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Mark Jones

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The latest Clay Shaw Butler Money Matters column

Posted By Robert Lloyd

By Mark Jones, director of Carmarthen-based Clay Shaw Butler chartered accountants and business consultants. The Money Matters column appears in the Pembrokeshire Herald, the Carmarthenshire Herald and the Llanelli Herald newspapers.

The taxman at HMRC has published a report showing that the UK tax gap in 2017/18 is estimated to be £35 billion.

This is 5.6% of total theoretical tax liabilities, and a small increase of 0.1% from 5.5% in 2016/17. HMRC therefore secured 94.4% of all tax due.

The tax gap is the difference between the amount of tax that should be paid to HMRC compared to what is actually paid.

Further details in the report show:

  • the overall tax gap has fallen from 7.2% since 2005/06
  • the duty-only excise tax gap has reduced from 8.4 % in 2005/06 to 5.1% in 2017/18
  • the corporation tax gap has reduced from 12.5% in 2005/06 to 8.1% in 2017/18.

Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “The UK’s low tax gap underlines both how the vast majority of people are paying the correct amount of tax, and how effective HM Revenue and Customs has been in its efforts to clamp down on tax evasion and avoidance.”

The report advises that the majority of taxpayers want to get their tax right, but many are still finding this hard, with avoidable mistakes costing the Exchequer more than £9.9 billion a year.

HMRC advise that £3 billion of this is attributable to VAT alone.

With the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT, HMRC anticipates that the tax lost due to avoidable errors will be reduced because of the improved accuracy that digital records provide.

Meanwhile, latest statistics show that two-thirds of EU citizens that are currently in the UK are here for work.

The government is advising that if these individuals plan to remain living and working in the UK, after it leaves the EU, they can now apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

EU, EEA, or Swiss employees, and their family members, can apply to the EUSS if they want to continue to live, work, and study in the UK after 31 December 2020.

This applies whether UK leave the EU with a deal or with a ‘no deal’. Under the scheme, successful applications will be granted either settled or pre-settled status.

Status depends on how long they have been living in the UK when they apply.

In both cases, they can continue to work in the UK, use public services like the NHS, and access public funds such as pensions.

Irish citizens do not need to apply.

The government has created an employer toolkit to help EU citizens with their application.

The toolkit includes items such as posters and videos and information on how to apply.

Employers do not have any obligation to share any information or even check whether employees have applied.

However, they may wish to offer reassurance to their employees and make sure they have the right information. Employers have a duty not to discriminate against EU citizens with regards to the UK’s decision to leave the EU, both as a prospective and current employer.

The employer toolkit is here –  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-employer-toolkit

You can find out more about money matters on the Clay Shaw Butler website (under our news for business section) – http://www.clayshawbutler.com/news/latest-news-for-business

We have a strong and experienced team with great local knowledge all geared-up to helping you get the very best from your finances – whether that is as an individual or as a business.

We stay ahead of the game by putting great store by continual professional development for our staff.

With Investors In People status at Clay Shaw Butler, we care passionately about making sure our staff have all the tools they need to serve you, our customers.

Weblink – http://www.clayshawbutler.com

The team at Clay Shaw Butler can be contacted on 01267 228500.

The team at Clay Shaw Butler are on Twitter. Look for @clayshawbutler.

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Press releases

Cardiff airport rated good for disability access

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has published its fourth annual report on the disability access of the UK’s largest airports.

The accessibility framework is a world-first and is driving improvements in performance to help improve accessibility across UK airports.

In total, there were a record number of 3.7 million requests for assistance at UK airports in the latest year – a rise of over 80 per cent since 2010.

The Civil Aviation Authority’s accessibility report reveals that 14 airports have been rated ‘very good’. A further 16 airports were rated ‘good’.

Four airports that were classified as ‘very good’ last year received ‘good’ ratings this year, while Manchester Airport was classified as ‘needing improvement’ – although this was an improved rating from ‘poor’ in the previous two years.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority expects Manchester Airport to take immediate action to reverse a recent decline in performance since the end of this reporting year in time for the next accessibility reviews. We have received assurances from the airport that it has plans in place to address this issue and we will be closely monitoring the implementation of these plans and their impact on performance.

For the first time since the framework’s introduction in 2016, no airports were classified as ‘poor’.

To achieve a ‘very good’ classification, airports most provide high quality support on the day of travel as well as keeping in regular contact and consultation with its users.

The report highlights room for improvement, with research showing that nearly a quarter of disabled and less mobile passengers said they requested assistance because the airport environment was becoming more difficult to navigate.

The Civil Aviation Authority will work closely with airports to improve accessibility for disabled passengers.

As part of this drive for improvements, this will be the last year that the accessibility framework will use the current criteria. Since April this year, airports have been assessed using stricter targets, to improve the passenger experience and create a more seamless journey. Airports will need to further improve in order to retain or improve their classifications going forward.

Paul Smith, Consumers and Markets Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“These results show significant improvements to the experience many disabled passengers faced before our reporting began. We hope this will help passengers to feel confident and empowered to travel from UK airports.

“While it is good to see the general improvements, airports will need to continue to work hard to improve, so that they are able to meet the more demanding performance standards that we have now introduced. Where we see examples of bad practice, we will not hesitate to hold airports to account and take the necessary action.”

The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s accessibility report covered a 12-month reporting period of 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019.

14 airports received ‘Very Good’ status:
Aberdeen, Belfast City, City of Derry, Cornwall Newquay, Doncaster Sheffield, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick, Humberside, Kirkwall, Norwich, Southampton, Sumburgh.

16 airports received ‘Good’ status:
Belfast International, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Inverness, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Southend, London Stansted, Newcastle.

1 airport received ‘Needs Improvement’ status:

0 airports received ‘Poor’ status.

Last year’s accessibility report can be found at:


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Press releases

Centre Kieran Williams signs for Ospreys

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Centre Kieran Williams has put pen to paper on his first professional contract, taking the number of players to sign new deals with the Ospreys ahead of the new season to 18.

The former Glynneath RFC youngster, who has featured 24 times for Neath in the Welsh Premiership, has been rewarded for the potential he has shown when on regional duty in the British & Irish Cup and Celtic Cup over recent seasons, despite some niggling injury problems that have limited his game time.

The 22-year old was a regional age-grade champion with the Ospreys at U18 level, shining in a 43-14 win over Cardiff Blues in the 2015 final when he scored two tries alongside his centre partner, Owen Watkin.

Williams has made four senior appearances for his home region so far, having made his debut off the bench in an LV= Cup loss to Harlequins at St Helens in November 2016. His one Guinness PRO14 appearance to date came away to Zebre at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Speaking about his new contract, Williams said he’s looking to the future and rewarding the coaches for their faith in him.

“I’m massively pleased. Personally, it’s been a tough last two years but with this contract I can look to the future and really push for a starting spot.

“This pre-season I want to hit the ground running so I can really do something with these next two years. It’s fantastic that the coaches have recognised my potential. It’s just a case of rewarding that trust and really doing something with it.

“I’m still young and the aim is to improve, get fitter, faster, and become a better all round player. I can only do that if I’m consistently playing, and consistently playing well.”

Williams joins fellow youngsters Will Griffiths, Dewi Lake, Harri Morgan, Morgan Morris and Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler

“We know Kieran’s got pedigree, he’d a standout campaign for Wales U20s two years ago” said Ospreys Head Coach, Allen Clarke.

“A number of injuries have hindered his progress but with a bit of good fortune he’ll put a run of games together and we’ll see his undoubted potential come to the fore over the next two seasons.

“Kieran’s another local boy who’s passionate about the club and we’re delighted he’s committed to his home Region.”

Senior players to have re-signed this year are:

Lloyd Ashley, Cory Allen, Matthew Aubrey, Hanno Dirksen, Dan Evans, Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Morgan, Scott Otten, Ifan Phillips, Luke Price, Nicky Smith and Gareth Thomas

First professional contracts:

Will Griffiths, Dewi Lake, Harri Morgan, Morgan Morris, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler and Kieran Williams

New Recruits:

Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Evans and Carl Hogg (Forwards Coach)

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Blog posts

Forging links between Llanelli and Carwyn James’s Italy

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The links between Llanelli and Carwyn James’s Italy are being strengthened further.

Italian rugby team Grifoni Oderzo Rugby visited to Llanelli earlier this year as part of a Carwyn James Tour.

Now, former teacher Angelo Morello is looking to develop the links between west Wales and the northern corner of Italy by developing cultural as well as rugby ties between the two nations.

The ‘Carwyn James Rugby Legacy’ is already active in and around Treviso, Bologna and Rovigo.

Carwyn James occupies a landmark position in Welsh rugby history – the coach of the 1971 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, the only Lions side ever to win a series against the All Blacks.

He is also regarded with something approaching awe in Italy, where he coached Rugby Rovigo in the north-eastern corner of the country.

Carwyn James died aged just 53 in 1983 – but his legacy lives on nearly 40 years after his death.

And evidence of that comes in the continued rugby links between Wales and Italy.

One of those keeping the torch burning in Italy is Angelo Morello.

He explained: “I am a former teacher of foreign literatures in Italian grammar schools. When Carwyn arrived in my town to coach our first XV (1977) I was asked to assist him.

“We made friends from the first time I met him, and began talking about lots of matters, from rugby to politics, to poetry, music, art, life, etc.

“He very often came to my place where we enjoyed the dinners my wife cooked. I had a daughter (four years old) and a son (one year). I tried to teach him some Italian, but it was a failure (he had no time to study!).

“I translated his weekly newspaper articles on Il Resto del Carlino of Bologna (first season) and Il Gazzettino (second season) of Venice.

“I met some of his friends who came to Rovigo to speak to him (John Reason, Roy Bish, Onlwyn Brace, Gwyn Evans, Ieuan Evans, Alun Richards, his sister Gwen, Nora Isaacs, and many others). When he died I felt I had to do something to keep his name in our lives and, together with his nephew, Llyr James, and his brother, Dewi, we started.

“Many people have come to Rovigo on a sort of pilgrimage after he died, and everybody called me beforehand because they knew I was the guy who knew about him as a multi-sided man rather than a rugby coach only.

“The first one was Wynne Lloyd from Llandaff, a BBC director (cultural documentaries). He was my guest for 40 days. Then Gareth Price, the former BBC Wales general manager, followed with his wife Mary. Others kept coming over the next 15 years.

“Because the area where I live (Po valley) shared with Wales three historical periods (Proto-Roman, Roman, Celtic) Wynne Lloyd and I organised a cultural week in Rovigo followed by a second cultural week in Cardiff one year later in order to discuss our past civilization.

“Many first class professors from Wales took part and stayed in Rovigo a few days. We did the same the year after.

“In 1997 I translated Alun Richards’ play ‘The Horizontal Life’ and an Italian company performed it for the first time in Italy.

“Alun came over and we added a concert by Sian James and an art exhibition with paintings by Mary Lloyd Jones.

“The ties between the two countries got stronger and stronger, other films about Carwyn followed, until Alun Gibbard (Llanelli author) came and met me to go deeper into Carwyn’s stay in Rovigo – a biography was published later (Into the Wind).

“However, Llyr and I felt that we had to build stronger and regular ties with Wales, and the Carwyn James Rugby School was established.

“This year it turned into ‘Carwyn James Legacy Association’.

“We have a lot of projects for the future.”

Angelo added that the Carwyn James Legacy would help promote events other than rugby given Carwyn’s many interests – poetry, music, politics, Welsh language and literature, journalism, etc.

One idea is to invite two Welsh choirs to the Treviso, Bologna and Rovigo area next year, to sing alongside two Italian choirs.

Angelo continued: “I’d be more interested to hear what the people of Llanelli think about developing further links with Italy to continue the Carwyn James Legacy.”

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Press releases

Scarlets appoint former hooker Emyr Phillips as development skills coach

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Former Scarlets and Wales hooker Emyr Phillips has joined the region as a development skills coach.

Injury forced Phillips to retire from playing professional rugby in 2018 after more than 150 Scarlets appearances across 10 seasons.

The 32-year-old Llandovery product was also capped three times for Wales.

Since hanging up his playing boots he has been coaching within the Scarlets’ age-grade set-up, at Llandovery College and as head coach of Welsh Premiership side Carmarthen Quins.

He replaces Dai Flanagan, who has been promoted to the Scarlets’ senior set-up.

Phillips, who has also captained the Scarlets, said: “I am chuffed to be back here at Parc y Scarlets, where I had so many great experiences as a player.

“The Scarlets have a proud history of producing home-grown talent. We had seven players with Wales U20s at the World Championships in Argentina recently, a number of the boys are currently training with the senior squad and there are a lot of good, younger boys coming through the system as well.

“I am looking forward to getting stuck in here.”

Phillips, who will continue as head coach of the Quins, will work alongside Richard Kelly, Paul Fisher and development pathway manager Kevin George in bringing through the next generation of Scarlets stars.

“It is great for us to be able to appoint someone of Emyr’s calibre,” said George.

“We had 50 applicants for the post and Emyr came through a rigorous recruitment process.

“He was one of the leaders of the Scarlets’ senior group before he retired, always gave 100% to the cause and he is the type of character we want around here to help the young players in the next phase of their rugby careers.”

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Ospreys set for Gnoll return

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Ospreys will return to the scene of their first-ever competitive fixture – and first league title win – next month when they kick-start their 2019/20 preparations at the home of Neath RFC.

The historic Gnoll ground will host the Region’s first pre-season fixture, on Friday 30th August, KO 7.30pm, the first time that the Ospreys have played against Hartpury RFC from the Greene King IPA Championship.

It will be the first time that the Ospreys have played a senior fixture at the Gnoll since a crowd of more than 4,000 turned up to watch a young Maro Itoje lead Saracens to a 21-9 win in an LV-Cup tie in November 2014 – although age-grade and development fixtures have been played there regularly since.

A great way to end the summer and kick-off the new campaign, the game is included in a full-season membership.

Tickets are now available to buy at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets priced at just £10 for adults and £8 for concessions.

All U16s are FREE but must collect a ticket from the Ticket Office in advance to ensure admission.

The fixture marks a welcome return to a familiar old venue, one which played joint home to the Ospreys for the first two years of our existence, prior to the opening of the Liberty Stadium in 2005.

The Gnoll hosted the Ospreys’ opening Celtic League game, the first competitive game for the Region, in September 2003.

A crowd of 4,250 was present that evening to see the home team secure a 41-30 win over Ulster.

The Ospreys clinched a first ever Celtic League title with a 29-12 win over Edinburgh at the Gnoll in March 2005, the last competitive fixture played by the team in Neath prior to the move to the Liberty that autumn.

Seating is unreserved on a first come, first served basis for this game, which is sure to prove a memorable occasion as the Ospreys return to famous old ground.

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