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UK Floods: Tax Relief Changes Can Help Reduce Risk Of More Misery, Says Tax Body

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The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is urging the Government to consider expanding the eligibility criteria for tax relief on contributions to flood defence projects.

At present businesses that contribute to approved flood and coastal defence projects can deduct their contribution from the profits of the business for tax purposes, reducing their Income Tax or Corporation Tax bill.  ATT is suggesting the relief be expanded to enable individual taxpayers to make such contributions on a similarly tax-efficient basis. This might be done for example in a similar manner to Gift Aid or Payroll Giving.

The call to expand the scope of the relief comes as Storm Desmond has led to severe flooding in parts of Britain.

Paul Hill, Chairman of ATT’s Technical Steering Group said: “As we can see from Storm Desmond, flooding does not just impact businesses, it can devastate the lives of people living in the areas concerned.

“By extending the scope of flood defence tax relief to contributions from individuals regardless of their particular source of income, more communities could benefit from flood defence projects and do so more quickly.

“That in turn could help the economy as a whole at the same time as reducing the type of misery that is being suffered by people whose homes have been flooded this month.

“At the beginning of the year, the ATT drew attention to the lack of logic in only granting tax relief on a contribution to an approved flood defence project if it was made by a business.  We see no reason why less value should be attributed to contributions from private individuals than to those from businesses. On that basis, tax relief should be equally available on all contributions regardless of the source.

“The discussion of what more might be done to avoid repetition of the current widespread flood damage to homes needs to include consideration of the effectiveness and relevance of the tax provisions that were introduced in response to the winter flooding of 2013-2014.

“Anything that can be done to accelerate Environment Agency projects and make the available government funding go further has to be worth considering.  The availability of tax relief – however structured – on individual contributors to an approved flood defence project needs to be included as part of that debate.”

 

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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