistic on house prices, Countrywide, have predicted only a 1% drop.
The Bank of England have been more cautious, Mark Carney gave a really great speech directly after the referendum telling us that every possible measure would be taken to keep the economy on a sound footing. Since then, we saw an interest cut to a record 0.25%. The BoE also said they would make available £100billion of cheap money available for banks to lend. Tey also said they would buy £60billion of government debt and £10billion of corporate bonds. A rate cut is good for borrowers, but bad for savers. Satander immediately cut the rate of their 123 account by half, from 3% to 1.5%, and other banks such as RBS are going to start charging major financial institutions to hold their cash...
On the whole though Britain has done what it always does, it has just gone on with it. As the very popular keep calm series shows, we haven't panicked we have just said right, let's get on with our lives and keep the economy and our country going. When we know what we can expect from Brexit, we'll deal with that too...