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Brits could work 4 day week under plan by opposition Labour Party



BRIGHTON, ENGLAND — British people could see their working week reduced to a maximum of four days under a radical plan by the opposition Labour party.

Speaking in Brighton at the party’s annual conference, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the plan reflected his belief that “we should work to live, not live to work.”

“People in our country work some of the longest hours in Europe,” McDonnell said.

“The next Labour government will reduce the average full time working week to 32 hours within a decade.”

“A shorter working week with no loss of pay,” he said.

The announcement comes as the party prepares to fight a general election, expected later this year, against prime minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party.

McDonnell said Labour would introduce a 32-hour working with no loss of pay within a decade if Labour was elected to government, to be achieved by opting back into the European Working Time Directive, which caps the number of hours people can work in an average week.

He also promised to roll out collective bargaining to trade unions to negotiate the target with employers.

Laura Parker, national coordinator of the Corbyn-supporting Labour group Momentum, said: “We are delighted that a shorter working week, a policy Momentum campaigned hard for, has been adopted by John McDonnell and is now Labour policy.”

However, the announcement came just two weeks after a report commissioned by the party described the plan as not “realistic or even desirable.”

The report, by cross-bench peer Robert Skidelsky, said people should work fewer hours for a living but said imposing a four-day working week would not be effective.

The UK now works longer hours than and other European country apart from Greece, with the average employee spending 42.5 hours a week compared to the EU average of 41.2 hours.

The report said: “Even though some people are compelled to work shorter hours than they want to, most people are compelled to work longer hours than they want to.”

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How much do you have to make to file taxes? Here’s who pays income tax



  • The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center estimates that nearly 76 million Americans won’t owe federal income tax on tax day 2020.
  • Some Americans don’t owe taxes on their income because it is too low; the deductions and credits available to them wipe out their tax liability.
  • If you’re under age 65 and earn less than the standard deduction — $12,200 for singles, $18,350 for single parents, and $24,400 for joint filers — you likely won’t have to file a federal tax return for 2019, unless you want to claim refundable credits.
  • If you made more than the standard deduction for your age and filing status, claimed unemployment income, or are self-employed and earned at least $400 during the year, you must file a tax return with the IRS.
  • Many people who don’t pay federal income tax do work and owe payroll taxes, which support Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

It was Benjamin Franklin who famously wrote in 1789, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.”

While the first part remains true today (we have yet to crack the code on eternal life), taxes on income are not certain for every American.

According to the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, nearly 76 million Americans, or about 44% of total tax units (one unit is equal to either a single filer or one married couple filing jointly) are expected to have a zero or negative income tax bill for the 2019 tax year. That’s over 3 million more tax units than two years ago, an increase attributable to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“The large percentage of people who don’t owe federal income tax is a feature, not a bug, of the revenue code,” write the Tax Policy Center’s Philip Stallworth and Daniel Berger. “By design, the federal income tax always has excluded a significant fraction of households through a combination of personal exemptions, the standard deduction, zero bracket amounts, and more recently, tax credits.”

About 97.3 million Americans are expected to file a federal tax return for 2019, according to the Tax Policy Center. The deadline to file your taxes in 2020 is Wednesday, April 15.

How much do you have to make to file taxes?

Not “losing” a portion of your paycheck to taxes may sound nice to some, but it’s not a luxury. Millions of Americans don’t owe taxes on their income because they don’t earn enough money.

As a benchmark, if you’re under age 65 and earned less than the standard deduction — $12,200 for singles, $18,350 for single parents, and $24,400 for joint filers in 2019 — you won’t have to file a federal tax return. These deductions are taken before taxable income is calculated and can wipe out your total tax liability if you didn’t earn enough.

If you’re over age 65 and filing single or head of household, the standard deductions increase to $13,850 and $20,000, respectively. If you or your spouse is over age 65 and you file jointly, the standard deduction is $25,700.

Those with a zero or negative tax bill aren’t required to file, unless they want to claim refundable credits, such as the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the child tax credit (CTC), or had tax withheld by their employer throughout the year and want to get a refund.

If you made more than the standard deduction for your age and filing status, claimed unemployment income, or were self-employed and earned at least $400 during the year, you must file a tax return with the IRS.

How a negative tax bill could turn into a refund

Consider this example of a woman who doesn’t owe federal income tax and will likely end up with a refund:

Amy is a single mother who, by the end of 2019, will have earned $20,000. The standard deduction of $18,350 for single parents reduces her taxable income to $1,650, which places her in the 10% tax bracket ($0 to $9,525). Her tax bill comes out to $165.

If she qualifies for the earned income tax credit (EITC), a subsidy for low-income working families, she can reduce her tax bill by up to $3,526, the maximum for a family with one child in the 2019 tax year. She may also claim the child tax credit (CTC), which allows her to apply a credit of up to $2,000 to her tax bill.

Amy will end up with a negative final tax bill, and since EITC and CTC are refundable, she’ll receive the credits as cash.

But while Americans who earn too little don’t pay income taxes, those who hold a job are still subject to payroll taxes, which support Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. According to Tax Policy Center data, 26.7 million Americans owed neither income nor payroll taxes for the 2018 tax year. However, some taxes are certain for everyone, regardless of income, including sales taxes, excise taxes, and property taxes.

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Memo: Internal Publicis Groupe boosts staff after bad third quarter



  • Publicis Groupe, the world’s third-largest ad holding company, had a disastrous third quarter, with the stock price dropping 14% and organic growth in North America down 3.6%.
  • These results came despite new business wins that put the company at or near the top of the industry.
  • Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun November 12 sent an internal memo to agency leaders around the world citing victories in reviews for AXA, Nivea and Danone.
  • The CEO noted that Publicis beat out rivals WPP, Omnicom, and IPG, as well as consultancy Accenture, to win these accounts.
  • He also wrote that the company has to turn new business into organic growth in 2020, though.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

The world’s third-largest ad holding company Publicis Groupe had a disastrous third quarter.

The stock price dropped by more than 14% in Europe last month after the business saw organic growth in North America slide 3.6% for the quarter, leading it to cut its yearly guidance.

These developments came despite a string of recent new business wins that put Publicis agencies at or near the top among global holding company rankings issued by management consultancy R3. All the major holding companies have struggled in North America, but some analysts said Publicis is particularly struggling to deliver on its $4 billion acquisition of data firm Epsilon about six months ago.

In an internal memo obtained by Business Insider, CEO Arthur Sadoun cited several recent wins and said 2020 “has to be the year where we transform [these wins] into organic growth.”

Sadoun highlighted recent wins over rival holding companies and Accenture, implying that new business will translate into growth next year

The memo went to leaders at Publicis agencies around the world November 12.

Sadoun also highlighted several recent new clients including European insurance giant AXA, German personal care brand Nivea, and food conglomerate Danone, which awarded Publicis a share of its business in China.

He noted that Publicis beat out rivals WPP, Omnicom, and IPG in these reviews, as well as consultancy Accenture, which is competing hard for traditional ad agencies’ business.

The Nivea win will lead to the opening of a dedicated agency called In Touch, and Sadoun wrote that it proved out Publicis’ model linking “data, creativity and technology.”

Publicis also recently won a large portion of Disney’s global media buying business, and November 13, Align Technology, parent company of Invisalign, confirmed a Business Insider report that it chose Publicis as global agency of record for that brand.

A Publicis Groupe representative declined to comment on the memo, which went out yesterday under the subject line “New Business News” and opened with the CEO’s signature “Bonjour.” 

Read the full memo below.

Publicis Groupe 1

Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe 2

Publicis Groupe

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1997 viral video of Jeff Bezos shows why he chose to build his Amazon empire on books



  • A 1997 video of Jeff Bezos has gone viral on Twitter, giving direct insight into how the CEO went about building Amazon in its earliest days.
  • In the video Bezos explains why he picked books as the first product he ever sold on Amazon. He made a list of 20 products he could sell online, and landed on books because there’s greater choice than any of the other categories.
  • Amazon, of course, no longer just sells books but has become an $881 billion retail empire known as ‘the everything store.’
  • The video shows just how well Bezos understood the internet and the importance of giving consumers exactly what they want.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A video of Jeff Bezos dating back 20 years has gone viral with more than 1.2 million views on Twitter.

The video was circulated by analyst Brian Roemmele and is from the 1997 Special Libraries Conference in June,  three years after Bezos founded Amazon in 1994.

The video has been widely shared for its direct insight into how Bezos, now the world’s richest man, went about building what would become an $881 billion retail empire from scratch. It also shows how well he understood the internet and the importance of giving customers exactly what they want.

At the time of the video, Amazon would have been a newly public company. It went public in May 1997 at $18 a share. Its shares are now worth $1,778.

The video opens with a young (and distinctly pre-swole) Bezos explaining who he is.

Asked by the interviewer where he got the idea for, Bezos responded:

“Three years ago I was in New York City working for a quantitative hedge fund when I came across the startling statistic the web usage was growing at 2,300% a year so I decided I would try and find a business plan that made sense in the context of that growth and I picked books as the first best product to sell online.”

Bezos chose to start Amazon with books because there’s an almost infinite selection

Bezos explained why he originally settled on selling books as the first step in what would eventually become his online shopping empire.

He said: “I picked books as the first best product to sell online, making a list of like 20 different products that you might be able to sell.

“Books were great as the first best because books are incredibly unusual in one respect, that is that there are more items in the book category than there are items in any other category by far.”

There were more books than CDs, he argued.

“Music is number two, there are about 200,000 active music CDs at any given time,” he said.

“But in the book space there are over 3 million different books worldwide active in print at any given time across all languages, more than 1.5 million in English alone. So when you have that many items you can literally build a store online that couldn’t exist any other way,” he said.

Later in the interview Bezos also mentions a phrase that has since become a motto for him and for Amazon. “What’s really incredible about this is that this is day one, this is the very beginning,” he said.

Twenty years later Amazon warehouses bear signs saying “It’s still day one.” 

The Amazon founder concludes the interview by saying: “I think a millennia from now, people will look back and say ‘Wow, the late 20th century was really a great time to be alive on this planet.”

It certainly would be for Bezos, who has become the richest man in the world with a net worth of $111 billion at time of writing.

You can watch the full interview here:

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