National / International News

First time buyer loans up on 2013

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 03:28
Loans to first-time buyers in Wales have risen by 30% compared to the first quarter of last year, latest figures show.

Care 'failings' over drowned baby

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 03:22
A baby who died while in the care of his drug addict parents may have lived if social workers had taken him into care from birth, a report finds.

Ukraine Promises To Crush Insurgency; Chechnya Denies Sending Troops

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 03:22

Chechnya's leader says the country hasn't sent fighters to join rebels in eastern Ukraine, denying a charge that gained substance when Chechens were reportedly found after recent fighting.

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120 jobs to be cut at NI Electricity

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 03:15
Northern Ireland Electricity is to cut its workforce by 120, a move it blames on the need to make "a significant reduction" in its operating costs.

Hansen questions timing of tour

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 03:15
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says England's three-Test series against New Zealand should have been rescheduled to July.

Archbishop to meet Pope next month

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 03:13
The Archbishop of Canterbury is to meet the Pope during a visit to Rome next month, it is confirmed.

Employers must treat ACA stipends as taxable income

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 03:01

A recent IRS ruling underscores how serious the Obama Administration is about encouraging employers to keep providing health insurance to their workers.

If businesses stop offering the benefit and give employees a stipend to help cover costs on the health exchanges they must treat that as taxable income, or face fines of more than $30,000 dollars a year per worker.

There’s some concern that as the Affordable Care Act picks up steam, employers will get out of the healthcare business. But PricewaterhouseCooper’s Ceci Connolly says that overstates what she’s hearing from company executives.

"They’re saying we want to know what our options particularly for saving some money," she says. You’d think dropping employee health insurance might do that, but Connolly says the math is pretty clear.

As long as companies can write off contributions, employers and employees make out better than if worker’s got a stipend for an exchange because everyone would pay taxes on those stipends.

On top of that, Brian Marcotte with the National Business Group on Health says many employers question these exchanges.

"What’s different in terms of how care is delivered, how care is managed? Is it any better than what’s being done today," he says.

Remember many of the country’s largest employers are self-insured. Marcotte says businesses continue to believe they can do a better job controlling costs, but would be happy for the exchanges to prove them wrong.

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