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Heading into the summer, and with another successful ARM in Belfast now behind us, this seems a good time to update you on the work SGPC has ongoing.
To start with, I have promised to keep you up to date on the BMA’s call for a solution to problems caused by punitive and unexpected pension tax bills that I know are causing many members serious concerns.
The last time I blogged was to urge you to fill out the BMA survey on the issue. It is no surprise to me that many of you did exactly that – reflecting the scale and impact of this whole issue.
We published some of the headline, interim results – which hopefully you may have seen in the media.
In all, nearly two thirds (63%) of those who responded have either received a large pension tax bill or are actively expecting one. A further 21% are worried they may be due to receive a bill.
Many GPs responded to say that they were no longer taking on out of hours shifts, something we know is a huge issue for these already fragile services.
The survey is still open – and you can access it at the following link. Equally we are doing all we can to keep this issue very much on the minds of politicians. One way you can get involved and help is to write to your local MP, or indeed MSP. I know some of you will have done this already, but we have worked up a fresh template letter which reflects the survey results and implications for GPs in particular. To get a copy of the template, email: [email protected] – making clear it is the GP version you require - and we can then send you a word document to be edited directly.
Please, if you can, spend even five minutes of your time on this – needless to say the more letters, the better.
In other news, we are continuing to work hard on implementation of the new contract across the whole of Scotland.
As part of this, the deadline for applications for the minimum earnings expectation for partners is 31 July. As a reminder, this measure will mean is that no whole-time equivalent GP partner in a practice will earn less than the minimum earnings expectation of £70,000 per annum plus employer’s superannuation. This equates to £84,630 per annum per WTE GP partner in the practice.
If you want more guidance on this, and how to apply – have a look at the following link.
So those are just two of the key issues we are pursuing at the moment – but they reflect just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the work underway.
For a more general BMA perspective, Scottish Chair Lewis Morrison used his speech at the ARM to call for bullying in Scotland’s NHS to be tackled head on. If you want to read the full speech – you can find it here. Indeed you’ll find all of the BMA Scotland blogs at this link – including mine – so it’s a good place to keep up with news not just from SGPC, but the BMA as a whole.
Keep checking back – and no doubt there will be more GP related content posted soon.
The Global System of Trade Preferences among developing countries (SGPC) is a specific trade agreement for developing countries (south-south cooperation), through which they exchange tariff preferences with the aim of strengthening Trade between them. The idea of establishing this mechanism emerged in the mid-1970s within the so-called Group of 77, and was approved in 1989.
The Global System of Trade Preferences among developing countries (SGPC) should not be confused with the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The latter originated with the efforts undertaken worldwide, with the launch in 1961 of the First United Nations Development Decade, in order to favor better cooperation from industrialized countries to developing countries (North cooperation). south), unilaterally, that is, not reciprocal.
As for the SGPC, in 1982 its Negotiations Committee was established, in 1983 the First Round of Negotiation ended, with the exchange of concessions between 43 countries, continuing in 1991 with the Second Round, which ended in 1998 with 24 countries, including MERCOSUR as a block. It should be noted that during the seven years of negotiation of the Second Round, the process of integration of this System was weakened, largely due to factors such as the establishment of the World Trade Organization, in 1994, and asymmetries existing among the developing nations participating in the SGPC (South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Cuba, Mozambique, India, Venezuela, among others).
This mechanism is currently being reviewed by signatory countries in the framework of the Third Round of Negotiation launched at the XI United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), held in Brazil in June 2004, with which The aim is to change the work methodology, integrating new countries and covering new topics, such as government purchases and services. The President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Leonel Fernandez Reyna, presented an intervention, in the condition of President-elect of the Dominican Republic, in the Interactive Section of said Conference, with the theme of “Obtaining Development Benefits Starting from the International Commercial System and Commercial Negotiations ”.
The Dominican Republic is part of the Group of 77, but participates only as an observer in the negotiation process of the Third Round of this Agreement, as it is not integrated into the SGPC. The process of adhering to this scheme is carried out through the outstanding missions to UNCTAD, in Geneva, Switzerland.
The SGPC presents opportunities and challenges that must be duly weighted by countries that wish to be part of it. On the one hand, it represents an opportunity to expand economic cooperation among developing countries, while favoring the diversification of export markets for the benefit of the nation's economic growth, contemplates the establishment of Safeguard measures and measures related to the balance of payment and the existence of flexible rules of origin that take into account the levels of economic and industrial development of the participating countries, in relation to the percentages of non-originating inputs allowed in the manufacture of a product, and the application of a preferential treatment
On the other hand, the SGPC contemplates the application of the Most Favored Nation Clause (MFN) to bilateral negotiations between the participating countries, which means that bilateral and tariff concessions granted bilaterally are extended to all other participants. This is an element to take into account given the existing asymmetries within the developing countries signatory of the SGPC, as would be the case of countries such as Brazil, South Korea and Argentina among others. In the SGPC there is the element of reciprocity in bilateral and plurilateral negotiations between the participating countries, which would force the granting of concessions by the Dominican Republic.
Regardless of the advantages and disadvantages, it is an unavoidable reality that the SGPC is an instrument available to developing countries, as a strategy that must be taken into consideration in the framework of South-South cooperation, which contributes to expanding horizons of these nations, in order to achieve a more active participation in international trade.
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