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Posts posted by fluffy666

  1. Nicked from the Telegraph. Doesnt include employee/employer NI. The child benefit taper region looks wrong though. This is an extra 10%. It also doesn't include student loan repayments which add another 9% (?) which can push up EMTR to 80% in some bands.


    Size of the child benefit taper depends on the number of children. If you had 8 kids the marginal rate would exceed 100%.

    As tax changes go, a better way to disproportionately target the 'traditional' family would be hard to think up..

  2. Don't worry, the lack of sympathy is used by politicians to slowly ensnare lower earners. 40% tax was once only supposed to be paid by people who were "rich". Stamp duty started off being a tax on buying a mansion. This is the way it works - introduce a tax for rich who receive little sympathy and then slowly get others in the net. We should all be livid about this. The government taking 60% of anyone's earnings is immoral.


    We know that past a certain level, there is little correlation between additional income and happiness, but on the other hand there is a strong correlation between income inequality - and inequality generally - and the happiness of everyone in a society. This gives a strong moral argument for very high levels of taxation on excessive income and wealth (and especially rent/inheritance) - and by 'excessive', 10 times the median would be one starting point.

    Unless your definition of 'moral' means 'maximised misery'.

  3. Sounds like the MMR changes needed to have been brought in even earlier. Who'd a thunk it?

    About 15 years earlier..

    Personally, I think that the bank does have a duty of care, there are plenty of people out there who don't really understand what they are getting into - it's a classic case of information asymmetry leading to market failure. And that market failure hurts everyone (indeed, it hurts the prudent more than the feckless, especially if the feckless end up bailed out).

    If strict rules on income multiples, rent coverage and financial stress tests had always been in place, there would have been far less of a bubble.

  4. i've seen a lot of price reductions in the last month but this one is the biggest thus far:


    • Price changed: from '£360,000' to '£300,000'
    • Initial entry found.

    a one off or the start of something big??

    What gets me is that the estate agent seems to have taken about 10 seconds to do the listing. No floorplan, few poor photos, short description.. for a 4-figure fee, no doubt.

  5. Thats good enough for me after what Gidiot done last September.

    A LABCON coalition isnt out of the question imho, theyve pretty much all the same policies once their made up manifestos are ignored.

    I think that the only thing stopping something like that is the recognition that it would destroy the last vestiges of legitimacy or illusion of difference.

  6. Fluffy, I notice that you live possibly in the Bath constituncy. If so, what do you think will happn to the Lib Dem vote there in 2015, especially given that Don Foster is standing down.

    Actually I live to the south (Rees-Mogg territory..)

    But I thought I'd look:


    Don Foster got a huge majority in 2010.. but it was only because of a big swing from Labour and Green.

    In 2005 the majority was about 5,000. Given the issues that the Lib Dems have had, I'd go for a possible conservative gain, unless their vote is hugely split to UKIP.

  7. A poster in the comments of that very article said the same thing. He also posted 4 links to other polls showing labour in the lead. Bit of a non story really.

    Labour's strategy seems to be to try a repeat of 2005 - get 35-36% of the vote on a low turnout and lat the electoral system hand them a majority.

    Presumably because it means they don't have to introduce policies that would hurt their post-politics careers. Not going to land that City consultancy job if you helped break up the banks..

  8. Am I the only one who reads an article likes this and thinks the questions are all common sense, given people are applying for the biggest loan of their life?


    When applying in 2000 we had to provide proof of income, although the checks were not heavy..

    (IIRC, Nationwide offered up to £108k on an combined income of £36k and with a deposit of £5k)

    But when moving in 2006 they didn't seem concerned in the slightest..

  9. Thats a naive viewpoint and, I'm afraid, very wrong. Whilst population growth continues and physical housing stock is restrained what you'll actually see is more property purchased by wealthy individuals and businesses for the purpose of making a profit from rental (as has been the case in the USA over the last three years). This deliberate attempt to restrict mortgage lending is simply another step in the commoditisation of the property market, it won't cause prices to fall as demand lost from FTB or second steeper purchasers will be more than made up by more BTL demand as more people are pushed into the rental sector which will cause rent to rise which will make BTL more profitable etc etc ad nauseum.

    HPC will simply not happen in the UK until there is a fundamental review of policy re the rental market, changes in taxation relating to owning and buying property and a massive housebuilding boom coupled with restrictions on immigration. Judge for yourself how likely you think it is that these things will happen.


    Indeed, at current rates, buying the entire stock of new construction would cost perhaps £20-30 billion a year, and generate £1-2 billion a year in rent. Given that the top 0.01% or so are generally far more concerned with keeping hold of their wealth than doing much constructive with it, the only surprise is that any commoners get to buy at all.

  10. A 1% rise in base rates will knock 2% off GDP, effectively putting the UK back into recession, so this side of a hyperinflation rates are never going to hit 1.5% again. If the London bubble has peaked then economic activity will slow markedly in H2 and it's possible we won't see so much as a token 0.25% hike before 2020.

    I think that there is also the fun possibility of a 'rush for the exits'. IRs go up 0.5%.. lots of people who have been on base-rate linked trackers/SVR suddenly notice that interest rates can go up. Stampede for fixed-rate deals leads to lots of deals being oversubscribed/withdrawn..

    Still, by 2020 I'll only have 6 years left on the mortgage..

  11. Maybe, but here's an example of a biggy.

    Hmmm.. Should probably have added 'In the UK'.

    I'm not saying it can't happen.. the interesting thing is what we see now - flattish nominal prices (people refusing to 'give it away') but stock and transactions dropping to very low levels. If we had proper wage/price inflation going on, this would persist for a few years until 'real' prices had dropped back down.

  12. We've been in a depression for some time in terms of wages and jobs.Absent the 5%+fiscal deficits,ZIRP,FLS,HTB1,HTB2 and we'd have been buried a few years back.As it is now,we'll be buried somewhat deeper further into the future.

    It's just a bit scary.

    The problem is, the idea of deficit spending in a recession is that you spend it on useful stuff - houses, roads, rail, power plants, that kind of thing - which employs people and results in infrastructure coming into existence. Note that it's generally hard to justify that spending in a direct manner, the purpose is to use surplus labour for a productive purpose.

    This has been mangled, however, through the neoliberal ideology that government cannot do anything apart from transfer money. So government cannot just build houses, or roads, or railways or power plants.. indeed it's barely even allowed to contract for them, it's only allowed to cheapen credit and in the vague hope that these things will happen. However, it still has to prop up demand (or at least keep people from openly revolting), so we end up with huge direct transfer payments.

    Paying people to dig up holes and fill them in would be better.

  13. Then you have got a very fair energy supplier. Hell would freeze over before they would allow us to be in debit. They usually look at what we use then decide to be on the safe side to double it when calculating the DD. Yep I get it reduced, but I am still always in massive credit by the year end, they are complete c%*ts when it comes to fairness.

    Yes -

    My last bill was along the lines of:

    - Estimated annual bill: £950

    - Current direct debit: £81 (12x81 = £972 last time I looked..)

    - Current balance + £200.

    At which point their computer decided that we needed to hike the direct debit to £120 or thereabouts.

    I would like to see the algorithm. I think I could devise a more accurate one..

  14. Im surprised it's still going. I'[d expect the london mega bubble collapse will take down some clubs.

    Sevco Scotland aka The rangers football club look in danger of heading the way the original club went, spanked £70M in 18 months or so and have no credit line....

    It would be funny if Rangers went bankrupt just as they got back into the SPL.

  15. Fantastic logic, if those whose pay comes from taxes are paid less they pay less tax reducing the tax take and therefore not helping the deficit. The thought process of the public sector ladies and gentleman, behold the madness and despair !

    Well.. you cut pay, so you lose tax take (at the marginal rate), and you quite possible end up topping up with tax credits, and/or lose spending power (VAT etc, plus the loss of employment, etc..)

    Hacking away at the public sector is a terrible way to cut the deficit in a demand-constrained, high-unemployment economy.

  16. This.

    On the subject of zero-hours, I just don't understand

    • Why they're legal
    • Why anyone would sign up for such a contract

    Do the benefit rules require claimants to take one of these contracts if it comes up?

    From http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3886 :

    Generally, as an employer, you are not obliged to offer work to workers on zero-hours contracts - but nor are they obliged to accept any work you offer. It's important to be aware of the provisions of the National Minimum Wage Regulations, which state that workers on 'stand-by time', 'on-call time' and 'downtime' must still be paid the National Minimum Wage if they are at their place of work and required to be there. Similarly, such time is likely to count as 'working time' under the Working Time Regulations if the worker is required to be on-call at the place of work. This means that it's against the law to ask employees to 'clock off' during quiet periods but still remain on the premises.

    If you are living at home with parents, or have a partner with a 'normal' job, then even zero-hours contracts are better than zero benefits (or just jobseekers).

    And I suspect that benefit rules probably do require you to accept them, given their current 'sanction everyone' approach.

  17. http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/politics/exclusive-northampton-borough-council-staff-told-of-possible-changes-to-pay-and-conditions-1-6031130

    "All 600 employees at Northampton Borough Council have been informed of potential changes to their pay and conditions which could result in some working longer hours for no extra money."

    Someone's posted the sensible comment:

    "Here's a better idea....work the same hours for less money and no pension...much like the real tax payers.

    Then you can CUT OUR TAXES and let the people who earned the money keep it.

    The public sector boom days are over, the country owes £1.2 Trillion !!! And the real cuts HAVE to happen at some point."

    7 thumbs down....who are these people who don't want our taxes cut ? Could they be the same people taking them ?

    Yay, race to the bottom. That'll work. Like, if everyone earns so little that they don't pay any tax then the deficit will, ermm..., what again?

  18. How many families are single child ones? And how much of this inheritance will get swallowed by care-home fees?

    This is an interesting point..

    Imagine that private BTL companies/trusts will buy pretty much any property at 4-5x average incomes.

    Every time an owner dies, there is a very good chance that the house will not be directly inherited - it will have to be sold for care home fees, possible IHT or just splitting the inheritance. And a lot of those houses will end up with big BTL 'trusts'. So single-house estates, or people with a house and 1-2 BTLs are unlikely to be passing them all on. Only those rich enough to have a large BTL company and creative accountants to avoid IHT will persist, and they are likely to grow as well.

    This would mean you'd never see a HPC, since as long as supply is restricted, these big BTL companies will set a high clearing price.

    And these companies are likely to pay lower interest rates on borrowing than normal people. Even if IRs are hiked, you can bet that there will be a 'restructuring deal', in which the set of properties stays off the market.

    Such a situation may well come to pass over the next few decades unless there is specific government action to stop it.

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