Trump’s minions know the dam is about to break and a huge cesspool is waiting, and they seek only to delay the inevitable—and cover their tracks.Editor’s Note: This headline has been changed for clarification. – Advertisement – I believe that once Biden’s team does gain access to what is happening from an internal perspective, they are going to be appalled at the degree of inaction and wholesale lack of any efforts whatsoever to address these challenges. They will find instead a network of utter incompetence and indifference to planning, strategy or policy, staggering in its depth, and the Trump people know this. They will find security threats and intel festering, ignored, or shunted aside in favor of groveling to Trump’s every chimerical whim. They will find communications from our overseas allies to have shriveled into nothingness, and our intelligence services put at risk, if not wholly ignored. They will find corruption, graft, kickbacks and politicization to have completely replaced national security policy.They will find only token measures performed with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all of those measures redounding to the Trump family’s personal coffers and the interests of those still employed within the highest level of the administration. They will find no coherent policies, plans, or measures in place to address the economic calamity facing tens of millions of Americans, and they will find our national security apparatus on the cusp of disaster, with only half-baked plans geared less to satisfy the interests and safety of American citizens than to fulfill the wishlists of foreign adversaries.The Trump people know this is what they are on track to leave behind for the Biden people, which is why they’re very busy right now, deleting or destroying as much information as they can. They’re trying to stave off the horror they know will ensue when Biden’s team gains access and finds out what really has—and hasn’t—been going on. – Advertisement – Rice explains:While we are extremely fortunate that Mr. Biden may be the most experienced president-elect ever to take office and brings with him a deep bench of highly qualified, knowledgeable experts, the Trump administration’s continued refusal to execute a responsible transition puts our national security at risk. Without access to critical threat information, no incoming team can counter what it can’t see coming.If, today, the Trump administration is tracking potential or actual threats — for instance, Russian bounties on American soldiers, a planned terrorist attack on an embassy, a dangerously mutated coronavirus, or Iranian and North Korean provocations — but fails to share this information in a timely fashion with the Biden-Harris team, it could cost us dearly in terms of American lives.I would suggest one reason the Trump people are denying Biden’s team access to high-level intelligence as long as they possibly can with respect to the three most predominant issues (national security, the pandemic, and the economy): There are virtually no policies put in place by the current administration to address any of these concerns in any meaningful, substantive way.- Advertisement –
“Thus pension funds operating schemes that are subject to VAT – eg defined benefit schemes – may expect a reduction in fees.”Northern Ireland scheme begins shift out of equitiesNorthern Ireland’s local government pension scheme (LGPS) posted a 21.7% investment return in the 12 months to 30 March, according to its annual report.The Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee (NILGOSC) reported that the pension fund grew to more than £7bn by the end of March.During the year, NILGOSC appointed Unigestion to a £327m global equity mandate and allocated £100m to the M&G UK Residential Property fund.“This latter commitment forms part of NILGOSC’s medium-term strategy to reduce reliance on global equity markets and diversify its returns by investing in assets that provide longer term, stable and inflation-linked cashflows,” the pension fund said.As part of the move to reduce equity exposure, NILGOSC initiated the sale of £175m of UK equities, crystallising gains. It also put in place a 50% hedge of its US dollar exposure.The fund increased its exposure to infrastructure to 1% of the portfolio during the 2016-17 period. The investment was made through a collaborative venture with the Lothian Pension Fund in Scotland, and included a £10m co-investment.NILGOSC said: “The underlying principle behind this collaboration on alternative investments is to identify assets that are in the mutual interest of investors and their stakeholders, specifically through the benefits of scale and improved commercial terms.“It is intended that this co-investment strategy will sit alongside the core primary infrastructure funds to help NILGOSC build a diversified portfolio of assets in line with its strategic allocation to the asset class.”Isle of Man public sector liabilities rocket by 28%The Isle of Man’s public sector pension liabilities increased by more than a quarter in the 2016-17 financial year, according to an actuarial report.The report by Hymans Robertson said that combined liabilities for five local government schemes grew from just under £3bn to £3.8bn, an increase of 27.8%.The schemes are largely unfunded, with benefits being paid from government accounts and a small reserve fund, worth £82.4m at the end of March.Earlier this year, unions approved a plan to increase contributions to the largest of the island’s public sector funds, the Government Unified Pension Scheme. In March this year contributions rose by 2.5 percentage points to 7.5%, while benefits were reduced by 6%.The five schemes cater for more than 20,000 active, deferred and pensioner members. UK-based asset managers face a £40m (€44.7m) annual tax bill as a result of investment research cost unbundling, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).The OBR – set up in 2010 to provide an independent review of the government’s fiscal policies – said the effect of MiFID II rules would cause investment research to be subject to VAT.Last month, EY senior manager Jochum Zutt said defined benefit schemes could make a saving on investment costs due to the tax change.He said: “The costs incurred throughout the supply chain would reduce as a result of the research being taxable. This is because the broker providing research to this investment manager would be slightly better off compared to the current position, as it would be entitled to recover VAT associated with the research.
Fianna Fàil is looking for a dedicated social media officer pic.twitter.com/9sYo2op7ZD— Hugh O’Connell (@oconnellhugh) August 15, 2014 Of the other parties’ social media presence, Fine Gael regularly produces high-quality campaign and candidate videos. It employs a dedicated social media manager at its headquarters in Dublin.Labour, which was the first Irish political party on Twitter, employs a head of online who handles the party’s social media presence but it also adopts an “all encompassing” approach to social media, a spokesperson said.“All of the parliamentary assistants for TDs and senators would also be helping with their respective TD or Senator’s social media presence,” they added.Sinn Féin has two people who handle social media – one at its head office and one in Leinster House – but all press officers are expected to have a proficiency in social media, a spokesperson said.Read: Taoiseach’s ‘day in the life’ video part of government’s growing social media presenceRead: Government departments urged to use social media and communicate online Source: Hugh O’Connell/Twitter FIANNA FÁIL IS looking to hire a dedicated social media officer in the run up the next general election highlighting the growing importance of online communication platforms.The party is looking for someone to fill a new position who has the “skills and experience to help the party build its presence and campaigning activity online”.“The successful candidate will have experience in designing campaigns through social media networks, will have a strong interest in politics and will be a team player,” the ad in today’s Irish Times says.The position is a first for the party which is already extremely active on Twitter and Facebook as well as maintaining a YouTube account where it posts TDs’ and Senators’ speeches and videos about transparency at Irish Water.A spokesperson said while social media has been the responsibility of all press officers up until now, Fianna Fáil is now “investing in a larger team with the general election coming up”.