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Monday, 2 July 2012

BFG Mr Jimmy Young

I appreciate that Jimmy Young is not the most erudite political commentator and I appreciate that this is extracted from the Sunday Express, but even by these low standards, Mr Young’s pontifications should not be allowed to pass without comment.
Indeed we must Mr Young, but how would you rank Rose Jones against Bob Diamond and his staff?
The fact that welfare payments overall have increased could of course be due to a huge range of factors and only an idiot would suggest it was solely due to fraud or even misplaced generosity.  Despite being wholly ill-informed, articles like this do have a cumulative influence on public opinion, which is being conned into believing that all people who receive benefits are undeserving scroungers and these scroungers are the root cause of all of the ills in society.  This is simply not true, but nevertheless, this jaundiced view causes the last vestiges of compassion to slowly ebb away.
The DWP with all of its resources does not have the ability to distinguish accurately between false & genuine, so how does Mr Young expect the public to do likewise? Disability hate crime has shown an alarming increase and it is Mr Young and his cronies that are directly responsible.  So put that on your turntable and spin on it Jimmy!
An equivalent loss arises through DWP inefficiency and incorrect payment, but this appears to have escaped your notice or does not deserve mention.  Public sector waste and profligacy for many people comes at the very top of the list of priorities to address.
I would simply ask you, how many benefits cheats do you know and how many people do you know who might one way or another be manipulating their tax payments?  In the interest of balance, it would be interesting to know if you would vilify your friends and colleagues to the same degree as the ‘parasites’ you have wrongly singled out in your article here.
BFG not BFN - 'Bye for Good!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Hypocrisy with a capital "H"

Yesterday I was quite angry with Jimmy Carr, today I feel a bit sorry for him over the way he has been vilified when he has only done what all rich people do.  I think Mr Cameron’s beef is primarily because he didn’t think of it first. Some credit to Jimmy though as he has apparently pulled out of the K2 scam albeit for probably the wrong reasons –at least not out of a sense of moral duty, which for him must mean there is quite a price to pay for public acceptability.  Phillip Green by contrast along with most of his genre, just waves two fingers to us all. 
Rich people will only give up some of their wealth if they want to and it is a bit rich for Mr Cameron to talk about morality when he is presiding over the severest attack on the sick and disabled ever.  It seems there are no questions of morality when someone is wrongly declared fit to work and suffers, even dies as a result – c’est la vie???
Only a few weeks ago a Government sponsored ‘investment opportunity’ was highlighted where a £50k deposit generated an immediate £50k+ tax rebate, let alone returns subsequently. You do of course have to have £50k lying around spare, which I guess is why primarily footballers had shown interest.  I wonder which side of the morality line Mr Cameron would place this scheme?
I hope his and his Cabinet’s tax affairs are spotless and I hope the press will tell us if they are not.
Tax avoidance schemes like this are no less acceptable today than they were 5 years ago and it is dishonest in the extreme for Mr Cameron to suggest otherwise.  If everyone had paid their fair whack then, the national debt would not have been so large.

Monday, 30 April 2012

DWP Performance Related Pay (Ho Ho)

We are all in it together and one of the “contributions” from the public sector is supposedly through pay restraint.  Interesting to note though that at least some civil servants in DWP can still receive performance related bonuses.  I have been trying through FoI requests to find out quite how this works.
It was not too difficult to establish that one senior individual received their maximum bonus entitlement of £15,000 in one recent year, but it has been impossible to find out what they did to deserve it – although disclosing the former falls within the Act, the latter does not.  Being maximum bonus, performance must have been astonishing and something one would want to brag about surely.
I think that the only logical conclusion to draw is that it was actually nothing of any consequence.  The request has specifically confirmed that there is no requirement at all for bonus payments to be in any way self-funding - clearly something for nothing.
So much for the pay freeze and yet again so much for all being in it together

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Pasties vs. Caviar.

Yes, there is an odd dilemma. 
Fish & chips carry VAT, so why not a pasty?  Yup, I get that.
Caviar is expensive and bought by rich people, so why not tax it?  Yup, I get that too.
But we don’t want to tax all food and however you split VATable from non-VATable, there will always be anomalies, so you have to make a choice and take it on the chin from the people you upset.  So Mr Cameron realised he could not keep everyone happy.
What I object to is that whenever a choice like this arises, he always falls the same way and decides to upset the generally weaker, easier targets that have less influence.  This is why we are clearly not all in it (equally) together.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Compromise Agreements - a new meaning???

We all know there is a contract between employer and employee with which both are expected to comply.  We all know how this offers some security to the employee (setting aside the misconceived and wretched “Cameron’s Employers’ Charter”).  The contract does not mean an employer cannot ditch an employee outside of the terms of the contract, it just means they have to pay, perhaps heavily, for the privilege.  In return, the employee willingly agrees to waive their legal rights.  This is what a Compromise Agreement is all about.
I guess in fairness there is a reverse scenario, where an employee compensates their employer for an early exit, but outside of footballer transfers, I have not come across one.
What we have here is an employee who wants to leave quickly and an employer PAYING them to do so, when they could be claiming compensation.  This is absurd and if true is one of the worst examples I have seen of the public sector losing complete touch with reality, common sense and the commercial world in general.  It is not their money to do with as they wish and such self-serving profligacy is tantamount to treason.
Of course quite right it is nipped in the bud, but all those around her who agreed to it must be brought to account too - they simply do not have our authority to do this sort of thing.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Are Accountants no better than Bankers???

Are Accountants no better than Bankers???

I must be dim.  It seems that companies can reduce tax liability through dodgy charitable donations and make a net gain overall.  The "charity" may in fact not exist and if it does, it might only receive a fraction of the original donation. 

Every limited company has to have its accounts audited each year by a suitably qualified accountant.  These experts are highly trained and at the top of their profession and can supposedly be trusted.  Aren't they meant to detect this sort of thing?  Aren't they legal liable if they do not?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

PA(STY)THETIC - the importance of a politically acceptable diet

I’m not sure which is worse, the fact that we judge the two most senior politicians in the country based on their penchant (or otherwise) for pastry products or the fact that they feel the overwhelming need to ingratiate themselves with made-up stories.  Was it Leeds, was it a railway station, was it indeed a pasty – who knows and more to the point, who cares?
I not exactly a fan of either, but would defend their right to the end to eat pretty much what they like.  I am not posh (but do know a little French) and I haven’t had a pasty since 1981 (if I recall correctly???) and I don’t think that makes me a bad person.  They are not after all the healthiest snack in the world and I need to watch my waistline, but there I go falling into the same trap of defending my unconscious abstinence.
I’m sure it will all blow over soon.
As regards the tax, why not sell them cold and offer a free heating up service?
The posh version of a pasty is boeuf en croute, so will that be taxed in the same way?  In fact if I buy it frozen at below room temperature, can I claim some VAT back?  They really do have their work cut out with the small print on this one!!!