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  1. OK, so appearance are deceptive. But when you look at places like Chapel Lane, on the edge of Eastleigh its hard to believe that they are occupied by chavs struggling to make ends meet . TBH I'd put up with Chav neighbours to live in one of those large rambling rose, thatched cottages if it was really cheap.
  2. Ex-colleagues in Fareham (Zurich Ins.) on £50k+. The bits of Eastleigh I saw were very un-dumplike, maybe appearances are deceptive or there are horrible bits elsewhere? Mods, please move to SW it was Glos. prices I was trying to make a point about...Ta
  3. Actually there is a much, much nicer house for £300k on the west side of Hedge End. But you'll probably think its [email protected] because its 1/4 mile from the M3...
  4. Obviously there are nicer houses in nicer locations for less money elsewhere in the UK. This thread probably looks a bit stupid to people in the NW who can easily find a smart house for £150K but hopefully it strikes a chord to southerners. I guess my point is that in this location a family income of 70K would not be unusual but less usual in Glos. yet prices are at least 33% higher for like for like. I'm fortunate to have bought in Glos. when property here was cheap - properly, objectively, 3x single income cheap. If I was starting out now, Hampshire would win hands down over Glos. for its combination of higher earnings potential and lower house prices.
  5. Just been to Eastleigh NW of S'hampton on family business and as there seemed to be some rather nice houses in what appear to be reasonably nice locations I had a look at the prices. £300k detached OK the houses are a rather close to each other but the estate borders countryside and is right by the station. Now in the large Glos. village near Gloucester and Cheltenham we live in asking for this would be £400-450K. In the good postcodes of Cheltenham it would be £500-600k, that's double. Hedge end is commutable to Southampton, Portsmouth, Fareham, Guildford and a few other places, and the jobs in Cheltenham are er, mostly Public Sector... I humbly submit that HPs in Glos. generally, and Cheltenham in particular, are doomed!
  6. Its really simple actually, but the self serving senior staff at councils won't do what's needed because turkeys don't vote for Christmas. - £20,000 salary cap on Final Salary component of all public sector pensions, the rest being defined contributions: pure market value with no taxpayer subsidy. With immediate effect, no phasing/committee reviews. - 10 year programme to migrate to self funding public sector pensions. Measures like only indexing the first £10k of public sector pensions in payment would contribute strongly. - Public sector payrises only apply to the first £30k. Above that - no increase whatsoever. - Legislation to make individual bonuses, retention payments to public sector workers. - Legislation to make it illegal for retired/redundant public sector workers to bid for contract work at any public sector body. - Independent Audit of key projects with dismissal of objectively ineffective public sector managers. Basically apply fiercely progressive cuts as you go up the pay scale while protecting the lowest paid and maintaining services and the recruitment and development of youngsters. But it won't happen. What will happen is that councils and other public setor bodies will tend towards pension and salary collection units that provide no services. Eventually the rest of society, by then providing its own refuse collection, cleaning. social and security services, will just stop paying them.
  7. If they are contractors they can simply give themselves a huge payrise, collect it for 3 months to get the bank statements to show the lender and then cut their salary back down to min wage + a bit to avoid the taxman taking an unhealthy interest. Its wicked and cynical but legal.
  8. Its totally right to look after service personnel. But. I have a friend in the RAF at a senior rank and the way they have tweaked every freaking allowance and claimed for every bloody uplift despite never going within 100 miles of a front makes me sick TBH. Joined just before the Falklands but was well out of harms way in Scotland and elsewhere. Never been to NI AFAIK. Currently they are engineering their own redundancy at the optimum time to max out the payout and early pension. I did feebly suggest at one point that maybe trimming the personnel costs, esp. pensions might allow more equipment to be retained in the spending review. The look I got suggested 2 options: drop the subject or stop being a friend. Can't say any more or it will narrow it down enough for certain people reading this to ID them. I'm sorry to say that all your suspicions about Officers IRO working the system are about right (well about the clever, grasping ones anyway).
  9. Correct, but - curtailing unfunded public sector pensions is facing reality, whereas removing money from properly funded private pensions because 'other people need it' is theft and an MP who votes for it should be prosecuted. I may be biased having reasonably good rights with a couple of private corporate schemes, but surely funded pension rights have to take precedence over unfunded promises? Its going to be very interesting to watch the reaction of politicians to younger people's anger at being poor vs. older people's anger at being stolen from. Who do you think they will ultimately side with? Meanwhile the real villains, who should be forced to give back what they have siphoned off by riding globalisation to the max, are sipping cocktails in the Caribbean....
  10. Erm, few issues here - what is your source for "Much of the sub-prime mortgage sludge was sold to pension funds". What % is "much", which specific MBS products were sold by whom to which pension schemes? Co. accounts are separate from pension funds. Its a non-return valve from one legal entity to another completely separate legal entity. The only way to 'withdraw' money is a contribution holiday. There have been too many contribution holidays, that is true, but some companies are now making overpayments. For example, under the accounting rule changes the Computer Sciences Corporation UK Pension Fund was estimated to have a shortfall of about 50%. Last year it started a 10 year programme of £50,000,000 annual overpayments. I'm sorry if that doesn't fit with the world view of many on here but they are. Wrt govt. seizure of pension funds. Doesn't that sound a just a little paranoid? Isn't there rather a lot of UK and EU legislation that would have to be overturned or even contravened to do this? A good friend is a pensions consultant specialising in complaints and pension law. He tells me that pension rights, particularly pensions in payment have just about the highest legal protection possible.
  11. Like me it sounds like you are living, at least partially, on money you have already saved up. This allows a contractor to pay a low salary & therefore very little tax - especially with the forthcoming 7.5K tax allowance. Later on a substantial amount of tax can be avoided (ie legally) by winding up the Ltd and taking a entrepreneur's relief capital gain. Obviously this is all premised on deferred gratification. Frankly it amazes me that so many freelancers go for the leased BMW M3, expensive meals and holidays without sitting down and working out the horrific taxation cost (and risk) of spending as you go. But then I'm a cautious sort of chap anyway. Note to permies - despite the above advantages, contracting attracts an awful lot of risk for the extra cash. Unless you are a single person I wouldn't recommend it without a redundancy payment behind you.
  12. They are going but are just under the wire so 'only' paying 3k fees plus the older one has a modest bursary. Another good example of the dominance of timing in the affairs of man.
  13. The morality of property ownership is a vexing question. Its not only avaricious landlords that buy up properties although I agree that is a big problem. Something I have been mulling over for a good few years is timing 'luck'. Eg. being a young hardworking person just as the economy enters a period of growth and house prices are historically low is 'lucky'. The cycles are so frickin' long that its a long wait for a similarly able youngster born a little too late. I benefited from this 'luck' in the mid 80s but I'm not convinced my 2 boys, now 18 and 20 will, so I will have no hesitation in buying 2, or maybe more, additional properties at historically low prices should the opportunity present itself if my lads are not in a position to buy at that time. The properties would then be responsibly rented and transferred to the kids or possibly sold if there is another irrational boom and the profits preserved elsewhere for them. This removes their vulnerability to 'timing'. I guess they will have to keep this up for their kids & so on. Call it immoral if you like, but it seems to me that to do nothing to try to sidestep the house price cycle means that the next generation just end up having to pay for the gains made by the previous one effectively keeping working or middle class families 'in their place'.
  14. Its The Burrow (Ron Weasley's house) after a sound beating with the ugly stick: Well actually, IF you don't live nearby, otherwise, :angry:
  15. Aye - so, logically, it is critical that this mechanism is understood and acted upon however late in the day through gaining knowledge and taking steps to, at minimum, stop the rot in their financial circumstances, and at best rectify their situation and adopt more prudent strategies going forward. Fail to see how denial and refusal to engage with the reality helps them in any way whatsoever.
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