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Morfitt & Turnbull

Issue 38   

Christmas facts:
Fun things Yule probably
not know about Christmas.

Have you ever stopped to wonder how these traditions started - why we kiss under the mistletoe, or give each other stockings full of goodies? Here are some festive facts to get you even more in the mood for Christmas.
  Fun Facts
Speedy Santa US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world's presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second.
Robins Robins on cards were a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics and were named after them.
Xmas The abbreviation Xmas isn't irreligious. The letter X is a Greek abbreviation for Christ.
Mince Pies Although now mostly vegetarian, in Victorian times, mince pies were made with beef and spices. Mince Pie
Tangerines The tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor.
Three Wise Men Despite the tale of three wise men paying homage to baby Jesus, the Bible never gives a number. Matthew's Gospel refers merely to "wise men".
Carols & Cards Carols weren't sung in churches until they were introduced by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century. The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843. Featuring a family drinking wine, one sold for £8,469 last year.
Stockings Hanging stockings out comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.
Christmas Trees Nearly 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe. Electric tree lights were invented by Edward Johnson in the US in 1882. They may date back to pagan traditions, but the earliest known reference to a Christmas tree is in a German pamphlet from 1570.
Tallest Tree The world's tallest Xmas tree at 221ft high was erected in a Washington shopping mall in 1950.
White Christmas The chances of a white Christmas are just 1 in 10 for England and Wales, and 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Jingle Bells James Pierpont's 1857 song Jingle Bells was first called One Horse Open Sleigh and was written for Thanksgiving. Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra sang it on December 16, 1965.
Turkey Before turkey, the traditional Christmas meal in England was a pig's head and mustard.
Banning Christmas In 1647, after the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned festivities. The law wasn't lifted until 1660.
World's Biggest Snowman In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in America built the world's biggest ever snowman. He stood at 113ft tall.
Eating a Christmas Tree Many parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten, with the needles being a good source of Vitamin C.
Shopping Spree The long shopping spree before Christmas began in America when relatives of soldiers, posted overseas in the Second World War, were encouraged to mail gifts early.
The Many Names of Santa Santa has different names around the world - Kriss Kringle in Germany, Le Befana in Italy, Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
Bing Crosby The bestselling Xmas single ever is Bing Crosby's White Christmas, shifting over 50million copies worldwide since 1942. In Britain, the best-selling festive single is Band Aid's 1984 track, Do They Know It's Christmas?, which sold 3.5million copies. Wham! is next in the same year with Last Christmas, selling 1.4million. Bing Crosby
Oslo Since 1947 Oslo has sent an Xmas tree to London to thank us for our help in the Second World War.
Christmas Pudding Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.
Crackers London sweet maker Tom Smith created the first Christmas crackers in 1847, based on the sweet wrapper design. The largest Christmas cracker - 45.72m long and 3.04m in diameter - was pulled in Australia in 1991.
Boxing Day Boxing Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-"boxes" for the poor.
Mistletoe Kisses Kissing under the mistletoe is thought to spring from Frigga, the Norse goddess of love, who was associated with the plant.
The First Christmas The first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.
Christmas Bonus Law In Greece, Italy, Spain & Germany, workers get a Christmas bonus of one month's salary by law (I think this one could be a popular addition to UK law).
Have a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year. All the very best.


Adam's Technical...  The Autumn Budget
The chancellor, Philip Hammond, provided us with the first Autumn Budget on the 22 November 2017. Below I have highlighted a number of points that were announced:
  The current adult ISA allowance of £20,000 will remain the same in the 2018/19 tax year. The Junior ISA allowance will increase to £4,260 from 6 April 2018.
  For first time buyers only changes to Stamp Duty Tax on a main residence property took place for purchases made on or after the 22/11/2017. Properties bought for up to £300,000 will no longer be subject to Stamp Duty. Ones bought between £300,001 and £500,000 will be subject to tax of 5% on the excess over £300,000. For properties purchased over £500,000 Stamp Duty will be payable at the normal rates.
  The personal allowance for income tax will be £11,850 for the 2018/19 tax year (previously £11,500). The basic rate tax band of 20% will increase from £33,500 to £34,500. This means that tax at 40% is levied on income between £46,350 and £150,000 and tax at 45% on income over £150,000.

Anyone with income assessable to income tax will continue to lose £1 of their personal allowance for every £2 of income over £100,000. This means the £11,850 personal allowance will be foregone once income is over £123,700.
  The Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount will increase by £400 to £11,700 from the 2018/19 tax year. The amount for trusts is half of this.
  The basic State Pension will increase by 3% in April 2018.
  The allowance of £5,000 where no tax is payable on dividend income first introduced in the 2016/17 tax year will reduce by £3,000 to £2,000 from 6 April 2018. Trusts do not receive this nil rate band.
  The Inheritance Tax allowance remains at £325,000 for 2018/19. The Residence Nil Rate Band introduced in April 2017 of £100,000 will increase to £125,000 on the 6 April 2018.
  The amount of pension fund that can be accrued without potentially facing a tax charge will increase from £1 million to £1,030,000 next April in-line with the increase in the Consumer Prices Index.
  The amount that can be contributed into a pension remains at £40,000 for the 2018/19 tax year. Higher contributions may be possible where unused allowances from the previous three tax years are available.

Gareth Says... 

Following the recent increase in the Bank of England base rate from 0.25% to 0.5% the rates of Interest are increasing on the following NS&I products from December 1st.
NS&I account Balance  Current rate New higher rate
 Direct ISA  £1+  0.75%
 Direct Saver   £1+  0.70%
 Income Bonds  £500+    0.75%
 Investment Account  £1+    0.45%
 Junior ISA   £1+  2.00%
Many of you have taken out Income Bonds with NS&I, the good news is that the increase of their rates is in line with the recent increase in interest rates. They now pay 1%. Don’t forget they will guarantee £1m per person not £85,000 as with other financial institutions.

If you’d like to find out more about any of NS&I’s products just let us know.
Bitcoin – What’s all the fuss?

It is gaining traction as a currency, because people want it to be one, we can have anything we decide as currency. The Romans used salt as a currency, early settlers used beads to trade with native Americans and the Fijians used Whales teeth!

The cynics would say it is being used to avoid tax, launder money, avoiding exchange control in countries that will not allow the free movement of their currency etc. Therefore Government will probably want to regulate its use to ensure that they get their share, then we’ll see the longevity of it!
Is this another bubble? – Probably.  My advice – If you don’t understand it - stay away!

Staff Matters
It was the office Christmas Party on Friday 8th December in Knutsford and here are a few snaps of the event! Any guesses on our theme for this year?
  Xmas Party Xmas Party
The M&T office will be closed as follows:

Close: 12.30 p.m. Thursday 21st December 2017
Reopen: 8.30 a.m. Tuesday 2nd January 2018

See you in 2018! Our valuation dates are scheduled for,
Friday 23rd February, Friday 29th June, and Friday 19th October


No. 1 Booths Park, Chelford Road, Knutsford, WA16 8GS
Tel: 01565 624 370   Email: 

Morfitt and Turnbull (Management Services) Limited 
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered Number 740613 England

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