UK looks to bring in new inflation measure

first_imgThe UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) intends to use a new measure of inflation in a move that could spark fresh debate about index-linked benefits.The measure, CPIH, was first introduced by the ONS in 2010 and designed to reflect housing costs better than the existing consumer prices index (CPI).John Pullinger, the national statistician, announced yesterday that CPIH would be the ONS’s preferred inflation measure effective from March next year.Consultancy firm LCP said the move could open the door for the government to adopt CPIH for social security and pension benefits in the Autumn Statement, to be delivered on 23 November. The older CPI measure of inflation forms part of the state pension’s ‘triple lock’, which ministers want reviewed.Public sector pension benefits are linked to inflation, so any change in government policy could be applied to these pensions.However, the effect on private sector funds is less clear.Lynda Whitney, partner at Aon Hewitt, said the implications would depend on individual scheme rules, and trustees would have to be sure to communicate clearly any changes to members’ benefits.The pension fund for children’s charity Barnardo’s last week lost an appeal to switch its inflation measure from the retail prices index (RPI) to CPI.RPI is typically higher than CPI, so a switch to the latter would reduce future liabilities.UK government index-linked bonds use RPI, but last year saw the issue of a handful of CPI-linked bonds.No bonds have yet been issued using CPIH.Richard Gibson, an associate at Barnett Waddingham, said: “If the government were to issue CPIH-linked debt, that would provide welcome relief to pension funds that are seeking assets that more closely match their liabilities and likely reduce buyout prices for most schemes. We hope they will put this question out to consultation in due course.”However, Aon Hewitt’s Whitney cast doubt on the government’s appetite for such issuance.“CPI has been around for quite some time, but there has been extreme reluctance to issue CPI-linked debt,” she said.“Also, politically, the fact RPI is higher than CPI means the government doesn’t want to change it.”In addition, while Whitney agreed pension funds would be likely to buy into longer-dated CPIH bonds, she questioned whether there would be sufficient demand for the short end of the yield curve.last_img read more

Taylor hits record ton as Windies chase mammoth total

first_imgROSS Taylor joined Martin Crowe and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson atop the country’s list for hundreds after finishing 107 not out on day three in Hamilton.Ross Taylor celebrated a record-equalling 17th Test century for New Zealand to leave West Indies fighting to avoid a series whitewash.The 33-year-old raised his bat during the final session of yesterday’s play at Seddon Park before the hosts declared on 291-8 in their second innings – a lead of 443.The Kiwis – who won the series opener by an innings and 67 runs – wanted to have a crack at West Indies’ vulnerable batting line-up late in the day, having skittled the Caribbean visitors for 221 in the first innings.And it proved to be a wise decision by Williamson as Trent Boult (1-11) claimed the wicket of opener Kieran Powell, who finished with a pair. Shimron Hetmyer (15) fell victim to Tim Southee (1-18) following a poor shot – the Windies reaching 30-2 at stumps, still needing 414 runs to win.New Zealand were in control upon the resumption of play yesterday, with the Windies resuming at 215-8 in response to the Black Caps’ 373.West Indies only added six runs to their overnight score as Boult (4-73) cleaned up the tail via Miguel Cummins (15) and Shannon Gabriel (0).The Windies, though, made a bright start with the ball after openers Jeet Raval (4) and Tom Latham (22) fell cheaply.Raval – who missed out on a century in the first innings – was caught and bowled by in-form paceman Cummins (3-69), while Latham was trapped lbw by debutant Raymon Reifer (1-52) as the Black Caps slumped to 42-2.That brought Williamson (54) and Taylor together, and the pair steadied the ship, with the former bringing up his 26th Test fifty before a Cummins yorker shortly after lunch sent the skipper back to the pavilion.Henry Nicholls’ (5) stay at the crease was brief, dismissed by Cummins in his very next over after edging to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.Mitchell Santner teamed up with centurion Taylor and he added 26, though he never looked comfortable after being struck in the helmet in a nervy moment.Santner tried to get under the ball and ducked from a Cummins delivery but he misjudged the length as the ball cannoned into his helmet.Colin de Grandhomme (22) was the other notable scorer for New Zealand before he was dismissed in bizarre and confusing circumstances.De Grandhomme was hit on the pad by Gabriel and the Windies’ appeals for lbw were turned down by umpire Rod Tucker, leading to a review and TV umpire Ian Gould instructed the on-field boss to stick with his original decision after looking at ‘Snicko’ technology.However, Gould forgot to check ‘ball tracking’ for lbw, which showed the delivery was going on to hit the stumps just as West Indies were about to protest the not-out decision. NEW ZEALAND 1st innings 373WEST INDIES 2nd innings (overnight 215 for eight)K. Brathwaite c Southee b de Grandhomme 66K. Powell c Blundell b Southee 0S. Hetmyer c & b Boult 28S. Hope c Taylor b Southee 15R. Chase b de Grandhomme 12S. Ambris hit wkt b Boult 2S. Dowrich c & b Wagner 35R. Reifer not out 23K. Roach c Boult b Wagner 17M. Cummins b Boult 15S. Gabriel b Boult 0Extras: (b-1, w-7) 8Total: (all out, 66.5 overs) 221Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-46, 3-90, 4-112, 5-117, 6-135, 7-169, 8-204, 9-221, 10-221.Bowling: Bowling: Southee 19-9-34-2 (w1), Boult 20.5-5-73-4 (w2), de Grandhomme 12-1-40-2, Wagner 15-2-73-2.NEW ZELAND 2nd inningsJ. Raval c & b Cummins 4T. Latham lbw b Reifer 22K. Williamson b Cummins 54R. Taylor not out 107H. Nicholls c wkp. Dowrich b Cummins 5M Santner c Ambris b Chase 26C de Grandhomme lbw b Gabriel 22T. Blundell c Powell b Gabriel 1N. Wagner c Hope b Chase 8T. Southee not out 22Extras: (b-4, lb-2, w-2, nb-12) 20Total: (8 wkts decl., 77.4 overs) 291Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-42, 3-100, 4-111, 5-161, 6-212, 7-235, 8-257.Bowling: Gabriel 15-0-52-2 (nb-8), Roach 6-1-28-0 (nb-1), Cummins 17-1-69-3 (w-1, nb-2), Reifer 13-1-52-1 (w-1, nb-1), Brathwaite 9-0-33-0, Chase 17.4-1-51-2.WEST INDIES 2nd innings (target: 444 runs)K. Brathwaite not out 13K. Powell c Southee b Boult 0S. Hetmyer c Wagner b Southee 15S. Hope not out 1Extras: (lb-1) 1Total: (2 wkts, 8 overs) 30Fall of wickets: 1-4, 2-27.Bowling: Southee 4-0-18-1, Boult 4-0-11-1.Position: West Indies require a further 414 runs for victory with eight wickets remaining.last_img read more

Clippers prepare for road opener against ‘red hot’ New Orleans Pelicans

first_imgThey’re having fun in New Orleans. Naturally so, but the Pelicans basketball team that awaits the Clippers on Tuesday has come out swinging especially hard this season, to the tune of a scorching 140 points per game.Their 280 points through the first two games was the second-highest first-two-game total in NBA history. The 149 they scored in their home opener against the Sacramento Kings was a franchise record. All that offensive noise has come largely from Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic, who is the league’s second-leading scorer so far (33 points per game), and Anthony Davis, who is its seventh-leading scorer (28.5).From the sound of it, the Crescent City could prove a tough town for “Clamp City,” although the 2-1 Clippers aren’t exactly limping into their first road game this season. In fact, they’re feeling pretty good – healthy and riding a two-game winning streak following victories against the short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder and the Chris Paul-less Houston Rockets.Coach Doc Rivers and staff have managed some effective in-game tinkering, making the most of a versatile roster down the stretch. In Sunday’s victory against Houston, Rivers sent forth a late-game lineup of Danilo Gallinari, Tobias Harris, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – the team’s third closing unit in as many games.“This group is just an interesting group,” Rivers said afterward. “You’re just sitting there trying to figure out each night. For me, it was really difficult to try to figure out the combination of offense and defense and having the right amount of both. We found it, but it was interesting. I’m learning this team.” Along with Williams and Gilgeous-Alexander, Harris has been a consistent presence on the floor late.“Doc is going to do what’s best for the team to win games,” said Harris, who is averaging a team-high 22.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. “At the end of the day, we have to be OK with that.“It takes a lot from, let’s say, a guy like Gallo, (who) last game had 26 points but didn’t end the game,” Harris continued. “But we ended up winning. That’s the sacrifice it takes the team to make. That’s the type of sacrifice different guys are going to have to make on a nightly basis with matchups and with the flow and pace of the game.“That’s the beauty of our team, we have a lot of depth and a lot of guys. We have to be encouraging and wanting for one another when the opportunity sets itself. Everybody has to be ready.” In recent seasons, the Clippers have been relatively successful against the Pelicans, defeating them in 16 of their previous 25 meetings.  But this year’s New Orleans team is really grooving.“New Orleans is red hot right now,” Clippers guard Lou Williams said. “They’re in a great groove, got a lot of guys back, basically the same group, just added Julius Randle (who’s averaging 19 points per game). With how they want to play fast, I think he matches that mesh. It’s working for them, so we’ll go to New Orleans and try to get a win.”AGUA CALIENTE CAMP OPENSThe Clippers’ G-League affiliate opens training camp this week with a roster that includes one returning player, two affiliate players, four players acquired via trade, two via the G-League Draft and four via local tryout.Among them is Anthony Bennett, a former No. 1 overall draft pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013. The Clippers acquired the Canadian power forward from the Maine Red Claws earlier this month in a trade.Related Articles Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 center_img For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more