POLITICS & POLICY

UK – Homelessness: Budget review

The Chancellor George Osborne has announced that he will add extra cash in Wednesday’s budget to address the recent increase in homelessness in the UK. More than £100m will be allocated to helping people at risk of being forced to live on the streets. £10m of this will be spent on preventing homelessness from expanding further, while another part will be used to supply 2,000 accommodations.

Source: The Guardian, 15/03/2016

The Netherlands – Pension funds: insufficient coverage

Dutch pension funds have been hit by low interest rates and stock market prices, which have worsened their financial position over the last month. In fact, four of the five biggest funds do not currently reach the 90% required coverage level (i.e. the ability cover pension obligations), as a consequence of which they will probably need to cut payments next year. For instance, ABP, one of the most important funds in the world, currently has a coverage ratio of 88%. Junior social affairs minister Jetta Klijnsma will discuss the problem with the Dutch central bank this week.

Source: Dutch News, 16/03/2016


THE STATEMENT

“The Commission’s overall assessment reiterates a number of concerns that still need to be addressed. Bulgaria should focus its efforts on removing controversy about political influence on the judicial system and integrity issues regarding appointments, as well as the need to improve on the monitoring and the addressing of deficiencies, and the effective implementation of court judgments. Pursuing reforms of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) and the prosecution office, and strengthening the powers of the Judicial Inspectorate (ISJC) remain of key importance. (…) The fight against corruption, in particular at high level, needs to be intensified, to bring about concrete and sustained results, including in improving the transparency of public tender procedures”.

 The Council of the European Union

Source: Novinite, 15/03/2016


NUMBERS

1%

The percentage by which unemployment dropped in Bulgaria compared to February 2015.

Source: Novinite, 15/03/2016

 

4.8%

The percentage by which Hungary’s agricultural prices increased in January.

Source: Bbj, 11/03/2016


Photo Credits CC: International Monetary Fund


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