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About Westie1889

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  1. Interest rates are at historically low levels because they need to be. Yes the banking crisis was over a decade ago but economies and credit flows around the world have not recovered. Inflation was 0.6% last year, that’s far too low and well under the Bank of England’s target, any increase in interest rates would further depress this. Central banks put interest rates up to cool an economy that is growing too fast, hence there has been no reason to do this since the financial crisis. I understand older savers being frustrated as they were told be sensible, pay off your mortgage and save but they have had it good compared to the younger generation. 10%+ interest rates would see half the country lose their homes, the older generation benefitted from cheap housing, a healthy jobs market (mostly), good pensions compared to today, free university education and huge increases in property values. If a lack of interest on their savings is the only downside they are very lucky, many people today will do well to be able to buy a house, never mind build up a good pension and savings. Also the focus on the likes of Jeff Bezos is a waste of time, yes there are some issues around fairness but if people think that by heavily taxing these types of people we will solve the worlds problems they are greatly mistaken. There wealth is a drop in the ocean when taken in context. Bezos is worth $131bn dollars (mostly through Amazon stock - this can go up or down), Joe Biden has announced the latest stimulus programme in the US is going to be worth 2 trillion dollars! So you tax Bezos a few billion a year, it’s nothing in the scheme of things. Also where do people think pension funds and savings plans get their profits to grow people’s retirement plans - through investing in businesses like those run by Bezos. The better these businesses do, the better your pension pot performs. Capitalism is far from perfect and there are some structural issues at the moment that need to be sorted, but focusing all your anger on those at the top is no different to blaming immigrants for societies ills. The real problems are elsewhere but both sides of the political spectrum would rather focus your attention on easier targets.
  2. I had a beer with him on an Emirates flight a few weeks after the play-off final, a nice down to earth guy. I asked him if he was looking forward to the Premier League and he laughed and said seeing how he’d read Villa had signed 2 wingers he wasn’t sure. I would have thought someone would have taken him last season but assume it was better for him to stay at Villa financially and see out his contract.
  3. The ending of Bogofs to reduce junk food sales will work to some degree as a half-price promotion doesn’t generate the same level of unit sales. In terms of retailers deciding the prices, it’s actually driven by the suppliers who offer a rebate for every unit sold - that’s why they prefer Bogofs as they shift the most units. As they are mostly supplier funded it’s not likely that the retailer will promote other lines to the same degree as the supplier funding won’t be available, especially on things like vegetables or fruit.
  4. Hope they get sorted soon, looking online it seems Gleadless surgery is due to start early February which seems really late compared to the other areas.
  5. Just a small point but Sheffield is currently vaccinating everyone over 75. My Mum was done last Thursday and is 79 with no pre-existing health conditions. I’m 46 and fit and healthy having exercised 4-5 times a week for the last 30 years, dying from Covid doesn’t particularly worry me as I know the stats are in my favour. However, long Covid does worry me as I know a few people younger than myself who are suffering from it. Their symptoms vary from no sense of taste or smell 8 months after the original infection to severe lethargy similar to an ME sufferer. Until vaccinated I won’t look to return to normal and many friends are of the same view, for the sake of a few months I don’t see the point in risking it. I don’t think anyone will be forced to be vaccinated but businesses will rightly take precautions as dictated by the science to keep staff and customers safe. For example, I can see a situation where you cannot fly without proof of vaccination, or certain countries may ban travellers for the same reason.
  6. I think there will be a lot of stupid decisions like this that will come to light. There’s no logical reason for it and is similar to when Theresa May included foreign students here on a temporary basis in the net migration figures. Cutting your nose off to spite your face comes to mind. Hopefully if it was offered in the negotiations it can be re-visited as there is no reason to make people’s life’s more difficult than they need to be,
  7. Yes you are correct that it will cost more but again they should have prepared for that scenario. Knowing the work that’s gone on across the industry over the past 2 years I just don’t buy that they are now raising this in such a way. Either their suppliers have not done what M&S have asked them to, or M&S have not prepared their suppliers properly and just left them to it - either scenario reflects poorly on them. We have stores in Northern Ireland and the Republic and also several other EU countries and distribute a much wider variety of goods than M&S without any major issues. We also ship goods from the EU into the UK & Ireland. Also our ranges are no where near as static as M&S’ so they could and should have sorted this. They should have prepared their suppliers and start asking for the paperwork early to check everyone was ready, this would have ironed-out any issues pre-January 1st. With us suppliers have to upload the correct paperwork as part of the process to book a delivery slot, any errors and no booking is given until it’s corrected. Like I said in a previous post I can understand smaller businesses taking time to understand what’s needed, and some will decide it’s not worth the hassle. But, for M&S to say it’s affecting hundreds of products at this late stage says to me they’ve messed up and are getting their excuses ready.
  8. Not wishing to be pedantic but it’s not a difficult thing to sort, ship directly from Germany to Ireland. I’m not saying there are not difficulties but for a company the size of M&S to use percy pigs as an issue is a bit pathetic. Like I said, look out for their results and I’m guessing they are lagging behind their grocery competitors. Their food business is worth £6bn, our business is £4bn and the total cost of the new regulations for us is £30m, sound a lot but in the scheme of things it’s not really. They are making a mountain out of a molehill.
  9. I would say they are not struggling but complaining, and tbf that is their right to a degree as it will increase costs a bit for them. What I would say is that if M&S say this has come as a surprise then they are being disingenuous. For food retailers the costs are less of an issue than non-food businesses like my employer due to most EU imports being EU produced thus avoiding excessive duty costs. M&S should (and will) have planned for this a long time ago, their buyers will know what they have to do to mitigate the additional costs and should have been working to do that for a while. It seems more of a PR statement to me, maybe their results are going to be below expectations and they are getting their excuses ready. For very small businesses I have sympathy as it’s an administrative minefield they may be ill-prepared for, for large businesses it’s not a big issue, any issues are more due to a lack of preparation or bad management i’m afraid. As an additional point M&S have international stores outside the EU, these stores need the same treatment as UK-EU trade does now less duty rates so they know what’s involved. Let’s see how their results are, I’m guessing the more I read that they will be below their competitors and this is a bit of a smokescreen.
  10. Hi Bargepole23, I think this one is on Calver road, just before you get to JE James cycles on Bramall Lane. Hope your parents get sorted soon👍
  11. Working in the retail industry if suppliers to the big supermarkets don’t have the relevant paperwork then there’s really no excuse. The big retailers have hand-held their suppliers through this process, told them what they need to provide and also given helplines in case of queries. We started speaking to our supply base 8 months ago about this, and began asking for the new paperwork from October so everyone was ready come the first January. Some really small suppliers ignored it but as soon as a delivery was refused they were set-up and ready with 2-3 days for the new system. It will iron itself out pretty quickly once they realise they cannot deliver and won’t get paid.
  12. On a positive note I took both my parents to have the vaccine at the Mathews health centre yesterday, it was organised really well and 5 minutes from start to finish. At 6,30pm they said they had done over 800 people and were open until 8pm. It’s the Pfizer vaccine down there but I know Dore surgery started giving the Oxford jab yesterday. I’m not sure how many other surgeries are being used, but with the hospital vaccination program and the care homes that have been done already we seem to have made a good start in Sheffield so we’ll done to all those involved in it and let’s hope it continues.
  13. Hermes are the worst courier service there is, that’s well known within the retail industry. But, they are also the cheapest of the large couriers hence why they are still used. I had a parcel due for delivery last Sunday from the retailer I work for, they said attempted to deliver but no one in - funny that as I was working in the front garden all afternoon and didn’t see them😂 7 days later I had a mail to say the parcel was lost and a gift voucher to make up for it which I hope Hermes fund and not my employer, but I will check this when I start back at work in the New Year. I think DPD charge just over a fiver for a standard parcel so Hermes must be at least a couple of pounds cheaper or it wouldn’t be worth the hassle of using them. Their drivers must be on a lower rate of pay to make this possible.
  14. I’ve used Tesco historically which has been good, also recently had a Virgin one and the app is really user friendly. My advice would be to put as much of your monthly outgoings on it as you can, the more you spend (and pay off) the better your credit score. I started a new job a few years ago which involves a lot of travel so I regularly put between £5-£7k per month on my card, it was noticeable after a while how much easier it was to get better loan deals and fast acceptance for any sort of credit. If you worry about paying if off as you have to wait for the statement to come through, you could transfer your monthly budget to a separate account so it’s put to one side.
  15. I went into the city centre yesterday for the first time since June and it was interesting to see some of the new developments taking place. I think the new block next to the Jurys hotel on Arundel gate looks really good, also the development next to the new HSBC offices is several floors high now. I’d also never noticed the development on the corner of Milton street and Fitzwilliam street, several towers looking close to completion. It’s good to see the work continuing despite Covid, as I remember during the financial crisis lots of work ground to a halt which doesn’t seem to be happening this time.
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