Daily Archives:December 8, 2017

Parents will ‘skip meals’ in order to buy Christmas gifts

08 Dec 17
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  • Many parents do not save for Christmas causing financial strain
  • Would happily pay a 30% premium to secure sold out toys for their children
  • Expert says too many people are ‘under social pressure’ to buy festive gifts 

The true cost of Christmas for some has been laid bare by research showing some parents are willing to skip meals and sacrifice holidays in order to buy gifts.

Revealing the pressure that parents feel under at this time of year, one in three admit to dipping into their overdrafts and savings to finance presents, with a fifth admitting it is a huge financial burden.

One in five also do not save any money at all for Christmas gifts, according to the research from Barclays, despite some of the most sought after toys costing hundreds of pounds.

Toy trouble: Research suggests that parents are under social pressure to buy 'must have' toys - and will pay a 30% premium to secure them

Toy trouble: Research suggests that parents are under social pressure to buy ‘must have’ toys – and will pay a 30% premium to secure them

In the survey of 1,000 parents, on average respondents admitted they’d be happy to spend up to 30 per cent more on sold-out gifts their children wanted through resale websites.

Even more extreme, one in 10 said they would be prepared to spend as much as 80 per cent more than the recommended retail price.

A 30 per cent premium would make the Anki Cozmo Robot £259.99 rather than £199.99 and Hatchimals Surprise £97.49 compared to £74.99.

The cheapest item on the list – the LOL Big Surprise Ball- would be £77.99 instead of the RRP of £59.99, showing that a lack of preparation can mean a far more costly Christmas. 


The most popular 2017 Christmas toys and how much some parents are prepared to spend on them. 

Recommended retail price vs 30% premium:

Anki Cozmo Robot £199.99 – £259.99 

Lego Boost £149.99 – £194.99 

FurReal Roarin’ Tyler £134.99 – £175.49 

Little Tikes Princess Cozy Chariot £109.99 – £142.99 

Luvabella Doll £99.99 – £129.99 

FurReal Proto Max £89.99 – £116.99 

Barbie Dreamhorse £89.99 – £116.99 

Zoe Enchanted Unicorn £89.99 – £116.99 

Micro Scooter Mini Deluxe £79.99 – £103.99 

Star Wars Lego BB-8 £84.99 – £110.49 

Hatchimals Surprise £74.99 – £97.49 

Paw Patrol Sea Patroller £69.99 – £90.99 

NERF Modulus Regulator £65.00 – £84.50 

Power Rangers Megazord £59.99 – £77.99 

LOL Big Surprise Ball £59.99 – £77.99


This year is set to be the most expensive Christmas for present buying on record according to Barclays, with parents expected to fork out an average of £128.80 per child on presents during the festive season.

Although, for many, the total bill is likely to be far higher, with data from eBay suggesting we are likely to spend an incredible £748 each on up to 48 different gifts this year – with toys, clothes, gadgets and perfumes the most popular purchases. 

The Barclays research also shows that one in three parents leave Christmas shopping until the very last minute.

Clare Francis, savings and investments director at Barclays, said: ‘Spending more than you can afford at Christmas can lead to serious problems down the line, and it’s something we – as a nation – need to get out of the habit of.

‘Too many of us are being moved into action by social pressures to spend huge sums of money on Christmas presents.

‘If that sounds like you, decide to do it differently next year. 

‘Set a budget in January and set up savings goals which can help you start contributing monthly instalments to a set pot of money and stick to your limit.’

Showing just how pressure-laden many find the festive season, two-fifths of respondents admitted to adopting extreme measures to cut back on spending after Christmas.

This includes skipping meals, saying no to school trips and cancelling holidays.


It is possible to recoup the full cost of Christmas by kicking off a pre-holiday review of all our other regular expenses. 

You may need to wait until some annual insurance policies and contracts expire to make the biggest savings.

But get ready now and experts say most of us can knock at least £1,000 off our bills in 2018.

Read our guide on how to save on your mortgage, car insurance, home cover, life protection, utility bills and phone and TV. 



Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

Senate not in rush to pass airline passenger-rights bill despite Liberal frustration

08 Dec 17
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The Liberal government is expressing frustration with the Senate for flaws in pushing through legislation which would give airline passengers rights, but senators say they will not be hurried into rubber-stamping the invoice.

The Trudeau government’s Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, sets out, among other things, national standards for the treatment of air passengers in Canada.

It’ll be up to the Canadian Transport Authority to write regulations outlining the details after the bill passes in the Senate and receives royal assent.

According to the invoice, airlines will not be permitted to bump passengers from a flight against their own will and would need to give compensation for overbooking, damaged or lost luggage, and for delays and cancellations which are inside the air carrier’s control.

The bill passed in the Commons and has been delivered to the Senate five months ago, but it has yet to move past the second-reading stage of disagreement in the Red Chamber. This week, Senator Terry Mercer, deputy leader of the Senate Liberals, revived debate on the bill and said he would resume his part of the discussion later this week or next.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau said he expects senators will send the bill to committee before Parliament takes its winter break at the end of next week.

“The Senate is obviously master of its destiny. At exactly the exact same time, I’m really hoping they can deal with this absolutely as soon as possible,” Mr. Garneau said in an interview. “Canadians have certainly suggested their high degree of interest in getting something as soon as possible.”

Mr. Garneau said the bill failed “extensive” research in the Commons, once the transportation committee held hearings for a week until Parliament returned in September. “I hope the Senate will take that into account and not always think, ‘Oh, we must start over at point zero.'”

However, some senators say the 74-page piece of legislation, which many are calling an omnibus bill, is much more complex than it seems.

The bill raises foreign ownership limits for drivers, requires railways to set up video and voice recorders in locomotives and overhauls the grain transportation system. Unions have lobbied heavily against installing video recorders.

Conservative Senator David Tkachuk, who chairs the Senate’s transport committee, said he doubts the bill will get through committee before winter break. The Senate is scheduled to sit until Dec. 22, but Mr. Tkachuk said he expects to be gone by next week, when the House rises.

“I don’t have any intention of holding up the bill. But at exactly the exact same time, I have no any intention of rushing the bill through,” he said. “There is a whole lot of people who I know of who have called me and composed letters and e-mails, that would like to come before the committee. I am not going to tell them they can not come.”

Mr. Tkachuk added, “There is something about the Liberals that is really strange. They need an independent Senate till they do not want one.”

For his part, Mr. Mercer said it had been a part of his job as a Nova Scotia senator to attend the 100th anniversary of the Halifax explosion.

He said he hopes to talk to the bill shortly and denied that he is holding it up. “The Senate needs to do its due diligence. It should do what we always do, call witnesses, hear testimony and determine if we could agree with this. And if we can not agree with it, then let us fix it and send it back to the House of Commons.”

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail