Tag Archives: Transition

TV Licence: Britons face new payments as ‘transition period’ finishes next month

The TV licence fee must be met by anyone who wishes to watch live television in the home, regardless of whether this is on the BBC or not. A standard TV Licence currently costs £159, and Britons can pay in a number of ways including via Direct Debit. Previously, the TV Licence was free for all over 75s, however, following a change in August 2020, this entitlement was removed.

Britons should therefore be looking out for a letter which will tell them more about the TV Licence arrangement.

The BBC says it will confirm the extended transition period put into place due to the pandemic is finishing at the end of the month.

The letter is to also contain details of the steps Britons will need to take to set up a TV Licence.

Details about Pension Credit will also be included, alongside guidance on whether someone is eligible for a free licence. 

It stated: “These were promised at the beginning of this process but can now take place, subject to any further COVID-19 restrictions, and will begin in the autumn.”

However, some have seen this as a method of enforcement, and have hit back against the idea.

Dennis Reed, director of the Silver Voices campaign group, said: “Clearly, the BBC is not going to do anything other than enforce the licence fee. 

“It is now time for the Government to act. I’m sure they don’t want to see senior citizens in their 80s and 90s, who have paid tax throughout their lives, fined up to £1,000 and carted off to jail.”

In July, the BBC says it will also be contacting licence holders regarding the annual renewal process.

Those who have joined the 75+ Plan or who are paying via direct debit, and those who have a free licence are to be sent their new licence automatically. 

Author: Rebekah Evans
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Finance Feed

EU trade sees RECORD drop due to Brexit transition and 'practical difficulties' – data

Trade figures have shown a record drop in exports and imports to and from the European Union from December 2020 through to January 2021, with the cause partially blamed on the Brexit transition period. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown the record plunge in trade, but the ultimate cause may be more complicated.

From December 2020 through to January 2021, the EU’s exports from the UK declined by a staggering 40 percent.

Imports were not far behind, decreasing by 28.8 percent in the same time frame.

Trade outside of the EU also saw a drop, but by significantly less at 12.7 percent for imports.

And exports from non-EU countries actually gained 1.7 percent, despite the difficulties thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More: Brexit breakthrough: UK and EU agree huge pact in business boost

In November and December, the ONS reported seeing “increasing imports and exports of goods…These increases were consistent with potential stockpiling of goods from the EU in preparation for the end of the EU exit transition period.”

These increases were also seen in the lead to the two previous Brexit deadlines in 2019.

While the transition period may have seen trade decrease, the start of lockdown at the start of January could also have contributed.

The reason behind the decrease could be blamed on several factors, but the Brexit transition period has been partially to blame say experts.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments here.

Samuel Tombs, the chief UK economist at the consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics said: “Brexit is best seen as a slow puncture, rather than a sudden blowout, with the costs gradually accumulating in the form of lower investment and immigration than otherwise would have been the case.”

Suren Thiru, the head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The practical difficulties faced by businesses on the ground go well beyond just teething problems and with disruption to UK-EU trade flows persisting, trade is likely to be a drag on UK economic growth in the first quarter of 2021.”

There have been several reports into the disruption to trade at the start of the year.

However one unknown remains as to whether the decline will continue, or start to pick up once the ‘Brexit hangover’ has eased.

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The ONS said its own ‘Business insights and impact on the UK economy’ data which suggests these “teething problems” have already begun to ease, with figures showing signs of trade starting to increase.

The ONS writes: “BICS data report that, of currently trading businesses that have reported challenges at the end of February 2021, the largest proportion of businesses’ reported main cause of challenge was the end of the EU transition period.

“This has risen from mid-December 2020. In contrast, those reporting the coronavirus as their main challenge fell over the same period.”

While the EU has seen a huge decline, imports and exports between China and the UK have soared.

Professor Dr Stefan Stein, Founding President and Professor for International Business Management at GISMA Business School told Express.co.uk: “If imports and exports are taken together, China has become the EU’s largest trading partner and has overtaken the USA in 2020.

“The USA under Trump, the trade and other conflicts have done more harm than good.

“It will take the new administration quite some time to fix the damage, while China develops from an even more powerful position.”

And Brexit has played a big impact when it comes to the UK. Professor Stein said: “In the concert of the big players, the United Kingdom has minimised itself with its self-imposed Brexit. Success stories look different.

“One noticeable consequence of Brexit is the decline in investment and the shortage of workers.

“While the UK and the EU are in a sausage war over the control of meat products, China is the economic nation that has come through this global economic crisis best.

“In the economic upswing that is now following, China’s starting position is particularly good.

“The coffers of the Chinese are full, we will see investment activity increase in the UK and Europe and elsewhere on this planet where others cannot even follow due to the consequences of the crisis and lack of own strategy.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Elliot Page Tells Oprah Why It Was ‘Imperative’ To Come Out As Trans After Transition

Author: Jade Boren
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Elliot Page told Oprah Winfrey the real reasons he publicly came out as a transgender man in his first TV interview since transitioning. The ‘Juno’ star knew he was a boy even as ‘a toddler.’

For Elliot Page, it was “imperative” to post that letter in which he came out as a transgender man in Dec. 2020. The 34-yer-old Juno star admitted this in a sneak peek for his April 30 interview with Oprah Winfrey, who asked Elliot what led up to making the announcement about his transition in Dec. 2020. Elliot clarified that he was “expressing this to people in [his] life” for a long time, but he had one big reason for finally breaking the news about his gender identity to the world.

“For me, I think is in this time we’re in right now and especially with this horrible backlash we’re seeing towards trans people, particularly trans youth, it really felt imperative to do so,” Elliot revealed. And on a personal side, Elliot recalled feeling “closeted for so long” before coming out as gay right before his 27th birthday — to the point where he said, “I had pretty much never even touched someone outside who I was in love with.”

Elliott did not ever want to feel the need to hide himself to that extent ever again. “I think any sensation of feeling that again, there was just no way I could do it,” Elliot admitted, who added that he came out as trans to the public because “it felt important and selfish for myself and my own well-being and my mental health.”

From the time he was a child, Elliot knew that he was a boy. “All trans people are so different, and my story’s absolutely just my story. But yes, when I was a little kid, absolutely, 100%, I was a boy,” he also told Vanity Fair (which obtained the preview of his interview with Oprah) for an interview published on April 28. The Inception star revealed that he knew he was a boy as far back when he “was a toddler.”

“I was writing fake love letters and signing them ‘Jason.’ Every little aspect of my life, that is who I was, who I am, and who I knew myself to be,” Elliott told Thomas Page McBee, who is a trans journalist. The Umbrella Academy star was not met with understanding, sadly. “I just couldn’t understand when I’d be told, ‘No, you’re not. No, you can’t be that when you’re older.’ You feel it,” Elliott said.

“Now I’m finally getting myself back to feeling like who I am, and it’s so beautiful and extraordinary, and there’s a grief to it in a way,” Elliott admitted. Now that the actor has made his transition in front of the world, he was asked this: “If you could go back and say something to yourself as a child, or to a trans kid today, what would you say?”

“I would tell them that they were 100% real. I would tell myself I was exactly who I saw myself as, and felt myself as, and knew myself as,” Elliott told the Vanity Fair journalist. Elliot will be further discussing his experience as a transgender man — and the horrifying discrimination transgender people are facing — in his sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, which will air on April 30.

A preview of Elliot Page’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. [Instagram/@elliotpage]

“It was something I needed to sit with for a moment, because the backlash right now is so intense. But the rhetoric coming from anti-trans activists and anti-LGBTQ activists—it’s devastating,” Elliot said while explaining his decision to speak with Oprah. He added, “These bills are going to be responsible for the death of children. It is that simple. So [talking to Oprah] felt like an opportunity to use a wide-reaching platform to speak from my heart about some of my experience and the resources I’ve been able to access—whether therapy or surgery—that have allowed me to be alive, to live my life.”

For more context on the bills Elliot was speaking out against, “five states have passed laws or implemented executive orders this year limiting the ability of transgender youths to play sports or receive certain medical treatment,” AP News reported on April 27. Elliot encouraged fans to check out the “National Center for Transgender Equality and Transathlete” websites to learn how to help.

Elliot’s interview with Vanity Fair arrives after he announced “I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot” in an Instagram post shared in Dec. 2020. Then, in March of 2021, Elliot revealed that he had underwent top surgery (a procedure that removes breast tissue). “It has completely transformed my life,” Elliot told Time for his cover story, telling the magazine how “uncomfortable” he felt in his body before.