Three Towns Forum - Talk about Llandudno, Colwyn Bay & Conwy

Members' Lounge => Politics & Current Affairs => Topic started by: Ian on September 11, 2010, 08:34:31 AM

Title: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on September 11, 2010, 08:34:31 AM
he UK's top tax man has refused to apologise after taking the wrong amount of tax from six million people.

Dave Hartnett, Permanent Secretary at her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, claimed media stories of blunders and IT failures were wrong.

And he warned those who owed £2,000 or more in back tax they would have just over three months to repay it in full. Speaking exclusively to Radio 4's Money Box programme, Mr Hartnett said: "I'm not sure I see a need to apologise."

He added: "I've read the papers, listened to the media and heard stories of HMRC blunders and IT failure - neither of those are true."

He said the 5.7 million letters that he would be sending out to taxpayers before Christmas were the result of a normal process of matching the tax deducted from each taxpayer with their circumstances. He confirmed that 1.4 million people would be told they had extra tax to pay. And he revealed that those who owed the most tax would have the least time to pay.
HMRC coding notice Some taxpayers can expect more letters and tax returns from HMRC in the coming months

"Those [who owe] more than £2,000… will be given an opportunity to pay based on a notice from us, or, failing that, they will be brought within self-assessment. People who enter self-assessment are expected to pay within three months and a little bit more."

Those owing below £2,000 will have the money deducted from their pay or pension over 12 months, or three years in cases of hardship. Mr Hartnett said that system would apply to "more than 80%" of those who owed money. But he defended the tighter deadline for the biggest bills.

"I think owing the most may actually mean they're earning the most… I think it's very unlikely that a low earner will owe us more than £2,000 as a result of the process we're going through."
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Bellringer on September 11, 2010, 10:24:37 AM
The apparent arrogance of some of these people at times defies belief!

HMRC appear to be a body which makes mistakes and then insists it is your and my fault!! Who else would get away with that one?
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Bellringer on September 11, 2010, 10:02:43 PM
Well what a surprise! His statement earlier has brought such a reaction that Mr Hartnett has now said he "is deeply sorry".
Speculation is that the Chancellor has 'leaned on him' - personally I think someone should have 'flattened him' and especially so if I get one of the promised letters.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: DaveR on September 12, 2010, 08:38:12 AM
HMRC are a law unto themselves, why don't we scrap them.  :D  ;D
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Ian on September 12, 2010, 08:44:42 AM
Quote
personally I think someone should have 'flattened him' and especially so if I get one of the promised letters.
_))* _))*

In think quite a few will sympathise with that view, Stan.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on September 13, 2010, 11:54:38 PM
In what other walk of life could this happen?
How can mistakes by HMRC be laid at the door of those simplistic people who it affected?
Its hard enough these days earning an honest living, and those who do kind of get accutomed to what their wage is, and budget accordingly.
They may even put a little aside each week, like the Govt have always recommened....for a weekend at the seaside?

Then, due to some overpaid, (and under qualified) buffoons, there is the unbearable shock that you owe the taxman EVEN MORE !

I calculated last year, that because of my high tax band, plus council tax and allowing for VAT, that I have to work until July 20th before I earn one penny for myself ...and now thats getting even worse...and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH ....I'M SICK OF IT !
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Ian on September 14, 2010, 08:12:23 AM
I think most would agree with you.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Yorkie on September 22, 2010, 09:57:55 AM
One of the main problems in my mind is that too many people do not understand their own tax situation, even if they are on pure old PAYE.  ))*
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on September 22, 2010, 05:48:08 PM
Hi Yorkie,
It was good to meet you (and Mrs Yorkie) the other day..

I understand a lot about taxation, my own and others, direct and indirect ...I studied it in earlier life and I have advised others in recent years.

However, the burden increases incessantly, in line with the underlying decline in the economy.
It is needed to pay for all the free-loaders , ficticious kids and other examples of the benefit system's abuse and mis-management.

As we create and export less, we tax ourselves more ..and this is how I feel about it,    :puke2: :puke2: ..because its not my fault.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Yorkie on October 02, 2010, 11:36:21 AM
I hope you've made good provision for your retirement!  Without a private pension to supplement the State handout life could be very difficult indeed.    :paranoid: :paranoid:
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on October 02, 2010, 09:01:02 PM
Not sure if that reply was for me personally ....but MY answer is YES ..and NO.

Yes, I was in a very cushy pension scheme for 25 years, and it WAS non-contributary, and it WAS index linked.

No ... because that scheme became frozen when I left the company ... and I watch its value dwindle yearon year now.

It might just buy me a bag of chips in 2029 when its due to pay out !

 Z@@ Z@@ Z@@ Z@@ Z@@ Z@@ Z@@
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 06, 2010, 04:52:26 PM
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In what other walk of life could this happen?
How can mistakes by HMRC be laid at the door of those simplistic people who it affected?
Its hard enough these days earning an honest living, and those who do kind of get accutomed to what their wage is, and budget accordingly.
They may even put a little aside each week, like the Govt have always recommened....for a weekend at the seaside?

Then, due to some overpaid, (and under qualified) buffoons, there is the unbearable shock that you owe the taxman EVEN MORE !

I calculated last year, that because of my high tax band, plus council tax and allowing for VAT, that I have to work until July 20th before I earn one penny for myself ...and now thats getting even worse...and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH ....I'M SICK OF IT !

Fester
It's a good thing that i am prevented from commenting on the subject but I feel I must question the remark ''overpaid (and under qualified buffoons)''
Is that just HMRC that have this honour that you refer to (in your rather 'under qualified' opinion')? Or do VAT, DWP & the Benefits agency get your utter disapproval too?
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on October 06, 2010, 10:13:02 PM
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In what other walk of life could this happen?
How can mistakes by HMRC be laid at the door of those simplistic people who it affected?
Its hard enough these days earning an honest living, and those who do kind of get accutomed to what their wage is, and budget accordingly.
They may even put a little aside each week, like the Govt have always recommened....for a weekend at the seaside?

Then, due to some overpaid, (and under qualified) buffoons, there is the unbearable shock that you owe the taxman EVEN MORE !

I calculated last year, that because of my high tax band, plus council tax and allowing for VAT, that I have to work until July 20th before I earn one penny for myself ...and now thats getting even worse...and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH ....I'M SICK OF IT !

Fester
It's a good thing that i am prevented from commenting on the subject but I feel I must question the remark ''overpaid (and under qualified buffoons)''
Is that just HMRC that have this honour that you refer to (in your rather 'under qualified' opinion')? Or do VAT, DWP & the Benefits agency get your utter disapproval too?

...Scott!  .. and I thought you were a friend of mine!

But I will answer your point directly.

When mistakes of such enormous and wide-reaching consequence are made, they are inevitably made by very Senior people.  Therefore, because they failed on fat salaries, they are by definition OVERPAID.
They are also incompetent. (therefore Buffoons)
This is true of ANY organisation, including the NHS, Benefits Agency, HMRC etc.

Its also true of NON Government organisations... i.e. private business where I spent my whole career.
The difference is, in private business, you fail, you get the boot......in Public service, it gets covered up, apologised for... and an early fat pension beckons.

But this is NOT a swipe at frontline, hardworking HMRC or NHS staff.  They are not overpaid, or buffoons ... so don't get defensive on me!






Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 06, 2010, 11:23:29 PM
Ok cool no problem because as I said I am prevented from expressing my opinion on the subject but you are entitled to express yours.

The frontline staff in such jobs as you quite rightly point out are hard working and definitely not overpaid....I must admit though in nearly 30 years I thought I'd heard just about everything but I've never before been called a buffoon.....but will I need a 'bit' bigger salary before I actually qualify for that status?

I wasn't getting at you personally (as if I would)...ok maybe just a tad to see if you took the bait .......................... ;D
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on October 06, 2010, 11:35:32 PM
Scotty!  Beam me up please to where you are ...

Because you know full well that I said that frontline staff are not the buffoons.

Ask yourself this question ... how many times have YOU seen new systems, or new procedures handed down from above, with no consultation and inadequate training.   Have YOU never referred to those responsible as overpaid buffoons?

Now we are in agreement.   ZXZ ZXZ
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 06, 2010, 11:55:03 PM
I'm afraid I am unable to comment on your question...and it wouldn't be much fun if me & you were in agreement.  _))* and anyway would I ever admit it if we were??
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on October 07, 2010, 12:13:56 AM
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I'm afraid I am unable to comment on your question...and it wouldn't be much fun if me & you were in agreement.  _))* and anyway would I ever admit it if we were??

Its like being bleedin' married!   ..... without the sex.
No, hang on .... it IS EXACTLY like being married then....!   L0L L0L
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Hugo on October 10, 2010, 02:56:18 PM
There is a TV programme on Monday that may give  everyone more understanding of the current problems that the general public and HMRC staff are facing.
It is Panorama and is on BBC 1 at 8.30pm  Adam Shaw hears from whistlebowers from inside HMRC.   It sounds like interesting viewing and people can then form their own opinions.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 10, 2010, 10:12:49 PM
If it's the same (or similar) to one that was on BBC1 a couple of weeks ago....yep watch it.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on October 10, 2010, 11:32:31 PM
I would rather watch paint dry than watch a programme about tax, and HMRC problems.

The general public just need to look at their wage slips,  P60 forms, Tax Code notifications and the petrol pumps prices to know what the problems with tax are.

There is just TOO MUCH of it.

 
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 11, 2010, 12:00:06 AM
Obviously nothing is going to change your opinion or make you see differently, I give up on you Fester no point in continuing to try anymore. 
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on October 11, 2010, 12:10:43 AM
Steady on ..... and you are right, you can't change my opinion on the only fundamental point I have made.

There is TOO MUCH TAX.

Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Ian on October 11, 2010, 08:09:18 AM
Yet - interestingly - those who earn the most from the UK pay the least in Tax....
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Hugo on October 12, 2010, 11:55:45 AM
The advertised programme on Panorama last night wasn't shown for some reason   ???  so we couldn't hear what the whistle blowers had to say.   I don't think that it was the programme that you are thinking of Scott, I think this one is about insiders revealing just what the employees think of everything.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Yorkie on October 12, 2010, 12:00:55 PM
I often wonder exactly how much of each pound remains in circulation?

The chap who earns it pays tax
He spends and the shopkeeper pays tax
The shopkeeper spends and whoever he spends with pays tax
He pays his employees and they pay tax

Ad infinitum     )*)&

Does anybody actually know???
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 12, 2010, 11:58:30 PM
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The advertised programme on Panorama last night wasn't shown for some reason   ???  so we couldn't hear what the whistle blowers had to say.   I don't think that it was the programme that you are thinking of Scott, I think this one is about insiders revealing just what the employees think of everything.

They didn't say why it wasn't shown on Monday but sounds definitely similar to the one I saw one BBC1's Tonight programme a couple of weeks ago.  Insiders eh!!!!!
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 13, 2010, 12:04:18 AM
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I often wonder exactly how much of each pound remains in circulation?

The chap who earns it pays tax
He spends and the shopkeeper pays tax
The shopkeeper spends and whoever he spends with pays tax
He pays his employees and they pay tax

Ad infinitum     )*)&

Does anybody actually know???

And the people who are paid a salary to collect the tax pay tax on their earnings at the same rate as everyone else.
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Fester on October 13, 2010, 12:11:57 AM
...And there was me thinking there would be a special 'staff rate' for HMRC employees ....  there has to be some perks!

Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Scott on October 13, 2010, 12:17:49 AM
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...And there was me thinking there would be a special 'staff rate' for HMRC employees ....  there has to be some perks!


Maybe when/if the Panorama is shown the whistle blowers will reveal them to all of us.......I will be interested to hear what they are!
Title: Re: Tax
Post by: Blongb on October 29, 2010, 03:33:01 PM
Very, very, easy to call HMRC and they have done very little to help their cause, but in a vain attempt to explain what went on: HMRC’s old computer  :rage: was designed for an era when most people had just on job and mostly paid tax by PAYE. So because things have moved on they introduced a much more sophisticated computer which has vastly more computing power. This machine was able to quickly and efficiently show up tax payers who had more than one job, but who were claiming the full tax allowances on all their earnings, when in fact they were only entitled to claim the tax allowance on the first wage. Once that allowance was used up, it was and is illegal and immoral to expect honest tax payers to subsidise them. They got away with paying too little for too long and now it’s caught up with them. My heat bleeds.    ¢¢##
Title: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on November 03, 2010, 12:24:40 AM
I can't help but notice that the price of very basic things is increasing at an alarming rate.
I got a real shock when I accompanied Mrs Fester around Asda this week...and then other independent shops around town.
Since when did a packet of crisps become 55p?   Or a single bar of chocate become 55p to 65p?
A pint of lager I bought last night had been increased for the THIRD time in a few months ... always by 10p each time.

This is despite one of the Govt's inflation measures being negative,  and the other being in small single figures per annum.
It is also BEFORE the VAT increase, which will only exacerbate the situation.

Has anyone else noticed this?   
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: mull on November 03, 2010, 01:37:33 AM
Been going on for ages.

Its called RIP OFF Britain.

If people are stupid enough to pay more than £1 for a cup of coffee they deserve to be ripped off.
Coffee  is just one item there are many more similar products.

We need to wake up and stop paying stupid prices.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 03, 2010, 08:21:42 AM
What people sometimes forget is the enormous costs that businesses in the UK face, particularly in regard to property costs (rent and rates) and complying with ever increasing reams of legislation. Many local business owners work very hard indeed, in return for a not very large profit. Cutting their prices significantly would mean them going out of business.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 03, 2010, 08:51:44 AM
Exactly, if small shops were not over charged by such high business rates and high rents then more would stay open and could pass on lower prices. For donkey's years there have been empty shops because of high rents and I always thought surely its better to receive a lower rent than no rent at all?
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 03, 2010, 09:02:55 AM
Even worse is the fact that property owners are liable for full business rates even on empty premises, so not only are they not receiving rent, they're also having to pay out a substantial sum in rates every year, to the tune of £30,000 a year+ if we're talking about larger shops along Mostyn Street.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Ian on November 03, 2010, 09:06:04 AM
Quote
What people sometimes forget is the enormous costs that businesses in the UK face, particularly in regard to property costs (rent and rates) and complying with ever increasing reams of legislation.

Indeed.  And it's getting worse.

Small businesses are often hit badly in recession, too; folk are less likely to pop into a cafe and spend a tenner on coffee and cakes.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 03, 2010, 09:50:28 AM
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Even worse is the fact that property owners are liable for full business rates even on empty premises, so not only are they not receiving rent, they're also having to pay out a substantial sum in rates every year, to the tune of £30,000 a year+ if we're talking about larger shops along Mostyn Street.

and as a result some nice old buildings get demolished and we all lose out (yet again!)  :(
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 03, 2010, 10:03:53 AM
One good thing is that business rates are not payable on Listed Buildings that are unoccupied.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Ian on November 03, 2010, 11:31:53 AM
Quote
Since when did a packet of crisps become 55p? 


They're not.  On the website, they're 15p.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 03, 2010, 12:25:31 PM
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One good thing is that business rates are not payable on Listed Buildings that are unoccupied.

none payable on the Pavilion then!
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 03, 2010, 12:35:56 PM
Indeed! I did look to see and it was not listed. The Pier has a rateable value of £115,000 and the Grand Hotel has a rateable value of £207,500, which equates to business rates payable of £47,035 and £84,867 respectively.  :o
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 03, 2010, 01:36:42 PM
horrifying amounts  :o  and if I remember correctly don't business rates go directly to the  National Govenment (London or Cardiff? ) and not to the local council?
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 03, 2010, 01:48:48 PM
That's right, and that's why local Authorities are very limited in providing any help in reducing the amounts. WAG has actually provided some useful relief on business rates for smaller businesses, in that business premises with a rateable value up to £6,000 will receive 100% relief and those with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000 will receive relief that will be reduced on a tapered basis from 100% to zero.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 03, 2010, 05:29:29 PM
We are getting well off the point Guys.

I know WHY the prices are rising .. I am facing that pressure too in my miniscule business ...(both rent and VAT increase to come)
What I'm banging on about is the extent of it..  and WHY official government figures are not giving the true picture.

The 55p crisps example came from a local newsagent ..
The 15p crisps you refer to were on sale in both Asda and Home Bargains for TEN PENCE earlier this year.
Thats a 50% increase no matter how you look at it.

I seem to recall unrest and blockades very recently due to Petrol increases which were threatening to go to £1.00 per litre.
Well, now its 20% higher than that,  and no one makes a peep!

Its getting quite scary...

Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: ormegolf on November 03, 2010, 08:16:04 PM
Fester----my friend and fellow forum reader/writer----I hate it contradicting you,of all people, again. However, I must point out that the fuel blockades you mention were ten years ago, almost to the day. And, actually, fuel is now at about the same price it was two years ago. Before you shout RUBBISH, just check me out.  Now, if you want to mention the price of beer sold over a pub counter-------now thats a different matter!!!
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 03, 2010, 08:21:34 PM
I bought a Twirl chocolate bar in the Co-op today and it was 63p.  Nice, though! ¢¢##
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 03, 2010, 08:24:25 PM
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We are getting well off the point Guys.

I know WHY the prices are rising .. I am facing that pressure too in my miniscule business ...(both rent and VAT increase to come)
What I'm banging on about is the extent of it..  and WHY official government figures are not giving the true picture.

The 55p crisps example came from a local newsagent ..
The 15p crisps you refer to were on sale in both Asda and Home Bargains for TEN PENCE earlier this year.
Thats a 50% increase no matter how you look at it.

I seem to recall unrest and blockades very recently due to Petrol increases which were threatening to go to £1.00 per litre.
Well, now its 20% higher than that,  and no one makes a peep!

Its getting quite scary...


It all comes down to what Economists call Price Elasticity, that is, the price range that consumers are prepared to pay for a particular item. Take the Twirl chocolate bar I just mentioned - how high or low does a price have to go before you refuse to buy it?
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 03, 2010, 10:50:00 PM
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Fester----my friend and fellow forum reader/writer----I hate it contradicting you,of all people, again. However, I must point out that the fuel blockades you mention were ten years ago, almost to the day. And, actually, fuel is now at about the same price it was two years ago. Before you shout RUBBISH, just check me out.  Now, if you want to mention the price of beer sold over a pub counter-------now thats a different matter!!!

Mr Mike ... just to prove to myself that I am not going completely mad, I checked my facts .... because I even remember where I was and what car I was driving at each time these things occurred.
10 years ago, as you rightly say, there were protests, and blockades leading to serious disruption... but that is when the price was approaching 80p a litre.
Protests kicked off again in 2005.
But in 2007, blockades at refineries began again , as the price approached £1 per litre.
Panic buying ensued, and for a few days it was the forefront of the news.
The police were much more organised this time...unions were weaker,  and supply was restored to full capacity within days ...the whole thing fizzled out
The price is now £1.20, nothing is heard.   The apathy is deafening.

Dave, with all due respect, I have also given presentations in my time on the subject of price elasticity ... and I tell you what, we are pretty damn near the top of that curve right now!

No, I have to re-iterate my original point.  That being that prices are flying up, several times a year it seems ... (totally out of proportion to earnings or pensions) ... and it bears no relation to official government statistics.





Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Trojan on November 03, 2010, 11:15:35 PM
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I bought a Twirl chocolate bar in the Co-op today and it was 63p.  Nice, though! ¢¢##

 *&(






 $lol$
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Ian on November 04, 2010, 08:03:29 AM
Quote
That being that prices are flying up, several times a year it seems ... (totally out of proportion to earnings or pensions) ... and it bears no relation to official government statistics.

I thought there was a commodity availability aspect to these rises? Bread, for instance, shot through the roof (metaphorically speaking) a couple of years ago, and that was linked to the grain harvests being down, owing to the heavily-promoted cost-effectiveness of planting a lot of rape seed for oil substitutes.

And electronics, for instance have never been more affordable.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 04, 2010, 11:11:06 AM
Thats true Ian,  but you buy an electronic item every few months.... but you buy bread every other day.
So, the overwhelming experience is that of rising expenditure... especially for a family with kids I would imagine.

However, hardly anyone seems to agree with me, so it must be just me.

Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 04, 2010, 11:53:11 AM
Petrol is expensive just as a result of the excessive tax on it which is around 66% of the price, I have the local petrol prices emailed to me for the best price. As for bread I stock up (around 3 loaves in the freezer) when the price is right  D) In fact any special offer with a long sell by date, as long as it's something we use anyway we stock up on! Fresh food I ignore 'buy one get one free' offers as it'll go off before we could use it! They said on the telly the other day that corn, wheat etc is at high prices now anyway and supermarkets are doing what they can to cut costs!
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Ian on November 04, 2010, 02:13:50 PM
Quote
Thats true Ian,  but you buy an electronic item every few months.... but you buy bread every other day.

Yes, but a single electronic item is worth many loaves of bread, and the impact of having to replace, say - a dishwasher or washing machine - is significantly greater than buying bread on a daily basis, so I'm guessing the two more or less equal out.

But you're right, of course;  bread and other natural commodities have risen rapidly, 
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Nemesis on November 04, 2010, 02:32:24 PM
Another point about the cost of food--- people today think nothing of buying ready prepared food or takeaways, not to mention eating out. Cakes for example, the price of one of these so called 'cup cakes' is beyond silly, same with 'muffins'. To me all they are are lierally 'buns' and can be made at home for very little. ( Also you know who's had their fingers in them ! :o))
A tradesman working for me last week nearly drooled his way through the front door to the smell of home made steak and dumplings.
Perhaps I am old fashioned, but we should never have survived on ready made food.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Ian on November 04, 2010, 02:47:47 PM
And I suspect the health cost of ready made convenience foods is starting to hit home.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Trojan on November 05, 2010, 05:07:37 AM
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And I suspect the health cost of ready made convenience foods is starting to hit home.

True. All that excessive sugar, salt, fat & refined carbohydrates = obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol etc.  ¢¢##
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Nemesis on November 05, 2010, 10:29:10 AM
Amazing how many people take Statins and then think they can eat a full fried meal with butter and full fat milk, then sit on their backsides watching TV and expect the tablets to lower their cholesterol !
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Yorkie on November 05, 2010, 10:52:45 AM
One just has to watch for the side effects of Statins. Particularly those associated with loss of muscle strength or numbness.  I have been on a number of Statins and have had to give them up for a non-statin.  My cholesterol level is still remaining reasonably low as I also have a sensible eating regime.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 05, 2010, 06:01:29 PM
As I undersand it, Statins are prescribed as a short to medium term measure .... but its astonishing how many people come into my little shop and tell me they have been on the same medication for TEN YEARS OR MORE !!

Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Scott on November 05, 2010, 11:37:43 PM
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Thats true Ian,  but you buy an electronic item every few months.... but you buy bread every other day.
So, the overwhelming experience is that of rising expenditure... especially for a family with kids I would imagine.

However, hardly anyone seems to agree with me, so it must be just me.


Fester If you want to eat it buy it, if you want to drive your car put petrol in it! Welcome to the real world. A year ago you weren't earning a living sitting in a box on a few planks of wood  :) :)
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 06, 2010, 01:01:12 AM
Hey Scott ... depends what you call earning ''a living''  ... most days I wish I was.

Last I heard, you earned yours by dipping into the pay packets of others and taking our money   Isn't that what HMC is all about?

If you want it, buy it you say?  ......  when HMRC want it,  they pass a new law ... and steal it !!

You know I love you though .... :-* :-*    By the way, where did that smily with the lovehearts disappear to??



Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Scott on November 06, 2010, 01:07:04 AM
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Hey Scott ... depends what you call earning ''a living''  ... most days I wish I was.

Last I heard, you earned yours by dipping into the pay packets of others and taking our money   Isn't that what HMC is all about?

If you want it, buy it you say?  ......  when HMRC want it,  they pass a new law ... and steal it !!

You know I love you though .... :-* :-*    By the way, where did that smily with the lovehearts disappear to??

Half a living.......Nah HMRC dont' change the law it's always been the same...you earn it you pay tax on it (at higher rate IF you earn enough) dunno where the smiley has gone but you wouldn't put love hearts on your tax return would you?


Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 06, 2010, 01:16:00 AM
Tax return?   What's a tax return?   Z** Z**

Filling one of those in would be like asking Dr Harold Shipman to look after my parents.

Or asking Beverley Allit to babysit for my kids,









Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Nemesis on November 06, 2010, 09:00:36 AM
Are you Ken Dodd's love child? ;D
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 06, 2010, 07:34:04 PM
Nemesis ... that suggestion is Tattyfilarious !!
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Trojan on November 07, 2010, 04:17:31 AM
Mrs Fester did mention you were one of the "Diddy Men"  ;D
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Nemesis on November 07, 2010, 08:40:08 AM
 _))* _))* _))* _))*
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Yorkie on November 07, 2010, 11:03:48 AM
With a tickling stick!                                        :laugh:  :laugh:
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Nemesis on November 07, 2010, 03:29:39 PM
Don't forget Dickie Mint !!!! :-X :o _))* *&(
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Scott on November 07, 2010, 04:16:47 PM
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I can't help but notice that the price of very basic things is increasing at an alarming rate.
I got a real shock when I accompanied Mrs Fester around Asda this week...and then other independent shops around town.
Since when did a packet of crisps become 55p?   Or a single bar of chocate become 55p to 65p?
A pint of lager I bought last night had been increased for the THIRD time in a few months ... always by 10p each time.

This is despite one of the Govt's inflation measures being negative,  and the other being in small single figures per annum.
It is also BEFORE the VAT increase, which will only exacerbate the situation.

Has anyone else noticed this?   
Hey Fester
if it makes you feel better and not quite so lonely in your ranting I've just been to my In-laws house and father-in-law spent a long time complaining about the price of crisps these days and how his favourite brand (made in Bradford) a packet of 6 has gone up from £1 to £1.20 'ish. Yawn........it's not something I eat very often but he is 90 years old next week so I 'listened sympathetically & intently'.....Should i ask him about chocolate too?...
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Bellringer on November 07, 2010, 07:04:29 PM
An elderly relative recently quoted that there was a time when a pint of milk, a loaf of bread, and a pint of beer all cost the same. Unfortunately I forgot to ask "How long ago?".
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 07, 2010, 07:35:31 PM
Stan ... they would all cost roughly the same NOW, if it wasn't for the tax leel on beer!

Hey Scott... ranting am I?
Nah don't ask him, it sounds like your sympathetic ear is all worn out for one week ...... you'll be 90 one day, and you too will be moaning about the cost of thngs.
Knowing you as I do, it will be the cost of Bike repair, Gym membership ....and bottles of wine!   Z** Z**
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Scott on November 07, 2010, 09:10:21 PM
I do 'sort of' worry about that now  :P (or should I say my other half does!) it's the mundane things like food I don't really have much interest in, that's done on a 'needs-must' basis to keep the family fed and happy.

Maybe when I'm 90 I won't need my bike & gym and the tipple will be sherry!

Incidentally that Panorama programme about the tax man that they pulled is on tomorrow night on BBC1 at 8.30.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Bellringer on November 07, 2010, 09:42:30 PM
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Stan ... they would all cost roughly the same NOW, if it wasn't for the tax leel on beer!

I don't know how much the tax is on a pint of beer. However a pint of milk on the doorstep is about 47/48p and a standard loaf somewhere between £1 and £1.30 or even more!!
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Fester on November 08, 2010, 12:42:51 AM
Shopping selectively (and wisely) in Asda,  gets me 2 litres of milk for about 70p,  and whatever bread they have on special offer for roughly the same.
The total tax on a pint of lager is roughly 75%,   thus making a £3.00 pint,  down to 75p if it wasn't for the tax man.  (or woman Scott!)

Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Scott on November 08, 2010, 12:47:57 AM
Nah not me I don't tax your beer  Z** I tax your income  $thanx$ to pay my salary to keep my bike going to pay my gym membership & buy my wine   *&(
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 08, 2010, 08:28:20 AM
why not have a go at home brew lager / beer ? 
I'm always wondering why you can't get Tesco 'Value' petrol?  D)
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Trojan on November 10, 2010, 06:26:32 PM
Some pier price inflation: (with the removal of the steak & kidney pie, and the addition of bottled water)

If you want an inflation beater order the gravy peas curry and a sachet of sauce.  :-X
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: suepp on November 10, 2010, 06:37:39 PM
That seems good value to me! I paid £5 for fish and chips the other night, I wish they would cut the portions down and charge less, there were far too many chips for one person. what a waste!
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Pendragon on November 10, 2010, 06:50:12 PM
We were just talking in the club now and to make a call from a BT phone box is now 60p. I can't believe that, not that I ever use one, glad I don't at that price, I sound a right fogie now but I remember when it was 2p. )*)&
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 10, 2010, 07:00:28 PM
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We were just talking in the club now and to make a call from a BT phone box is now 60p. I can't believe that, not that I ever use one, glad I don't at that price, I sound a right fogie now but I remember when it was 2p. )*)&
BT make more money from using the boxes as Advertising Hoardings now.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: DaveR on November 10, 2010, 07:01:16 PM
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Sue, don't utter the words 'good value' out loud when looking at the Pier prices .... they don't need any MORE encouragement.
Indeed. Overpriced rubbish would be a better description.
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: suepp on November 10, 2010, 08:50:54 PM
OK  ???


Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Nemesis on November 11, 2010, 08:43:58 AM
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We were just talking in the club now and to make a call from a BT phone box is now 60p. I can't believe that, not that I ever use one, glad I don't at that price, I sound a right fogie now but I remember when it was 2p. )*)&

and press button B to get your money back ?
Title: Re: Price Inflation
Post by: Ian on November 11, 2010, 10:28:55 AM
With the advent of mobiles, most of the boxes are redundant.  The original ones were flogged off for a fiver, I seem to remember, and are now available at £1000 each from various entrepreneurs.

In some places - notably the hills around the Conwy valley - you still need them. When our 'phones go off, there's no mobile signal to compensate, so we actually need a 'phone box to stand in for 45 minutes while we try to translate Urdu from the BT helpdesk into recognisable English.  Joy. 
Title: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 06, 2011, 10:36:45 PM
Is everyone aware that 200,000 people were affected by a 'double payment glitch' on New Years Eve?

I was affected, but only realised it when I saw my Internet Banking Statement, and there were 2 payments to the same retailer.
Beware, and check your statements... you might well be out of pocket too.

My bank said that its not an issue for them.... the retailer said its not an issue for them either!

I would have expected that the bank who's systems were at fault (Lloyds TSB) would simply do a batch correction and put this matter right immediately.

BUT NO !

Apparently they have set up a helpline number (and its not a free one either) ...that you have to contact and go through a process.
The bloody number isn't even open out of hours!!    :rage: :rage: :rage:
I tell you, this country has long since lost the ability to manage things sensibly. 
Title: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 11, 2011, 02:37:22 PM
.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on February 11, 2011, 03:31:46 PM
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.

I can't see anything here?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on February 11, 2011, 05:41:48 PM
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.

I can't see anything here?

There's actually a full-stop, or a period.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on February 11, 2011, 06:03:11 PM
so there is  *&(
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 11, 2011, 10:15:47 PM
Do you think that Ian was trying to make a point?    A POINT!    Get it?    A point!!   .... heres a few more of them .........   _))*
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Blongb on February 11, 2011, 10:22:07 PM
No Fester. he was just waiting for someone to spot his mistake   :o
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on February 12, 2011, 01:36:09 AM
Perhaps he was on his period.  :D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 12, 2011, 09:17:11 AM
It was just to make a talking point...


 :twoface:
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on February 12, 2011, 08:17:49 PM
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It was just to make a talking point...


 :twoface:

 L0L
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 22, 2011, 02:59:19 PM
For all those who think the spending cuts are inevitable and a result of the current economic situation, think again:

http://falseeconomy.org.uk/cure/how-big-is-the-problem (http://falseeconomy.org.uk/cure/how-big-is-the-problem)

http://falseeconomy.org.uk/cure/what-do-the-experts-say (http://falseeconomy.org.uk/cure/what-do-the-experts-say)

The latter is particularly interesting as no fewer than three Nobel Laureates give their opinions.  The most convincing is almost certainly this:

“By not taking a principled stand of this kind, the last government lost the rhetorical battle. It couldn’t openly say ‘without a large deficit there will be no proper recovery’. It left the running to those who simply said that ‘you can’t spend money you haven’t got’ and there is ‘no more money in the kitty’. This is rubbish. The rise in the deficit and national debt is mainly a consequence of the shrinking of the economy: as the economy recovers – partly because of the stimulus afforded by deficit spending – both will shrink simultaneously as a proportion of national income. Here are some interesting figures. In 1919 the National Debt stood at 135% of GDP – as a result of heavy wartime borrowing. By 1920, after a year’s inflationary boom it was down to 130%. By 1922 it was up to 171%? Why? Because there had been a huge deflation and rise in unemployment in 1921. In the deflationary decade of the 1920s, the debt hardly reduced at all. Nothing could more clearly illustrate the fact that the debt falls when the economy rises and rises when the economy falls.

“There are other points which could have been made. Unlike households, governments don’t have to repay their debt. They can borrow almost without limit, especially from their own people."

Lord (Robert) Skidelsky is the biographer of Keynes and a former Conservative spokesman on the economy in the House of Lords.

Or this one - the Financial Times is not noted for its socialist tendency:

“Very near the beginning of his speech introducing the comprehensive spending review, George Osborne attempted to the frame the exercise in the simplest of terms: ‘We are going to ensure, like every solvent household in the country, that what we buy we can afford; that the bills we incur we have the income to meet.’ Either you accept the chancellor’s analogy or you do not. I do not."


Samuel Brittan is a columnist on the Financial Times.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on February 22, 2011, 03:18:42 PM
A website mainly funded by the TUC and Unison, Ian?  :roll:


Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on February 22, 2011, 05:28:24 PM
As far as I can see, in the 'dark years' of the last labour administration, far too much money was spent on nonsense, I can't see how we as a country can carry on for ever on the never never. We now have to pay the price for the 'dark years'
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on February 22, 2011, 06:12:58 PM
Quite right. Regardless of who's to blame, the fact is that we have to borrow £400m every day just to maintain current public spending...and it's hardly like we have world class public services. Such levels of borrowing cannot be right - the books should be balanced.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 22, 2011, 06:13:18 PM
Quote
A website mainly funded by the TUC and Unison, Ian?

Is that relevant if the figures are correct? Can't you decide for yourself on the basis of the objective information? And the Financial Times is not exactly a Socialist manifesto...

I've often said that no one really understands international macro economics, but reading that site reveals a lot of information which, viewed intelligently, seems to suggest that there is more than one way to tackle the situation 

Quote
I can't see how we as a country can carry on for ever on the never never

That was the way Thatcher claimed to look at the nation's economy, and it is almost certainly  profoundly mistaken. The way you run your personal finance has very little similarity to the way it's prudent to run the finance of a country. "Every time a politician says we have to do with the nation's finances what a prudent householder would do with a credit card bill, you can stop listening. It's nonsense."

How can it be good for the economy to throw a million out of work as is likely to happen? The country loses the tax income, and we have to support the families that no longer have an income. The policies of this government could well be disastrous, as well as deeply, deeply unfair to the poorest and weakest members of society.

The Conservatives, for reasons of their own, are wildly exaggerating the seriousness of the situation. The British national debt is nothing like as big as that of many other countries, and it's mainly (70%) owed to its own citizens, not to foreign financiers. And it's way below what it's been in the past. In the past, in the last century, it's been 150 and 200% of GDP; at the moment it's just under 60%. That's a fact.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on February 22, 2011, 06:34:56 PM
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How can it be good for the economy to throw a million out of work as is likely to happen?
Because the people in the public sector do not create any wealth for the country. The public sector just spends wealth (usually inefficiently) created by the private sector.

Saying that the debt figure is fine because its been higher in the past is a poor argument. It's like saying an alcoholic is doing ok because they are down to drinking 10 pints a day from their previous 20. Guess what - it's still going to kill them in the end. We have to pay Interest on every penny we borrow - over £42,000,000,000 last year.

And in absolute terms, of course, the National Debt has never been higher.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 22, 2011, 06:47:37 PM
You can't express National Debt in absolute terms, as it is always relative to the value of the GDP, and the value of currency over time.

What is certain that in times past, when the national debt rose, there was always sufficient manufacturing industry to ensure that wealth would be created in order to rein it back in the future.

Now, a fundamental difference is the ageing population, and the massive pension deficit.
These are now being dealt with by the old trick of INFLATION.  Deliberate inflation.  Through taxation and commodity trading.  (yes the government trade on commodities such as oils and food)

So, the pension deficit will in future 'appear' smaller .... which in fact it will be, as the money owed and paid will be worth much less.

Its all down to the lack of wealth creating industies,  and the lack of future growth.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 22, 2011, 10:05:47 PM
Quote
Quote
How can it be good for the economy to throw a million out of work as is likely to happen?
Because the people in the public sector do not create any wealth for the country. The public sector just spends wealth (usually inefficiently) created by the private sector.

But it's not only the public sector being hit.  It's also private industry.  Second, millions of public sector workers out of work are gong to become a massive drain on the economy, surely? Thirdly, there's proven link between unemployment and health.  As one rises, the other declines - markedly so. And that will cos even more.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 22, 2011, 10:23:46 PM
Back in the '50s, Denmark had a massive public spending programme, a huge deficit and, without instituting any cuts, went on to become one of Europe's wealthiest countries. The real problem is not simply a lack of wealth producing industry:  I suspect it's more than no one really understands the consequence of what actions they take.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 23, 2011, 12:03:15 AM
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Quote
Quote
How can it be good for the economy to throw a million out of work as is likely to happen?
Because the people in the public sector do not create any wealth for the country. The public sector just spends wealth (usually inefficiently) created by the private sector.

But it's not only the public sector being hit.  It's also private industry.  Second, millions of public sector workers out of work are gong to become a massive drain on the economy, surely? Thirdly, there's proven link between unemployment and health.  As one rises, the other declines - markedly so. And that will cos even more.

I am equally worried about the very real link between unemployment and crime.
Especially when the police and armed forces are being reduced at exactly the wrong time.
Without benefits or quality employment, there will be crime, delinquency and public disorder.... and insufficient resource to conatin it.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 23, 2011, 09:12:24 AM
I agree, wholeheartedly.  Very worrying time.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on February 23, 2011, 09:21:17 AM
To go back to the original point about whether the spending cuts were necessary, the IMF were totally in favour of the cuts, describing them as 'essential':

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the UK economy is "on the mend" and has backed the coalition government's plans to cut spending. The IMF described the deficit reduction plan as "essential" in supporting the UK's debt position, and said it "supported a balanced recovery"."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11419937 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11419937)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 23, 2011, 10:09:12 AM
I doubt the IMF is any better placed to judge the right measures than any such unelected organisation.  And they've been downsizing their estimates of the recovery consistently since the article quoted above.

Others, with significant qualifications, say this:
Christopher Pissarides is the most recent economics Nobel Prize winner and a Professor at the London School of Economics.

“We have just gone through a severe recession and there is still a lot of uncertainty about the housing market and the level of economic activity over next few years. Unemployment is high and job vacancies few. By taking the action that the Chancellor outlined in his statement, this situation might well become worse.

“The Chancellor is hitting areas that suffer most in recession. Several welfare benefits are to be cut. But they provide support when jobs are scarce and household incomes are falling.

“The cuts are projected to add another half to one million people to the dole. This will make it a lot more difficult for the unemployed to find jobs. It is situations like these that welfare benefits play their most valuable role.

“Capital spending is being cut too. Yet it creates jobs at a time when they are most needed. Overall, the Chancellor is putting the economy through some unnecessary risks because of his fear of sovereign risk, which does not appear justified. And his unwillingness to further tax the well off is inevitably necessitating more cuts to benefits just when the jobless will need them the most.”

In other words, the government is taking a chance - running a risky game. They don't know what the outcome will be, so they're falling back on old ideas. But what we all have to remember is the bulk of the UK's GDP comes - rather worryingly, given their past history - from the Banks and the financial sector in general. We remain one of - if not the - world financial centres and the largest portion of that wealth comes from gambling in futures.  In effect, we're mortgaged to a roulette wheel.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 23, 2011, 10:37:20 AM
Talking of 'old ideas', creating inflation to get out of deficit is one of those.

Another one is raising interest rates to stem inflation.
However, although it is being mooted to happen soon, that would be a catastrophic mistake.
The inflation this time round is not caused by people spending too much, (which interest rate rises traditionally cured), not its purely due to taxation and the prices of basic commodities.  (Food, Oil etc)

Any rise in interest rates will do nothing to stem inflation, but will crucify already beleagured families struggling to pay mortgages (and indirectly rents)

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on February 23, 2011, 10:42:34 AM
on the other hand, savers would no doubt enjoy an interest rate rise
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 23, 2011, 11:29:48 AM
Quote
Any rise in interest rates will do nothing to stem inflation, but will crucify already beleagured families struggling to pay mortgages (and indirectly rents)

that's very true, and I doubt the boon to savers would be that much, either.  And here's something I've been wondering: most banks are paying virtually nothing to saver with even very large deposits, yet they're charging a small fortune for loans. I suppose the £6bn in salary bonuses have t come from somewhere....
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 23, 2011, 11:52:52 AM
Yes indeed... the profit margin between lending and borrowing is now at a huge level for the banks.

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on February 23, 2011, 12:18:27 PM
the low interest rate for the millions of savers is a nightmare, all that spending power for millions of people cut right down to next to nothing, savings have become 'losings' as the return is way below inflation  :rage:
Some of us have gone to the stock market instead  D)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 25, 2011, 09:39:32 AM
This is from another forum I run, and it might be of interest here.  The main text is from a chartered accountant, who owns their own business.  The quotes come from a Language academic.

Quote
So if the private sector is contracting (which is basically what you're saying) where are those jobs going to come from?

You must consider how business works. The contraction in private industry happened in the credit crunch, some 18 months ago. Business reacts very quickly. It looked at its place in the market and, by doing what they did, consolidated their position at the time. They paid less during a difficult time for profits and, more importantly in the short-term, improved cash flow but maintained their experienced workforce. Some businesses will still fail (although if they have a good business model they are more likely to merge or be acquired) but most businesses will have put themselves in a great position to jump when the market recovers.

It is the Government that say the growth which they predict will lead to the required number of jobs being created. I have never said they will or that they won’t. However, I do have confidence in surviving businesses being in a position to embrace growth if and when it happens. There are some glimmers – BT are taking on again but only in numbers which I would, currently, be prepared to describe as a glimmer.    

Quote
And you can't sack an office worker aged maybe 50 and expect him or her to take a job as a bricklayer. Or are we talking out-sourcing? We've all seen what that led to in hospitals. And that still has to be paid for by the public.

You cannot sack people nowadays. They could be made compulsorily redundant but, even then, unless a whole business or business area is being closed, only after the management have been through voluntary procedures. If people accept voluntary redundancy then they are likely to have the ability to do something else, or maybe have another source of income or early pension.

Quote
But quite apart from that, why should the public sector not be growing relative to the private? Surely it's exactly what you'd expect in a modern society.

But it hasn’t grown relative to it. It has outstripped it. That is not a modern society; it is a socialist society. Where one stands on that (or on a capitalist society) is purely a matter of political bent.  I have a personal view on which I consider more modern but that is all it is, a personal opinion.  

Quote
Indeed I would argue that we could do with more public employees, not fewer. Look at hygiene in hospitals; look at the ill-kempt state of most public parks; come and have a look at our road and even more our pavement - both in a disgraceful state. We need more social workers, not fewer; possibly more police; and, according to David, more tax-collecting staff. And I believe him. Industry can manage with fewer workers today and as long as productivity stays high, there is no inherent reason why those workers should not be released to serve society in other ways. Serving society is the basic definition of a public worker as far as I can see.

No, we do not need less public service workers at the coalface (all those above and more). Indeed, HMRC need more and should never have got rid of their qualified staff.

What our public sector needs to lose is the money it consistently leaks.

Examples:

The people involved in the decisions which take endless meetings and years to approve. Meetings are time and time is money.

The procurement of services from set lists of private sector providers who know the system and work it to their advantage.  

The need for so many risk assessments to be undertaken before a service is provided, the delays and extra costs of this actually causes a greater likelihood of failure of service. (I know this exists in the Government supported voluntary sector – Coastguards – and suspect it also exists in social services and the health sector.)

The difficulty of implementing capability procedures and the fact that often all that happens is the incapable are sidelined somewhere and not too much expected from them (and their colleagues have to work harder and are subject to greater stress to cover their inadequate output) or they are moved on quietly because it is easier to do so, leading to them being inefficient elsewhere.

The public sector leadership which has caught a private sector rot known as the gravy train. Thinking it needs to pay it’s top leadership to get the best when, in fact, the best is just a pool of people who move from leadership job to leadership job. There is a glass ceiling making it extremely difficult to move from below to above it and into the pool, even though many would be able to do the work. Those in the pool are supported by each other, unwelcome newcomers are not. The pool have improved their positions immensely by making them seem restricted in quantity.    
      
The acceptance (in some areas) that sickness means a guaranteed x number of days off per year in addition to their annual holiday allowance.

The endless red tape that lead you to being able to count more clip board holders in (for example) hospitals than active care staff.  

Exceptional increases in paperwork in policing and social work which sees millions of hours spent not on the coalface. We should accept that we are all human and allow sensible levels of recording to take place and that’s where duty of care should end. This would free these workers up to do, probably, what they thought they were employed to do and where their skills lie without the constant stress ad worry of not recording every moment.

The overburdening red tape and policy requirements, leading even very small Secondary Schools employing a non-teaching Head and three full-time Deputies on very low teaching hours.

Implementation of software of such poor quality (no doubt at huge cost and after endless meetings) they – probably - end up causing employees twice as much work. (e.g HMRC coding notice system)  
I could go on but I think that is enough for me to illustrate my point. I have no argument with the coalface workers. In fact, I am sure they work extremely hard.

My position:

I am a capitalist - socialist. lol. . I believe in protecting and increasing our state pensions and maintaining the state retirement age as low as possible, lower taxes for the lower paid, fairer taxes (i.e: the use of two basic rate bands for a married couple where only one works) and no child tax credit or benefit for the higher paid (but done on a fair married couple total income basis). I believe our benefits system needs a complete overhaul as it is unwieldy beyond compare but it must look after those who are the poorest and most ill and those who have paid well into the system and fallen on temporary or permanent hard times. I also believe we should cut the deficit because we have time bombs ticking – in PFI and public sector pensions which is going to take a much greater % of our tax take in the next generation.

However, to achieve the above, I do not agree with further higher taxes (we are paying 1/3 of the deficit reduction though greater taxes) while the public sector (as a body) is so incredibly inefficient. Once inefficiencies have really been sorted, then I would support tax increases to support my initial paragraph.
I do have worries that the cuts will not be correctly administered. David Cameron said he tasked the leaders to make cuts without reducing services. I expect him to follow it through if they do not. I also expect him to allow sense to return in terms of unburdening bureaucracy because it is necessary.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on March 02, 2011, 11:32:02 PM
Whether it be a Police pay cut..... or a pay freeze (which with inflation amounts to a pay freeze) it is a monumental and brutal mistake for a society that prizes law and order.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12619163 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12619163)

We will expect the police to be quelling public protests and disorder, when they will most likely feel like protesting themselves!

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on March 03, 2011, 07:08:07 AM
It's curious, isn't it? For as long as I can remember, the Tories have always backed the Police and Armed services, yet no more, it seems. For all the reasons above, I think it's a mistake.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on March 05, 2011, 09:21:37 AM
Interesting blog post by Dylan Jones-Evans about UK/Wales taxation:
http://dylanje.blogspot.com/2011/03/regional-corporation-tax-comment.html (http://dylanje.blogspot.com/2011/03/regional-corporation-tax-comment.html)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on March 05, 2011, 09:56:02 AM
He makes some very good points, and I've seen these arguments before.  The idea of making Wales an 'Onshore tax Haven' seems incredibly appealing on the surface, but one concern is that such a move would effectively place national taxation in the competition arena. And that could lead to quite a few interesting problems.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on March 23, 2011, 02:25:56 PM
Main points of the budget:

FUEL, CIGARETTE AND ALCOHOL DUTIES


Fuel duty to be cut by 1p per litre from 1800 GMT

Planned 4p per litre rise due in April to be delayed to 2012

Annual fuel duty escalator scrapped when oil prices are high

VAT on fuel will not be reduced

No additional changes to alcohol duty rates

Tobacco duty rates up by 2% above inflation, duty regime to be reformed
INCOME TAX

No personal tax increases

Personal tax allowance to rise a further £630 to £8,015 in April 2012

Consultation on long-term plan to merge income tax and National Insurance

50% top rate of tax to remain but review of how much it raises

Direct tax rates to be indexed to Consumer Price Index from 2012
UK ECONOMY

2011 growth forecast downgraded from 2.1% to 1.7%

2012 forecast also down from 2.6% to 2.5%

Inflation set to remain between 4% and 5% in 2011, falling to 2.5% in 2012
BORROWING

Forecast borrowing of £146bn this year, £2.5bn lower than anticipated

Borrowing to fall to £122bn next year, dropping to £29bn by 2015-16

National debt forecast to be 60% of national income this year, rising to 71% in 2012 before falling to 69% by 2015
OTHER TAXES AND ALLOWANCES

Council tax to be frozen or reduced this year in every English council

10% inheritance tax discount for those leaving 10% of estate to charity

Rise in air passenger duty to be frozen this year

Private jet users to pay passenger duty for first time

Inflation rise in road tax but duty for HGVs frozen

Levy of up to £50,000 on so-called "non-doms" resident in the UK for 12 years

Support for families in the south-west of England with water bills

Tax avoidance clampdown to raise £1bn this year

Production tax on North Sea oil firms to rise from 20% to 32%
HOUSING

Government-backed shared equity scheme to help 10,000 first-time buyers to purchase properties
HELP FOR BUSINESS

Corporation tax to be cut by 2% in April, not 1% as previously planned

Tax to cut by 1% in each of the next three years, reducing it to 23%

Bank levy to be adjusted so banks do not pay less tax as a result

43 tax reliefs to be scrapped as part of simplification of tax code

No new regulation on firms with fewer than 10 staff for three years

Business rate relief holiday for small firms extended for another year

New rules to require planners to prioritise growth and jobs

£100m funding for science facilities

21 "enterprise zones" to be created in England, backed by tax incentives

Reform of gift aid administration for charitable donations
JOBS AND SKILLS

Funding for 12 further university technical colleges

Extra 40,000 apprenticeships for young people out of work

Funding for 100,000 new work experience placements
PENSIONS

Accepts Hutton review of reform of public sector pension contributions

Long-term aim for £140 a week flat-rate state pension - not to apply to current pensioners
TRANSPORT

£100m for repairing potholes in England

£200m support for regional railways in England
GREEN MEASURES

£2bn extra funding for Green Investment Bank - to launch in 2012

UK to introduce a carbon price floor for the power sector
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on March 23, 2011, 04:19:51 PM
Not a lot for Wales then - will have to see what the Assembly do now!    ¢¢##
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on March 23, 2011, 05:46:02 PM
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Not a lot for Wales then - will have to see what the Assembly do now!    ¢¢##

I seem to remember you can buy fuel, cigarettes and alcohol in Wales.  $walesflag$
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on March 23, 2011, 06:08:29 PM
What if you don't smoke, don't drink and ride a bike?    _))*
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on March 23, 2011, 06:52:13 PM
Cut in Corporation Tax is good news.  $good$
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on March 23, 2011, 10:27:10 PM
The odd penny on this or off that, are purely marginal decisions.
Fundamental change is required to Public Spending (thats starting to be seen)  Taxation,  Pensions and  Job Creation, (where very little is happening)
Inflation is running away, and we are not being told the truth.

I have 4 suppliers to my business, and the average price increase I have been handed in 2011 is 13.7%
My rent has increased 58%
Then there is the VAT increase by 2.5 percentage points.

Who's kidding who?

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on March 24, 2011, 01:41:01 PM
Alan Sugar's speech today in the House of Lords:

My Lords,

I am grateful to the noble Lord Lawson in bringing this debate. He may recall when he was Chancellor under Baroness Thatcher that I was one of her blue-eyed boys – the young fellow from Hackney who had done well; a prime example of entrepreneurial spirit. She hauled me all over the place, displaying me as a model of what can be achieved. I was in and out of Downing Street more often than the window cleaners.
 
The thing is, my Lords, I and people like me are a dying breed. When I went to the bank as young man with my hand out, they thought I was part of the Morecambe and Wise team. “Do you have any collateral, a balance sheet, some history of profits?”
 
“No.” I replied. “Well then, clear off,” was the response.
 
I, like many others realised at an early age that if you want something, you have to get it yourself. My idea of government support was: you supply me hospitals, schools a police force, roads to drive on, and a good environment for me to do business in – that will do me fine – but don’t poke your nose into my business.
 
If we reflect back, say, 15 years, it was customary for a person – dressed in a pair of designer jeans, a nice blue blazer and a white open collar shirt, a bottle of Evian in one hand and wonderful Windows presentation in the other – to walk into a bank, mention the words “dot com” and walk out with £5m.
 
Well, those days are over. We know what went wrong there, and we also know what a mess the banks got into recently.
 
But the penny has not dropped with some people. We still have, in some cases, an expectancy culture where people still think there should be money freely available to finance lost causes or poorly run companies, or the whim of an idea.
 
When I was employed as an advisor to Her Majesty’s government last year, I had occasion to visit many small-to-medium-sized enterprises across the country, and I spoke to several thousand business people.
 
The most frequently asked question of me was, “What can the government do to help my business?”
 
And my reply, my Lords, was not one which was perceived as helpful. I told them, “Do not rely upon any government to assist you in running your business. You are people who have chosen to go into business – which is very enterprising, and I'm pleased about that – but do not expect to get any advice from government on what new products you should make, what ideas you should pursue, what services your business should provide, or how to market your products and generate income… because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
 
More recently I remind people: “Who is there in government to be able to dish out such advice? Just step back and look at them.”
 
Take, with the greatest of respect, the current Business Secretary. He's never been in business! He’s never run a business! He’s been an advisor or a politician all his life. He has never touched the coal face. I mean, frankly, what does he know?
 
It is this realism that brings me on to my next point.
 
The current government, in my opinion, is very good at window dressing the demise of the economy by blaming it all on the banks. It is very convenient to repeat continually the same old broken record: “It’s not our fault; it’s the banks’ fault; it’s the previous government’s fault.”
 
Well let’s look at this for a moment. True, the banks were irresponsible and they have been told in no uncertain terms to get their act together.
 
But having told the banks to get their house in order, the current government is constantly bleating that the banks aren’t being helpful in lending money to small businesses – whereas the message to the small business community should be one of realism: understanding that no-one is going to lend money to a lost cause. The traditional criteria of showing some assets, or having some historic record of profits, are things which banks are now looking at before they part with their money. They are definitely open for business; that is how they make some of their money
 
In my recent seminars I’ve received comments from some people along the lines of, “The bank has been outrageous; they’ve actually asked me to put up some collateral – my house for example!”
 
Well, I'm very sorry, but why not? Why should they take a risk on you if you're not prepared to take a risk on yourself?
 
In my capacity as a Business Advisor to the last government, I visited many Business Link Centres, which I understand are funded in some way through RDAs or maybe directly from government (I’m not at all clear). The cost of running these organisations was something in the region of £250m per year. To be perfectly frank, apart from meeting a nice bunch of people, there was no real business advice dished out other than simple stuff you could pick up and learn for yourself by going on the internet.
 
I would urge the government to redeploy money spent on these types of initiative in other directions. As an example, there are so many empty premises around the country– large factories and warehouses that can be converted and made into ‘incubator factories’. These could contain a core factory and silo workshops on the periphery. The core factory would be accessible to the individual businesses like satellites around a nucleus.
 
The government should come clean in their message to help small-to-medium-sized enterprises. You can not, on the one hand, tell the banks, “You’ve been naughty for being irresponsible,” and on the other hand say, “Go and be irresponsible again and help lost-cause businesses with no asset backing.”
 
Give SMEs the facts of life. By all means be bold, be adventurous, but be realistic. Don’t expect anybody in Whitehall to give you any hints and tips on how to do it, because basically that’s the blind leading the blind. You are the business people; you are the ones with the ideas, and you are the ones who are going to drive your businesses forward. But regrettably, like everything else in life, there are no free lunches.
 
All government can do is to provide a good business environment, assistance from HMRC, for example, Export Credit Guarantee if you are successful enough to find export customers; tax breaks for entrepreneurs who sell their businesses, and tax deductions for investment in R&D.
 
But here's the final point. In taking advantage of all these wonderful tax incentives announced in yesterday’s budget, might I just bring everybody down to earth again and say, “To benefit from them, you have to make a profit.”
 
And how to do that, my Lords, is something on which this government is not capable of advising.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on March 24, 2011, 05:44:49 PM
I agree with most of what was said, but one most realise that there are not many Alan Sugars around, and therefore a person nervously dipping thier toe in the water to open a business needs help and advice.

I am not talking about hand-outs, I am talking about creating an environment where taxation and legislation is made simple, and lenient for those just starting out.

I have no idea what Alan Sugar is referring to when he talks about 'core factories, and satellite businesses revolving around the nucleus in abandoned factories'

Alan Sugar is an erudite, powerful and interesting man.  These days he would get sacked for bulling and harrassment.
He didn't get lucky, he is a born entrepeneur.  Others need a little more in the way of guidance though.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Quiggs on March 24, 2011, 06:11:27 PM
Many years ago I purchased an Amstrad Music Centre, Alan Sugars Company, The tape deck soon started chewing up the tapes and after a while the record deck kept slowing down. The engineers that came out never solved the problems. The only thing that worked was the Radio. I swore then that I would never buy anything from him again. He's just an upmarket 'Barrer Boy'.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on March 24, 2011, 06:26:59 PM
Ah - a very rich Barra' Boy! $thanx$
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on March 25, 2011, 07:36:02 AM
He's mainly right, but it's only half the story. It wasn't simply unwise lending that caused the current problems: it was fraud, perpetrated on a massive scale and almost exclusively in the US.  This is what people are missing: a small number of incredibly wealthy people played a system that was insufficiently regulated and made billions for themselves, ruined millions of lives and caused a world-wide financial meltdown.

Really, the writing was on the wall when a single individual was credited with bringing about the demise of Barings Bank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barings_Bank).  Perhaps if a few more searching questions had been asked then, things might not have become so out of control.  But no;  the city - in its collective but ultimately fossilised wisdom - ascribed the whole mess to one man's naughtiness.  Not one of them suggested that perhaps it wasn't a unique instance, and that perhaps - just perhaps - the whole system needed much, much closer supervision and examination.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on March 26, 2011, 11:01:09 AM
Interesting piece in the Economist this week about the housing situation in Las Vegas, once America's fastest growing city.

Across the city as a whole, 1 in 10 houses are being foreclosed (repossessed) and, in some areas, the figure is 1 in 5. Property prices have fallen 60% from their 2006 high, with 70% of home-owners being in negative equity.

I still think property in the UK has a lot further to fall.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Llechwedd on March 26, 2011, 12:12:11 PM
250,000 people are expected to march in London today to complain against all the government cuts.  Anarchists are expected to try and disrupt it.  The fountains in Trafalgar Square have been turned off and barriers everywhere.  I came home early afraid of being kettled!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on March 29, 2011, 06:20:33 PM
I bet the Guardian were horrified by the results of this Poll they commissioned on whether people supported the Govt's cuts agenda. No doubt hoping for a damning indictment of the Coalition's policies by the electorate, the results actually showed that 57% of people either supported the current policies or wanted the cuts to go further!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/mar/25/voters-cuts-coalition-poll (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/mar/25/voters-cuts-coalition-poll)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on March 30, 2011, 07:46:46 AM
Quote
I bet the Guardian were horrified by the results of this Poll they commissioned on whether people supported the Govt's cuts agenda. No doubt hoping for a damning indictment of the Coalition's policies by the electorate,

I doubt it.  I would argue that the Guardian is one of the two only really trustworthy and objective papers around (the Observer being the other), and has a solid reputation for being fairly unbiased in its reporting. The Indie is pretty reasonable, too, but BOT;  the polls simply reveal how the GBP (Great British Public) has been convinced by the (often highly simplistic) arguments with regard to public expenditure. It also didn't hurt that several banks nearly went to the wall, and had to be bailed out, thus leaving the public purse somewhat threadbare, facts which clearly showed events to be beyond the ken of government.

It's tempting to ask what the alternatives were, however. Should the banks have been allowed to fail? Should the financial future of the UK be so closely tied to the activities of a comparatively small number of extremely highly paid and almost unregulated youngsters?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on March 30, 2011, 08:09:28 AM
I think they were horrified as the accompanying article went to great lengths to find something, anything in the poll results to make the Govt look bad....  :P
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on March 30, 2011, 08:25:29 AM
Quote
I think they were horrified as the accompanying article went to great lengths to find something, anything in the poll results to make the Govt look bad....

Well, they didn't have to look too far then, did they?   _))*

To be fair, I think it's a pretty even interpretation of an objective poll finding, which tells it how it was on the days the poll was taken.  And the GBP are notoriously fickle, as you know. And had they wanted a different outcome, they'd simply have structured the questions differently:

 "Sir Humphrey: "You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
Bernard: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
Bernard: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
Bernard: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
Bernard : "Oh...well, I suppose I might be."
Sir Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one."
Bernard : "Is that really what they do?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result."
Bernard : "How?"
Sir Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
Bernard : "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample."
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 13, 2011, 09:02:40 AM
BONUS culture has come under intense scrutiny since the ongoing financial crisis began in 2007. Many people have been outraged by the way some bankers and top executives seem to have been rewarded for failure. But few have asked whether performance-related bonuses really do boost performance. The answer seems so obvious that even to ask the question can appear absurd. Indeed, despite all the fuss about them, financial incentives continue to be introduced in more and more areas, from healthcare and public services to teaching and academia.

"Economists and workplace consultants regard it as almost unquestioned dogma that people are motivated by rewards, so they don't feel the need to test this," says Alfie Kohn, a teacher turned writer. "It has the status more of religious truth than scientific hypothesis."
So it may come as a shock to many to learn that a large and growing body of evidence suggests that in many circumstances, paying for results can actually make people perform badly, and that the more you pay, the worse they perform.

There are some obvious reasons why such payments can backfire. It has been argued, for instance, that cash bonuses contributed to the financial crash, because traders had little motivation to ensure their companies' long-term survival

"Once you start making people's rewards dependent on outcomes rather than behaviours, the evidence is people will take the shortest route to those outcomes," says psychologist Edward Deci of the University of Rochester in New York state.

These studies suggest that offering rewards can stop people doing things for the sheer joy of it, an idea known as the overjustification effect. This was the basis for a series of books by Kohn in which he argues that rewarding children, students and workers with grades, incentives and other "bribes" leads to inferior work in the long run.


New Scientist 12/4/11


Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: gwil on April 13, 2011, 07:11:00 PM
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I would argue that the Guardian is one of the two only really trustworthy and objective papers around (the Observer being the other), and has a solid reputation for being fairly unbiased in its reporting.

Couldn't agree more about the Guardian. Their stance on tax avoiding measures is impeccable (until it comes to their Group). Also impeccable is their stance on homophobia. Anyone calling a man a Homo would be rightly rounded on. Apart from the cartoonist who produced the one of Hague and called him a Homo which was published in ... well, guess. And The rich Toynbee..where to start.

Maybe the solid reputation is only among it's own readership?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 14, 2011, 07:17:44 AM
Quote
Maybe the solid reputation is only among it's own readership?

Not sure how it can be otherwise, by its very definition, actually, but both the Guardian and Observer are owned by trusts, and thus are independent of the whims of capricious owners. On the other hand , if you prefer the Sun, Mail, Times etc.  you're simply lining the pockets of those who stand to make a lot out of encouraging their readers by some rather flaky reporting styles.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 14, 2011, 08:14:43 AM
Roumanian seems to have uncovered something here...

"The Guardian Media Group is one of the shrewdest corporate avoiders of tax in Britain, in 2008 it made a £300 million profit and yet managed to pay no corporation tax, the following year in 2009 it still paid no corporation tax, it uses the offshore Caymans tax haven to own assets, it uses tax efficient trusts and deploys all manner of perfectly legal tax shelter strategies to avoid paying tax"
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 14, 2011, 08:21:21 AM
But surely, the issue is in the very quote you post:

Quote
it uses tax efficient trusts and deploys all manner of perfectly legal tax shelter strategies to avoid paying tax"

and as for information sources,  when you start quoting from that ultra-right wing bastion of insincerity...

 _))*
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 14, 2011, 08:28:11 AM
All large UK corporations use the very same measures as GMG to avoid paying tax, yet they get vilified for doing so (generally in the pages of the Guardian). Surely that's gross hypocrisy?

Facts are facts, respective of the source. If they are incorrect, of course, that would be a different story...
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: gwil on April 14, 2011, 12:40:10 PM
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All large UK corporations use the very same measures as GMG to avoid paying tax, yet they get vilified for doing so (generally in the pages of the Guardian). Surely that's gross hypocrisy?

Facts are facts, respective of the source. If they are incorrect, of course, that would be a different story...

And the Guardian group have not made any credible headway in convincing anyone that they are no different to anyone else in their tax arrangments. Anyone else of course includes the Marxist Milliband family who have had resounding success with their legal tax avoiding measures. Meaning us poor suckers on PAYE have to pay more.

I'm intrigued with the concept of a rag having a solid reputation because it's own readership likes what it says. By the same token then the rags produced by the BNP and the other suchlike far left weirdoes like the SWP/Greens (same hierarchy mostly), Respect, Labour Party etc are solid reputable papers?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 15, 2011, 09:00:12 AM
Quote
I'm intrigued with the concept of a rag having a solid reputation because it's own readership likes what it says. By the same token then the rags produced by the BNP and the other suchlike far left weirdoes like the SWP/Greens (same hierarchy mostly), Respect, Labour Party etc are solid reputable papers?

It's more a question of which are the least bad, when we're debating paper media.  Personally, I prefer something that has a good track record of reporting.  I grant the Gruniad isn't perfect - who is? But it remains a paper whose reporting styles are consistently intelligent, whose stories are - in the main - well researched and presented without the inherent distortions applied by other papers and, above all, where the income is ploughed into the paper itself,  rather than the lining the pockets of the mega-rich.

And I see no conflict whatsoever with the Gruniad's stance on tax avoidance.  What they do is perfectly legal, and  - it could be argued - even in the public interest, but the salient point is that were they not to do it, their ability to compete as a high-quality rag would be severely compromised. And if Guido Fawkes is running scared enough to start mud-slinging, then  they must be doing something right    WWW
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: gwil on April 15, 2011, 09:43:13 AM
 

If you get the time I'd like to see the argument that it's in the publics interest (note public not lefties) that the Group get away with their hypocrisy. But on second thoughts, I wouldn't believe a word of it so maybe not eh. Save yourself some bother.  ;D

Great attempt at reducing Guidos researching to mud slinging though Ian. Running scared? Reminds me of how some see events in the 3T arms.  ;D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 15, 2011, 09:58:35 AM
It's worth noting that the Guardian itself never makes a profit (GNM made a £53m loss in FY2010), it's only the more commercial elements to the GMG like their AutoTrader investment that make any money.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 15, 2011, 10:43:34 AM
Quote
If you get the time I'd like to see the argument that it's in the publics interest (note public not lefties) that the Group get away with their hypocrisy.

It's fairly simple, actually. It can easily and forcefully be argued that it's most definitely in the public interest to have  balanced news media. As long as the mega-rich, such as Murdoch and the Barclay Brothers, use their wealth to publicise their opinions under the guise of "news", then it's essential to have a balanced viewpoint. However, to do that the newspapers themselves have to use the current system to stay afloat, otherwise the balance is lost when the papers go bust.

This isn't a question of Right or Left wing;  it's a question of balance, and while we're still a free society, we need multiple news sources to keep it that way.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 15, 2011, 11:06:34 AM
“He who controls the media controls the minds of the public” – Noam Chomsky
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 15, 2011, 11:12:50 AM
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However, to do that the newspapers themselves have to use the current system to stay afloat, otherwise the balance is lost when the papers go bust.
Perhaps the Guardian feels it has some sort of right to exist, it certainly has a somewhat complacent feel to it. If you look at 'i', the 20p cut down version of the Independent, that has been a tremendous success. Why doesn't the Guardian try something similar to boost its declining readership? They might be able to break even then and even contribute some taxes to the economy...  :P
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 15, 2011, 11:35:43 AM
The i is excellent, I agree.  However, not being part of the Gruniad's governing body, I couldn't really say  :D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 15, 2011, 11:57:39 AM
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not being part of the Gruniad's governing body
Why on earth not?!  ;D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 15, 2011, 01:16:07 PM
Quote
not being part of the Gruniad's governing body
Quote
Why on earth not?!

 _))*
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on April 26, 2011, 08:20:18 PM
 *&( article forecasting that America's world financial dominance is coming to an end and will be overtaken by China:

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/112616/imf-bombshell-age-america-end-marketwatch (http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/112616/imf-bombshell-age-america-end-marketwatch)

We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. for so long that there is no longer anyone alive who remembers anything else. America overtook Great Britain as the world's leading economic power in the 1890s and never looked back.

And both those countries live under very similar rules of constitutional government, respect for civil liberties and the rights of property. China has none of those. The Age of China will feel very different.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 26, 2011, 08:24:05 PM
Perhaps it will mean an end to the appalling U.S. Foreign Policy that has caused so many problems in the world since the 1950s?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on April 26, 2011, 09:35:20 PM
I don't imagine many people will complain about the USA's ''interventionist'' policies from 1943 to 1945 ?

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on April 27, 2011, 03:17:18 AM
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I don't imagine many people will complain about the USA's ''interventionist'' policies from 1943 to 1945 ?


Or the one's from the 1950's onwards: http://youtu.be/guAcGOTaIts (http://youtu.be/guAcGOTaIts)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 27, 2011, 08:09:34 AM
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I don't imagine many people will complain about the USA's ''interventionist'' policies from 1943 to 1945 ?


WWII started in 1939, did it take the U.S. four years to realise there was a war going on?  :o
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 27, 2011, 08:10:23 AM
In the twentieth century, America veered between isolationism and interventionism, but there was a lot of background to each. Effectively, the latter promoted strong economic growth, resulting in a huge growth spurt after WWII, handily illustrating the thirty fourth rule of acquisition: "War is good for business".  The new-found confidence after WWII, which resulted in an era of hitherto unseen prosperity, made the US very aggressive towards anything that appeared to threaten that prosperity - such as Communism - so they developed a markedly anti-communist mentality and policed both their own country (the McCarthy era, which ushered in McCarthyism) and the world to make sure that nothing and no one could damage the US recovery.

But it hasn't worked: what it has done is encourage the development of rabid anti-US sentiments across the planet and proved that meddling with the internal affairs of other countries eventually results in even more problems.

If there's a distinctiveness to US foreign policy, I think it's that they see world events and other political systems in black and white; for US policy makers, certainly, there are no shades of grey, which is both curious and understandable.  Curious, because so many of the original US settlers were themselves fleeing repression and persecution and understandable for exactly the same reasons.  US history (brief as it is) is also seen in those terms: the North and the South; cowboys and Indians; rich and poor; Communism and  Capitalism; Republicans and Democrats; and so on. While they see the world in such simplistic terms, I wouldn't hold out much hope for change, however.




Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 27, 2011, 08:15:42 AM
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I don't imagine many people will complain about the USA's ''interventionist'' policies from 1943 to 1945 ?


Or the one's from the 1950's onwards: http://youtu.be/guAcGOTaIts (http://youtu.be/guAcGOTaIts)
Most of the present problems in the world stem from U.S. Foreign Policy. How many countries have the U.S. attacked/invaded/blown up since the 1950s? Compare that with how many times the U.S. has been attacked/invaded in the same time period? The rise of radical Islam and Al Qaeda stems from the perceived 'crusades' against Muslim countries carried out by the U.S. And let's not even get started on the CIA and their activities....  :laugh:
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on April 27, 2011, 10:46:29 PM
You are all heretics, and I shall inform my friend Mr X ..(head of the CIA) ..of your disloyalty.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on April 28, 2011, 05:59:53 AM
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You are all heretics, and I shall inform my friend Mr X ..(head of the CIA) ..of your disloyalty.


http://www.justresponse.net/DougalWatt20Aug02.html (http://www.justresponse.net/DougalWatt20Aug02.html)  L0L
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 28, 2011, 08:24:16 AM
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You are all heretics, and I shall inform my friend Mr X ..(head of the CIA) ..of your disloyalty.

Not......Mr X?! He's got his hands full at the moment....  L0L
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on April 28, 2011, 10:25:52 AM
No, You are thinking of Mr Big.

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on April 28, 2011, 10:46:31 AM
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No, You are thinking of Mr Big.


John Tenta?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on April 30, 2011, 07:51:23 AM
I've created a new topic - Wrestling - in Sport, where this thread continues.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on April 30, 2011, 10:44:34 AM
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I've created a new topic - Wrestling - in Sport, where this tread continues.

Well I got a bit TYRED of it !
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on June 14, 2011, 12:15:55 AM
I always suspected that chocolate bars etc, were getting smaller...

Here is the proof...(on the link)  Toblerones are getting shorter, soap is getting smaller... and many more 'tricks' to make us believe that inflation is not as bad as we think.  But is it,  its WORSE!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13725050 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13725050)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 14, 2011, 10:07:00 AM
A trend that's been taking place for years.  When we buy a box of Finish dishwasher tablets, the box itself is only ever half full.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on June 14, 2011, 08:49:41 PM
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A trend that's been taking place for years.  When we buy a box of Finish dishwasher tablets, the box itself is only ever half full.

I wish I had a Finish dishwasher.  :-* Is she blonde Ian and what kind of tablets does she take?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 14, 2011, 09:18:47 PM
I believe this is her:
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on June 14, 2011, 10:26:28 PM
 :o  $good$  nice!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on June 15, 2011, 12:05:55 AM
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:o  $good$  nice!

I agree. Rubber gloves always make me feel frisky.

Back on topic......I was wondering if it's more cost effective to wash dishes by hand, using dish-washing liquid or to buy dishwasher tablets and have a dish-washing machine using electricity?

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on June 15, 2011, 12:25:24 AM
I DON'T KNOW !!!

But I do know that consumer items are getting smaller... which is a scandal.... and it is hiding the REAL rate of inflation which I have said before is closer to TWENTY percent, than anything the government care to admit.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on June 15, 2011, 12:56:18 AM
See the article below... working families actually going HUNGRY... because earnings have not kept pace with basic commodity price rises,
SCARY STUFF.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13765820 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13765820)

This is the most worrying article I have seen in a long time.

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SDQ on June 15, 2011, 01:19:52 AM
The only saving grace for most people is that interest rates are being kept artificially low by the Bank Of England so money saved on mortgage payments is covering a lot of the financial problems in other areas. Its like a time bomb and once they start to raise them the REAL problems will surface at an alarming speed.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 15, 2011, 07:46:41 AM
Quote
(Low interest rates) are like a time bomb and once they start to raise them the REAL problems will surface at an alarming speed.

Indeed;  that'll be when we'll see really serious problems.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on June 15, 2011, 09:05:16 AM
That will be accompanied by mass re-possessions,  but also another ramping up of inflation, and widespread industrial action as people are desperate to maintain their earnings to keep pace with all this.

Its been grim since 2008, and the so called credit crunch.  But there is much worse to come.

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 15, 2011, 09:32:46 AM
I think so, too.  The last time we saw this sort of thing was the early '70s, and social unrest saw riots in various places.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 15, 2011, 09:15:27 PM
Uk unemployment has fallen sharply this year and unemployment in Wales stood at 115,000, down 9,000 on the previous quarter, a rate of 7.9%, compared with a UK average of 7.7%.

UK unemployment fell 88,000 in the three months to April this year to 2.43 million, the biggest drop since the summer of 2000, latest data shows.

The unemployment rate was 7.7%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), down from 7.9% in the previous quarter.

However, the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in May rose by 19,600 to 1.49 million.

The rise was the biggest since July 2009, and larger than expected.

"The economy created more than half a million jobs over the last year," said BBC chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym.

"So even after the public sector shed just over 140,000 posts, total employment was still well ahead over twelve months."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13773692 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13773692)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-13776701 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-13776701)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on June 16, 2011, 12:08:19 AM
But these are not REAL jobs... these are temporary, even worthless part-time jobs, where people have no chance of creating any real wealth or savings let alone a career.  Minimum wage (or less if the employer can get away with it)  ...

...and please don't forget the countless hordes of people who are not employed, would like to be employed, but have been declared 'DORMANT', and taken out of the unemployed statistics.

They still get full benefit, but are not required to attend to sign on any more... its an absolute scandal.   A disgrace.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 16, 2011, 09:17:14 AM
The Economist says:

Jobs figures worse than they look
Jun 15th 2011, 15:31 by J.O. | LONDON

ONE of the few bright spots in the general gloom around the British economy has been the jobs figures. Today’s data seem like more of the same, at least at first glance. Unemployment fell by 88,000 in the three months to April, the biggest quarterly drop for more than a decade. The jobless rate slipped to 7.7%, which seems almost tolerable given the rates in other debt-ridden, housing-bust economies such as Spain (20.7%), Ireland (14.7%) and America (9.1%). And enough private-sector jobs (105,000) were created in the first quarter to more than make up for government layoffs (24,000). That pay growth is so hopelessly feeble, at just 1.8%, is almost a plus. Any sign of a wage response to high consumer-price inflation (currently 4.5%) might spook the Bank of England into raising interest rates.

But a closer look at the jobs data reveals signs of further slowdown in an already sluggish economy. The fall in unemployment was heavily concentrated in the 18-24 age range, which would be great news if it were matched by job gains. But only 12,000 of the 79,000 youngsters who "left" unemployment in the three months to April found work; the rest simply dropped out of the workforce—into full-time education or idleness.

The claimant-count measure of unemployment also suggests the jobs market has hit a soft spot. It rose by almost 20,000 in May alone, the biggest increase for almost two years, after a 17,000 rise in April. There is less focus these days on this gauge because it captures only those who are eligible for jobless benefits, a small subset of those who are without work. Yet it is more often a better guide to the trend in the jobs market than the more volatile headline measure of unemployment, based on a household survey. Tighter restrictions on welfare support for single parents since the end of 2008 have pushed more people onto the dole, swelling the number of claimants. But that change affects more women than men—and it was men who accounted for most of the rise in unemployment in May. The economy, it seems, is rather wobblier than the headline jobs figures suggest.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/06/british-economy?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/jobsfiguresworsethantheylook (http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/06/british-economy?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/jobsfiguresworsethantheylook)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 22, 2011, 02:08:37 PM
Interesting article about the future of the Guardian:

"The announcement by Guardian Media Group that it is to adopt a digital-first strategy has engendered a mixture of concern, incredulity, hostility and cynicism while fostering a widespread belief that the game is up for the Guardian and its Sunday stablemate, the Observer."

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/markets/article-23963174-loss-making-guardian-risks-all-on-digital-first.do (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/markets/article-23963174-loss-making-guardian-risks-all-on-digital-first.do)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 22, 2011, 02:16:26 PM
National newsprint media are all in trouble - very similar to the state of ITV, with losses in advertising revenue mounting daily.  I'll be surprised if we don't lost at least three national papers by the time the economy recovers. The big problem is that the Murdochs will simply plough their own vast fortunes into maintaining loss making papers, and we could be left only with their titles at the end. Then what price a free press?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 22, 2011, 02:29:43 PM
GMG's problem stem more from poor management and complacency, I feel. GMG lost £30m on its newspaper operations, whilst the Daily Telegraph recorded a £59m profit. Even in these uncertain times, a well managed newspaper can obviously still deliver a decent profit.

As an aside, ITV's fortunes have recovered sharply since their nadir a couple of years ago, with a profit of £286m for FY 2010.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 23, 2011, 08:13:19 AM
Yet ITV's earning were massively higher in days of yore. It's a tricky business, making papers sell these days. DT was helped by their MPs' expenses story, of course. ITV simply closed down programmes left, right and centre.  Yorkshire TV exists only in name these days, and that's a shame.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on June 23, 2011, 10:08:04 AM
I only buy one newspaper on Saturday and that's mainly to get the tv guide, we get the free local Pioneer, once in a blue moon I may get the North Wales Weekly News. I find most local stories on here first! I think the days of newspapers are coming to an end as I watch the BBC Breakfast news in the morning and all news is on the internet for free!  I don't know how typical I am?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 24, 2011, 10:09:36 AM
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I only buy one newspaper on Saturday and that's mainly to get the tv guide, we get the free local Pioneer, once in a blue moon I may get the North Wales Weekly News. I find most local stories on here first! I think the days of newspapers are coming to an end as I watch the BBC Breakfast news in the morning and all news is on the internet for free!  I don't know how typical I am?
Question - would you buy the Weekly News every week if it was, say, only 20p?

I note that the front page story in the Pioneer this week was taken from this forum and Oscar Jnr's blog. I think the Weekly News is foolish to publish full stories for free online, they should just publish the first paragraph as a teaser and then direct people to either buy the paper or maybe pay a small sum to access all their stories online.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 24, 2011, 10:10:22 AM
Big cutbacks at HMRC:

"THE axe is hanging over 540 tax office jobs after HM Revenue & Custom (HMRC) confirmed only one site in Wales is guaranteed to remain open by 2020.

Wrexham tax office with 444 staff; Colwyn Bay with 69 and Porthmadog with 27 have been given no such assurance as HMRC looks to make yet more efficiency savings in the wake of government spending cuts.

The revenue service confirmed to staff last week that its Cardiff base was one of just 16 sites across the UK with a long term future as part of its “People and Offices Plan” review."
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2011/06/24/540-north-wales-hmrc-jobs-under-threat-55578-28932692/ (http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2011/06/24/540-north-wales-hmrc-jobs-under-threat-55578-28932692/)

 :laugh:
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on June 24, 2011, 11:19:31 AM
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[Question - would you buy the Weekly News every week if it was, say, only 20p?


Yes ;D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 24, 2011, 11:31:36 AM
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[Question - would you buy the Weekly News every week if it was, say, only 20p?


Yes ;D
That's very interesting. That's the approach I take with a daily paper - something like the Times or Telegraph is a £1 and you generally stop to think if you really want to spend a pound on a paper. But with the i newspaper, it's only 20p and I just pick it up without even thinking about it...because it's only 20p!

I wonder if a similar approach would work with the Weekly News? Cut the price to 20p or 30p, increase the print run to 30,000 (it sells about 13,000 at present) and try to boost news content by making more use of (reliable) people generated content. At the same time, develop a standalone website containing all the stories (first paragraph only) with the user having to pay a small sum to view the full stories and they would also gain access to the complete archive of stories and photos going back to the start of the paper. The boost in circulation should enable ad rates to be lifted and new advertisers to be lured in.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on June 24, 2011, 12:33:44 PM
The other problem with the Weekly news is the different versions for different adjacent areas, surely it could be just one, we live between Llandudno and Colwyn Bay and I want to see both areas, If the Pioneer (not that good really) can be free (excellent value) Then the Weekly News is far to expensive for what it is at 75p
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 24, 2011, 01:58:31 PM
That's a good point. I tend to use the website to look for the stories in the other areas covered, that don't appear in the local edition.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on June 24, 2011, 04:44:17 PM
Which brings us back to the point 'why buy it if you can see it on the internet?' ;D 

This morning I was going to buy the copy with this story on the front cover about the bogus dog warden

http://www.northwalesweeklynews.co.uk/conwy-county-news/local-conwy-news/2011/06/23/conwy-council-s-warning-over-bogus-dog-warden-55243-28924759/ (http://www.northwalesweeklynews.co.uk/conwy-county-news/local-conwy-news/2011/06/23/conwy-council-s-warning-over-bogus-dog-warden-55243-28924759/)

The chap in the shop said 'it's not the Llandudno edition' so I bought the 'right' edition and the story is not in it  :rage:
Surely it would be far easier to have one edition?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SDQ on June 24, 2011, 04:59:32 PM
They should do one issue with a section inside for each region so we can all read about what's happening around the area.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 24, 2011, 05:03:37 PM
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They should do one issue with a section inside for each region so we can all read about what's happening around the area.
Defiinitely.  $good$
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on June 24, 2011, 05:58:07 PM
 $good$  I'm sure it would be easier and more economic for them to publish and distribute one copy and shops would only need one space for it. Really I consider this to be all one area newswise.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Trojan on June 24, 2011, 06:39:33 PM
How many credit cards do you carry around with you?

Meet Pete D'Arruda: A man with 25 charge cards, more than a quarter of a million dollars in available credit -- and a lot of financial self-control.

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/112976/meet-credit-card-king-with-300000-in-credit-marketwatch?mod=bb-creditreports (http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/112976/meet-credit-card-king-with-300000-in-credit-marketwatch?mod=bb-creditreports)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on June 24, 2011, 06:52:38 PM
we don't have one at all!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SDQ on June 24, 2011, 11:35:56 PM
I got myself into a bit of financial trouble with credit cards a few years ago. To help pay the debt quicker I amalgamated all debt on to one card at 0% and changed it every 6 months for another introductory deal. When I eventually cleared my debts I was quite proud of myself but I made one mistake, as I changed cards I never cancelled the old one thinking that as there was no debt on it it didn't matter. I was told that although they were at zero the available credit was counted on my credit score and acted against me for any future applications, so I could apply for a 0% card but would be refused as I had cards with over £30,000 available credit on them. I immediately cancelled all but one and applied for nothing for a couple of years to clear my credit file as I was saving up for a deposit for a house & didn't want to risk blowing the mortgage application on a technicality. They should make things like that known to us mere mortals.

I heard a case where a guy went on the internet to apply for a credit card and shopped around first to get the best deal. When he eventually found the one he liked his application was refused because of all the searches that had been placed on his file by the other companies even though he didn't actually fully apply for them.

Another famous case was DJ Tony Blackburn who applied for his first credit card a few months ago but was refused because having never been in debt and having no mortgage he was told by the company he 'didn't exist' as he had no credit file against his name.

The mind boggles!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 25, 2011, 07:46:12 AM
That's right;  a perfect credit history works against you when applying for a credit card or loan. In a sense, that neatly epitomises the current financial mess, sine banks have been driving the credit take-up for years, without bothering to think about the possibility of default on a massive scale.  Combine that with the absurd and potentially suicidal trade in Futures, and we have the world as it now is.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on June 25, 2011, 11:53:06 PM
Sadly, that is absolutely true..

Since 2008, it is only possible to borrow money if you can PROVE that you don't actually need it !
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 26, 2011, 09:08:38 AM
Making it difficult to borrow money is the way it should be. So many people have got themselves in deep problems with debt unnecessarily.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 26, 2011, 03:03:08 PM
Quote
Making it difficult to borrow money is the way it should be. So many people have got themselves in deep problems with debt unnecessarily.

That's right, but one can only hope they apply the same rules to everyone. The big borrowers - who started all the problems - seem to have little difficulty.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 27, 2011, 10:21:56 AM
HOUSE prices have dropped by 3.9% over the past year and are set for further falls as sellers become more realistic about the value of their property, according to a survey.

The number of sales agreed by agents rose by 10.6% in June – its highest level for three months – after the market was boosted by sellers agreeing to lower prices, according to housing intelligence firm Hometrack.

Prices fell by 0.1% in June and have now dropped in 11 of the past 12 months across the UK.

Activity in the market varies in different parts of the country, with demand for homes in London remaining strong where the average time a property stays on the market is at just six weeks.

This is compared to Wales where it takes an average of 14 weeks to find a buyer.

Hometrack researchers predict that prices will fall by about 1% in the second half of the year as more new homes come onto the market but demand remains subdued, causing the number of homes on estate agents’ books to rise.

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2011/06/27/house-prices-fall-by-3-9-55578-28945933/ (http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2011/06/27/house-prices-fall-by-3-9-55578-28945933/)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: hollins on June 27, 2011, 09:04:14 PM
I saw something encouraging for North Wales exports today.
An Ivor Williams trailer from Corwen, Denbighshire being used on a Swiss farm.
The ultimate compliment I would think!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 27, 2011, 09:23:42 PM
 $walesflag$ $good$
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 28, 2011, 08:11:18 AM
Seems the worst is not over as 
TJ Hughes
Moben
Habitat
Thornton's
Jane Norman

All announce the arrival of liquidators or administrators.  I suspect Argos might not last, either, even with its relatively strong internet shopping arm.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Bellringer on June 28, 2011, 08:31:10 AM
I don't think Thorntons has Ian, but they are to close up to 180 shops/outlets and concentrate more on their online business and franchises.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on June 28, 2011, 08:52:30 AM
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Seems the worst is not over as 
  I suspect Argos might not last, either, even with its relatively strong internet shopping arm.

I don't think there will be any major problem with Argos.   ;)   ;)   ;)

They are part of the Home Retail Group with Homebase, that has just taken over the Habitat name.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 28, 2011, 09:50:28 AM
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Seems the worst is not over as 
  I suspect Argos might not last, either, even with its relatively strong internet shopping arm.

I don't think there will be any major problem with Argos.   ;)   ;)   ;)

They are part of the Home Retail Group with Homebase, that has just taken over the Habitat name.

Home Retail Group is struggling, albeit not as badly as many other retailers. Nice article in the FT:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/04f3b84c-926b-11e0-96e0-00144feab49a.html#axzz1QYhxawWs (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/04f3b84c-926b-11e0-96e0-00144feab49a.html#axzz1QYhxawWs)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 28, 2011, 09:54:00 AM
More doom and gloom:

Carpetright has seen its annual profits slump by 70% in the face of "very challenging trading conditions".

Pre-tax profit for the year to 30 April was £6.6m, down from £22.3m a year earlier, with trading hit by reduced consumer spending and the continuing weakness in the housing market
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on June 28, 2011, 11:29:27 AM
It must be borne in mind that Home Retail Group are very cash rich and their purchase of the Habitat name and stores was made in cash, all £24.5 million.   I've invested and hope to see a good medium term gain.    ;)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 28, 2011, 11:38:41 AM
Just had a look - the p/e ratio is undemanding and the yield is attractive. Cash pile is reassuring, my only concern is that the retail sector is getting hammered and no sign of that changing for a few years.  Personally, I think the Habitat brand is worth b****r all, a throwback to the 70s that has had its day.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on June 28, 2011, 01:42:32 PM
I don't think they have so much bought the name - but what goes with it!   The top man's name may be Duddy but there is certainly nothing dud about him!

The best thing they ever did was demerge from GUS a few years ago.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on June 29, 2011, 12:53:30 AM
GUS was a retailing giant in the 1980's and 1990's, but its reliance on agency mail order, and its massive cost base caused it to become a millstone.
The Barclay Brothers were ruthless in slashing costs at GUS, and closed many offices and warehouses.
They did it in a very insidious way too.
They decided not to sell voluntary redundancies (as was the policy) but instead made thousands of people re-apply for thier own jobs.
Those who were unsuccessful got a redundancy package, but a cut down one.
Those who felt offended, and refused to re-apply, left with nothing.

They also delayed this process (in cahoots with the labour govt at the time)  until one month AFTER the General Election.

I think Argos retail (and its online offer) is superb. As is its home delivery performance.
Argos will survive and thrive.  It is a sound investment.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 29, 2011, 07:49:19 AM
Quote
The Barclay Brothers were ruthless

Ah, yes;  the  Barclay Brothers..  And they seek to control all the news you read, too...
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on June 29, 2011, 08:59:03 AM
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I think Argos retail (and its online offer) is superb. As is its home delivery performance.
Argos will survive and thrive.  It is a sound investment.


Thanks for the second opinion Fester!   I may buy a few thousand more now whilst they are still low.     :D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on June 29, 2011, 06:14:26 PM
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Quote
The Barclay Brothers were ruthless

Ah, yes;  the  Barclay Brothers..  And they seek to control all the news you read, too...
I think the Guardian's quite safe. Ian. They're only interested in newspapers that make a profit....  :-X  ;D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on June 30, 2011, 07:36:03 AM
 8)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on July 30, 2011, 11:22:28 PM
Following criticism from all party MP's, the top man of of the HMRC, (i.e. the Chief Taxman) has felt it necessary to apologise for terrible service and poor administration.
Story here.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14314691 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14314691)

I have recently had dealings with HMRC which have dragged on and on, and is still unresolved actually.
I note that the blame has not fallen on frontline staff, it would be very poor management to do so.

In fact there is an acknowledgement that staff are very demoralised, (I would be interested in Scott's views)

More importantly, if I was employed by HMRC I would like to know what they intend to do about it at senior level.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Scott on July 30, 2011, 11:39:11 PM
Fester I cannot add much comment I have done 30 years service this year & need my pension (what's left of it when I have worked until i die to get it!)
Please don't blame the front line staff  a few of us know what it was like 'in the old days' but we now have to comply -to progress! Demoralised? I'm flippin glad only work part time that's for sure!

Senior level ...do they do the job & face the public...I rest my case!"
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on July 30, 2011, 11:47:45 PM
Sadly Scott, you can't say I R-E-S-T my case ... as you may have noticed on your posting... that word is not allowed on this Forum!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Scott on July 30, 2011, 11:56:58 PM
Ha ha yes it's weird why not?? r-e-s-t ? Oh well I still try to preserve my pension and do as I am told it's a job now was once a career.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on July 31, 2011, 12:20:41 AM
I dare not tell you .... that single word has caused much furore in the last day or so, so much in fact that the entire future of the forum has been called into doubt!   

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on July 31, 2011, 06:53:50 AM
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I dare not tell you .... that single word has caused much furore in the last day or so, so much in fact that the entire future of the forum has been called into doubt!   



 :-X :-X
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on July 31, 2011, 09:06:17 AM
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I dare not tell you .... that single word has caused much furore in the last day or so, so much in fact that the entire future of the forum has been called into doubt!   

 WWW WWW
Ditto (if the word works)
Title: It Stinks!
Post by: Fester on November 17, 2011, 06:42:15 PM
I see that scrotum, Richard Branson, has got his hands on The Northern Rock Bank... on the cheap.

No, actually, thats not quite right is it?  He's got his hands on only the nice, juicy profitable bit.
The bit that was hived off, (The Toxic Bank) is worthless, and still owned by us, the tax payer.

The net loss to us, the tax payer, is will be anywhere between £400m to £600m.

Why now?  Why did the Govt sell now? before the public debt had been repaid?
Is it so we can divert the money raised directly to Italy or Greece, to shore up a currency we never joined?

Title: Re: It Stinks!
Post by: Bri Roberts on November 17, 2011, 06:44:09 PM
Correct and he will also own all the branches presumably with their freeholds.
Title: Re: It Stinks!
Post by: TheMedz on November 17, 2011, 06:52:18 PM
I thought the amusing price of £747 (oh how we laughed!) million from the former Airline owner also stank
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: mull on November 18, 2011, 12:01:25 PM
Branson knows how to work the system. Look how many £millions Virgin Rail has made out of  taxpayers since rail privatisation.

 $angry$

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on November 18, 2011, 12:55:09 PM
It's not really correct to say the taxpayer has taken a loss on the deal. The price paid was at a higher p/e than the quoted banking sector. In addition, the Govt has made substantial profits from the 'toxic loans' which are still owned by us, greater than the loss incurred on the sale of Northern Rock.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 18, 2011, 03:17:29 PM
I have no problem with Richard Branson, whats wrong with being very successful?  We could do with more like him and less of those 'anti capitalists'!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: mull on November 19, 2011, 01:50:59 AM
I take it as a taxpayer that you dont mind pouring your money into Bransons pocket because that is what has been happening for the last 15/20 years.

 $angry$
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 19, 2011, 07:04:53 AM
very little of my money would have gone in that direction! :)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on November 20, 2011, 12:39:44 AM
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I have no problem with Richard Branson, whats wrong with being very successful?  We could do with more like him and less of those 'anti capitalists'!

He has been proved to be a most appalling hypocrite, many times over the years.

I have no problem with Capitalism or success, (I admire Alan Sugar a lot), I just find Branson entirely distasteful
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 20, 2011, 09:46:25 AM
But he brought us 'Tubular Bells' by Mike Oldfield, which I bought when it came out in 73  D)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 30, 2012, 12:02:17 AM
It really annoys me that Mr Hester, the CEO of The Royal Bank of Scotland has been FORCED to forego his bonus.

Story here.. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16783571 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16783571)

Ye, there are many greedy and untalented traders who have lned thier pockets, but this guy was brought in to rebuild a damaged institution, and did so.
He has fulfilled his brief, achieved rigorous targets and protected many thousands of jobs.

Why should it be that he can be politically bullied by the Govt and the media in this way?
If I were him I would sod off to America and earn FIVE times what RBS pay him.
This is why we cannot attract the best business brains to the UK.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on January 30, 2012, 08:49:13 AM
Quote
He has fulfilled his brief, achieved rigorous targets and protected many thousands of jobs.

But doesn't he get paid to do that?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on January 30, 2012, 09:18:05 AM
Wasn't the bonus an integral part of his contractual remuneration?
Title: Tax and the strike
Post by: dingo20 on January 30, 2012, 11:07:33 AM
HMRC have announced that they have extended the 31st January 2012 deadline for receipt of 2011 Tax Returns due to proposed strike action with their call centre workers. A statement on the HMRC press section read as follows:

To make sure our customers are not disadvantaged if they cannot get through to HMRC's call centres on 31 January, we will not impose any late filing penalties for people who file their Self Assessment returns on 1 and 2 February.

The Self Assessment deadline remains midnight on 31 January. But HMRC will treat all returns that come in by midnight on 2 February as though they were submitted by 31 January. No customer will have to pay interest on payments due on 31 January that are paid on 1 or 2 February.

Acting Director General Personal Tax, Stephen Banyard, said: “We’ve always been very clear that we want the returns – not the penalties. For that reason, we don’t want anyone who can’t get through for help and advice on 31 January to be disadvantaged in any way.”

 
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 30, 2012, 11:30:56 AM
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Wasn't the bonus an integral part of his contractual remuneration?

YES!
Steven Hester is a Banker, not a charity worker.. and if I were him I would tell the Govt where to stuff their job.
He will have no chance of getting his RIGHTFUL bonus in future years as the left wing 'mob-rule' will simply snuff it out once more.
Analysts and commentators are agreed that he has done a great job, and for that the Govt have treated him appallingly.

Today, the govt has SAVED £1m, (actually its £500k as he would have paid that much in tax straight back to HMRC)
But, I fear it will cost BILLIONS as share prices fall, pension funds suffer, and any high calibre executive will never EVER work to assist Govt institutions ever again.   
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on January 30, 2012, 11:55:42 AM
Quote
He will have no chance of getting his RIGHTFUL bonus in future years as the left wing 'mob-rule' will simply snuff it out once more.

This has little to do with what you call the "left wing 'mob-rule'", because many tory politicians fear the voting backlash if they support these bonuses.  And while incentive bonuses may be part of his contractual remuneration, there are questions of fairness and evenness about this. 'Partly thanks to something called a "long-term incentive plan", by this time next year he is likely to have been handed another £8m in shares, which will take his rewards since he took charge of RBS in 2008 to not far short of £40m.'  Now, there can't be too many jobs offering around £10,000,000 per year, so I wonder where they will all go, if all their bonuses are slashed?  Whichever way you look at it, the financial sector rewards have increased disproportionately over the past ten years, while their activities have plunged the world into the worst recession on record.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on January 30, 2012, 12:38:15 PM
I'm prepared to step in to run RBS if necessary...
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Dwyforite on January 30, 2012, 02:07:21 PM
this recession was not caused by men wearing hard hats and safety boots,it was caused by men wearing £1000 suits and they should stand up and be counted.they are the persons responsible for this mess.if it was their own money they played monopoly with they may have taken the honourable way out,but it was not.as for fester suggesting Hester should go to America i agree ,thats the country that your wealthy person can drive through the streets and gloat at the poor sitting on the kerb unable to afford health care.if a country's wealth is measured by how it looks after its poorest citizens then the U.S.A. is truly p**s poor
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on January 30, 2012, 03:07:44 PM
Quote
I'm prepared to step in to run RBS if necessary...


 _))* _))* _))*
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on January 30, 2012, 03:21:02 PM
Here's an interesting article:

"So Stephen Hester has bowed to calls to waive his £1m bonus – a victory for taxpayers and shareholders, many will say.

Executive pay is controversial.

Many shareholders and pension savers have been left tearing their hair out over the disappointing performance of their investment portfolios, while watching bosses paid handsomely for slashing their company’s share price.

A trawl through the FTSE 100 would seem to point to a tendency for chief executives on a lower basic salary to produce better share price performance.

For example, Next chief executive, Lord Simon Wolfson, received basic pay of £689,000 to the year to January 2011, the latest figures published. To someone earning the national average wage

Yet with retailers collapsing all round, his investors and staff have some cause to be grateful. Next’s share price has risen 37pc over the last five years and 113pc over the last three.
This entitled him to a further performance-related bonus cash bonus of £689,000, pushing his take home pay to £1.4m.

Similarly, at Burberry, one of the FTSE’s top performer, where the share price doubled over five years, and is up 459pc over three, boss Angela Ahrendts, like Woolfson, enjoyed basic pay of under a million, at £900,000 in the year to march 2011.

These packages compare with the £1.2m basic paid to Stephen Hester at Royal Bank of Scotland, who is effectively working for the taxpayer, running a State-owned bank.

Although Mr Hester cannot be blamed for the 95pc collapse in the RBS share price over five years, he can be held responsible for the 37pc fall since last year. Similarly, Lloyds price has fallen by half over the year. Boss Antonio Horta-Osorio has waived his right to a bonus, but is still paid £1.06m basic.

Investors can be forgiven for feeling nauseous. While the index went precisely nowhere between 1998 and 2010, causing deep anxiety for those saving for their retirements, chief executives were cushioned from these worries. Their remuneration across the FTSE100 rose by 13pc each year, dwarfing the 3pc rise in annual earnings. Some must bear responsibility for the strategies, which have brought their companies to grief, and various western economies to the brink of bankruptcy.
Many investment professionals have become very concerned at the breakdown in the link between share price performance and executive pay.

The Investment Managers Association, whose members manage £4 trillion of pensions and other savings, admits “something has been lost.”

IMA corporate governance director, Liz Murrall, said: “We recognise that something has to be done. We would like to see change through working with companies and by engagement.”
A softly, softly approach may not satisfy some investors, prepared to vote with their feet. Easyjet and Thomas Cook are two of more than a dozen firms whose annual meetings were disrupted by shareholder revolts over executive pay packages.

Oil explorer Cairn Energy was recently forced to shelve a plan to pay founder and chairman Sir Bill Gammell £2.5 millon, given the stock had fallen 34pc over the last year.
But share prices are by no means a universal horror story. Some companies continue to do well, despite the challenging economic environment.

Temporary Power Company, Aggreko has increased its share price by 450pc over three years to its current £21.16. Chief executive, Rupert Soames was paid a basic salary of £550,000 in 2010 according to the latest report and accounts, topped up by £750,000 performance bonus.
Another winner, Arm Holdings, the U.K. designer of chips that power Apple iPhone, is up 400pc over five year years. Yet chief executive Warren East took basic pay of £430,000 in 2010 with a bonus of £537,000. This is below most bankers’ basic pay.

Supermarkets, are another case in point. Despite the squeeze on retailers, Morrison’s share price has held up well, 12pc higher than a year ago. Yet chief executive Dalton Philips was paid £676,000 in 2010/11, compared with £1.4m basic at Tesco for Sir Terry Leahy, where the share price is 19pc lower than five years.

Philips picked up a further £478,000 in performance related bonus, while Sir Terry’s overall remuneration came to £4.2m.

So while reform is clearly necessary, some observers believe the current proposals, which seek to link pay to longer-term performance, with money clawed back if things go wrong, do not go far enough.

One of the difficulties is that executives are not measured by absolute returns, as many investors would wish, but compared with their peer group. If most banks lose 90pc of their share price, those losing only 75pc could be handsomely rewarded, despite destroying capital.

The Association of British Insurers is often at the forefront of battles over pay, and on occasion, as in the Cairn case, issues “Red Top” notices, flagging up its concerns.

ABI director general, Otto Thoresen, said: “We welcome measures to help shareholders establish stronger links between pay and performance and tackle excessive pay for failure.”

This might explain why there is barely a cigarette paper between the pay of some insurance bosses.

Standard Life’s David Tish earned £775,000 with a cash bonus of £618,063 in 2010, while Legal & General’s Tim Breedon enjoyed basic pay of £785,000 and cash bonus of £552,000. Both their share prices are down about a quarter over five years."

The 'left wing ' paper this is from?  The Daily Telegraph... (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9048900/Stephen-Hester-bonus-real-change-and-new-rules-needed-at-Britains-banks.html)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 30, 2012, 06:31:50 PM
The article is indeed interesting, but is based on a fundamental untruth.

Banks and bankers have not caused the financial situation the world finds itself in.
Governments have!

Any government could have legislated (through its Central Bank) to restrict how lending and liquidity levels were controlled.
They did not do so, for thier own greedy reasons, and the fear of losing popularity.

That is the real outrage.
Then faced with a monumental mess, they chose to prop us the worst of these ruined institutions with OUR money.
Then proceeded to cut spending and tax us until we squeal to repay it.
In future, any struggling bank should be allowed to fail, and the mess cleared up commercially. (Insurance or similar scheme)

In reality the government were desperate for the banks to continue and thrive, (pensions and social stability depended on it), so they hired the likes of Steven Hester.
He did the job, even over achieved, but now its time for him to be paid in line with what he was promised... and he gets bullied into not taking it.

Anyone who thinks that the banks slide in share price in 2011 has anything to do with performance is deluded.
It is entirely to do with the Eurozone countries realising that they are in deep trouble, (a system that was fundamentally flawed) ... and investors being wary of how much each UK bank is going to be ripped off by the likes of Greece, Portugal and Italy when they decide NOT to repay what they gleefully borrowed.

Pay the man what he was promised.  It s wrong to do otherwise.
If I promise a workman a £20 bonus if he gets the job done before home time, and I then refuse to pay him... that makes me very much in the wrong.   The principle is the same, no matter what sums are involved.

If you think that the bank's shares have fallen a lot, wait until you see how far they WILL FALL when they can't get a decent Chief Executive in future.     Its false economy.



Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on January 30, 2012, 08:50:21 PM
I think much of the problem has been caused by Governments themselves borrowing too much in an attempt to finance growth without any thought as to how they wouild be able to service the interest and repayment of those loans.

They are very good at telling the public not to do such things but gail to practice what they preach!
 >>>
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on January 30, 2012, 09:20:55 PM
That's a very good point, Yorkie. The idea that we simply go on borrowing more and more money every year to fund spending is ridiculous and will obviously end in tears. Spending should equal the average of revenues raised over a rolling 10 year period...and no more.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: TheMedz on January 30, 2012, 10:18:44 PM
Controversial possibly but how would you feel if you'd thought about buying a lottery ticket, read all the rules and regulations, worked hard to get the money to buy the ticket, decided to buy a ticket in good faith. and won the million pound jackpot only to be told you couldn't pick up your winnings.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 30, 2012, 11:33:39 PM
Yorkie, Medz and Dave, I couldn't agree more.

More times than I care to remember in my career, I had pressure put on me from above to 'move the goal posts' for my staff in terms of bonuses or wage rises.
I hated it, and it was cynical.   It also happened to me personally.

PAY THE MAN..... and do it with dignity.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on January 31, 2012, 08:50:41 AM
Quote
Banks and bankers have not caused the financial situation the world finds itself in.
Governments have!

I think that's a tad oversimplified and doesn't take into account that the real financial issues originated in the USA.  Through a combination of fraud, dishonesty, unwise rate-setting, opportunism and sheer ignorance, things over there went badly wrong to such an extent that the warning bells were sounding loud and clear in 2004.

Part of the problem is that international macro-economics is part science, part black magic and part luck. No two financiers agree as to the causes or solutions of the current crisis, other than to point to the extremely unwise mortgage lending in the US in the early part of the decade, the collapse of which seems to have initiated everything that followed. For a detailed and comprehensive examination of the causes of the current situation, it's hard to better the conservative Washington Post's Business leader (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/what-caused-the-financial-crisis-the-big-lie-goes-viral/2011/10/31/gIQAXlSOqM_story_1.html).

In terms of Government legislation in the UK, it's also worth remembering that the fiscal restraints on lending were released by Margaret Thatcher's government, and simply not reversed by succeeding administrations, as to have attempted to do so might well have damaged what was seen as a burgeoning financial sector at the time.

BOT, however, and the issue of rewarding financial CEOs with massive bonus payments often based on risible results which don't seem to correspond to the real world criteria of success is one that will continue to provoke outrage.  And perhaps it's also worth asking  why, say - surgeons or nurses don't get bonuses.  Is saving lives less valuable to society than curtailing them?

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: TheMedz on January 31, 2012, 11:16:10 AM
Re Surgeons and nurses not getting a bonus while Banking CEO's do.  Surely each sector just has a different pay structure. It's the way banking has always been, at least for the amount of time I was involved in it (30+ years). Pay is based on basic salary and then bonuses based on two performance factors. The first one is based on how the company does and the second one on how the individual does. Each employee is set a series of goals and targets for the year  and is appraised against each of those targets. This is not restricted to CEO's but all of the permanent employees within the company.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on January 31, 2012, 11:34:13 AM
I don't disagree with that;  what is curious, however, is the scale of the bonuses, and their apparent tendency to be paid, regardless of perfomance. 
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Bri Roberts on January 31, 2012, 11:47:59 AM
When underperformance is identified then perhaps basic basic pay should be reduced for the next 12 months.

Under the present system, it is a win win for individuals.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: TheMedz on January 31, 2012, 12:44:19 PM
The basic pay part is not always a very high percentage of the total package. In a high number of cases the whole package, including bonus, equals the full basic pay of somebody in a similar role in other sectors. By not getting the bonus elements, as a result of  under performance, would actually amount to an overall pay cut for that year. I'm not saying it's right or wrong it just the way remuneration is structured in financial organisations.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 31, 2012, 12:56:00 PM
Oh how soon we forget.  &shake&

Back in 2008 we were all terrified that the economy was coming apart at the seams, our houses would fall 70% in value and there would be NO CASH in the cash machines.  That was perilously close.

So, we cried out for strong leadership to stop the panic , and the govt installed top bankers into part-taxpayer-owned banks.
Then... to a degree, the ship steadied.
Now, its time for those guys to reap the bonus promised to them...BUT NO!

Aren't we all heartily sick of hearing politicians saying exactly what they think we want to hear?
They are like Estate Agents the lot of them.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 31, 2012, 11:56:10 PM
Rather than focusing on the men who are re-building the banks, yesterday we saw Fred Goodwin get stripped of his knighthood for causing the ruin of RBS.

Here is a cartoon on the subject that tickled me...

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 01, 2012, 08:53:05 AM
Quote
So, we cried out for strong leadership to stop the panic , and the govt installed top bankers into part-taxpayer-owned banks. Then... to a degree, the ship steadied. Now, its time for those guys to reap the bonus promised to them...BUT NO!

There's an inherent fallacy, however, if we assume that it was solely the work of those 'top bankers' that saw the ship steadied. The start of all the problems - at least in the UK - was the imminent perceived collapse of Northern Rock in 2007, itself occasioned by the crisis in the US sub-prime mortgage market. That was followed in short order by a colossal drop in confidence in the shares of banks in general, and even Barclays saw a run, albeit short.

All of that led, eventually, to the various nationalisations, which - it can be argued - stabilised the market and the banking industry in the UK, all without the need for those 'top bankers', who simply ensured that the banks they were left to steer didn't run into too many reefs.

One thing that is consistent about the fiscal situation is that everyone blames everyone else for the problems, and the world is, as always, replete with armchair experts who all know, with chilling certainty, what went wrong, what needs to be done and whose only common characteristic is that they all disagree with each other.  However, some theories suggest that modern markets pass through phases in what can be seen as an organic process, while others point to a significant combination of  complex factors. Whatever the eventual verdict of historians, it seems likely that paying huge bonuses to bankers at a time when the pay rises of all public service employees is restricted to 0%, business are closing in their droves and unemployment rising faster than at any time in the past 60 years will be seen as unwise.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on February 01, 2012, 08:57:04 AM
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and the world is, as always, replete with armchair experts who all know, with chilling certainty, what went wrong, what needs to be done and whose only common characteristic is that they all disagree with each other


Exactly!    _))*
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on February 01, 2012, 09:52:58 AM
It's all just like a big game of monopoly! I'll be the racing car  ^*^0
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 01, 2012, 09:57:50 AM
I don't profess to know all the intricate reasons for the parlous state of the world's economy.
(apart from these days many people want to TAKE without CONTRIBUTING to the economy in the first place)

But I do know what can sort it out.  Strong leadership and tough decisions, and thats what they paid Steven Hester to do.
History is littered with examples of it.

This question was never about what caused the mess, it was a simple point about a guy being promised a sum of money to do a job... and then hounded out of it by the political media.  Thats just wrong.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Pendragon on February 01, 2012, 10:15:45 AM
Have all the other big wigs given back their bonuses then?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 01, 2012, 11:35:27 AM
Quote
But I do know what can sort it out.  Strong leadership and tough decisions

Some might argue that's what got us into the mess in the first place.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on February 01, 2012, 11:41:05 AM
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All of that led, eventually, to the various nationalisations, which - it can be argued - stabilised the market and the banking industry in the UK, all without the need for those 'top bankers', who simply ensured that the banks they were left to steer didn't run into too many reefs.
It also caused tremendous problems for all those people who had invested in the supposedly 'safe as houses' Lloyds TSB and watched, in some cases, their life savings dwindle to almost nothing as the Lloyds share price and dividends collapsed after they were 'persuaded' by the Govt to rescue HBOS.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 01, 2012, 11:58:31 AM
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Quote
But I do know what can sort it out.  Strong leadership and tough decisions

Some might argue that's what got us into the mess in the first place.

My opinion is that weak leadership, and lax decision making got us into the mess.
Purely from a financial point of view, it was a weak governement that allowed a massive influx of migrants without checking that they could contribute to the economy.
A weak government who slavishly followed EU guidance that stated that we must support the children of those migrants on benefits, and send public money overseas to them. (with minimal checking)
Weak leadership led to the relaxation of borders, and the increase in crme. Few could argue with that.

Australia are more rigorous in such policies and they (coincidentally?) are not bearing the brunt of the fiscal crisis.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 01, 2012, 05:19:49 PM
Quote
Purely from a financial point of view, it was a weak governement that allowed a massive influx of migrants without checking that they could contribute to the economy.

Immigration has increased steadily, since the 1950s, and successive governments since the 70s have promised to tackle the problem, with little success.  There are several reasons why.

We're part of the EU and thus cannot stop anyone from a member state from coming here and working, if they so wish.  The other issue is the Commonwealth countries, and that's a far more complex matter.  Almost every member of the former colonies was granted British Nationality in the 1948 act, which allowed them to enter the UK. In 1962, the Immigrants Act reversed the automatic right to settle here. But your facts about immigration are wrong, Fester. Research published by University College London in July 2009 showed that EU migrants made a "substantial net contribution to the UK fiscal system", paying 37 per cent more in taxes than they received in welfare payments. However, "EEA national(s) who are economically inactive, including A8 and A2 nationals will not generally be entitled to income-related benefits".Researchers found that, on average, A8 migrants were younger and better educated than the native population, and that if they had the same demographic characteristics of natives, would be 13 per cent less likely to claim benefits and 28 per cent less likely to live in social housing.

Asylum seekers and refugees are the third group, and here again it's interesting to see the trends. The numbers applying as refugees and asylum seekers have fallen dramatically since 2002.

Quote
Weak leadership led to the relaxation of borders, and the increase in crme.

Your point about crime, however, is interesting: according to the British Crime survey and Police figures overall crime in the UK fell steadily between 1994 and 2010, and has started rising again only in the past 12 months, showing a 2% rise which, incidentally, excludes the riots. Knife crime is seeing the greatest rise but, overall, between 1998 and 2010 crime fell by 16%.

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 01, 2012, 05:25:25 PM
I should add that immigration, however, is disproportionate in certain areas.  Residents of certain Midland towns, for example, may well feel that immigration is completely out of control. 
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on February 01, 2012, 09:08:16 PM
I do not believe for one moment that my figures on immigration (impacting negatively) on the economy are incorrect.

Real life experience tell you that it is a serious issue, which stems from badly set up sytems and weak leadership from the beginning.
It is in the Govt's interest to issue a report saying that migrants contribute more to the economy than they take... but its purely political.  I am sure that (loathsome as they are) the BNP could commission a report that says the opposite.
Successive governments want to portray this Utopia idea that we live in a peaceful, thriving, multi-cultural society.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

The problem is widespread, and multi-dimensional, and I wonder if the impact of loss of income (plus benefit spend) for the indiginous population has been factored in to the Cambridge survey?  I seriously doubt that.
Or the future impacts on the Benefits Agency, or the NHS stemming from an increase in population far outstripping the birth rate of the indigenous population?     Nope, way too complex and politically incorrect to ever attempt.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 02, 2012, 08:12:02 AM
Quote
I do not believe for one moment that my figures on immigration (impacting negatively) on the economy are incorrect.

The research projects are not always Government commissioned;  in fact most aren't.  But that's why we need objective research, because we all have personal experiences which lead us to believe the opposite is true, while the rags, such as the DFM, delight in spreading fear, xenophobia and hatred simply to make money.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on February 08, 2012, 09:08:48 AM
"Estimates showing £10.9bn in unpaid tax was written off and medical negligence could cost £15.7bn are "gobsmacking", says the Commons spending watchdog.

The public accounts committee has published its verdict on the new Whole of Government Accounts (WGA).

The report also predicts the long-term costs of decommissioning nuclear power stations could hit £56.7bn while public sector pensions could cost £1,132bn.

Ministers said it was the world's most ambitious set of public accounts.

The figures are a set of financial records for the entire UK public sector, from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 - under the previous Labour government - based on commercial accounting principles.

They are intended to show what the government owns, owes, spends and receives.

The public accounts committee criticised the Treasury for providing figures that were "too dated", because of the 20 months it took to get them published, and complained that some major costs were omitted such as the publicly-owned banks and Network Rail.

But its chairman, Labour's Margaret Hodge, told the BBC: "This is the first time they have been published and I think we should welcome that."

The WGA included estimates for costs decades into the future, "and that's why we've got some really gob smacking figures", she told the BBC. "
Full story here. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16918110#TWEET73825)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: ormegolf on May 10, 2012, 08:08:21 PM
more shareholders revolt against top executives enormous pay packages. Today the biggest car dealership in the U.K., Pendragon is the latest       -------   HOLD ON,   HOLD ON.    I'm sure I've heard that name somewhere before.



    Mike
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: ormegolf on June 30, 2012, 09:07:06 PM
   Much to do for the last day or two in press/TV about dubious activities by the Banks and/or their employees.

  But thats nothing new. We have all heard the old joke about the banker offering an umbrella whilst the sun is shining.

  But --- in the mid 1950s I was very active in the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE). In those days the Banks didnt publish a "true" figure of their annual profits. By some obscure process they were legally allowed to cook the books to show whatever they felt like showing. I have no idea why that was so, also I have no idea what shareholders thought about it. At a guess, a complete guess, it was something left over from the war period. I dont suppose anyone would have wanted Hitler to know how much or little our banks were making.

   Anyway, these very well watered down profit figures were always thrown at us NUBE people if we were trying to get a salary increase.

  A Mr Norman Stanion was the President of NUBE. He worked in an obscure office in the H.Q. of the District Bank in Manchester.
This office was highly specialised, it was called something like "Exchange Control operators." At that time it was impossible to just send £10 to Spain because your Wife had run out of money on holiday. No sir, Exchange Control would have none of that.

  However Normans little office managed to produce a profit larger than the published profit of the whole District Bank and their five or six hundred branches.

   Nothing new under the sun.    Mike
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on July 01, 2012, 12:55:12 AM
Nothing has changed Mike...

If you take a look at the balance sheet of any major bank, they declare a valuation of property 'assets' on their books.

If anyone believes that the portfolio property values stated bear any relation in the real world to actual property values, then they are sadly deluded.
However, neither the banks, nor the government nor our pension funds DARE let the truth be known.... or we really are up the creek.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: ormegolf on July 02, 2012, 08:42:09 PM
Hello fester you old financier trying to pretend you are just a humble pier kiosk operator.

   Just one question I would like to ask. I am not joking, I honestly do not know. Which way are these property assets adjusted?. Up or down relative to their true value. Or ---- are some down because no one has got around to revaluing and some up because they are hoping to sell?Mike
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on July 02, 2012, 11:27:36 PM
Mike, in banking, you will find that the institutions have probably not adjusted their property portfolio values down at all, since 2008.
They dare not do it, because if they do the banks assets will look decidedly sick, and the share price of the bank even sicker.

In Spain and Ireland, large swathes of property or land is effectively worthless, but exposing this fact to a small degree has meant downgrading the assets of those banks who own it, to junk status.

A cynic might say that the bonuses of the bankers would be the real casualty, so the over valuation in the UK is fraudulent.

However, in reality, I believe that the government allow them to continue this practise, as the alternative would be a colossal hole in our pension funds.

I am no financial expert Mike, but I did have to prepare auditable accounts for companies (or departments) that I have managed.
You would not believe the insidious pressure I was often put under to value certain elements above their REAL value, especially when Directors bonuses were linked to end-of-year results, or the company share price!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on November 24, 2012, 07:49:23 AM
Not sure how many this affects, but the new child benefit tax regs are - to say the least - rather tricky.  This is advice from HMRC:

The legislation refers to the person required to pay the charge as ‘P’ and their partner is ‘Q’. However, the cast of characters also includes ‘R’ and ‘S’.

If child benefit is not claimed by the person with whom the relevant child lives it can be claimed by another person (R) who pays maintenance for the child if they pay a weekly amount at least equal to the child benefit due. This will usually be an absent parent.

If R claims child benefit the high income child benefit charge rules apply to R (and R’s partner) as normal; i.e. a charge will be imposed if either individual has adjusted net income in excess of £50,000.

However, if R claims child benefit but neither R nor R’s partner is liable to the claw back charge (because their income does not exceed the £50,000) then the charge can arise on another person (S) with whom the child is living in that week, as if S were entitled to the child benefit payments.

Example

Roger and Sandy got married in 2000 and subsequently had a child, Zack. They separated in 2008; Roger moved to a new home and Zack remained with his Mum.

Roger and Sandy have both subsequently re-married; Roger to Cassie and Sandy to Dave.

Roger contributes to the cost of providing for Zack and it had been agreed that he would therefore make the child benefit claims.

The adjusted net income of each individual is:

• Roger (R) £44,000
• Cassie (partner of R) £42,000
• Sandy (S) £20,000
• Dave (partner of S) £70,000

What are the high income child benefit charge implications?

Roger is claiming child benefit and so a high income child benefit charge would be imposed on him, or his partner Cassie, if either of their adjusted net incomes exceeded £50,000. This is not the case and so neither individual is liable to the charge. Roger will continue to receive child benefit in full.

S681D of ITEPA 2003 requires, in these circumstances (where Roger is paying maintenance of an amount in excess of the child benefit claimed) that the person with whom the child is living (S) is treated as though they were entitled to the child benefit themselves. If more than one person could be S (i.e. Sandy or Dave) the entitlement is deemed to arise on the person with the highest income for the tax year (i.e. Dave).

As Dave has adjusted net income of £70,000, he will be liable for the high income child benefit charge. This will be equal to the full entitlement accruing to Roger.

Whether Dave (and/or his tax agent!) will be aware of this scenario, or the entitlement to which Roger has, is another matter.


Good job its not complicated, then...
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on November 24, 2012, 08:39:17 AM
Dave's mentioned a lot I see!  :laugh:  How can anyone who is not a lawyer understand all of that?  :o
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on November 24, 2012, 11:32:10 AM
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Dave's mentioned a lot I see!  :laugh:  How can anyone who is not a lawyer understand all of that?  :o

Plenty of lazy layabouts will get to grips with it in no time at all!    The scroungers seem to have a brain like a "Mr Fixit" Lawyer!    :D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on November 24, 2012, 11:37:34 AM
Quote
    Dave's mentioned a lot I see!  :laugh:  How can anyone who is not a lawyer understand all of that?  :o

Quote
Plenty of lazy layabouts will get to grips with it in no time at all!    The scroungers seem to have a brain like a "Mr Fixit" Lawyer!    :D

Except that this applies to relatively high earners. Still, it's keeping accountants in business...
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on November 24, 2012, 12:21:13 PM
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Except that this applies to relatively high earners. Still, it's keeping accountants in business...

Have you seen how much some of the fiddlers have been getting?    Many are now up in the six figure bracket, including some prominent politicians!    ;)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on December 28, 2012, 05:05:08 PM
My attention was drawn today to the National Debt situation in the USA.

You can look at the figures below, they are mind boggling.
But, then you can knock off 8 zeros, and then the figures can be related to a normal household budget.
It is a very frightening situation to be in.

Actual Figures.
* U.S. Tax revenue: $ 2,470,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $ 3,620,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,150,000,000,000
* National debt: $ 16,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $ 24,700
* Money the family spent: $ 36,200
* New debt on the credit card: $ 11,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $ 161,710
* Total budget cuts managed so far: $ 38     

Its totally unsustainable, and the American Govt cannot even agree on the urgency of the problem, not how to tackle it.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on December 28, 2012, 05:42:51 PM
The unfortunate thing is that we're not in a significantly better position in the UK...  &shake&
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on February 27, 2013, 07:19:17 PM
Got to thinking about our next Holiday and as usual did a quick scan on the exchange rates.  The Tourist Rate for the Euro is now down to 1.12 and looking as though it still has some way to go before it gets to its nadir.  Will have to ask for a Pension increase!   :D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Bri Roberts on February 27, 2013, 08:06:28 PM
Yorkie, I suggest you book Bangkok – Southampton with Fred departing in three weeks time.  $good$

At a price from £1,799 for 38 nights and the onboard currency being GBP you will not have to worry about the Euro or a pension increase.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Yorkie on February 27, 2013, 08:28:43 PM
Oh! Sugar!  My insurance only covers holidays up to 31 days!   ;D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on February 27, 2013, 08:56:39 PM
Parity with the Euro is starting to look very likely. Great news for those of us that receive Dividends in Euros.  $good$
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Bri Roberts on February 27, 2013, 10:04:31 PM
Not too long ago, I advised and arranged quite a few mortgages for customers with an interest rate that tracked the Bank of England interest rate less a half per cent for the lifetime of their mortgage.

For a while now their interest must has been 0%.

If we move into a negative interest rate, I wonder how that will work out for those customers.  D)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on February 27, 2013, 10:39:25 PM
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Parity with the Euro is starting to look very likely. Great news for those of us that receive Dividends in Euros.  $good$

Agreed  $good$. 
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on March 14, 2013, 12:00:36 AM
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Not too long ago, I advised and arranged quite a few mortgages for customers with an interest rate that tracked the Bank of England interest rate less a half per cent for the lifetime of their mortgage.

For a while now their interest must has been 0%.

If we move into a negative interest rate, I wonder how that will work out for those customers.  D)

Ahem, cough... I managed to grab one of those, (via The Leeds Building Society)
It cost me a one off fee of £1200 to the society. I couldn't believe my luck!
It was the best decision (financially) I had ever made, and I looked hard for the catch in the small print, but there really wasn't one.
That was almost 7 years ago, and the product was withdrawn within days of being launched.
I was told later by a branch manager, that it was a massive gaffe to have ever offered it.


Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on March 17, 2013, 11:49:02 PM
This weekend's news regarding the Cyprus Euro bailout has a very sinister undertone to it.

You see, as part of the conditions of the bailout, everyone with any savings in a bank in Cyprus will have a slice of their money simply 'confiscated' by the Cypriot Govt.

If you have between 1 and 100,000 Euros in a bank you will lose 6.75% of it.   If you have over 100,000 Euros, then you will lose nearly 10%
To me, this is an outrage.  The spectre that your Govt can simply go into your bank account and take your money, when your only crime is to be a saver, fills me with dread.
In my opinion the financial markets in Europe and beyond will take a severe hammering for the foreseeable future.
Faith in the banks, which has been at a low ebb for 5 years will now be further undermined.
Dangerous precedent this.



Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on March 18, 2013, 07:08:31 AM
To me it is theft! I can now see massive amounts of money leaving Greece, Spain etc to avoid any risk of this, exactly what they don't need! I've never been keen on banks, much happier with a good building society!
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on March 18, 2013, 08:27:36 AM
If such a measure was ever applied in the UK, it would no doubt cover all banks & building societies.

Let's hope they dont start confiscating GVC shares....  :o  :laugh:
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on March 18, 2013, 08:28:21 AM
Quote
In my opinion the financial markets in Europe and beyond will take a severe hammering for the foreseeable future. Faith in the banks, which has been at a low ebb for 5 years will now be further undermined.
Dangerous precedent this.

Indeed;  couple that with the lurking spectre of civil unrest and we have fertile ground for extremism to flourish. Mind you, I'm still waiting for a single banker to be prosecuted, as it continues to become clearer that many broke the law. Fining the banks themselves is simply ludicrous.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Merddin Emrys on March 18, 2013, 10:08:04 AM
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Let's hope they dont start confiscating GVC shares....  :o  :laugh:

 :o :o Nooooo!! Hopefully not!  :D
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Hugo on March 18, 2013, 12:37:24 PM
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This weekend's news regarding the Cyprus Euro bailout has a very sinister undertone to it.

You see, as part of the conditions of the bailout, everyone with any savings in a bank in Cyprus will have a slice of their money simply 'confiscated' by the Cypriot Govt.

If you have between 1 and 100,000 Euros in a bank you will lose 6.75% of it.   If you have over 100,000 Euros, then you will lose nearly 10%
To me, this is an outrage.  The spectre that your Govt can simply go into your bank account and take your money, when your only crime is to be a saver, fills me with dread.
In my opinion the financial markets in Europe and beyond will take a severe hammering for the foreseeable future.Faith in the banks, which has been at a low ebb for 5 years will now be further undermined.
Dangerous precedent this.

They are not the only Government to rob investors in Banks.   The UK government did it to me and many others when I had a number of Ordinary shares in Bradford and Bingley.  They stopped trading in the shares and then a few years later they told me how much I would receive in compensation for those shares.   NOTHING WHATSOEVER!    All the shares I had were then worthless, yet the Bankers still receive bonuses for their failure.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on May 15, 2013, 09:24:13 AM
From El Reg:

How does one fairly distribute £150m to extend Blighty's mobile coverage? Give the whole lot to a private company that has paid no corporation tax for four years and effectively holds a monopoly.

That company is Arqiva, which owns the vast majority of the UK's TV, radio and mobile phone transmitters. It will get £150m of taxpayers' cash with which to extend its network of sites, which are rented out to broadcasters and phone operators. We're told the money will extend coverage to 60,000 premises and "sections of road", but it will certainly help Arqiva maintain its billion-pound annual revenue.

Not that the revenue leads to profit, thanks to a system of loans and repayments that ensure shareholders make money and the company avoids paying UK corporation tax - as revealed by a Financial Times investigation last year.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing. John Cresswell, Arqiva’s CEO, told the FT: "Arqiva has invested heavily in the UK’s infrastructure, including £630m in the digital [TV] switch-over. In recognition of this considerable investment in the UK’s communications infrastructure, the government has agreed a tax exemption for Arqiva from 2009."
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Cordyline on May 15, 2013, 12:51:08 PM
Interesting article Ian
A few years ago i contacted Arqiva asking if I could invest in  them
They said no and they were not planning to float on the Stock market

I have dealings with them here in England; they are very prompt payers
Title: BAD BANKING BY RBS, BARCLAYS AND OTHER BANKS
Post by: colinaj on October 26, 2013, 11:13:47 AM


I have been involved greatly fighting the banks over the financial scandal by the major banks caused by the miss selling of complex financial products to small businesses, on Thursday I travelled to London and took part in a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament, where inside my Member of Parliament was chairing the debate with over 100 backbenchers and senior MPs present.

The fight through Parliament started with myself when I went to my MP in July 2011, and somewhat 28 months on and having lost everything to the banks we have pushed through a redress programme agreed with the banks for some 32,000 small to medium sized businesses.

I was one of the original members of an organisation of small businesses that came together from all over the country to try to fight this scandalous activity of the banking industry this organisation is Bully Banks, more information on bully banks can be obtained from info@bullybanks.co.uk.

The cost to the banks of redress to these businesses, many of whom are within North Wales, from farmers, hoteliers, B&B owners, holiday parks and many other small businesses. We have proven that the intent of the banks was to suck funds from these businesses, and then attempt to take control of their assets to either be held onto until profit could be made or to be disposed of to preferential clients beforehand.

There is a system now in place that if any of your readers were unaware of I will briefly describe, the banks have agreed to suspend payments upon the interest rate swaps to these businesses whilst they undertake the review process, this would be important information for any of your readers who do not know of this agreement, full refunds of payments will be made and possible consequential losses paid if they can be proven.

This is now not just a national problem it is also local news, we as an area are dependent upon small businesses for the success of our local economy and employment, the banks were unscrupulous in how they targeted customers and were even worse in the methods of how they explained these products, I have currently spoken to a business man who has businesses within the care industry in North Wales, who has suffered a heart attack from the pressures and stress that this scandal has placed upon himself his family and business, I my self had a heart attack a few years back due to the pressure.

It has now been proven that it was not the customer at fault but the banks greed for profit and bonuses, this does need to be brought to the small business readership of you newspaper for the benefit of the local community so if it saves just one person and their business from the stress we have been through it will be well worth it.

Please call me on 07939233825 if you would like to discuss this further, our campaign was described on Thursday 24th October in Parliament as 'David and Goliath', David is winning.

As stated I am aware of many businesses in North Wales who have been affected and would be willing to discuss their own experiences of the torture the banks have put us small business through, me myself became homeless, lost my business, split from my wife for a period, suffered stress leading to a breakdown and now living upon job seekers allowance, even though the banks have agreed it was their fault due to the mis selling of these products.

I hope you will consider an article so as to raise the awareness to other along the coast that there is a redress process in place that will help them and their business, we cannot afford for one more business to be defunct by the bad business practices of the banks in our local communities.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on January 29, 2014, 09:16:18 AM
I see Barclays Bank are to close 400 branches, that is a quarter of their entire branch network:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25939803 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25939803)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Bri Roberts on January 29, 2014, 12:38:11 PM
Are you sure, DaveR?

"The bank is also considering closing branches to reflect the fact that more customers are now accessing financial services online and via mobile devices, although it denied reports that it would close 400 branches."
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on January 29, 2014, 01:00:40 PM
Look more closely at that story:

An earlier version of this story said Barclays had confirmed that it was closing 400 bank branches in the UK. The story has now been changed after Barclays Head Office in London withdrew that confirmation and clarified its position.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Bri Roberts on January 29, 2014, 04:19:37 PM
It has been updated again since at 13.20.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on October 06, 2014, 03:33:52 PM
New pound coin designed to combat counterfeiting

A new £1 coin, billed by the Royal Mint as the "most secure coin in the world", is to be introduced in 2017.
The move comes amid concerns about the 30-year old coin's vulnerability to counterfeiting, with an estimated 45 million forgeries in circulation.
The new coin is based on the design of the old threepenny bit, a 12-sided coin in circulation between 1937 and 1971.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26632863 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26632863)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on October 24, 2014, 02:52:50 PM
 UK won't pay £1.7bn EU bill next month

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29754168 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29754168)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on October 24, 2014, 03:07:09 PM
I like this:

"If his diplomats can't do a decent deal, they will come back to haunt him."
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on October 24, 2014, 06:13:08 PM
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I like this:

"If his diplomats can't do a decent deal, they will come back to haunt him."
Well it is nearly Halloween  WWW
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on October 24, 2014, 06:49:38 PM
Why is the UK being asked for more money?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29757296 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29757296)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on October 24, 2014, 09:51:52 PM
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Why is the UK being asked for more money?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29757296 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29757296)

Because we have such a strong, vibrant economy, due to the austerity measures we have suffered, that we need to hand it over to people in Greece, and other countries where they have not got their house in order.
Let's not build 20 new hospitals, let's send that money to Roumania!

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: snowcap on October 24, 2014, 10:12:56 PM
you will never get your Knee done sending our money to Roumania,
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on October 25, 2014, 12:13:40 AM
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you will never get your Knee done sending our money to Roumania,

Precisely my point Bri.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: ormegolf on October 25, 2014, 08:01:53 PM
  Since when has Snowcap pinch the name Bri?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: snowcap on October 25, 2014, 09:18:33 PM
1942
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: DaveR on December 04, 2014, 08:50:23 AM
Interesting change in the law re Stamp Duty on house purchases. People with the most expensive houses will pay far more:
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Hugo on December 04, 2014, 09:09:01 AM
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Interesting change in the law re Stamp Duty on house purchases. People with the most expensive houses will pay far more:

I suppose it's fairer that those who can afford more pay more.   The Labour Party are proposing a "Mansion Tax" on properties worth over £2  million when they get into power so it'll be interesting to see if this action affects their proposal.
I know that Wales ( possibly Scotland too)  had the properties revalued about the year 2003 but can't recall if England has had their properties revalued.  If they haven't then I think that it's unlikely to happen with a General Election coming up next year.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on April 14, 2016, 04:39:15 PM
This article does not mention which branches are closing but as there are two in the area Col.Bay and Llandudno I thought it might be of interest.......

600 jobs being axed at RBS and 32 branches to close
Around 600 jobs are being axed and 32 branches closed at Royal Bank of Scotland in the latest jobs cull at the state-backed lender.

The job losses will impact its retail banking division, with around 200 roles going across London and the South East and almost 400 being cut in the Midlands, East and the North, according to trade union Unite.

Unite said the job cuts come as 32 RBS branches are being shut, with many more seeing their opening hours reduced.

The union said 220 branches are changing their opening hours across the North, while 94 are seeing hours reduced in the Midlands and East.
"With every branch closure, NatWest is slamming its doors on another community, dangerously undermining the bank's long-term future."

RBS was not immediately available for comment.
Its latest job losses mean RBS has axed 1,500 roles so far this year as it looks to trim costs and stem losses.
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/600-jobs-being-axed-rbs-11187066 (http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/600-jobs-being-axed-rbs-11187066)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on January 01, 2017, 10:57:24 AM
The countdown to the historic new £1 coin officially begins today, as Chief Secretary David Gauke has revealed it will enter circulation on 28 March 2017.

With three months to go, the Government is launching a campaign to help raise awareness and encourage the public to return the round £1 coins.
Around £1.3 billion worth of coins are stored in savings jars across the country, and the current £1 coin accounts for almost a third of these.

Therefore it is important that all round £1 coins are returned before 15 October 2017 when they lose their legal tender status.
The new 12-sided £1 will be the most secure coin in the world. It boasts several new security features, including a hologram, to prevent counterfeits, which cost taxpayers and businesses millions every year.
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/1-coin-your-pocket-not-12389749 (http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/1-coin-your-pocket-not-12389749)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Ian on January 01, 2017, 11:02:42 AM
I wonder if all the supermarket trolleys will have to be refitted?
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SDQ on January 01, 2017, 11:48:11 AM
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I wonder if all the supermarket trolleys will have to be refitted?


Considering how much it would cost it may be more prudent to change to using tokens similar in shape/size to the old one pound coin if the new ones don't work.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Fester on January 01, 2017, 03:46:07 PM
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I wonder if all the supermarket trolleys will have to be refitted?


Considering how much it would cost it may be more prudent to change to using tokens similar in shape/size to the old one pound coin if the new ones don't work.

Loving your new Avatar pic, SDQ!   :laugh: :laugh:
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on January 17, 2017, 01:14:44 PM
New Laws for Wales in 2017 and how they will impact YOU

From pay to car tax, we take a look at the new rules coming into force over the next 12 months.
From April 1, minimum wage workers will see a substantial boost to their pay.
At £7.50 an hour for over 25s, the rate will go up by 30p compared to last year.
There will be smaller increases for 18-20 and 21-24 year olds, to £5.60 and £7.05 respectively.

Car tax.....Child car seat alterations....smokers.......
Full article......http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/new-laws-wales-2017-how-12465554 (http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/new-laws-wales-2017-how-12465554)

Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on January 27, 2017, 10:57:03 AM
The paper £5 note will stop being legal tender after this date....05.05.2017
People are being urged to check money boxes and wallets to ensure the notes are spent or changed.
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/old-5-note-stop-being-12515018 (http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/old-5-note-stop-being-12515018)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on February 22, 2017, 10:41:56 AM
These are the 10 most valuable £1 coins in circulation today...do you own any of them?

The new 12-sided £1 coin is set to launch next month and people have until October 15 to spend the current quids in circulation.
The Government is launching a campaign to help raise awareness and encourage the public to return the round £1 coins.
But there may be a few coins worth keeping hold of as money experts changechecker.org say certain ones could be worth up to £50 in the coming years.
Here are the 10 rarest £1 coins currently in circulation.

Scotland: Edinburgh City (2011)
Wales: Cardiff City (2011)
England: London City (2010)
Scotland: Thistle & Bluebell (2014)
UK: Crowned Shield (1988)
UK: Rose and Oak (2013)
N.I.: Flax & Shamrock: (2014)
Wales: Daffodil & Leek (2013)
N.I.: Belfast City (2010)
Scotland: Lion Rampant (1994

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/10-most-valuable-1-coins-12639070 (http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/10-most-valuable-1-coins-12639070)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on August 22, 2018, 03:16:15 PM
Business owners have urged the Welsh Government to give small traders in Wales a "fighting chance" by matching the rate relief offered to firms in England.    REFR D Post.
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/caernarfon-business-owners-plea-fighting-15057645 (https://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/caernarfon-business-owners-plea-fighting-15057645)


The petition needs some help only 18 so far, the playing field needs leveling. be interesting to see how many bother to get on board.

e-Petition: Small Business Rates Relief Review

"We call on the Welsh Government to revise the small business rates relief system so that businesses with a rateable value of £10,000 or under should receive a 100% discount. Furthermore, any small businesses with a rateable value of between £10,000.01 and £20,000 receive a discount/relief on a tapered scale system of between 0 - 100%.
Currently the small business rates relief in Wales, only offer 100% discount to any business with a rateable value of under £6000. Where as in England, small businesses with a rateable value of under £12,000 receive a 100% discount."
 

https://www.cynulliad.cymru/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1387 (https://www.cynulliad.cymru/en/gethome/e-petitions/Pages/petitiondetail.aspx?PetitionID=1387)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: Cambrian on August 22, 2018, 03:42:22 PM
It might be interesting to know the comparative rateable values of a chippy in Caernarfon with one of a similar size, say, in Beaconsfield.
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: SteveH on October 23, 2018, 11:23:22 AM
I always feel let down when I read pieces like this, I am still living in the "good old days" of buy British, it is a global market place now, but I still think we could be doing better.

Dyson chooses Singapore for new electric car plant.
T
he company will break ground on its new factory in Singapore later this year with the first car scheduled to roll off the production line in 2021.

Dyson said the decision was based on the availability of engineering talent, regional supply chains and proximity to some key target markets.   
The company has previously said it will commit £2bn to the project, including £200m to be spent in the UK on research and development and test track facilities - much of which has already been spent.
Dyson insisted the decision to locate production in Asia, rather than the UK, had nothing to do with Brexit.

REF BBC....   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45950377 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45950377)
Title: Re: Financial matters
Post by: mull on October 23, 2018, 06:08:17 PM
That's it---------- Mr Dyson is one of UKs Brexit supporters.

We are all doomed !