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Baking industry calls for agreement on future trade with Ireland

first_imgThe Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers and the Federation of Bakers have signed an open letter calling on the government to make an early agreement on future trade with the Republic of Ireland.As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, the baking bodies have addressed that a key priority for the food and drink industry is to secure a tariff-free trade with the EU.However, the open letter has outlined that this is of particular importance with Ireland, as nearly a fifth of UK food and drink exports go to Ireland, with more than a third of Ireland’s reaching UK shores. The UK also supplies 80% of the flour used in Ireland.Thirty-five representative bodies from the food and drink industry have all signed the open letter.“Our industry needs the government to ensure existing tariff-free trading arrangements between the UK and Ireland are maintained,” the letter said.“We are pleased that the Prime Minister is seeking a ‘frictionless’ border between the UK and Ireland post-Brexit. It is imperative that, once Article 50 is triggered, the future border arrangements are high on the target list for prompt resolution.“Government should make a clear and early statement of principle that it is committed to maintaining this trade with Ireland and that it will make it a priority in negotiations.”Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017 – beginning formal negotiations on Brexit.last_img read more

Overseas buyers, bargain hunters driving surge in demand for Brisbane property

first_imgFormer expatriate Diana Edwards moved back to Brisbane with her husband and three sons. Photographer: Liam Kidston.BRISBANE has emerged from the shadows of its southern counterparts, with new figures revealing the tough times are over for the city’s property market as expats and bargain hunters drive a surge in demand.READ MORE: Extremes of Australia’s property market growth and decline revealedThe Queensland capital recorded the biggest increase in offshore property buyers over the past year — far higher than any other capital city — and many local agents say expats are behind the turnaround.Realestate.com.au’s Property Outlook report, released today, shows demand for houses in Brisbane rose 6.7 per cent in the past 12 months, while unit demand increased 4.5 per cent as buyers hunted for bargains despite oversupply concerns.GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HEREAnglican Church Grammar School in East Brisbane. Photographer: Liam Kidston.The blue chip suburbs of East Brisbane, Indooroopilly and Paddington were most popular when it came to houses, while the Gold Coast was the most in demand among apartment buyers, with Tugun and Currumbin the highest demand suburbs in the state.RESIDENTIAL TOWER FIRST IN 30 YEARSDemand for houses in Paddington has increased. Photographer: Liam Kidston.“It looks like Brisbane’s really turning around,” REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said.“If you have a look at the inner city and the east where demand is up more than 10 per cent, it shows there’s lots of people having a look, and when we see that, we generally start to see a pick-up in pricing.“All the talk has been about the housing boom being over, but if you look at Brisbane, it’s just warming up again.”GOLD MINE FOUND IN SUBURBAN BACKYARDREA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee.Overall, home prices in Brisbane are up 1 per cent on year, with houses seeing a slight increase and apartments seeing a decline, according to the report.The city’s median house price increased 2.7 per cent to $525,000 in the past 12 months, while the median apartment price fell 4.1 per cent to $382,500.HOME FIT FOR HARRY AND MEGHANAerial images of suburban houses in Brisbane, where the median house price rose 2.7% in the past year.The report noted that Brisbane home prices never increased to the same levels as Sydney and Melbourne and it remained far more affordable.“With so much spending on infrastructure, the city is now well prepared for population growth which appears to be occurring as jobs growth continues to recover,” the report said.Offshore interest in Brisbane property has increased dramatically, according to the report.Demand from Chinese buyers for Brisbane property rose more than any other capital city in the year to May 2018. Source: realestate.com.au.Demand from property seekers from China for the Brisbane market jumped some 35 per cent in the 12 months to May 2018.Adcock Prestige principal Jason Adcock recently sold a prestige home to a Brisbane expat living in Hong Kong sight unseen.This home at 562 Fig Tree Pocket Rd, Fig Tree Pocket, recently sold to an expat for $1.928m sight unseen.Mr Adcock said the buyer wasn’t planning to come back to Brisbane for another 12 months, but did not want to miss out.“We’re starting to see a lot of that at the moment,” he said.Mr Adcock said high income earning expats from Hong Kong, the UK and the US were showing increasing interest in buying property in Brisbane and returning home.“They’re coming back to Brisbane and want to reward themselves with a trophy property,” he said.Property Pursuit director and buyer’s agent Meighan Hetherington said she had noticed a strong increase in inquiries from expats in the past 18 months.Ms Hetherington said her expat clients were either looking to create their future home base in Brisbane, or ready to repatriate.Buyers agent Meighan Hetherington of Property Pursuit bids on a property at auction in Paddington. Image: AAP/John Gass.She said changes in the lending landscape had put some pressure on expats to secure property in Brisbane in case standards tightened further.“Anyone earning a foreign income is pulled into the same lending criteria that is used for foreign buyers, which has meant a lot of pressure on the ability (for expats) to borrow to purchase,” Ms Hetherington said.“Some clients have taken six or seven months to get finance approval.”Ms Hetherington said the price differential between Brisbane and southern states was so great that Brisbane had become much more attractive from a value proposition.She said 80 per cent of her clients bought properties without seeing them in person, relying instead on research and detailed videos provided to them by buyers agents.Diana Edwards lived as an expat in Hong Kong with her husband and three sons for 17 years before deciding to return home to Brisbane.Ms Edwards said schooling and lifestyle lured her back to the Queensland capital.Former expatriate Diana Edwards moved back to Brisbane with her husband and three sons for the schools and lifestyle. Photographer: Liam Kidston.And she’s not alone. She now works with expats as a buyers agent and has a client who wants to move to Brisbane, even though he is originally from Sydney.“Generally the expat families who request our help to find a home in Brisbane are originally from here or have some connection to Brisbane, but we do receive requests from other clients who are originally from Sydney and Melbourne but are choosing to move to Brisbane due to affordability of property and lifestyle factors,” Ms Edwards said.“Once you compare property prices in these cities, Brisbane is absolutely the frontrunner in terms of the space it can afford for young families within proximity to the city.”Universal Buyers Agents director Darren Piper said he too had noticed an increase in overseas expats wanting to move back to Brisbane.“This is due to a number of reasons including schooling, interest rates and most importantly the Brisbane property market as they don’t want to “miss out”,” Mr Piper said.“Brisbane is set to soar in the coming years due to the large amount of infrastructure being built.“Expat buyers are savvy and know that now is the time to buy.”Mr Piper said expats in high income roles were earning an average annual wage of $175,000, which positioned them well to secure a “significant property” in Brisbane.He said it was also a matter of timing.“Certain expats have ‘done their time’ and are simply ready to have their feet back on home turf,” Mr Piper said.“This on top of the current market conditions is certainly influencing the decision to move back.”TOP SUBURBS FOR HOUSES IN BRISBANE1 East BrisbaneMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago2 Indooroopilly3 Paddington4 Holland Park5 Wilston6 Chandler7 Windsor8 Coorparoo9 Newmarket10 ToowongTOP SUBURBS FOR APARTMENTS IN BRISBANE1 Graceville2 Mansfield3 Tarragindi4 Camp Hill5 Red Hill6 Ashgrove7 Holland Park8 Tingalpa9 New Farm10 PaddingtonDEMAND FOR HOUSES AND UNITS NATIONALLYProperty views per listing (last 3 months) Year on year changeNational 1165 5.2%Canberra 766 16.2%Sydney 1631 -22.5%Darwin 491 4.7%Brisbane 1121 5.9%Adelaide 1723 2.7%Hobart 4399 38.6%Melbourne 2185 -6.1%Perth 678 6.4%DEMAND FOR HOUSES AND UNITS IN BRISBANEProperty views per listing (last 3 months) Year on year changeBrisbane – East 1127 16.7%Brisbane – North 1579 6%Brisbane – South 1637 -2.1%Brisbane – West 1912 0.1%Brisbane Inner City 1352 13.7%(Source: realestate.com.au)last_img read more

Woodward: January deals unlikely

first_img United’s spending on employee benefits for the quarter fell by £3.5 million, or 6.6 per cent, to £49.4million, “primarily to lower player wages”, said the club in a statement. The overall drop in wages is a combination of United not having to pay out bonuses for playing in the Champions League, as well as an exodus of highly-paid players from the wage bill including Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, Danny Welbeck, Bebe, Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverly and Shinji Kagawa. Even though new manager Louis van Gaal has made a number of high-profile signings including Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao, he has still kept the wage bill lower than the squad under predecessor David Moyes. Woodward also hailed the impact of United’s academy in producing players and the success of the under-21 team, currently top of their league, as well as the continuing rise in interest from sponsors and broadcasters. “There is the unique power of the club to transcend the industry,” he said. Woodward told investors United had targets in mind but almost certainly for next summer – and that it was unlikely they would become available in the January transfer window. He was speaking after the club revealed figures showing income dropped by almost 10 per cent in the first quarter of their financial year due to the absence from the Champions League. Revenue for the three months ending September 30 was £88.7million, down £9.8million on the £98.5million for the same period a year ago, a 9.9 per cent drop. The fall in income could have been even greater but the cost of United’s absence from European football has been partially compensated for by an increase in sponsorship money and a drop in the players’ wage bill. Woodward, speaking on a conference call to investors, said confidence was high under new manager Louis van Gaal. He said: “There’s a real feeling that we as a club are at the start of something special.” Asked whether United intended to strengthen the defence in January, Woodward added: “We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes. However we have targets we are looking at for next summer and should any of those become available in January we would consider acting but we all need to recognise that is a low probability.” United played two fewer matches in the quarter than in the equivalent three months in 2013-14 – one Champions League game and one Capital One Cup game – which led to a drop of £4.2million (21.8 per cent) in matchday income to £15.1million. Broadcasting revenue was down £2.5million (13 per cent) to £16.8million with no TV money coming in from UEFA. The club’s debt, the source of much criticism from some supporters’ groups, was very slightly up at £362.2million, while commercial income was up 5.2 per cent to £59.9million, thanks to new sponsorship deals. Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has played down the chance of the club making new signings in January despite concerns over the squad’s strength in defence. Press Associationlast_img read more

NFL’s gentle punishment of latest Patriots scandal feels like it’s meant to be a joke

first_imgIt seemed almost hilarious at the time, that the Patriots would feel compelled to engage in still another episode of chicanery to cope with an impending road game against the Cincinnati Bengals.The Patriots were caught filming the Bengals’ sideline? Did that video come with a laugh track? It was no joke, though. The Patriots were dysfunctional enough at that point that when the game in Cincinnati arrived, they led only by three points at halftime against a 1-12 squad that habitually was Joe-Burrowing itself into the turf. The Pats only turned around that game when Andy Dalton generously tossed three third-quarter interceptions their way, one of them a pick-6. And then, two weeks later, the Patriots got no such cooperation and fell to 4-11 Miami in a game that cost them a playoff bye.MORE: Breakdown of the NFL’s punishment of the PatriotsOf course they were cheating. Again. And why wouldn’t they? They have learned by now there are no substantive consequences for breaking the rules of the National Football League’s competition. What were their penalties for their third known episode in the past 13 seasons of operating outside the boundaries of NFL regulations? They forfeited a third-round draft choice, a fine of $1.1 million and the opportunity for team crews to film any games in the 2020 season.Not a first-round pick. Not any sort of competitive penalty. Nothing for the people in charge of the organization, owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick. Just money. Even though it is a larger fine than the franchise received in the Spygate ($250,000) and Deflategate ($1 million) cases, for the Patriots, this merely is the cost of doing business.“The Patriots are obsessed with pushing the envelope,” radio host Ken Laird of Boston’s WEEI said on a Monday interview with Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan.There is no shame here. There is no remorse. If there were, we’d never have encountered another episode subsequent to Spygate, which was resolved 13 years ago. There have been two significant cases since.MORE: Explaining the original “Spygate” scandalThe latest came last December when a Bengals security worker noticed a camera being pointed at the Cincinnati sideline during a game at Cleveland. He asked the camera crew what was going on, and they claimed they were filming a piece for the Patriots’ in-house TV program, “Do Your Job,” about one of the team’s advance scouts.There were eight minutes of tape of the Bengals sideline and, as the security person said, “I don’t see the see the advance scout in this footage.” Both members of the crew tried to negotiate a resolution, offering to delete it on the spot. The Bengals security person instead contacted the league.Thus we have another incident of the Patriots being declared by the league to have broken the rules, but without that producing any punishment that might discourage them from doing it again.The five stages of Patriots perfidy:1. Execution. Carry out an activity contrary to league rules that could provide a competitive advantage.2. Denial. Maintain innocence of charges, in this case with the story that the crew was on the scene to do the advance scout feature.3. Confession. The Patriots acknowledge a rule was broken, but with the caveat it’s really not as bad as you suspect. “There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose,” the Patriots said in a statement after the Bengals sideline story broke.4. Scapegoating. The blame is allowed to reside with someone many branches removed from the top of the organizational chart: in this case David Mondillo, who was suspended by the Patriots after the incident occurred and, as part of the NFL’s punishment, is banned from any league facility until further notice.5. Relief. The NFL applies a punishment that might as well be administered with a feather duster, and the Pats just go back to work.Docking a team a draft pick is not an insignificant punishment, but it ought to be commensurate with the offense and, in the case of the Patriots, with their recidivism. A first-round pick? Maybe there would be progress. Instead, they can dispose of this punishment if they allow new quarterback Cam Newton to depart as a free agent after the 2020 season. Their compensation if he does? Most likely, a third-round pick. MORE: Analyzing the Patriots’ QB situation with Cam NewtonThe league never has engaged in competitive penalties, but what is done in European soccer is highly logical. They would call it a “points deduction.” In Austria recently, LASK Linz was deducted six points for breaking league rules against training during the COVID-19 quarantine period. That’s the equivalent of two wins, and it cost the club the Austrian Bundesliga championship. How much would the Patriots appreciate having to win 12 games that only count as 10 wins in the AFC East standings?Instead, we get the same tango between the Patriots and the league. The Patriots step on toes, initially profess innocence, then claim it was an accident and promise it will not happen again. But it often does, and the NFL puts up with the discomfort and keeps on dancing.last_img read more