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About rockhopper

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  1. Ive no comment on Sol Campbell (but some of the comments above seem fair) , but the idea of a mansion tax seems peculiar . The original rates system which preceded the current council tax, seemed sensible and each house in a borough was given a ratable value , RV, based on rental value iirc , the total RV for all houses in the borough summed, the budget / totalRV gave rates (CT) for a unit RV , and multiplied by the RV for a house , gave rates payable for that house. So no banding , no cap and no need for a mansion tax. If it makes sense (?) to charge/tax more for a more expensive house, then it doesnt make sense to impose a cap on it. We got this cockeyed system when maggie lost the poll tax argument and maybe to save face they introduced the current mess (rather than reverting to the previous system) and I guess that they thought they would give the high house value owners a tax cut .
  2. The comment to that post says So need to get out asap . The undemocratic nature of the EU and Camerons keen desire to implement the TTIP are very worrying and we need to stop the TTIP and also get out . It is easier to control what shite is heading our way with only our govt to control than when the EU is pushing its pro coporatist agenda.. In my view, the politicians who want to sign us up to the TTIP and remove our national sovereignty are committing treason .(not that they will be dragged off to the Tower , unfortunately).
  3. a link to a matt taibi story in rolling stone http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-9-billion-witness-20141106 which shows in america just how much the justice system is controlled by the banks . Given the similar lack of action here , can only assume similar corruption here . Given the USA shenanigans with the crash and its response (in the usa) .. someone was able to buy up bad debt using the $700B allocated but no oversight by congress , I wasnt surprised by this ... read and weep for democracy . . rockhopper
  4. bring back : parker morris http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Morris_Committee http://www.singleaspect.org.uk/pm/ the latter link gives a flat for 1person at ~30sqm , 2 people at ~45sqm thank you maggie
  5. a report appears to have been published by the JRF and written by the New Policy Institute , which has featured on the bbc news today which says that "More working households were living in poverty in the UK last year than non-working ones " http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25287068 The bbc report says : Ministers insisted that work remained the best route out of poverty and said the government's welfare reforms would further encourage people to get a job. (but not get out of poverty?) I caught this on the bbc Breakfast show and they had some twonk from the New Policy Institute on and the presenter said someone had phoned in and asked if immigration was responsible .... cant remember the precise response but it was something along the lines that, that had nothing to do with it. It was on again on the 5oclock news and they had a bbc bod (?) being quizzed by the presenter and he was saying that wages had not kept up with productivity , cost of living and this was down to weak labour markets and what we needed was more growth ... and much more similar waffle . No mention of the 'I' word . Clearly immigration has had nothing whatsoever to do with the 'weak labour market' oh no. strangely could not see this referenced on the gruaniad site. I leave Oracle to draw the obvious conclusions. I dont know how they expect a hpi (to boost the economy) to work if so many people are classified as poor ... in my cookie collection (wow - found something in it!) : As Joseph Stiglitz pointed out recently, "The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn't seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late." -------------------------------------- Many are called, few are chosen. Fewer still get to do the choosing.
  6. just a couple of points : - some years back I heard on radio4 (I guess) a program which I think was dealing with social history, and they spoke to a union rep at one of fords big plants , and asked him whether he had his own house and he said no , none of the union men (representatives) owned their own home, because it would make it more difficult to go on strike (the chains of debt) ,and I have to guess that they encouraged the workers to stay in council homes. - there was an excellent prog called "the great estate" on bbc4 which went into the history of council estates. iirc, only people earning wages such that they could afford the rent were allowed as tenants. and it was intended as a community ... iirc, family members had dibs on any house that became vacant. there were a couple of threads on here which I cant find. bbc4 link but no iplayer tho there seem to be on youtube http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0109dvs indie review of prog (+2 other irrelevant ones) : http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/last-nights-tv-the-great-estate-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-council-house-bbc4-bra-home-for-maisie-bbc2-br-bored-to-death-sky-atlantic-2266400.html this says it was callaghans fault as he made homelessness a priority over community and it talks about the evils that caused.
  7. I thought there would be some more and maybe that amount (the 130plots) is actually more like. But if they want to make any impression on the 200k+ that has been suggested as the minimum per annum , then they need to do a minimum of 5% ie 10k plots per year and that would need to be distributed across the country or at least the south east (?). Of course the question is at what price - a give away - ha bloody ha (but if they do then I want one as well), or at agricultural prices (~1k per plot) or at current building plot prices (?) as a nice little earner for the gov? altho I think I would rather the profit (building plot price vs agri land price) went to the gov than to farmers or people with a large garden - but I would rather see the end of that practice - how , maybe tax land gains at 95% ? I think if this became common practice then best format would be a group of people getting together to purchase say 12 plots worth and hiring someone to supervise or do the build .(as suggested by campervanman )
  8. as per title. Guardian article http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/22/coalition-young-self-build-scheme a start but will it ever be more ... you can guess what I think.
  9. In the good old days , the onc,hnc route was normally (always?) done by people employed in a local company . They were afaicr always day release from the employer , so 1 day a week and normally one (might be two) evenings a week at the local technical college . The employer paid all the fees . so why are they giving loans out for this ? More bullshot from the liblabcon we need more markets philosophy . or do companies not want to pay for training anymore? need them ready trained ?
  10. why not just brickup the third bedroom door and window ? Its got to be cheaper than demolition. I think bomberbrown's washington monument syndrome and thombleached's toys out of the pram theories are believable explanations ..
  11. I watched at least part of the item (tho with little interest) and thought that they said that the primary fault was that the pension fund had used a different actuarial rule than the one used by most other bodies and if they had used the standard practice rule they would have been ok. Dont know where that leaves the responsibility ... pension fund directors ? But they also made the point that the current low interest rates were killing all pension funds .
  12. I thought that US QE was 85B$ per month x 12 = ~1T$ ... is this what the debt increase is, or it is or something different ?
  13. Is there anything in the appointment of MPs or Governments that says that they must work for the benefit of the current peoples of this land , maybe in their Oath of Office (if there is such a thing?), and ditto for (top) civil servants ? I some times fantasize about a 'Hold Them to Account ' party which would pursue previous government people for the shameless way they do stuff like this . I guess treason could be a possible charge ? Maybe 'pour encourager les autres' ? I can dream, but if only ...
  14. Whats the point in saving for retirement - the returns on the investment are vanishingly small so the pot at the end is smaller than it used to be - because returns are small then the income when you take out an annuity are very small - there was a chunk in You and Yours about pension a couple of weeks ago and they pointed to the number of people skimming out of a typical pension fund which was at least 13 but that figure may have been higher. Also they compared the Dutch system with ours and they have more social pension funds which pay out 50% more than an equivalent uk one. - thanks to crash gordon , the treasury is taking a large slice out out of the fund when he started the raid on pension. He was also warned that it would cause a rise in btl and similar but as usual gordon knew best . - the govts of various places have grabbed pension funds so people are safer looking after their own money - of course the govt will give you tax credits or whatever if you dont have a pension . So if you are a mw worker then why waste your money , might as well enjoy the high life now and have a beer and fags down the pub now and let the gobt take care of you in your old(er) age there is probably other stuff that I have forgotten
  15. That is not what I meant , it was a somewhat flippant statement of what I feel is the only sensible 'right to buy' ie go out and get your finances in order and buy in the normal market rather than bringing in what are probably unworkable proposals for a tenant to be able to force his landlord to sell at a large discount (god only knows what that would do to the market?) .. I am a boomer and had a good run of it and was fortunate enough to be able to ****** my early education and jobs and recover from this with the way the world was then : plenty of jobs, including apprenticeship in real industries and free university education and a maintenance grant . Was I lucky , looking back it was a massive leg up. but I wouldnt have gone to uni if it had been anything like todays prices ... the options then would have been to carry on with the apprenticeship and do the next step up of hnc/hnd . Not viewed in quite the same light as a degree but ok . The amount of debt lumbered onto students is totally unreasonable . The understanding when I went to uni was that higher taxes due to the better jobs would pay for the education ... sensible . There were the other options of hnc,hnd and similar for those who didnt get into uni but wanted further education - and with a wage while you were at it . What do I think of high house prices? they are crippling this country , driving some young to emigrate , making many young responsible couples unwilling to start families because of the lack of a home they can afford to buy., making everything expensive . Making it mandatory for wives to go out to work - my wife worked whilst I went to uni and stopped after that with the birth of our son - that option should be available to the young now .. It is fzcking evil and for the tories (and the rest ) trying to prop up house prices (and especially the corruption of the buying of political influence thru donations from the big builders ). It is especially nauseating because (excluding london) the price of farmland is maybe 10k an acre and at 8 houses to an acre (much better than they are currently building to) , that the land cost is 1.5k plus building costs of maybe 100k (keep seeing different numbers) so about total of 100k + profit of say 20% then get lovely prices of 120k for a decent sized house on a decent sized plot of land - that is achievable but requires more political will than this or any other likely govt have . I despair of the state of the country and what it is doing to the young (and others). I would like the country to provide a living wage that say a single person could actually live on without any benefits ie could pay the rent , food , heating , ctax etc etc , anything other than that is a broken system. I dont know what the young can legally do , apart from emigrating and I wish they did not need to do that . Anyway, it takes me ages to write stuff which is why I dont normally stick my head above the parapet . rockhopper ps the only solutions is massive building on green belt - as done by previous governments after the war including MK and Bracknell (I lived there briefly ) - look at some of the council estates and the size of the plots - or dont - you'll get 'plot' envy .
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