Data published today by the Office for National Statistics once again shows that earnings have not risen above the rate of inlfation for the 5th year running.
An interesting news story I am going to use as a starter/bell work with my GCSE class - lots of issues to generate debate such as:-
1. Difference between men/womens earnings
2. Part-time workers doing better than full time wokers
3. Farmers and Undertakers wages increasing by over 20%
Article is here: Earnings rise slower than inflation
It's forty years since Slade recorded Merry Christmas Everybody (...apologies to those who are made to feel old by that statement). And yet, it remains at the top of the charts of royalty-earning Christmas songs, making an amazing £800,000 each year - a nice little pension for the group!
The list of the top ten Christmas songs is published today in the Metro, with the amount that each has earned so far this year in royalties for radio, television, jukebox and shop plays as well as compilation album sales - and this is with two weeks still to go.
1. Slade – ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ £512,000
2. Pogues – Fairytale Of New York’ £386,270
3. Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ £347,615
4. Wham – ‘Last Christmas’ £301,622
5. Cliff Richard – ‘Mistletoe & Wine’ £98,408
6. Band Aid – ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas’ £78,030
7. Shakin’ Stevens – ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ £53,834
8. Pretenders – ’2000 Miles’ £45,344
9. East 17 – ‘Stay Another Day’ £30,219
10. John Lewie – ‘Stop The Calvary’ £13,258
And if the list makes you feel nostalgic for the Ghosts of Christmas Past, you can really indulge yourself as the report in the Metro contains links to the videos for all ten of them!
Here's a proposal for your Christmas lessons - start with some serious reading about the royalties to be earned at Christmas by songs and films that hit the jackpot, such as this item from Independent.ie, then challenge your students to name the top ten most played Christmas songs. Reveal the list above, and ask them to re-compose the words for one of the songs on the theme of whatever topic you are studying at the time.
And you could treat them to the videos as background while they are at it!
Comic Relief invested in arms, and tobacco companies. Is this a shock, or does it reflect the difficulties of keeping a balance between the interests of all stakeholders albeit media, staff, charities, corporate sponsors, the public, politicans et al.
Money given to the charity Comic Relief is often used to buy stocks and shares. The rates of return may be higher than interest paid on deposit accounts at high street banks. However, in 2009, £630,000 of the monies raised, were used to purchase shares in BAe Systems, whose products include fast jet fighter bombers, tanks, and other armaments. Yet Comic Relief's mission statement claimed it was committed to helping "people affected by conflict." It does beg the question what instructions were given to fund managers at the time. The BBC article implied that the charity also placed £300,000 into shares in Diageo, a major player in the alcohol industry. Was this at variance with the mission statement to "working to reduce alcohol misuse and minimise alcohol related harm?" Comic Relief also appeals for money to fight tuberculosis, over £300,000 was donated by Comic Relief to the charity Target TB.This charity believes that smoking may be responsible for over 20% of TB cases worldwide, but c. £3m of Comic Relief's funds were invested in shares of tobacco firms. But should work with that charity really drive your trustee's decisions about investments?
Peter Bennett-Jones, a former Chairman of Comic Relief's trustees stated, in an article in The Guardian, that "The Charity Commission guidance is quite clear that trustees must invest for the best possible financial return, while taking a level of risk appropriate for money in their care. They should only adopt an ethical investment approach with specific justification and not on the grounds of individual moral views." As Comic Relief has many broad aims, it becomes very difficult to exclude some investments,if there is a fundamental requirement to maximise returns.
If you are donating to a charity should you look closely at its accounts, how significant are its overheads - salaries of senior staff, cost of offices. Do you want to support their lifestyle or how the funds are used? On the other hand, if you are selecting managed funds, are ethical funds significantly worse than general funds. As a trustee your aim is to maximise the return, and it might mean compromises which appear to conflict with the mission statement. All stakeholders in a firm or organisation have ethical values, are we really expected to believe that some ethics are more valuable than others?
Copyright Tutor2u All Rights Reserved www.tutor2u.net