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by Mr. Davis
Update September 5th. 2011. I think I'm finally rid of MBNA. I work abroad a lot and MBNA change their terms and conditions so often, informing you by post with letters containing huge amounts of tiny print I decided I got nothing in return for the time I spent administering the card so I'll just stick with my other cards. I imagine MBNA ... give cards to people with pretty useless credit ratings which explains their apparent paranoia towards their customers. If your credit rating is so bad people like MBNA are the only people who will give you a card, maybe you shouldn't have one at all and just stick with a debit card and a bank account you keep in credit with an agreed overdraft limit. The period of time between MBNA issuing their statements/bills and the time payment is due seems to get less all the time meaning, I suppose they cream off a fortune in late payment fees. The amount of correspondence having an MBNA card generates is amazing, yet, if you owe them money, they don't contact you. They contact debt collection agencies (who I presume "buy" cases from them). I was once working on a boat, the internet access was awful, when I DID get online MBNA's servers were down and before I got online again, my ages and wonderful mum was getting aggressive phone calls from MBNA's debt collectors for a late payment fee I didn't even know about plus interest. Part of the problem I've had with them recently is the web site has been redesigned giving the impression you don't owe anything. Working abroad a lot, payments can take weeks to show up on your card. I can think of nothing positive to say about MBNA. Anyway, my "Platinum" card is now in bits and I think, I've paid them everything they're due though when I spoke to them, they couldn't tell me when charges would stop being applied to some elements of the card and I have to keep logging onto the web site for about 2 months to be sure I owe them nothing. Now, the original review is below.
I have an MBNA "Rewards" Platinum card. My main gripe, since I travel a lot, is the short time between the bill being generated and the payment due date. My June bill was generated June 9th 2011 and the payment due date is June 26th. Allowing 2 working days for the clearance of payment, that means if you see your bill immediately it is issued, you have 15 days to pay it.
I pretty much ignore this card but used it to buy something worth £48 over the phone in the UK when my other cards were in my car. The transaction date was May 5th.. By June 7th, MBNA had generated a bill for my account for June where I owed them £61.26 for the same transaction. If you want a card you can use to get up to about 50 days interest free credit, I wouldn't choose MBNA.
MBNA deluge you with changes in terms and conditions, interest rates, payment due dates, definitions of statement dates. If you value your time and work out how much time you spend keeping up to date with what's going on with your card, this card is very expensive.
If you pay by direct debit, I presume that won't be a problem.
I find their web site a bit weirdly laid out and, as usual, all the stuff you need to know isn't easily found.
What irritates me most about MBNA is that if your account is in arrears, perhaps because you THOUGHT you'd paid your card off in full and then didn't use your card for a while and didn't know a £1.20 interest fee was added just after you paid the full amount which would then be liable for a £12 late payment fee, MBNA, whilst being perfectly able to email you when your statement is ready seem unable or unwilling to email you about such matters and instead, hire debt collectors to hassle you for small amounts and send you letters which, if you travel a lot is no good so expect calls from your worried elderly Mum when she's had calls from people wanting to talk to you etc..
I also find their payment due dates seem to shift around a bit so this is a "high maintainance" company who expect you to be take a deep interest in your MBNA card. Time is money so it could be seen as an expensive card to run.
MBNA may not be the worst but they're not the best so I can't see any point in suggesting you have one of their cards. The constant notifications and paperwork revealing changes to the way they administer your card have made me reluctant to use the card since I don't have the time to read all their paperwork so, the day before I use the card, they may have trebled my interest rate for all I know.
Maybe the Conservatives will bring in a limit on the charges and interest credit card companies can charge.
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Claire Rayner's last words: "Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him." Caring after death as well. - - - - - - Phillip Green the retail billionaire and government business adviser summed up the impending spending cuts perfectly: "There are quite ... substantial earnings to be made by shaving quangos." It what he didn't say and how he said it. Head nodding in his pompous puffin manner, a sense of humour as dry as Samantha Cameron's cracked nipple. To put you all in the picture, against all odds Phillip Green opened up a Top Shop retail outlet in New York during America's worse recession since the 'Great Depression.' Guess what; Top Shop in New York it is thriving! Green's business ethos doesn't cater for 'Austerity'. Yet he is the governmental business adviser, and you don't get bigger than the guru of British retail, although apart from Osbornes purse to which he inherited, without really having to do anything entrepreneurial, to quantify his position as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He may've collected school sponsorship monies for a new hockey team bus and shaved the price down a shade on the double-door school logo, but alas Osborne hasn't done anything economically orientated in real life. Eerm, Green is a successful billionaire; I know who I want to listen to about finance, and it would be positive talk of a plan for National 'Prosperity.'
Supply and demand in the food chains private sector could potentially be the Achilles heel for Britons who may be forced to picket just to aid a normal standard of living. I'm referring to the demonic VAT hike of 20% and the shocking cost of wheat and other crops, due to the dreadful winter we've had this year globally. Crops are down two thirds from a couple of years ago, and that's pushing the costs to stratospheric concerns. The problem is, the public are feeling the pinch even now, also for quite a while and that isn't involving the public guillotine out on-show on the 20th October 2010.
Of course the ConDem coalition economic policies are determined on several vital factors; firstly, is the private sector able to take the strain for four years of intravenous funding shortfalls in the public sector? The answer is no. Secondly, the number of unemployed is set to top 1.3 million extra claimants by the year 2014, causing more strain for the private sector, as the necessary evil of extra National Insurance to combat loss taxable incomes will strangle worth-while once profitable businesses. In turn, the economy will shrink another 1.5% in the next three years, based on the austerity plan. What is notable and has stabilized the British economy for the last year is the successful Fiscal stimulus that has created jobs in the public sector for short-term gains by labour; the timely finance plan has saved the UK from immediate double-dip probabilities. Sadly, the shop-door is closing at the end of December as many posts will never be re-activated, under this coalition, set on the intentional austerity measures.
Impending public sector cuts *will* wipe off £84bn worth of contracts to private companies resulting in 450,000 job losses. Business models and expertise inevitably will be forced to compete in more precarious work patterns of 'uncertainty' the under-cutting arena of what we the public know as the 'black-market,' where trading laws change at a whim. Osborne will take figures from this summers report by the (OBR) 'Office of Budget Responsibility' as fact, on 20th October 2010. They're very comforting reading to a coalition set-on creating the biggest austerity program in modern times; economic business leaders have pained over the new governments rhetorical figures for months and have concluded they're too quick to announce such a positive return from the private sector, especially as it is so dependent from the public purse. It is very likely that the private sector will generate 620,000 less jobs than originally considered during the coalition term. The biggest mistake that Osborne has made so far is to box the private sector separately from the public sector. Bewildering immaturity from a Chancellor who is about to cut and shred contracts across the land; it'll be felt for generations to come.
"Desperate measures for desperate times." "We are in this together." "Our country needs you." "The 'Big Society 'is a fairer society." "The cupboard is bare." "There Is No Alternative (TINA)." ie (Thatcher 'mantra' recycled) - These are well-known phrases used in the last four months by our political elite; even if you've not intentionally listened, you'll be aware of this type of rhetoric. It isn't new. A national deficit of £160bn (I rounded it off to the nearest 10bn) has been well documented even though it fluctuates between the 150 and 160 mark, depending what you read and believe. Whitehall aims to wipe off around £85bn of it during the next four years, up to the beginning of 2015.
The reason that they claim this requires urgent attention is so that the UK retains her triple 'A' credit rating and it therefore encourages international business to trade with the UK with confidence. The concept/analogy breaks-down somewhat as evidence has shown a rise in trade by 0.6% since January 2010. Trading confidence has nothing to do with national deficits but all to do with market shares and bold financial stimulus packages. Another major flaw of Osborne, he is reading the wrong log at the wrong timescale. Generally the forecast is bleak if cuts are to be sweeping the board without prior knowledge of the devastation that could happen if implemented as sharply as the coalition has indicated. It could be a United States styled slow-down, whereby 10% of the working population is unemployed. Fiscal stimulus packages are blocked up in localized State bureaucracy without ever seeing the light of day and on top of that the recession fears has double-dipped, the UK has the same symptoms, and that isn't even taking in to account the impending cuts.
Behind the desperado term of austerity 'lie' an innovator named Bevan - that's wishful thinking!
Amidst the dark clouds is always a shimmer of light, perhaps hope, that yet again an Aneurin Bevan (1897 - 1960) will rise from the despair of bleak economical hardship and come up with a plan that'll change policies, ethics, lifestyles for many generations to come; yes, he was the Health Minister in 1948 who gave us the envy of the world, the NHS. It was borne out of the most difficult of periods in our modern history, we've just come out of World War II and after the joyous return of peace-time the reality of a depression hit our shores. A period of re-structuring and house-keeping was in order; similar as it is today; mindset wise. Instead our political representatives are running scared ringing up Osborne in a bid to rescue some of the funding their department requires to being sufficient or actually run for a purpose, rather than twenty 'skill-mix' (people who do important jobs within a sector, who neither have any prior knowledge of the job nor proper training) workers prancing about a massive office, being paid by an agency, ironically funded by Whitehall at a higher premium than if they saved the fifty jobs, in the first-place - Tory policies reek of these absurdities. A saving of £2bn is expected by not employing this ludicrous management styles - Keeping the front-line un-touched, such as nurses, social workers and police.
History is yet again repeating itself. Lo and behold, in the 1920's the then coalition 'Tory - Liberal' sprung into government wielding an axe, the same 'national finance axe' apparent in today's climate. Sounds familiar? The cuts were called 'the Geddes Axe,' named after Eric Geddes (1875 - 1937) who implemented them. No wonder Liam Fox the defense minister had kittens, several weeks ago, the then coalition government in the 1920s cut defense by 40%. He also didn't spare any civil servants and bureaucracy - an astonishing 35% of the workforce was reduced. History is repeating itself again and 'Quangos' are on the hit list in round one of the funding cut splurge. The same bells are ringing, the coalition are re-enacting a slice of history that has long been forgotten. It is like the alarmists have risen again recycled from ninety years ago. No wonder the Liberals practically disappeared after the Geddes axe; they'd lost their identity, and it's all happening again.
This is what they mean by progressivism!
Economics tells us that every thirty years (exactly) unemployment in a capitalistic society rises dramatically, and the next forecast of an unemployment surge is 2013, right in the middle of the coalition's five year term in government. The UK's unemployment rate is currently 7.8%. Most are which are in a poverty trap that was left by the Tory government in the 1980s and ignored by the 'New Labour' administration. Now we've entered the period of political coalition 'progressivism,' it looks again the inner city demise continues amidst the spending cuts. Bottom of the pile, destined to be so, for yet another term from their arch enemies the 'Tory toffs.' Our very own Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled a lavish Christmas Party due to the costs, normally paid for by the taxpayer, her effort of not having a Christmas Party this year is yet another piece of spin that I do not buy. Its not that her lifestyle has changed, in fact it'll be business as normal. Meanwhile the taxpayer continues taking the brunt of her annual costs under the heading 'tradition.' Her annual income of 500,000 GBP from oversea engagements and tourism surely could pay for her fuel bill, instead of going into a cash pot just to rot.
Hands up if you remember the G20 Summit in April 2009? It seems a long time ago and nothing appears to have flourished from the London event that discussed tax havens, financial banking levies, capitalism and even dabbled in the bonus culture. This is where my confusion is heightened, now the spending cuts are knocking on the door of every household in the UK, I therefore am going to delve into a labyrinth of conflicts of interests and demented contradictions, that should've solved the UK deficit. One of the first concerns for the G20 Summit was to close lucrative veins for illegal tax havens and make the fifteen main tax havens accountable for loss of taxable business earnings, many of which are UK firms who claim to reside in the Cayman Islands, Moldova, Belize, Monaco, the list goes on. International Banks and illegal offshore practices were on the G20 Summit agenda, considering the Western World Global Market near financial catastrophe. Illegal tax havens were to foot the bill, for the demise and failings of the US and UK finance sectors; it was estimated a figure of £223bn was owed collectively by the main fifteen illegal tax havens back to the UK treasury. Yet since the end of May 2009, a silence has emerged of the alleged agreed G20 plans; fronted by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling.
The whole G20 Summit was deemed a great success. Conflicting messages to what the now coalition is imposing with deep cuts across the spectrum, squeezing middle England till she squeaks and stifling growth, creating a widening chasm between the rich and poor. Tories are renowned for it. For a political party who've bank-rolled themselves' into 'near power,' the election was close to being a financial disaster for Cameron's 'Big Society,' ambiguous vision - especially as it already exists in every town, community centre, and average house-hold who works all the hours God sends them. The rhetoric is beyond spin, it is immoral. It's like saying: 'brown whole-meal bread is better for you than white economy bread.' Totally obvious and fundamentally flawed, the concept of the 'big society' shafts governmental collective responsibility; it will cost more for the taxpayer, for less value. Again the concept smells very much like a John Major 'Back to basics' message; pure rhetoric, no substance; for much less value, therefore feasibly unworkable.
I, 'Osborne' under a wallpaper Czar
The Tories have major fingers in the pies of the top 50 companies in the FTSE100: Most of them have made hefty Tory contributions a few months before polling day, and would you know it, have their head-offices in the tax-haven paradise of Cayman Islands; (hedge-fund businesses) - remarkably the Tory conference clearly stated they were going to crack-down on tax-havens, the same organizations that fund them; Tory sleaze oozing out from their pores already. They've safe-guarded companies trust by opting to go to Britain's hard-working people via an incredulous, ferocious spending cuts agenda. It has nothing to do with the UK public. It has everything to do with the crazy gang financial sector creating huge wealth and not declaring it and that is illegal. 'Capitalism at it's most frail,' - another itinerary matter that G20 claimed to have resolved via a 'new global finance model.' Whatever that means? Now it has been all swept under the carpet without a second thought, eighteen months on, just about long enough for the average house-owner to forget. In fact, ironically the death of Ian Tomlinson took most of the headlines, all very carefully orchestrated, with the offending policeman who had strangely struck Mr. Tomlinson a passer-by, only to be let off with the crime completely - suffice to say it is very bizarre.
Late in 2009, the British Crown Dependencies made significant contributions to the UK market, the figure £195bn. It was injected into the financial market to free-up the stagnant banks that were too busy keeping hold of their assets; and nevertheless still are. Why weren't the huge financial package contributions from Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man used to clear the alleged deficit, they're part of the British Crown and in the long-term would benefit the Islands because the Queen is their monarch too? Plus the UK would keep there triple 'A' credit rating, which the coalition are harping on about *now*, again benefiting the British Isles as a whole. In layman terms it looks as if the deficit doesn't exist, or it wasn't there in the second quarter of 2009. The choices made to free-up markets, doesn't comply when more urgent demands of 'the deficit' is obviously a more urgent concern, going by the coalitions urgency for cuts. You can't have it both ways. Either way the coalition is attempting to dupe the electorate and it is working; polls say the Tories are 1% up in the last week.
During George Osborne's address to the conference several weeks ago, he'd claimed that the British people supported the coalition's vision of dealing with the deficit by 2015; when in fact a 'Populus poll' at the time found that barely 22% agreed with squeezing middle England till she squeaks. I suppose the more worrying factor is, that all the governing bodies backing Osborne, including Bank of England and credit giants 'Experian,' completely misjudged the 'perfect financial storm' when the UK was a couple of hours away from total financial collapse (apparently) I'm surprised it wasn't forty five minutes away.
'Expats' are coining in 16mn from just having a property in the UK, on fuel allowances alone. A pittance considering the amounts of money I've mentioned. But if I say £34bn has had the go-ahead this week to build nuclear plantations near you and me, without your say so, it is a lot of money to dish out when major cuts are imminent. I suddenly think of blue-chip businesses, illegal trade, corrupt government, as we already know, the Tory government have accepted sizeable funding from illegal tax havens. "It's back to old-school politics" - Where Cameron and his rich buddies will become more powerful and rich, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill. One poisoned chalice is the medias favourite, 'child benefit;' very meager funds will be collected via this outlandish cut; it is seen as taking money from mothers and children, from one income families. Usually the two main entities a standard government *protects,* considering it is only hitting 16% of claimants you wonder if they thought it through, especially as the loopholes are so big I doubt any money will be made from the scheme; - another incoherent policy oddity.
'Austerity,' wasn't she a character in the TV program 'The Good Life!'
All charities are out for a bidding war in January 2011 to save their current funding which they get from (PCT's) Primary Care Trusts, who are going to be reduced substantially also. I must admit I'm feeling a little prickly under the collar - although I'm unsure where the cuts could touch me, personally; however, as I'm involved in fundraising for a charity, my main focus will be purely on January's funding as it is rumored half a million will be swiped off leaving me to deal with the shortfall. I'll have to dig deep and hope a multiple number of hands could help and deploy this ambiguous 'big society' rhetoric along with juggling a demanding occupation two point four children, the dog, the hamster, plus spouse. If you drop one, a hefty bill could appear on the welcome mat, especially from a vet.
To say the coalition has endured a successful extended honeymoon period is an understatement; it has been good news in the city, because overall it has stabilized UK markets and therefore fine in the short-term. Sadly the good news just stops there. In the city short-term wealth generated doesn't help any average income house-hold; the bonus culture has never been healthier in the finance sector, paid for by the taxpayer. Bonuses will hit headlines now ere entering the season when they're implemented; the one to watch for are the Whitehall bonus's estimated at 140Mn every year. Perhaps another poisoned chalice that'll leave you disgusted - and *No* we are not in this together! George Osborne while in the shadow government has safe-guarded all of his own family inheritance last year prior to potential front-line politics. He will pay *No* inheritance fees, due to the share mechanism his Father and other share-holders have in Osborne's multi-million pound wallpaper firm. The scheme has been manipulated to its full capacity, whereby Osborne benefits in all areas. Does this sound like a man who should be trusted when he says "We are all in this together?" The facts speak for themselves.
At present, several snippets of leaks have shown a stomach churning £25bn spending cut fiasco in the duration of the current administration. Another £50bn has yet to be emerged and it isn't coming from the MoD - Ministry of Defence - Liam Fox has been forced to accept a cut of 8% over the next 4.5 years, double the amount Dr. Fox had drawn-up. Welfare and the benefit system will apparently lose £5.2bn but I feel the minefield outfit won't be cost-effective as fraud teams will swallow up huge fees trying to counter-act against fraudulent claims, mildly rich from a Tory government who accepts funding from corrupt tax havened businessmen.
Something to think about when we are forced these impending ferocious spending cuts, yet again, faithfully endured with gritted teeth; the good old British Bulldog spirit; although I wouldn't be surprise if it pulls at the leash dragging Osborne and his cronies to ransom. MP's have reported to be afraid of potential spending cut 'lynch mobs' standing outside their abodes. They've already alerted private enforcement officers paid for by the taxpayer. It's a mad world.
Thank you for reading this rather broad subject.
copyright 10 -2010 -1st2thebar
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The national deficit is £158 billion pounds - the welfare bill is £170 billion. You do the math. Too many British people are not working, be it because they are too old or too feckless, and so the nation living beyond its means. We have to bring down that gap or the country is finished. Its Greece time! The Tories intend to do it over ... the next four years and we voted out Labour so have to respect it's their turn now and so take their medicine.
The so-called "Big Society" is really the Tories wanting to take the opportunity to cull the public services and slash the welfare bill, somewhat of a contradiction, plenty of public servants soon on the dole to wipe-out the savings, 7% cuts for the next four years meaning one-in-eight public servants will lose their job by 2015. If we want the streets cleaned and day-care for our elders then we are going to have to do it ourselves. If you parent has dementia and nearing 24 hour care then there will be no care home and you will have to leave your job to care for them. I did exactly that and it's not a nice experience. But it's the cheap option we are heading to.
The benefit bill went up from £133 billion to near £200 billion under New Labour as Blair tried to hide the long term unemployed on sickness benefit and so failed miserably to stem the underclass growth, we have to change as a society and be less dependent on the public purse and so weed out the wasters, of which there are many. We can't do anything about the pensioners as they are entitled to the respect and support of the state but we can the feckless layabouts. Half of all the kids born here since 1997 are in single parent households and the long term sickness benefit claims have doubled under Labor. This has encouraged people to become benefit dependent and so fraud and waste has also increased, mass immigration from the third world paying its part in driving up handouts by a third in just 15 years, be it more claims from South East Asia and Africa. The Poles are willing to take all the jobs on offer and so can't be blamed, highlighting the fact that one lot of fresh and hardworking immigrants are better than the other lot.
Ian Duncan Smith puffed his chest out at conference last week with a defiant look and declared he was ready to take on the benefit scroungers on behalf of Middle-England, then immediately cutting middle - class Child Benefit. In fact the Tory conference backed off big time in mentioning the cuts, the Tories, dare I say it, slyly fancying another four years in power by delaying the hardcore austerity measures we clearly need so to chase early votes.
85% of people polled said they agreed with the child benefit cut, the other 15% that didn't the number of people who will lose out when the 44 grand limit comes in. We like the cuts if they don't affect us. The voters that screamed pre-election that they would vote for the party that is honest over the cuts have well and truly been bellowed out. But the harsh fact is the cutting a low paid public service job paying £17 grand and putting them on the dole paying £4 grand jobseekers a year saves the state £13 grand. That's the desperate thinking right now.
A is for the Armed services
Luckily we don't have anybody in the military in our family, but for those who do it must be a tough time. The amount of lads and lasses serving today that have parents in the forces is remarkably high, that military family pride a powerful weapon at home too, the Help for Hero's campaign raising twenty million pounds in the U.K. But we have also reached an absurd situation in the military where parents are suing if their kids get injured in war, saying the equipment their sons and daughters were given was very dangerous, or not dangerous enough, so to speak. One group of posh families sued the air force for letting their kids fly in the poorly designed Nimrod radar plane over Afghanistan that duly blew up, and bagged £15 million between them this year, whilst parents not quite so high in the pecking order are claiming their boys that were massacred in the Shiia uprising in that police station were not given handguns to defend themselves because it was too expensive. But hang on a minute guys! War is supposed to be dangerous and if you don't want your kids to be involved in oil and power grabs then don't let them join up! Just think of all the innocent Iraqis and Afghans slaughtered by our far superior munitions and weapons that certainly won't be suing.
For me its time to slash the arms budget and get the regiments and air groups down to the size they should be for the public spend we can now afford. Did you know we still have over 500 top ranked officers of the various forces living in grace and favour splendour around the country with butlers and staff? We 15 admirals and only three have been on a boat in the last ten years! One fleet commander took two of his sergeants out of Iraq so they could be his butlers in West London? In comparison the huge US forces have just 85
Officers ranked around general.
The British class system, not common sense, seems to be dictating our armed forces size still. Inter service rivalry doesn't help either and its time to chainsaw the services and merge two of the three armed forces. Arms procurement is the really expensive bit though and we still make nearly all of our equipment, from fast jets to machine guns, from tanks to Landrovers, even if they are inferior to other foreign manufacturers. In one case we wasted billions building a new helicopter for the army because if we built it the size we needed to rival the Blackhawk it would have to be under the control of the air force and so the army made sure it was just too small for them so they would keep it at their bases. The chopper is pretty poor because of and its pathetic in-house squabbling like that which wastes big money, the main reason we can't afford the right helicopters today we need in the field.
B is for Banks
On the banks and I'm fed up with everyone blaming them 100% for this debt bubble. The trillion pound debt is money WE foolishly borrowed and will foolishly borrow again. Do you really need that 24 inch plasma TV? The fact is we requirebanking and stock market growth to pay for our public service, the old folks and benefit claimants very expensive, so need to put complex derivatives in place to generate false money. That's basically what the city does. A housing bubble is the best way to do that, Gordon Brown unregulating the City to allow that bubble to inflate so to pay for Blair's social welfare and public social service programs that would win him votes in three elections. The irony is that the city generated 25% of the country's wealth in the first ten years of New Labour and lost that amount in the last three years of New Labour. Its not real money guys and we are only rich as a country because we can pull this crap. We don't make anything, we don't exploit mineral wealth and we don't export anything much anymore. Our wealth is the service industry and The City and the Nukes make sure we can pay that debt back at favourable AAA rating. We are basically good for it or else!
C is for Child benefit
The star of the so-called universal benefits is being phased out by the looks. It should have been cut down years ago as posh mums have always just tucked it away in the bank and then gone skiing on it in term time with the kids. They don't need this money but will no doubt get it back through some tax dodge or another next year, via their greedy accountants, who may suggest people on 45 grand a year to ask for a pay drop to dip below the 44 grand cut off point to keep getting it. In fact middle-class tax evasion alone matches the schools and the health budget in the UK. The rule change will need a tweaking as its been pointed out that two parents on 44k will get it relief and one on 45k wont, a barmy outcome. But it's the Tory mantra to keep families and couples together so that may help.
D - Debt
We need to be worried about our personal debt as well as the nation's debt. We know from our credit card repayments that half of those bills are solely interest, which is the same for national debt, £4 billion pounds alone paid last month to foreign countries who have obligingly purchased our debt, money they are spending on education and health, and money this country can't on those things. We all spent too much on credit cards and mortgages and now its pay back time. I say pay it down now before interest rates rise and that monthly payment doubles. Juts pay it off fast!
E - Employment
It's a fair argument to say that if we lay off half-a-million public servants their wages won't be going into the economy and some of those people will have to sign on. But if those jobs can be transferred to the private sector, along with their pension schemes, our council taxes could come down a long way and we would be able to at least spend that extra money in the economy. 30% of your council tax pays civil and public servants wages whilst 25% pays for their pension black holes. The question now is can the private sector replace those lost jobs in the economy? That answer is probably no. In the last thirty years alone manufacturing jobs have halved here due to economies of scale through cheap labour abroad and advanced machinery and so if we can't get those jobs back and aren't employing in the public service then where are the new jobs going to come from? Now you know why Blair created so many of the so-called 'non jobs' in public service.
F - Film Council
The destruction of the Film Council by Cameron is annoying to me as the British film industry had turned its act around through them. They help to get good films made and have tried to cut back on tax break dross being made that has sullied the British film industry over the recent decades. They also make back ten pounds for every one pound invested.
G - Growth
Im not expecting much as I believe the core reason Blair created public service jobs was because of the decline of the manufacturig industry.
H - Housing benefit
Its bay far the biggest benefit paid out and the state effectively pays the rent of the nations unemployed, pushing £40 billion a year. Some people have been taking the pi** out of us by having ever increasing amounts of kids to be moved to bigger houses, many from the white underclass and ethnic minorities. You have this absurd situation where £600 a month rents are being paid by you guys to people who have never worked a day in their life and have little intention to, but enjoying the nations city centres. The government are going to cap the total benefits any household can receive to below £28,000 in a move to stop unemployed families moving up the housing chain by having kids. Council and sink estate have already imprisoned people in areas where there is no longer work and so this cap will only increase that problem.
I - Iraq and Afghanistan
As every Muslim insurgent will tell us: It's my duty to fight the invader, whether it's in Iraq or Afghanistan - or, indeed, a bomb factory in West Yorkshire. Britain had no right to be out there and we got our ass kicked, working-class Brits sent over to foreign lands to make arms and oil companies some what richer, Iraq declaring it has 25% more oil than it originally thought after signing new oil deals with the west. In return working-class Muslims blew up the London transport system. The Americans opened an absurd powder keg out there, first the Iraqis fighting the Americans, then the Baathist teaming up with Al-Qaeda to fight America and then the Baathist joining the Americans to fight Al -Qaeda? It's a similar deal in Afghanistan, a mindless war and we need to get the guys out sharpish and stop wasting lives and money out there.
Iraq affects all of our lives because the war made us a target for disaffected unemployed Muslims in our inner cities, kids not allowed to drink or kiss girls, unless it's at the arranged wedding, a frustrating state of affairs for a young lad with the world ahead of him.
J - Jobseekers Allowance
Surprisingly it's just 7% of the benefits bill at £4 billion and many of you guys have claimed it in the past, more than you are saying. There are plans to bundle all benefits into one and keep you signed on, even when you are working, but simply cut the credit as your employment grows, a good idea. Many families who claim to not work because they would lose money if they worked are really saying they don't want to do sh*t jobs if they can make something similar on the dole. The answer is to increase the minimum wage and decrease benefits, Ian Duncan Smiths plan, but very expensive so something for the Tories second term, why they are delaying it. It will mean a lot of job loses in the DWP though, another bonus for the Tories.
K is for Kids trust funds
I'm a little sad that they got rid of these and although I have no kids myself (that I know of) I see these as a great way for parents to save and so pay for their kids increasingly expensive university education or deposit on their first house or flat when they come of age. Child benefit in poorer families tends not always to be spent on the kids and so this way the money was always going to be for the kids.
L is for Local Councils
The cull of jobs has been raging for a while in your local and county councils and in Northampton all surviving 1,232 borough council workers were given letters to explain their new terms and conditions. 40% suffered no wage change whilst %37 actually got a pay rise with just 23% getting a fall. The council were smart though as they tied in the cuts with new fair pay legislation to close the gap between women and men's pay. The lied of dinner ladies and care workers wages have risen whilst refuse and gardeners wages have fallen to meet in the middle. The councillors, though, still had enough left to put up their expenses.
The council Chief Exec gets over 200k and we are on our fifth in five years, all the previous one's paid up and of with a full wage and pension rights, a quite disgusting procedure/loop hole that allows these guys to give up the job very quickly and then apply for the same job in other councils and repeat the cash in as they near retirement. The people who employ them also get Pay offs. The councils have had their council tax bills capped and so the only way to make it work is to cut services, those job savings the Tories demand.
The well-healed may think reduced services wont effect them but the loss of public care home and certain day centres and healthcare will wipe-out their savings.
M is for Means Tested
It looks like all benefits will be increasingly means tested under the Tories and that means a reduction in claims. A lot of older people today are too proud to apply for money they are entitled to, and in the old days paid to them by right. It was a sneaky move by New Labour to make pension credit paid this way and I'm sure this lot will do the same with the heating allowance. When I go around my mums she uses the central heating as a comfort blanket now dads died and the bills are huge. A few less pensioners on the planet would suit the Tories as it brings down that ballooning dementia cost and so expect the minimum age to claim the allowance rise to 70 soon. The forced closure of care homes will tie older people into the care of younger families.
N is for Nukes
Trident, our new sub based nuclear defence system is set to cost 100 billion quid, which could easily double the way these things are done. Half of our current nuclear deterrent is warehoused in America and we can't fire or target the things without US satellites and authorisation. I want to keep our nuclear missile capability because it's our only powerbase of note these days and helps us pay off our debts a little slower. But the new system is too expensive and cuts can be made. It's the cost of building and running the new subs that's the bulk of that £100 billion so maybe we could cut back on missiles and subs by 50%?
O is for overseas workers
British firms love immigration because it firstly drives down base wage costs but they also don't have to pay pension and holiday contributions to the mostly temporary workforce. And if the Eastern Europeans lose their jobs they cant claim benefits for 12 months so have to go home, why the government love them. Employers want a constant stream of young hardworking grafters and as 90% of the Poles are not graduates and willing to do anything then there is an infinite amount of them available to them, forcing those Brits out of work that need a decent wage to pay the household bills. Birmingham Council have said they are accepting no more asylum seekers in the city due to the struggle to house our own citizens, even though the number in relatively low. The right wing is rising and the left are targets.
P is for Pensions
In the old days the working man would retire at 65 and be dead before 70, 75 if he was lucky. Today public servants and middle-England can retire at 55 and have 30 years more life, the public purse having to fill that pension's black hole. Private industry had foreseen these problems years ago and began to close final pension payouts, as well as cutting their contributions. The public service now has to go through this change and now is the time to do it. Many people who work in public service do it for that reason, whilst others are just not good enough for the same role in private business. I know plenty of people who are lazy in public service and its almost part of your contract that you can have 6 weeks off a year sick. I have two frozen pensions from two full time jobs I did over the years and like any people under 50 its out of sight out of mind as far as retirement goes. The system is broke and we just can't continue ageing as we are - why we need a huge and young taxpaying immigrant workforce.
Q is for Quango's
These are generally organisations set up to bypass the ruling parliament's responsibilities on decisions to be made, usually staffed by the party in powers cronies. The Tory's want to sweep most of them away for that reason and so replace them with their own people, many members paid big salaries for less than a 10 hours a week. I say 'nuke' as many as possible and lets save some money there, these places having little effect on mine an your lives, often just another layer of bureaucracy to slow things from getting done.
R is for Rebates
I was one of the lucky ones to get a small tax rebate this month after the tax office reorganised its tax bands. I do mostly free lance and temp work so have no idea how much tax I am supposed to pay. The system has been changed so to recover automated lost tax so to continue sacking more tax officers, rather than give you back your money from mistakes or go after the really big offenders. It cost £2 to get back every one pound of unpaid off-shore tax. The country is owed £200 billion in lost tax revenue and most of that is evasion and under payment by the middle and upper-classes. Any move to make the banks and big corporations pay the tax they are supposed to will just see them move off shore or relocate, costing more British jobs.
S is for silly girls getting pregnant
Fortunately for men we can't get up the stick and as far as I know I haven't impregnated any women yet. I'm one of those guys who believe if you can't provide or justify something then don't have it and I think that's the right way to go with kids, why middle-class families have so few kids, falling year on year in than demographic. But the so called underclass, which includes large swathes of feckless girls and boys and Muslim and African migrants, are not to keen on family planning and average twice the amount of babies as the white-collar classes in the UK.
I'm not prepared to believe that young girls in the poorest areas of society are not aware of what sex is and how babies come about. They know before anyone else if you ask me. I'm also not prepared to believe young underclass girls get pregnant to get a flat. What I do believe is many just don't care and a mix of low self-esteem and low expectation in life sees them end up in low skilled boring jobs or with feckless men and so a life on benefits with their own place becomes quite attractive in its own way. And when I mean on benefits I mean the whole package so they can keep having a kid to keep their council house and not to work in those crap jobs. But the Tories have dropped the age to seven-years-old of the children of the unemployed that sees the mum asked to seek work to pay for it. Yes some mums will now have another kid when the kid nears seven to ensure not having to work but all this is really a deterrent for the FUTURE young girls NOT to have tons of kids on the state, perhaps a point missed by the media.
T is for Tax
Big companies are increasingly paying less and less in tax and so moving the tax demand on to the workers. They used to pay 25% of the countries wealth but now it's down to 15%. The top 10% of the country take 90% of its wealth, yet 90% of the workers generate 10% of the wealth. As we now know its taxes up and benefits down to trim that deficit fast.
U is for Unemployed
The hardcore unemployed that have been out of work for nine out of the last ten years are the deficit and if we could get just 25% of them back into work when the economy turns for the better we would save at least £20 billion a year. Most people made redundant want to get back to work as quickly as possible and can live off their savings and pride in the interim and so they are not the problem. Some guys don't want to work as they know life is better in front of Sky than doing the drudgery of the boring repetitive jobs they are expected to do. It's ok when you do them for a short time as a student or a holiday job but you would not which them on anyone for more than three months. We should never have ago at guys who don't want to do these jobs as we wouldn't do them either. Unemployment in asylum seeker categories that have been allowed to work remains steady around 75%, 160,000 alone unemployed in London. So much for a new start and a better life!
V is for Vengeance
The Tories are in power and they hate the working-class and will be wealth providers over job providers, why Thatcher destroyed our core manufacturing industries, some say. Now is the time to be politically active because if you're not connected the next ten years could hurt.
W is for Weddings
In recession, apparently, women hold off divorce as they can't guarantee the house or cash. Just before recession some women seem to instinctively know its coming, like animals do an earthquake, and divorce him before he is loses his pile! 37 of the world's richest 100 women are divorces living off that pile. The only weddings on the up during recession are arranged and bogus ones looking for visas. The Tories are already targeting South East Asian immigration negatively with their policies and the days of British-Pakistanis marrying their first cousins in Pakistan (its currently 50% that do) to come here look numbered.
X is for XXXX
The countries actual debt is over one trillion pounds, all the money we owe but have yet to pay back, credit cards and mortgages etc. Most of us are paying it off as fast as we can but the banks are not lending it back to help small businesses and so a one way street of cash flow. Most of that debt is underwritten by the taxpayer.
Y is for Youth
If you are young and looking for work then good luck, one-in-three school leavers still unemployed from the summer. It also looks grim for the middle-class and university degrees, government funding hinted to fall as an incredible 80%, so once again the preserve of the true Middle England, what they secretly wanted all along. The uni's will get the nod to charge what they like next week with an open cap and so higher education effectively privatised in one move. It will mean less students and so closures of departments and universities offering those silly courses. I'm pretty sure most modern courses could be cut down to two years and some, maybe one year.
The harsh reality is that foreign kids with high skills want to work in England so we can reduce the need to educate our own kids. This is one of the reasons why established Middle-England has seen a trend where parents are only privately educating their sons in times of toughness, their daughters left to find a rich suitor like Jane Eyre. Those foreign students in British universities from Eastern Europe continue to default, yet the redbricks send out admin people all around the world to recruit them, British kids surrendering over 60,000 places last year alone to the foreign kids. We seem to educate the rest of the world and take in all its strays yet forget about the smart working-class kids who built this fine country.
Z is for ZZZZZ
Bit long I know. lol.
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