The 2011 Budget
By Sean & Amelia
Yesterday, George Osborne delivered out the 2011 budget. As he delivered them, he surprised a large amount of people with measures from the corporation tax and fuel duty costs. Below are the effects that the 2011 budget cuts will have:
Fuel – Fuel prices will have a cut of 1p a litre as of March 23rd
Alcohol – Alcohol prices will increase. A pint of lager will have a 4p increase, a bottle of spirit will have a 54p increase and bottle of wine will increase of 15p. Strong lager has also had a increase in price.
Tobacco - All tobacco rises 2% above inflation; economy cigarettes up by 50p, premium cigarettes up by 33p, pipe tobacco 17p, five small cigars up by 10p.
Households - First time buyers are given a £250m, on a shared equity scheme.
Growth - The office for budget responsibility guesses that the economy is improving; growth in 2011- 1.7%- 2.1%, in 2012- 2.5%- 2.6%, 2013- 2.9%, 2014- 2.9%, 2015- 2.8%.
Debt - This year national dept is a huge 60% of national income which has fallen from 71% of national income.
Green Measures - A Green investment bank was created with £2bn to start the operation in 2012: this green investment bank includes off shore wind farms which Alistair Darling says is crucial for Britain to get out of the recession. There will also be a carbon price floor, which will be the first in the world, and this will help Britain become more sustainable and will help make more renewable energy sources also this will create many other jobs in these sectors.
Personal Tax – Personal Tax is encountering an increase of £630 as of April 2012, meaning it will rise to £8,105. The governments are considering whether to merge National Insurance and Income Tax and are not proposing to increase taxes for pensioners.
Employment & Skills – Twenty-one unemployment enterprises are said to be set up, with up to 100% tax discount rates whereas funding for twenty-four new colleges for vocational training will be expected instead of twelve and £100m will be spent on new science facilities in Cambridge, Norwich, Harwell and Daresbury.
Business - Corporation Tax will be cut of 2% from April, instead of 1% as previously announced and will fall continuously in the next three years, to reach 23%. Small businesses rate relief holiday will be extended in October 2012, at a cost of £370m and the Entrepreneur’s relief scheme doubles to £10m from April 6th. Small businesses will also see effect of the research and development tax credit which will rise to 200% in April and 225% in 2012. Overseas Financing income coming into the UK will see a new rate of 5.75%.
Public Sector - The public sector will see a £250 pay rise for all those who work under the NHS, the Armed Forces, Prison, Civil Servants and teaching for those earning £21,000 and under.
Today’s Youth’s Reading Skills
Reading. It’s a really useful skill. We use it every day: surfing the internet; cooking; watching television. But, as times change, the youths in society change too. The number of children reading for pleasure is also changing. While children these days have the guts to face tough situations, they are forgetting the importance of reading as they’re more interested in watching violent cartoons and playing violent computer games that have seemed to brainwash them to not read for pleasure. If you ask around young children nowadays, they will say for a gift they would rather appreciate a computer game or a robot, rather than a book.
Children start to read on their own from about 3-6 years of age, however some people think this is too early and therefore don’t encourage their children to read. Studies show however, that people who can’t read well before their nine years of age are more likely to end up in poverty then those who can. Statistics also show that 68% of children did not gain proficient levels in their 2009 tests. A survey directed to parents also said that more parents agree that time spent on activities such as reading for fun, doing physical activity, socialising with family and doing homework has been decreased on a average of 25%.
But what’s a teacher’s point of view? I interviewed Mr Vessey, an English teacher at my school, to see what he had to say.
Q: How hard is it to get a child to learn how to read?
Very difficult, as your language acquisition develops between the age of 0 to 6. However, we have a language base where pupils can go if they’re struggling and we introduce them to reading by using phonics.
Q: Why do you think children these days aren’t into reading than children from previous generations?
In my opinion, today’s children aren’t into reading we’re too materialistic. Electronic devices such as computers, Xbox’s, Nintendo Wii’s and PSP’s are replacing books for entertainment.
Q: Is there any specific author(s) that children tend to read more than others?
Young people tend to be into authors such as Jacqueline Wilson, R.L. Stein, Anne Fine, Tom Palmer, J.K Rowling and Anthony Horvitz.
Q: Is there a specific group of pupils that are more reluctant to reading than others?
I’d probably have to say that the sporty boys aren’t into reading, compared to the girls or the not-so-sporty boys, as they think that reading’s not “cool”. However, in the future, we’re planning to bring some players from the local rugby team to encourage the sporty boys to read.
Q: Why do you like teaching young people how to read?
I like to teach young people how to read because otherwise, they wouldn’t live the great life they have ahead of them and wouldn’t reach their full potential. Also, if they can’t read they won’t be able to have a career...I’d hate to say any of my pupils being unemployed because they can’t read.
Q: How do you think reading benefits people in everyday life?
Reading helps everyone to function: it helps you to do everything. For example, if you couldn’t read – you wouldn’t be able to choose the right cereal when you’re shopping , as you couldn’t see what the label said.
Q: Do you think it’d be easier to learn to read at a young age or an older age in life?
It’s easier to learn to read at a younger age, as your language acquisition develops when you’re young. Also, it’s proven that if expecting mothers talk to their babies when they’re in the womb, they’re more likely to have better literacy and musical skills in life.
Q: If you had a choice, would you teach something else?
No. English is such a dynamic, interesting subject which makes me love teaching it so much.
Q: What advice would you give to parents if they’re struggling to get their child(s) to read?
I’d probably say to try reading to them first as you pick up your language by hearing. I’d also suggest to let them read comics, or something educational on the internet to get them interested.