Statement from Minister on Canada Pension Plan Improvements

first_img Starting in January 2019 the rate employers and employees pay into CPP will be gradually increased over seven years. The upper earnings limit will be increased over two years starting in 2024. An increase to the Working Income Tax Benefit will help protect low-income earners from the rate increase. The changes to CPP improve this important retirement safety net while being modest, affordable and giving citizens and businesses time to adjust. A summary of the enhancements and more information can be found at -30- increase the maximum CPP benefit by about 50 per cent replace one third of average annual earnings on retirement, up from one quarter increase the upper earnings limit at which this replacement rate maxes out to about $82,700. It is important that Nova Scotians have as many options as possible to ensure financial security in their later years. That’s why government has taken steps to improve retirement income security for Nova Scotians. Government is pleased to announce today, March 2, another important milestone has been reached in the implementation of improvements to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The federal legislation to bring the CPP enhancements into force has been proclaimed, as agreed in principle between the federal government and provinces in June 2016. The approved enhancements will improve income security for future generations of Nova Scotians. Too many Nova Scotians are without the security of their own pension plan, registered retirement savings plans or other retirement savings. The CPP enhancements will help these individuals. The CPP improvements will:last_img

IMF gives thumbs up to Sri Lanka

The IMF noted the resumption of private credit growth following monetary easing in 2013-14. They advised close monitoring of credit and inflation developments, given the potential turn in the credit cycle and long lags in monetary transmission. They stressed that it is important to be prepared to act if signs of overheating emerge. The Directors agreed to extend post-program monitoring in light of risks and the desirability of maintaining a close policy discussion between the authorities and the Fund. Directors looked forward to the new government’s comprehensive economic policy agenda. (Colombo Gazette) The IMF, in a statement, also welcomed the authorities’ commitment to fiscal consolidation. However, they noted with concern that the deficit target under the revised 2015 budget relies to a large extent on one-off revenue measures. Given the risks associated with the high public debt, Directors urged the authorities to adopt more ambitious measures to contain current expenditure while protecting priority social and high value-added infrastructure spending. They emphasized that a strengthening of the fiscal framework is needed to support consolidation and debt reduction. Comprehensive tax policy and administration reforms, including tax expenditure reductions and simplification of the tax system to broaden the revenue base, will be crucial elements in a medium-term fiscal reform strategy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) have welcomed Sri Lanka’s recent favorable economic performance, including robust growth, low inflation, and a narrowing of the current account deficit.At the same time, they noted that fiscal risks and reduced external buffers pose challenges, underscoring the need for greater efforts to strengthen the policy framework and reduce vulnerabilities. The IMF Executive Board welcomed the authorities’ efforts to address weaknesses in the external sector, including plans to establish new swap lines and rebuild external reserve buffers. In this context, they underscored the importance of exchange rate flexibility in protecting international reserves and facilitating external adjustment. Further structural reforms will also be needed to raise productivity and improve the business climate and competitiveness.IMF Directors welcomed the reduction in banks’ nonperforming assets and the authorities’ efforts to bolster supervision and regulation. They highlighted the need for a strong supervisory and clear crisis management framework to be extended to the nonbank sector. They encouraged the authorities to move expeditiously to provide clarity to markets regarding financial sector consolidation.

UN Geneva office pays final tribute to victims of Baghdad terrorist attack

“They embodied in their very diversity the ideals of the United Nations. They were all committed to helping the Iraqi people. They worked as part of a courageous and dedicated team under the leadership of a brilliant and charismatic man.” Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said in an address.”The people we lost were more than colleagues. They were members of our family,” Ms. Fréchette added.Stressing their legacy, the Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, Sergei Ordzhonikidze, said: “They were in Iraq with a noble purpose, a task to perform, and a goal to reach. Their presence was a testimony to their unwavering commitment and dedication to principles of the United Nations.”We must honour this commitment by continuing the work they began. Let us show the world that they will never be forgotten, that their work was not in vain, that we are proud of them,” Mr. Ordzhonikidze declared.”Let us show courage and resolve in the face of terrorism, and strength in our bereavement,” he concluded. “Let us show the world a more determined, more united ‘UN’, to honour the memory of our fallen colleagues.”During the ceremony, photos were screened as a personal tribute to each victim. Present were family, friends and colleagues, Mrs. Nane Annan, permanent representatives of Member States, Swiss federal and local officials, and Adnan Pachachi, member of the Iraqi Governing Council.

Alarmed at rising violence in Sri Lanka Annan calls for halt to

“The Secretary-General stresses that a return to civil war will not resolve the issues involved,” a spokesman for Mr. Annan said in a statement released in New York, voicing alarm at the ongoing violence and joining the Sri Lanka Co-Chairs – the European Union, United States, Norway and Japan – in calling on the parties “to cease hostilities immediately and to return to the negotiating table.”Mr. Annan “is profoundly concerned at the rising death toll, including the seven people killed in a bomb attack in Colombo today, and reports of dozens of students killed in a school as a result of air strikes in the northeast,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.The Secretary-General deplored the assassination over the weekend of Ketheshwaran Loganathan, the Deputy Secretary-General of the Government Peace Secretariat and veteran Tamil human rights advocate. Both parties, Mr. Annan said, must allow humanitarian agencies free and unimpeded access to the affected population. The violence in Sri Lanka has forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is working with local organizations to provide relief to those in need. Last week, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on human rights defenders Hina Jilani, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions, Philip Alston, and the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, expressed alarm at the growing violence, especially the killing of relief workers from French organization Action against Hunger who were providing assistance to survivors from the 2004 tsunami when they were murdered execution-style in the town of Muttur. The UN country team in Sri Lanka called the killings “totally reprehensible” and urged an independent investigation of the incident, which took the lives of 17 aid workers. UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery and former US President Bill Clinton urged the authorities to do “everything possible to apprehend the perpetrators of this crime and to bring them to justice.”

Bucks land in the swamp for top10 matchup

Four years ago, in his freshman season, David Lighty and the Ohio State men’s basketball team traveled to play at the University of Florida. “I really didn’t know what to expect going down there my first time.” said Lighty, now in his senior season. “We knew they were good, but when you get down there, it’s kind of unreal, the support they have from all their fans.” Now, with a new batch of freshmen making their first road trip, No. 4 OSU returns to Gainesville to play the No. 9 Gators at 6 p.m. tonight. After an exhibition against Walsh and the season opener last Friday against North Carolina A&T, Florida will be the first ranked opponent the Buckeyes have played this year, something that excites coach Thad Matta. “This will be a great test,” Matta said. “They’re a very experienced team with everybody back. Going on the road with six new guys, you’re looking at a Big Ten type of game.” Despite returning four starters from a season ago, the talk surrounding this Buckeye team remains focused on the newcomers. Freshman Jared Sullinger started alongside Lighty, seniors Dallas Lauderdale and Jon Diebler, and junior William Buford against both Walsh and A&T last week. Though the lineup is by no means set in stone, Matta said he feels comfortable starting those five and plans to do so tonight. Though Sullinger might continue to get starts, freshmen Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft have been just as good so far. In the 102-56 win over North Carolina A&T, Thomas scored 24 points, and Craft handed out nine assists, both team highs, despite playing just 20 and 22 minutes, respectively. Craft, who is the only true point guard the Buckeyes have, will likely see the most playing time at that position as the season progresses. Although Buford started last week, it was Craft who seemed most comfortable. Often, both Buford and Craft were on the floor at the same time, with Buford moving off the ball as a shooting guard, his natural position. Diebler, who was coached by Craft’s father in middle school, said he doesn’t expect the freshman to be fazed tonight. “I’ve known him since he was in like third grade,” Diebler said. “Aaron’s a kid who’s so mature for his age. You see how he plays — he’s tough. He knows what we’re going up against and knows that it’s going to be a tough game for us. I know he’ll be ready.” Although Diebler was quick to praise Craft and the rest of the freshmen, he knows a road game against a top-10 team is like nothing the new class has faced before. Unfortunately, Diebler said, there isn’t much his younger teammates can do to prepare. “You can’t prepare for the crowd being loud and everyone against you,” Diebler said. “Just the mindset of going on the road has to be different. You really have to come focused.” As hard as it is, Matta was cautiously optimistic that his team will be ready. “I’ll probably know in the locker room before the game,” he said. “They’ve been pretty focused, and we’ve talked a lot about that there’s two types of teams that go on the road, one that goes to have fun and one that goes on a business trip.”

Nazi collaborators living in UK receive thousands in taxfree pensions

In total, just under £12,000 a month – or £144,000 a year – is paid to the 34 people living in the UK who are entitled to the money after suffering injuries in the war. If that sum was divided equally it would mean each of the 34 pensioners would receive £350… It is understood that just over a fifth of the pensioners are German, with the vast majority thought to be foreigners who collaborated with the Nazi regime. The German government is paying 34 “Nazi collaborators” living in the UK £12,000 in tax free pension payments each month, The Telegraph can reveal. The lump sum handouts are part of a series of payments made to 2,000 former soldiers or collaborators wounded fighting for the Third Reich. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

Jagdeo to Govt Pay sugar workers their full severance now anything

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSeverance pay: Despite GAWU’s court case, Govt will pay when “it promised”- HarmonJuly 5, 2018In “Court”Govt’s Enmore meeting ends with many retrenched sugar workers disgruntledJanuary 26, 2018In “latest news”Not the sugar severance draining the Govt, it’s the extravagance- Jagdeo to PresidentSeptember 14, 2018In “latest news” … says if severance is not fully paid, court action will followHours after Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, put the Coalition Government on blast for their “illegal” actions, relative to withholding full severance payments to sugar workers terminated by the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), the government moved to the National Assembly and received approval for $1.93B – initially $1.75B – to pay some, not all, sugar workers the full sums of monies owed.Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat JagdeoFinance Minister, Winston Jordan, today, told the National Assembly that the $1.93B will ensure that those workers whose severance packages are below $500,000 receive full payments. The remaining workers will have to wait until the second half of this year as originally announced to receive their full payments.The Coalition Government, in the meantime, remains under fire over its plan to pay severance to over 4,763 sugar workers who have been terminated in two tranches.The Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act states that: “On termination of his employment, an employee who completed one year or more of continuous employment with an employer shall be entitled to be paid by such employer a severance or redundancy allowance….”The terminated sugar workers were dismissed on December 29, 2017, without severance being paid “on termination” as required by the law.At a news conference held at his Church Street office earlier today, the Opposition Leader stressed that, by law, severance payments must be made in full to the 4,000+ sugar workers who have been terminated by GuySuCo. He stated that the government has “gone into overdrive” with their public relations campaign to divert attention from its “total incompetence” in dealing with the issue of severance payments to sugar workers.He said, “Severance is obligatory and not determined by the benevolence of the government…it is law…there is an Act that all employers must respect…that Act says once people are severed, once they qualify, and the sugar workers qualify, then severance must be paid.”According to him, the government knew that over 4,000 severance letters were issued, even before the Budget 2018 was passed, and made no provision for severance, hence the move to approach the National Assembly today for additional funds.Jagdeo stated that the Coalition government has also exposed the callousness with which it treats sugar workers, particularly since only 50 per cent of severance will be paid by the end of January and the sugar workers do not know when the next installment of their severance will be handed over.“This is one way of control….this is one way to make the sugar workers beg.  So the Unions must crawl to Granger and beg him for something they have to get according to law.  The whole idea is control, humiliating the sugar workers. Now they have to beg and fight in court for their severance, which they have a right to….clearly this must be challenged. The union has challenged it. The sugar workers have spoken out against it. Even organisations that are not sympathetic to the PPP have spoken out about this,” Jagdeo said.LEGAL ACTIONThe Opposition Leader committed to ensuring that the legal bills of all sugar workers will be covered by the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP) – noting that lawyers with the Party offer their services pro-bono, but the Party may have to engage additional legal professionals.He said, “It (the non-payment of severance) is illegal. This government treats the issue of severance as if, somehow, it is dependent on their goodwill.”The Coalition government, he charged, can avoid court action if it moves to ensure that sugar workers are fully paid their severance and treat the workers with respect – having already disrespected them by not having consultations before the terminations and not offering alternatives for employment. If severance is not fully paid, court action, he added, will follow the payment of the first tranche of severance payments in an effort to avoid giving the Coalition government an excuse for not paying any monies at all.According to the Opposition Leader, he expects a positive ruling from the judiciary once the matter is taken to court. “I don’t see how any judge could rule otherwise….if GuySuCo says it has no monies, then we will move to get a judgment that can be enforced against the assets of GuySuCo to ensure that the workers read more

FYROM would have accepted North Macedonia 10 years ago Wikileaks reveals

first_imgMeanwhile, Greek opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated his promise not to sign the deal reached between Skopje and Athens.“Today’s revelation from WikiLeaks, that Skopje had been asking since 2008 to name their country ‘North Macedonia’ and their people ‘Macedonians’ who supposedly speak the ‘Macedonian’ language confirms in the most tragic way what I have been stressing all those months. That [PM Alexis] Tsipras, [Defense Minister Panos] Kammenos and [Foreign Minister Nikos] Kotzias wanted to present their extremely damaging agreement – which satisfied what Skopje had been demanding for years and had been rejected by all previous governments – as a success for Greece,” the New Democracy leader said in a statement.“I reiterate my commitment: New Democracy is not going to ratify this agreement,” he said.The full Wikileaks cable file can be seen here: According to a classified cable from the US embassy in Skopje which was released by Wikileaks on Monday, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was willing to accept the name Republic of Northern Macedonia or Republic of North Macedonia since 2008.The basic term clarified in the cable titled ‘What the Macedonians need to resolve the name dispute’ and dated July 29, 2008 was to secure the recognition of the “Macedonian” language.The cable compiled by the then US Ambassador to the neighboring country, Gillian Milovanovic was in fact very similar to the joint deal that was signed by FYROM and Greece in the Prespes Lake region back in June.In the leaked cable, Milovanovic presents her conclusions following meetings with FYROM’s leadership at the time, President Branko Crvenkovski and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, as per below:Name: Republic of Northern Macedonia or Republic of  North MacedoniaScope: in all international organizations, plus bilaterally by any country that does not want to use the constitutional name. (Although we have not discussed this explicitly, presumably international agreements would follow the same pattern, with multilateral ones using the new name and bilateral ones having the option.) Macedonia would use its constitutional name in referring to itself, on passports, product labels, in the media, etc.Identity: The language and nationality would be called Macedonian, but this could be handled tacitly, perhaps as a subsequent annex to a UNSCR, or in some other internal UN document not subject to Greek review/approval. Bottom line is Macedonia needs assurance that their language, nationality, etc. would continue to be called Macedonian, not North Macedonian. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

Pickup used as weapon

first_imgA Ridgefield man who said he struggles with alcohol abuse allegedly drove his pickup into several parked vehicles Thursday night before hitting and pinning a man between his truck and a trailer, according to court records.Warren W.J. Nellor, 26, appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of vehicular assault, six counts of hit-and-run and second-degree assault.According to a probable cause affidavit, Nellor, Joshua Keen and another man were socializing at a residence in the 8300 block of Northeast 63rd Street in Vancouver. They shared 24 cans of beer and a bottle of whiskey. Throughout the night, the men wrestled. However, the playful wrestling turned into more when Nellor allegedly started hitting Keen.Nellor then got into his Chevrolet S10 pickup and started driving in circles, hitting everything in the backyard of the residence, including dune buggies, two parked trucks and the trailer where Keen lives, the affidavit states. Keen said he tried to get Nellor to stop and was pinned between his truck and the trailer. Nellor allegedly backed up the truck and drove it into Keen again, and he continued to spin his tires, court records said.Nellor eventually backed up again, and the third man opened the driver’s side door and began hitting him until Nellor left the pickup and ran away, according to court documents. Keen fell to the ground but said he believed he only had “a really bad charley horse,” the affidavit said.The next morning, he had difficulty moving and went to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where he learned he has a broken pelvis, court records state.last_img

I-5 Bridge bill draws favorable reviews at hearing

first_imgA Senate panel heard favorable reviews Tuesday for a House bill intended to restart the process to replace the chronically congested Interstate 5 Bridge.The panel also briefly discussed efforts to reconcile the bill with a companion measure.Lawmakers earlier this month passed House Bill 2095 with a 60-38 vote, and it had its initial hearing before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.During the hearing, state Sen. Curtis King, a Yakima Republican who chairs the committee, said that in addition to the five people who testified in favor of the bill, another 33 had signed in as supporting the legislation.“So you guys have done your homework, let me tell you,” he said.Those who spoke in favor of the bill included representatives from the Port of Vancouver, the Columbia River Economic Development Council, retired local labor leader and activist Ed Barnes and Clark County Councilor John Blom.Their remarks focused on how the congestion on the bridge had the potential to constrict economic growth and was already making it difficult for residents to cross the river for medical or business appointments.“It’s a major problem,” John Rudi, president of Vancouver-based Thompson Metal Fab, told the committee of the clogged bridges. “You essentially have a 3 1/2 -hour window to get anything done.”last_img