SINGAPORE: More than a month has passed since Singapore entered the second phase of its circuit breaker exit, but business has barely picked up at Mr Wong Yuen Lik’s two retail stores at Capitol Singapore and [email protected] Square. For the month of June, he only raked in less than S$10,000 in combined sales, compared with S$80,000 in the same period last year. His shops mainly sell winter and outdoor adventure apparel, which has seen plummeting demand as international travel grinds to a near halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite getting four months of mandated rental waiver and wage subsidies for his staff through the Job Support Scheme (JSS), Mr Wong said he is still losing money and has had to cut the salaries of his nine employees in July. With several government support measures due to expire soon, Mr Wong is bracing himself for more bleak times ahead. “If landlords start chasing for rent, we definitely cannot survive… I will see how much I bleed, if I need to … [Read more...] about The Big Read: Kept afloat by government lifelines, will ‘zombie companies’ haunt Singapore?
The internal differences in the Congress spilled out into the open on Saturday, with the dissenting group, or the ‘G-23’ , in a show of strength held a rally in Jammu ostensibly to felicitate Ghulam Nabi Azad on his retirement from Rajya Sabha but clearly challenging the party leadership. The party leadership has reacted cautiously and not commented about the possibility of disciplinary action against the participants. Also read: Sonia Gandhi to stay on as Congress chief until next AICC session The meeting was attended by senior Congress leaders including former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, Raj Babbar and Vivek Tankha in addition to Mr. Azad. This is the first collective, public appearance of the group that in August last year, had written to the interim president Sonia Gandhi urging her to ensure “full time” and “visible” leadership. Congress leadership has remained mum about renominating Mr. Azad and the G-23 … [Read more...] about Congress rift widens with caustic G-23 meeting in Jammu
BERLIN: The number of firms declaring insolvency in Germany was 6.2 per cent lower than in the first half of last year despite the coronavirus crisis, the Statistics Office said on Thursday (Sep 10), partly because of a rule designed to keep firms afloat in the pandemic. In March, the government gave companies that find themselves in financial trouble due to the pandemic a respite by allowing them to delay filing for bankruptcy. That was later extended until the end of the year. The fact that insolvency numbers fell even as Europe's largest economy shrank the most in its post-war history will lend ammunition to critics who say that suspending compulsory insolvencies is merely keeping afloat "zombie companies" whose collapse has merely been delayed, not prevented. There were 9,006 corporate insolvencies in the first half of 2020, a sixth of them in the retail sector, which was especially hard-hit by lockdowns to stem the virus's spread. Construction and hospitality also notched … [Read more...] about German insolvencies fall despite COVID-19 pandemic
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has denied reports he plans to hike taxes in Wednesday's budget — only to cut them before the next election. Questioned by the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday morning on a Sunday Times report that he had privately told fellow Conservative MPs any tax rises would be reversed as a pre-election vote-winner, the chancellor replied "No, I don’t recognise that". He added that it was impossible to tell what economic conditions would be in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. "Given the shock we've had over the last year and the economic uncertainty we face, it would be brave for people to know what was going to happen in three years," he said. "What I'm focussed on right now is preparing a budget that provides support for people and businesses, and families, through the remaining stages of this crisis." — BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) February 28, 2021 The chancellor gave a similar answer to Sky News's Sophy Ridge, saying he did … [Read more...] about UK Chancellor Sunak Denies Plan to Hike Taxes Then Cut Them Before Election
It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when the “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophy of the seventies morphed into the “I’m okay, you’re not” thinking of the present day. Back in the seventies, everyone smoked cigarettes, wore ugly polyester, ate Twinkies, and told cringe-worthy jokes. Nobody was in a position to judge. Now our betters know better how best to behave. Through virtue signaling, shaming, de-platforming, censoring, and outright coercion they intend to make others change their unacceptable views and ways. Take the Healthy Kid Meal Ordinance before the Aurora City Council which would foist new regulations on how restaurants advertise children’s meals, for example. The ordinance would require restaurants to make water or milk the default beverage for kid’s meals. Kids could still order any drink but restaurants could not list such drinks with the meal package. Restaurants that fail to comply will be fined or have their license suspended. Fortunately, the sponsor delayed the … [Read more...] about Kafer: Restaurants’ sugary drinks don’t need regulation