Government still shilly-shallying over pensions
Last week the Telegraph reported that the Government had been sounding out MPs over suspending the pensions triple lock mechanism. This small increase in the basic pension would make a big difference to many impoverished pensioners who are suffering in silence. The triple lock sounds fancy but it just means that pensions keep pace with rising prices.
The next day it was reported that Treasury officials were given pay rises of up to 30% and £15,000 bonuses during the pandemic. The full basic State Pension provides less that half of one of those bonuses, and is supposed to last a pensioner a year.
The phrase shilly-shally was first used in Sir Richard Steele’s stage play The tender husband, or the accomplish’d fools written in 1703: “I’m for marrying her at once – Why should I stand shilly-shally, like a Country Bumpkin?” Prior to that William Congreve’s play of 1700, The way of the world, included the phrase, “shill-I shall-I.”
No evidence of Covid on trains
A new study by Imperial College London found no evidence of coronavirus on any surface (ticket machines, escalators etc) or any airborne particles. They tested mainline stations at Euston, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
Back in November the Evening Standard was reporting that Govia Thameslink Railway said that their anti-viral disinfectant kept surfaces Covid free for up to 3 weeks. TFL reported the same – that Covid-19 did not survive their cleaning programme on the handrails and poles on the underground.
Coronavirus is not spread by handling cash. New study.
Researchers at Ruhr University in Bochum contaminated banknotes and coins and found that: “Under realistic conditions, infection with Sars-Cov-2 from cash is very unlikely.” Coronavirus survived 3 days on banknotes, and two days on silver coins, but the virus did not transmit to the test subjects who touched them with their fingers.
The scientists concluded that Covid-19 is mostly spread though aerosols and droplets in the air.
Bow Road cycle killer jailed
Peter McCombe, aged 72, died after being hit by a cyclist who jumped a red light on 3rd June last year. The cyclist, Ermir Loka, got back on his bike and fled the scene. He later turned himself in nearly two months later – presumably after being clearly identified. The illegal Albanian immigrant and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Round up your old paper banknotes.
The Bank of England says you’ve still got a year to use them.
Once a note has been removed from circulation, a bank or Post Office has no legal obligation to exchange them. But they’ll most likely allow you to pay them in to your account.
If you get stuck or have ancient British currency, the Bank of England has a counter in Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8AH, which will exchange it. It’s open 9.30am – 3pm Mon – Fri.