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EU — Social protection statistics – net expenditure on benefits

May 29, 2015 Comments off

Social protection statistics – net expenditure on benefits
Source: Eurostat
This article presents statistics on net social protection expenditure in the EU. These statistics are collected through the European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS).

In 2011, in EU Member States EUR 3 689 thousand million gross, or 29.0 % of their GDP, were spent on social protection benefits[1]. The income provided by some benefits paid in cash is, however, potentially subject to levies imposed through the fiscal system. The deduction of levies, such as income taxes or social contributions, from the gross amounts received by beneficiaries means that some of the original expenditure is returned to the government coffers and that net expenditure on social protection benefits may therefore be considerably lower than the gross amount disbursed. Indeed, in 2011 around 7.6 % of gross expenditure on social protection benefits in the EU was recouped through the fiscal system making the net cost 92.4 % of gross expenditure.

Reshoring: Myth or Reality?

May 28, 2015 Comments off

Reshoring: Myth or Reality?
Source: IBISWorld

For decades, US companies in the manufacturing sector have increasingly sought to cut costs and improve profitability by offshoring and offshore outsourcing operations. Offshoring is the process in which companies base their operations overseas; offshore outsourcing is the process in which companies base part of their operations overseas and third-party companies are hired to perform operational duties.

However, recent analysis by independent sources suggests there has been some reversal in this trend over the past five years. As manufacturing makes its way back to the United States, a process known as reshoring, US-based manufacturers will have to determine the potential consequences and opportunities that can arise as a result of this movement.

The Social Progress Index: A holistic measure of progress

May 28, 2015 Comments off

The Social Progress Index: A holistic measure of progress
Source: Deloitte

On 9 April, the 2015 Social Progress Index launched – it measures the social and environmental outcomes for 133 countries, covering 94% of the world’s population.

As a complement to economic measures such as GDP, the Social Progress Index provides a more holistic measure of country performance and helps to drive real and sustainable growth that is important for business and vital for building a prosperous society.

How did your country do?

Industry Impacts of a Canadian Housing Bubble

May 28, 2015 Comments off

Industry Impacts of a Canadian Housing Bubble
Source: IBISWorld

The fear of a housing bubble has been renewed in Canada, as the drop in oil prices in recent months prompted a surprise interest-rate cut by the central bank in January. As expected, the country’s big banks have reduced their prime rates, which are tied to home-equity lines of credit and variable-rate mortgages, but did not fully pass on the Bank of Canada’s 25-percentage point cut. Coupled with home prices that continue to grow, lower rates could encourage borrowers to continue entering the market, ahead of the spring home-buying season in the coming months. Once again, the cooling housing market is gaining some steam.

Analysts and policymakers have debated whether or not Canada is following in the footsteps of the American housing crisis that precipitated the 2007 to 2009 recession. Rising house prices encourage speculators to enter the market, which typically fuels a housing bubble, as it creates artificial demand and pushes prices further. Eventually, as affordability dwindles, supply will begin to outpace demand, resulting in price corrections that signify a bust. Skeptics point to favourable demographic trends, a sound banking system and stronger regulatory oversight to argue that Canada is in for a soft landing. However, household debt remains alarmingly high and, combined with an overvalued property market, creates the necessary environment for a real estate bubble.

Managing migration better in all aspects: A European Agenda on Migration

May 28, 2015 Comments off

Managing migration better in all aspects: A European Agenda on Migration
Source: European Commission

Today, the European Commission presented a European Agenda on Migration outlining the immediate measures that will be taken in order to respond to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean as well as the steps to be taken in the coming years to better manage migration in all its aspects.

The plight of thousands of migrants putting their lives in peril to cross the Mediterranean has shocked and it has become clear that no Member State can or should be left alone to address huge migratory pressures. This Agenda sets out a European response, combining internal and external policies, making best use of EU agencies and tools, and involving all actors: Member States, EU institutions, International Organisations, civil society, local authorities and third countries.

CA — The CanLII Primer: Legal Research Principles and CanLII Navigation for Self-Represented Litigants

May 27, 2015 Comments off

The CanLII Primer: Legal Research Principles and CanLII Navigation for Self-Represented Litigants (PDF)
Source: National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP)

The goal of this document is to help self-represented litigants (SRLs) navigate CanLll in order to prepare for the presentation of their cases – in court, in chambers, or as part of a negotiation or mediation.

CanLll is an exceptional resource for those without legal counsel, but its usefulness will depend on how well you understand how to navigate and apply its vast resources. This primer offers you some basic navigational tools.

In addition, you will need to understand the basics of how law is created in Canada, as a combination of case law and legislation. While this primer does not provide you with a comprehensive introduction to this complex topic, it offers some fundamental principles to help you get started and hopefully make your use of CanLll more effective.

Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia: U.S. Policy Interests and Recommendations

May 27, 2015 Comments off

Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia: U.S. Policy Interests and Recommendations
Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies

Today, with combat operations in Afghanistan winding down, U.S. policy toward the states of Central Asia is transitioning to a third era. The United States now has an opportunity to refashion its approach to the region. In doing so, it should capitalize on trends already underway, in particular the expansion of trade and transit linkages, to help integrate Central Asia more firmly into the global economy, while also working to overcome tensions both within the region itself and among the major neighboring powers with interests in Central Asia. Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia: U.S. Policy Interests and Recommendations examines the full scope of U.S. national interests in Central Asia and puts forward the broad outlines of a strategy for U.S. engagement over the coming years.

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