Plain English campaign news articles
The Plain English Awards 2008
- Created on Tuesday, 09 December 2008 01:00
The Plain English Awards 2008 have now been announced. The press release showing the award winners is available as a PDF document (50 KB). You can also download a copy of the awards ceremony programme (PDF, 48KB).
The Independent calls for an end to gobbledygook language on food
- Created on Monday, 22 December 2008 01:00
Plain English Campaign fully supports clear and honest communications because they help people to make informed decisions.
Plain English Campaign has been fighting for clearer communications in food labelling since 1999.
New Plain English Campaign Website
- Created on Tuesday, 27 January 2009 13:41
As you can see, we have recently moved to a new web page design. We apologise for any temporary errors that occur whilst we are updating, but hope that you will like the new design and improved features.
Barking mad? Marking mad!
- Created on Friday, 18 July 2008 15:40
Plain English Campaign has highlighted the poorly-marked Standard Assessment Tests (SATS) released by a Lancashire head teacher as an example of the plummeting literacy standards in schools. Janis Burden, of Moss Side Primary in Chorley, revealed that an essay littered with spelling and grammatical errors had received a higher mark than another, more literate one.
The campaign’s media advisor, Steve Jenner, said: “The marking of English SATs has been a standing joke in the teaching profession for years. Many teachers see the SATs, their administration, preparation and marking as a national scandal. They are often badly marked and returned late to schools. Teenagers who haven’t passed their A-levels have been employed to mark papers. This means that results are often called into question by the schools, and parents don’t have a reliable indication of how well their child has actually done.”
The SATs marking system has already run into serious problems, with MPs and senior teachers expressing concerns about the company appointed by the government to mark the tests. Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, has refused to apologise for the debacle.
Steve Jenner added “We congratulate Janis Burden on taking a stand. To award higher marks to papers containing lots of mistakes is frankly ridiculous. It is time for ministers to take action to make sure this sort of thing stops. We need to have a real debate about the best way to teach our children how to read and write. And SAT markers should have the relevant subject knowledge and expertise.”
The 10p tax band explained
- Created on Wednesday, 23 April 2008 02:00
But when it comes to numbers we have to hold our hands up in despair on occasion – for example if asked to explain the 10% (10p) tax band.
Fortunately, we have access to accounting expertise and we have set out below a clear explanation of the tax band change for people who are struggling to understand it. In 2007/2008 everyone who earned enough was entitled to the 10% tax band (on the first £2,230 of income above the personal allowance).
In 2008/2009 the loss of this tax band will cost extra tax on most salaries up to £16,499. Most people earning more than £16,500 will pay less tax.
From 6 April 2008 the amount you can earn before you start to pay tax has been raised from £5,225 a year to £5,435. At the same time the 10% tax rate has ended and the basic rate of tax has been lowered from 22% to 20%.
So, as an example, if your wage was £8,000 in tax year 2007/2008, after taking away your tax free allowance of £5,225 you would have paid tax on £2,775 (£8,000 minus £5,225).
The first £2,230 would have been taxed at 10% which equals £223.
The remaining £545 would have been taxed at 22% which equals £119.90
So you would have paid £342.90 tax on the £8,000 you earned in 2007/2008.
With the new tax rates, if your wage is still £8,000 in 2008/2009, after taking away your tax free allowance of £5,435 (raised from £5,225 in 2007/2008), you will pay tax on £2,565, at 20% which equals £513. So you will have £170.10 less this year than last (£513 - £342.90).
This is £14.17 less each month.
In 2008/2009, most people earning less than £16,500 will be worse off after tax than they were in 2007/2008 and those earning £16,500 and above could be better off.
Recent survey results from national media sources shows that in 2007 the 1,000 wealthiest people in Britain had a total wealth of £412 billion (£412,000 million). That is four times more than they had in 1997.