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Tax relief for individuals, companies

first_img11 February 2009The proposed adjustments to personal income tax schedules will provide middle and lower income earners with R13.6-billion in tax relief, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced on Wednesday.Delivering his 2009/10 Budget speech to Parliament in Cape Town, Manuel said the adjustments to personal income tax would fully compensate South Africans for wage inflation.“The tax-free income threshold next year will be R54 200 for taxpayers below the age of 65 and R84  200 for those over 65,” he said.The tax-free threshold for the 2009/10 tax year will effectively increase from R46 000 for those below the age of 65, to R54 200.The revised estimate for tax collection for 2008/09 is R14.2-billion, which is less than the National Treasury planned in its 2008 Budget, he said.“For the year ahead, the main budget revenue estimate is R50-billion lower than we projected in February last year, against the background of slower growth, depressed trade and declining company profits.”Tax relief is also proposed for companies that invest in energy-efficient technology, with an additional allowance of 15 percent, on condition that there is proof of the resulting energy efficiencies as certified by the Energy Efficiency Agency.The minister, on the basis of a letter sent as part of the “Tips for Trevor” initiative, said he had also proposed a tax on companies using incandescent light bulbs, in an effort to get people to make use of energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs.Taxes on petrol and diesel will increase by 40.5 and 41.5 cents per litre respectively, the minister announced, adding that road users would have to fork out an additional 23 cents and 24 cents per litre as well for fuel levies.“As road-users know, there is a substantial increase in spending on maintenance and construction under way, and we still face a heavy burden of road accidents and associated compensation claims.“These are costs that have to be covered, and so there will be increases of 17.5 cents in the road accident fund levy.”As per the 2009/10 Budget proposals, a packet of cigarettes will now cost 88 cents more, a 750ml bottle of natural wine will cost 10.5 cents more, a 340ml can of beer will cost 7 cents more, and a 750ml bottle of liquor such as whiskey will cost consumers R3.21 more, he announced.Manuel said that after discussions with both organised labour and the mining industry, and taking into account the impact of the economic slowdown on the mining industry, he proposed that the new mining royalties regime be deferred to 2010.“This provides a boost to the industry of about R1.8-billion [which would have been paid to government], which will assist in minimising job losses,” he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Here’s What UStream’s Big iPhone App Update Will Include

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology marshall kirkpatrick Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Live video viewing and broadcasting service UStream appears set to unveil a dramatic update to its iPhone app, the first update the app has seen in many months. UStream, a deep-pocketed gamble on the future, really needs a better iPhone app. This new version looks a lot better; these changes are long overdue. This app looks like something I want to use to view and create live mobile video.The company put up a post on its blog this evening with screenshots and details of the launch, but pulled the post, probably because the app isn’t live yet in the iTunes store. None the less, you can see the screenshots and highlights of the new version below.For those of you with two phones in your pocket comparing apps across platforms, it appears that most if not all of these updates have been available in the UStream Android app for the past few months. Competition doesn’t sit still, either. Rumors emerged earlier this month that Apple’s MobileMe product might be remade as a Foursquare/UStream mashup of sorts. We’ll see. Given that the company has raised a fair sum of money and that live mobile video is supposed to be all the rage someday, ought UStream not have a little more than this up its sleeve for its first iPhone app update in months? Either way, I’m looking forward to it.Highlights from the pending UStream release include:Broadcasting and viewing will now finally be possible through the same single app. UStream previously offered live mobile broadcasting through one app (last updated in November) and viewing other peoples’ live shows through another (last updated in July). Now there will be just one app for both. It’s much more attractive than either the broadcaster or the viewer, too.Featured content and sorting by categories. It’s hard to find good content on the UStream app, but the screenshot of featured live and recorded shows indicates the company is set to overcome this major hurdle in making the app worth using. In testing the old app just minutes ago, I was able to view live chatter between astronauts climbing around on the outside of the space station – on my phone! I was also able to see a well-endowed woman disrobe in front of a radio microphone while voices from off-camera shouted in Spanish about Wikipedia. Both live broadcasts truly were marvels of the modern age. Featured content will be a big improvement though, presuming there’s enough good things to feature.Users can now log-in with Facebook or Twitter, in addition to their UStream accounts. That’s a very smart change.Broadcasters will now be able to run polls from the app.Subscribers can sign up for push notifications for channels or events of interest being broadcast live.Can changes like these help UStream move beyond the topless astronaut crowd? Time will tell, but they sure look like big improvements to me. I like the idea of being able to view and broadcast live video from my phone. I’ll test the app and report back on performance once it’s live. Related Posts Tags:#mobile#web last_img read more

Thin is still not in for Indian male models

first_imgThe waif like models that walked the runway at the last Men’s Fashion Week in Milan signalled the death of beefcake in the international modelling scene.But the trend has been bucked by the Indian shores where the ramps are still populated by quite some six packs.The debate around emaciated models has always centred on women, but the same miniscule measurements now go for men in the fashion capitals of Europe and New York.But the models that walked down the ramp at the recently concluded Van Heusen Mens Week here were not the delicate teenagers populating the international catwalks, but muscled men.And the brawn is here to stay, says Milind Soman, India’s first male super model.”The international trend for androgynous male models has still not caught up here. I think it will cause an uproar if a skinny chicken walks the ramp here, the audience will not accept it,” Soman told PTI.Designer Jay Arora who caused a flashbulb frenzy when he sent models dressed in barely-there hot pants during Mens Week says that economics has a part to play in the trend.A large chunk of consumers for designer menswear in India according to him is the ‘new age man’, who is not afraid to stray from the black suit routine. And this new age man is also a gym freak.”The trend running through all the collections was a lean silhouette. And to carry off the fitted look, you need a gym toned body. All the models work hard for it and so do my costumers,” said Arora.advertisementWhere the masculine ideal earlier was a buff 6-footer with six-pack abs, the man of the moment on the international catwalks is the wraith like urchin.Designer Anjana Bhargava is thankful that the trend is not here yet and suggests that Bollywood, where former models like John Abraham and Arjun Rampal are ruling the roost, may have something to do with it.”They may not say so openly but a Shah Rukh Khan or a Hrithik Roshan is indeed role model for many men, who also buy designer clothes. Bollywood trends quickly become popular and the trend in tinseltown is for ripped bodies not skinny men,” said Bhargava.The models themselves rubbish the trend, as a mere flash in the pan.From Lalit Tehlan to Kabir Singh, the most popular models all sport gym toned abs and muscular physiques.And they say that they would rather emulate British model David Gandy, who became a over-night star after appearing in the Dolce & Gabbana perfume campaign wearing only a pair of tight white briefs.”The top earning male model today is David Gandy who is far from skinny. The trend for skinny models too I think too will fade out and the tall muscular frame will again become fashionable,” said upcoming model Ravinder Kuhar.last_img read more

Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer dies at 85

first_imgMalcolm Glazer, a reclusive self-made billionaire and patriarch of the family that owns the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Manchester United soccer club, died on Wednesday, the teams said. He was 85.Glazer, who as a teenager sold watch parts from a suitcase before building a wide-ranging business empire, bought the Buccaneers in 1995 for a then-NFL record of $192 million. He later persevered with the purchase of Manchester United, one of England’s most-storied soccer teams in 2005, a deal that fueled controversy because of its debt-driven financing.However, Glazer was largely sidelined in recent years from both the teams’ business dealings by a series of strokes.After his purchase of the Buccaneers, he led what had traditionally been one of the weakest teams in the National Football League to its first Super Bowl championship in 2003.”A dynamic business leader, Glazer helped mold the Buccaneers into a model franchise and one respected league-wide,” the Buccaneers said in a statement on their website.His supporters credited him with spending big to hire players and a coaching staff to turn around a team in one of the NFL’s smallest markets.While the team has struggled on the field recently, Glazer’s investment has proved profitable and the business magazine Forbes estimates it is now worth more than $1 billion.His death is unlikely to lead to any ownership change, according to a statement by the Buccaneers. The family’s “long established estate succession plan” means the team “will remain with the Glazer family for generations to come,” the team said.advertisementManchester United takeoverGlazer raised his profile in 2005 with an aggressive debt-driven $1.47 billion takeover of Manchester United that was widely opposed by many of the club’s fans.Fans, under the banner “loveUnitedhateGlazer,” argued the debt built up in the deal would hurt the club and force supporters to pay higher ticket prices.Glazer went on, however, to preside over one of the most successful eras in the club’s storied history.”The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with the family tonight,” the team said in a statement.Under Glazer’s ownership, the team won five Premier League titles in England as well as the 2008 UEFA Champions League championship.Manchester United is widely considered one of the world’s most valuable sports teams, though it recently ended the season in 7th place in the Premier League, the club’s lowest finish in two decades.Glazer no longer had any day-to-day connection to the club and the ownership is in the hands of Glazer’s children, led by the club’s co-chairs, Avram and Joel Glazer.The family retains a 90 percent stake in the club that is split evenly among Glazer’s six children. The remaining 10 percent is listed on the New York Stock ExchangeGlazer, the fifth of seven children born to Jewish Lithuanian immigrants, turned to sports after a successful business career.As a young man, Glazer used the profits from a family watch-parts business he inherited at the age of 15 to make investments in a range of real estate ventures, including mobile homes and nursing homes, many of them in Florida during the 1970s.He first came to prominence in the 1980s when he built up stakes in two big brand names – kitchen surfaces company Formica and motorcycle maker Harley Davidson – before cashing in. He later launched a series of failed bids, including a $7.6 billion attempt to buy the bankrupt freight rail company Conrail.Glazer also founded First Allied, a holding company for the family’s business, which includes dozens of malls and shopping centers in the United States.A decade later, the Glazer family gained a controlling stake in the oil company Zapata, which was founded by former President George H.W. Bush.Forbes estimates the net worth of Glazer and his family at $4 billion.last_img read more