The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. The Blue Badge regulations will be amended from 30th August 2019, in England, for those with a hidden disability which limits their ability to walk safely. Blue Badge holders are able to park closer to their destination, either as the driver or passenger, in disabled parking bays, usually for free on streets with parking meters or pay-and-display machines, and on single or double yellow lines for up to 3 hours in certain circumstances. The eligibility criteria for a Blue Badge has been extended beyond those with a physical disability to now include those who: • cannot undertake a journey without there being a risk of serious harm to their health or safety or that of any other person; • cannot undertake a journey without it causing them very considerable psychological distress; • have very considerable difficulty when walking (both the physical act and experience of walking); and • scored 10 points under the 'planning and following journeys' activity of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by virtue of being unable to undertake any journey because it would cause overwhelming psychological distress to them. This will lead to automatic entitlement in much the same way as scoring 8 points under the ‘moving around’ activity of PIP which is already in place. The regulations also amend the current requirement that the disability be 'permanent and substantial', changing it to 'enduring and substantial'. Those who do not meet the automatic eligibility criteria linked to PIP awards, can still apply and go through the standard assessment process. Under the new regulations, ‘expert assessors’ with specialist experience of non-physical impairments, can be appointed by the local authority to undertake the assessment to determine eligibility.
Shooting Stars…Jul 1st, 2019
For all sorts of reasons, although he came up on our radar, we have never advised our clients to invest with Mr Woodford: nor does he feature in any ‘fund of funds’ we have recommended.
Those who have money with Woodford are now stuck with a frozen asset and facing the prospect that, by the time it is fully defrosted there will just be a puddle left. They will all feel the pain of that far more sharply than the past pleasure of feeling a bit more wealthy.
This raises important questions about the inclusion of illiquid assets in daily-traded and supposedly liquid funds and the lack of robust processes or challenges to power and influence.
It also provides yet another example of an individual whose star burns bright but whose triumph ends in disaster.Is there any rational explanation of why brilliant people lose their touch? In his recent article on this very topic, “The Undercover Economist” Tim Harford proposes three broad explanations:
- Blame the individual: he or she has become lazy/overconfident/isolated from feedback.
- The world changed: good ideas don’t last forever because the competition catches on.
- Bad luck: the world is so full of randomness that all outcomes are luck rather than skill.
If true, number 3 is particularly depressing for anyone who thinks they add value with some skill. But examples of it are not difficult to find:
- The wine expert blind-tasting two glasses from the same bottle but pronouncing one to be superior; and
- The pathologist who disagrees with other judgments of the same biopsy, and their own previous judgments of the case.
A further factor identified by Tim Harford is the way in which being contrarian or taking big risks can inflate success: if what most people think is wrong, being against the herd gives you a high chance of dramatic success or spectacular failure.
Only Mr Woodford knows the true explanation, but these are timely reminders to be wary of those who seem to have the Midas touch.