Thursday, 20 April 2017

What does a snap election mean financially?

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So, in a move that caught just about everyone out, Theresa May called a snap election. This means quite a bit for our little island. On top of all the usual national issues, like education, NHS, Armed forces, Social Care etc. We have Brexit. Which, given all the news, you could be forgiven there is nothing else going on politically here in the UK.

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Without getting political, it did make sense for her to call the election, even though she had said she wasn't going to. If a week is a long time in politics, then 9 months must be an age... She did have to avoid the French and German elections, plus it does put a few of the critics to bed. The SNP have continually said she is unelected, so that would solve that issue.

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The B word (Brexit) does loom very significantly over Mrs. May's Government. There will be all sorts of compromise needed, and she needs a larger majority to get some of those things done. On the flip side, if she doesn't end up with a majority, we could all be in for a very long drawn out mess.

As soon as the announcement was made the markets all reacted and there was a drop in the FTSE of 2%, but as is always the case the pound rose fairly sharply at the same time. Looking at all of this coldly, Mrs. May has taken a political gamble, but also a financial one. If we do have a hung parliament again, then the financial institutions, that rely on stability, will go into meltdown.

Let's hope she has made the right call.

Short term, the markets will be a little more volatile than they have been. You only have to look at most of the past General Elections to see investors get nervous and markets become unpredictable. We also don't know what is coming, surprise announcements, and manifestoes etc.

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The polls have this a done deal as an election, but then the polls got the last election horribly wrong. However, if the polls are correct we will be in a stronger position to negotiate our withdrawal from Europe than we currently are, albeit not the strongest negotiation position ever. We have also seen some huge shock results in recent years. The European referendum was seen as a stay in win, Mr. Farage even conceded, and then results came in. The last General Election, then there is Mr. Trump. If this election goes the way of the polls, we will see some stability, but then France and Germany go to the polls. That could rock everything, we just don't know which way. The fact we don't know will mean a rather unpredictable few months, but most of the 'experts' are saying that Sterling will rise, which will have an effect on the markets.

The one thing we do know is there will be precious little other news floating around, unless Mr. Trump manages to do something that negates all of this of course.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

What can we expect and what do we already know about the Budget?

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

Win with Eazipay

Following the success of our ‘new payer’ promotion last year, we’ve decided to give all our clients another chance to winwinwin, 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

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Don't get caught short this Christmas...

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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.
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

80 years of TV

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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1 - Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 29 1996): 24.35 million
2 - To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 11 1979): 23.95 million
3 - The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 19 1967): 22.80 million
4 - Panorama (BBC1, November 20 1995): 22.77 million
5 - The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 14 1965): 21.70 million
6 - Dallas (BBC1, November 22 1980): 21.60 million
7 - To The Manor Born (BBC1, November 9 1980): 21.55 million
8 - The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.40 million
= Coronation Street (ITV, January 2 1985): 21.40 million
10 - Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 2001): 21.35 million
11 - Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 27 1996): 21.33 million
12 - Only Fools And Horses (BBC1, December 25 1996): 21.31 million
13 - The Morecambe And Wise Christmas Show (BBC1, December 25 1977): 21.30 million
14 - The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, November 10 1963): 21.20 million
= The Silver Jubilee Royal Variety Gala (ITV, December 4 1977): 21.20 million
16 - Bread (BBC1, December 11 1988): 20.95 million
17 - The Benny Hill Show (ITV, March 14 1979): 20.85 million
18 - Coronation Street (ITV, December 18 1980): 20.80 million
19 - Just Good Friends (BBC1, December 21 1986): 20.75 million
20 - Sale Of The Century (ITV, November 19 1977) 20.60 million
= Coronation Street (ITV, January 9 1985): 20.60 million
= Coronation Street (ITV, January 16 1985): 20.60 million

Thursday, 27 October 2016

An extra hour in bed...

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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...

Image result for warm for winterSo 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.

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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.

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We are not the only country to use Daylight savings. The map shows how it is done all around the world.

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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

Stoptober - not our usual subject

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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

So we thought we would look into what happens when you give up smoking. According to there are some very surprising benefits of stopping smoking.

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1. Apparently, within 20 minutes your heart rate will begin to drop to a normal level.

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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.

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3. 12 hours after that final puff your carbon monoxide levels will decrease and your oxygen levels will increase.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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9. After 9 months your withdrawal symptoms will probably have gone away altogether - pat yourself on the back.

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10. 1 year is the time to really start celebrating. You have halved your risk of heart disease.

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11. 5 years after you put the cigarettes away, you have decreased your risk of having a stroke.

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12. When you list out the list of cancers associated with smoking, it really is quite frightening

Oral Cancer
Throat Cancer
Esophageal Cancer
Lung Cancer
Kidney Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer

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.

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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