Charitable organisations have urged the government to reconsider controversial proposals to increase some probate fees so that estates including bequests to charities are not adversely affected.In an open letter to justice minister Lucy Frazer QC, the Institute of Fundraising, Remember A Charity, the Institute of Legacy Management and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations warn that the proposed new fee structure has ‘unintended consequences that could be detrimental to charitable giving’.The government’s proposals would see the cost of administering probate reflect the value of the estate, replacing a flat fee. For the wealthiest estates, this would mean a rise from £155 to £6,000. But people with estates worth less than £50,000 will not pay any fees – at present this exemption is only for people with estates worth £5,000 or less. The Law Society has described the proposals as ‘a misuse of the lord chancellor’s fee-levying powers’.The joint letter suggests that a ‘reduction or discounted rate’ on estates that include a legacy gift would reduce the financial impact on charities and create an incentive to leave a charitable gift. According to the letter, legacy income could grow by 2.7% a year until 2022. However, the organisations warn that the changes ‘will severely disrupt a promising lifeline for good causes.‘We appreciate clarification that the order will not affect the amount paid out to charities when there is a fixed request rather than a percentage. However residual bequests account for 87% of total legacy income and are the main type of legacy income received by charities,’ it adds.The organisations have also urged Frazer to meet them to try and identify a way forward.The Non-Contentious Probate (Fees) Order, introduced via statutory instrument (SI), is to be laid before the House of Commons before April. Usually, unless there is a formal objection, an SI would pass. However, with an objection lodged it would give the house the chance to vote on the proposals. The Gazette understands the Labour party plans to oppose the order.
But while Lee Johnson’s side would ultimately miss out on the play-offs, they remained in the fight and kept the pressure on the teams around them with the likes of the in-form Bobby Reid.The Academy graduate had been enjoying his best goal-scoring season since being converted from midfield last summer.Come May, he netted 19 goals – 21 in all competitions – with a first career hat-trick against Sheffield Wednesday along the way as City thumped the Owls 4-0 at the Gate on March 3rd.A swift, free-flowing move saw Reid play a clever one-two with Josh Brownhill to wriggle clear and his finish was precise inside Joe Wildsmith’s near post to open the scoring.Then in similar fashion to his first, the Bristolian traded a one-two with Marlon Pack before calmly slotting low under Wildsmith with his left foot.Brownhill made it 3-0 before Reid stepped up with a calm penalty kick in the second half.OFF-THE-PITCH SUCCESSIt then rained awards for the Bristolian forward in April, as he was named in the Sky Bet Championship Team of the Year, EFL Team of the year and PFA Team of the Year.And always with his mind on the helping others, Joe Bryan landed the EFL Best Player in the Community award at a special evening in London on April 15th. A Children’s Hospice South West Ambassador, Bryan is a strong supporter of Bristol City Community Trust (BCCT), regularly engaging in player appearances at events such as holiday camps.And off his own back, he has also supported a self-employed amateur footballer with physio treatment following a severe injury and a local grassroots football club who had their pitches vandalised.FANTASTIC FIELDING
LONDON, (Reuters) – Jimmy Anderson showed he remains a deadly proposition in English conditions taking 5-20 as England bowled out India for a miserly 107 on the second day of the second test at Lord’s. After the entire first day was lost to rain, further wet conditions forced a delayed start with England captain Joe Root eventually winning the toss and putting India in to bat.Root was clearly hoping that the lingering damp and overcast conditions would benefit Anderson and the 36-year-old took full advantage with some outstanding swing bowling.It was the sixth time that Anderson has produced a five wicket haul at Lord’s and he now has 99 test wickets at the famous London venue. For much of the day, thanks again to the weather, it looked as though the fans were going to be restricted to just over eight overs of cricket but then the weather cleared in the evening and India must have wished the rain had stuck around.In the brief morning session, Anderson got England off to a fine start, clean bowling opener Murali Vijay before removing Lokesh Rahul, who was caught behind by keeper Jonny Bairstow.After a rain delay, Cheteshwar Pujara was run out by debutant Ollie Pope and a downpour followed immediately. When play resumed, seamer Chris Woakes, brought in to replace Ben Stokes, who is at a court hearing in Bristol, got the prize wicket of India skipper Virat Kohli for 23 leaving the tourists, who trail 1-0 in the series, at 49 for four.Only off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, batting at number eight, provided any real resistance, making 29 in a 49-minute knock before he was trapped lbw by Stuart Broad.Anderson, who had generated movement off the seam as well as an impressive amount through the air, finished off the Indians – and secured his five wicket performance – by removing Ishant Sharma. “I would be so disappointed if I had messed up today because they were ideal conditions to bowl in. For me I find it so much fun when it is like that,” said Anderson. “You do not get conditions like that much in England anymore with the ball doing that much in the air or off the pitch.“When we bowl like that we would bowl most teams out in the world, we were that good. When you build pressure all day no matter who you are it is difficult,” he said.Both teams had made changes from the first test with India making two changes from Edgbaston and opting for a twin spin bowling attack. Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav was brought in for seamer Umesh Yadav, joining Ashwin in the slow bowling department.
Sprinter, Aziz Zakari is re-looking his future on the tracks after a disappointing outing at the Beijing Olympics.Returning from a two-year ban for drugs, Aziz could only manage the heats in the 100m and 200m events and says it is perhaps time to give younger athletes the opportunity to shine for the nation.The 35-year-old told Joy Sports Ernest Koranteng that there are a couple of up and coming athletes who deserve attention and support to put in their bid for Ghana, stressing that authorities need to focus on proper home grooming for athletes.“This is the best time for Ghana to start looking at the young ones to start preparation for the next four years. Ghana has new tracks, about four or five and the young ones are there, they have to start encouraging them, helping them with financials and transportation that will encourage them to put their efforts towards the next Olympics.”Aziz recalled that the likes of Emmanuel Tuffour did a lot to encourage him while he was yet young, coming home to compete in nationals. He said Ghana must look to grow her athletes in Ghana, a factor he said was working very well for Jamaica whose athletes are encouraged and supported to train at home.Story by Isaac Yeboah
WASHINGTON | Millions of young adults healthy enough to think they don’t need insurance face painful choices this year as the sign-up deadline approaches for President Barack Obama’s health care law.Fines for being uninsured rise sharply in 2016 — averaging nearly $1,000 per household, according to an independent estimate. It’s forcing those in their 20s and 30s to take a hard look and see if they can squeeze in coverage to avoid penalties. Many are trying to establish careers or just make progress in a still-bumpy economy.In this photo taken Jan. 19, 2016, college student Christopher Rael poses for a picture at California State University, Long Beach, in Long Beach, Calif. Millions of young adults healthy enough to think they dont need insurance face painful choices this year as sign-up deadline approaches for President Barack Obamas health care law. With open enrollment over after Jan. 31, Rael is hoping his meager income will qualify him for Medi-Cal, the states version of Medicaid. I cannot afford an additional bill, he said. He paid a fine of about $150 for being uninsured in 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)“There’s only so far one can dwindle a ramen-noodle diet,” said Christopher Rael of Los Angeles. In his late 20s, Rael is pursuing a degree in sociology and working at a children’s center to pay his bills.With open enrollment over after Jan. 31, Rael is hoping his meager income will qualify him for Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicaid. “I cannot afford an additional bill,” he said. He paid a fine of about $150 for being uninsured in 2014.The minimum penalty rises to $695 in 2016 for someone uninsured a full 12 months and not eligible for one of the law’s exemptions. That’s more than double the corresponding figure of $325 for 2015.In practice, the fines will be higher for many consumers. That’s because the law sets the penalty as the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of taxable income this year. A study by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimates the average 2016 penalty at $969 per uninsured household.Fines are collected through the tax returns of uninsured people and in most cases deducted from their tax refunds. The penalty amounts will be increased by a cost-of-living factor in future years.Penalties are the health care law’s nudge to get healthy people into the insurance pool, helping keep premiums manageable for everyone.Until now, the administration has mainly stressed the benefits: subsidized premiums and protection from the costs of unanticipated injury or serious illness. But with concerns that many young and healthy people still aren’t sold, officials are invoking the threat of penalties.“The tax penalty is bringing more young and healthy consumers into the market,” Andy Slavitt, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a recent speech. “We are using a large portion of our marketing resources to make sure that consumers are aware of the increasing fee for people that go without insurance.” Slavitt’s agency oversees the health care law.The pressure of rising fines is butting up against the economic situations of uninsured people, nearly half of whom said in a recent Kaiser poll that they’ve tried but coverage is still too expensive. A big sore point has to do with high deductibles for many health-law insurance plans, which can leave consumers with thousands of dollars in medical bills.Christina Loucks of Franklin, Tennessee, a small city near Nashville, says the way she figures it, she might still come out ahead financially by paying a $695 fine.The insurance plans she’s looked at would cost her about $100 a month in premiums, after subsidies. That works out to around $1,200 a year. But the coverage comes with deductibles of several thousand dollars. If she got seriously ill, she would be on the hook for that before her insurance started paying. Normally, she just goes to the doctor for allergy prescriptions.“I still see it as I am keeping $500 in my pocket,” said Loucks. The $500 is the difference between a full year of premiums and fine for being uninsured, and that calculation might work if she stays healthy.In her 30s, Loucks is holding down two jobs as she tries to find a career that aligns with her interest in literature. She’s still dealing with student loans, not to mention rent and car payments. “I don’t see the benefit for me,” she said.Loucks said she may wait until the last minute to make up her mind, but Julian Rostain has decided he’ll take a chance on being fined by the IRS.In his 20s, Rostain works as a cook at a country club. His dream is to open up his own establishment, serving up “American-French bistro food with Asian undertones.” He lives in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, a farming area not too far from Philadelphia.Rostain’s savings in a rainy-day fund wouldn’t allow him to qualify for expanded Medicaid, and he doesn’t think he can cover insurance premiums on his budget.“Do you really think people who can’t afford health care should have to pay a penalty?” asks Rostain. The law does offer a low-income exemption, and he’s checking into it.While rising penalties could boost health care sign-ups this year, that’s not likely to win hearts and minds for Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which remains politically divisive.“We are talking about paying premium prices for underwhelming health care,” said D.J. Byrnes, a sports blogger from Columbus, Ohio, in his 20s and uninsured. “If I want to buy something, I want to make sure it’s quality.”Associated Press Social Media Editor Eric Carvin contributed to this report.