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Everything posted by Tummybanana

  1. Does this mean that they have a 'Waitrose list' for their weekly subsistence claims as well? Andy Street must be happy with the publicity, anyway.
  2. The thought I just had was to offer to buy a share of the in laws' house we're currently living in. That way, we'd only have to pay tax on the capital gains, of which, in a falling market, there wouldn't be any. Of course, as we currently have no right to occupy, it'd be treated as an asset rather than a personal residence or possession. It might also get pretty sticky in terms of family relations legally. Any thoughts or experiences on this? Oh, and my father-in-law's a Catholic deacon and my mum's an ex-vicar and Anglican chaplain - we've got the religious angle pretty well covered, unless someone wants to throw something Allah's way for good measure
  3. As soon as I found out I was being laid off, I made enquiries about signing on, but was told I couldn't until I'd actually received my P45 (They take receipt of it now, as your 'new employer'). It took about a month to sign on. It's £51 per week; for the first three months you have to show evidence of application for at least four jobs with fortnightly meetings at a time of their convenience, in the second three you have to show that you've applied for EVERYTHING they might find on their system, and have to come in weekly at a time of their convenience. Their much-vaunted Better off calculations are rubbish, as they don't take things like childcare vouchers and free nursery places into account, and they've got sniffy about me bringing my kids with me - not that I've got anywhere else to put them. After the six months, although you can still come in for your meetings, you don't get a red cent if you've got more than 16K savings in cash. We've got 40K from an inadvertent STR. If we had that as an asset, such as a share in a house, or shares, it wouldn't be taken into account. That pisses me off, and it only works for us because we're living rent-free at the moment. Without that, we'd be screwed. The more annoying part is that because I was laid off in November, and had been a gnat's chuff off the higher tax bracket, I had earned enough to take us out of the tax credit system. So, when we actually needed the money, it wasn't there. We won't receive a penny until April. And the reason why we hadn't saved anything? Because we moved out of the house in March and finally sold in September, all the while paying for an interest only mortgage (Pe2 9sd - paid 205,000 for a new build, sold for 182,000). So it's not like we squandered it all on wine, women and song - just the mortgage.
  4. Isn't exposure of product range on a national BBC programme worth 20% off?
  5. washing machines aren't essential? Should we get out the old washboards, then? the trouble is, however feckless the adults are, your actions punish the children who have no say in the quality of their parents. They tried food vouchers, but all that happened is that people sold them on at a loss to get their discretionary purchases (tabs and booze). Currently, the govt is running this scheme: http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/ which is kind of what you're talking about, but it doesn't cover all foods, clothes and other opportunities for the child. As for your 'getting people to do jobs', if I could get £1,000 per month to cover my childcare I'd be sweeping those roads like a shot. As for housing, stability is important for emotional health.
  6. Funny thing - in our area there's only one nursery, which opens at 8:30 and closes at 6:00 on the dot. On average, it takes 20 minutes to get to the nearest main city - Bristol. We've got two kids under 5, and when I was made redundant in November we had to find childcare for both of them. That equates to about £1,000 per month. Some people might say 'well, you should have thought about that when you had kids,' I'd riposte that under that system old people should have to look after themselves if they were going to be irresponsible and live for so long. Without tax credits we'd be completely screwed - I'm not saying we'd go feral, unlike some people we've got a pretty good family support network (although not enough to look after the kids on a daily basis). Plus, we're living rent free in the wife's parents house whilst they're in Australia for a couple of years. Of course, we still have no right to occupy, and have been on the waiting list for council housing for three months already. I'm currently claiming a whopping £51 per week JSA, having to apply for every penny ante admin and call centre job in the local area, but at the end of May, that'll run out, and we will be on our own. Just to bring it back on topic, too, the reason we don't qualify for any other benefits is because we've got a deposit saved so that we can get back on the housing ladder after the crash. That's not real money; it's not money we want to touch or use, but I suppose it still makes us more secure than someone without two pins to rub together.
  7. Because there's no better way to waste six million dollars than telling libertarians that libertarianism is good?
  8. All you need to find is the land and planning permission. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/south_...and/7275312.stm Sure, there's no room for discretionary purchases, but it beats keeping an ex-pat landlord in sangria.
  9. In the spirit of Popbitch - Hi, Adrian!
  10. Ah, but the point is that - well - why would they? When house prices are rising less than a similar deposit in a one year fixed bond with Northern Rock, and yields are about 5%, what incentive is there for investors to buy into bricks and mortar with all the commensurate risks about squatting tenants, legal action, insurance, agency fees and the like. Now, for people who don't care about making a profit and simply want a place to live and raise their family, then 50K is more than fine. You don't see doctors buying up shoes in bulk and renting them out, do you? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7279154.stm
  11. Funny how the same people who bemoan the working class 'playing the system' are usually the first to protest at attempts to remove loopholes in their own 'tax avoidance' (not evasion, which is illegal) measures.
  12. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the kinds of individuals who are partaking in serial muggings and rapes are unlikely to be pushing down wages by working on counter in your local Tesco, and being paid through BACS. Rather than looking for patterns of race, you'll probably find a stronger correlation between poverty & lack of education and violent crime. Sadly, those aspects are more prevalent between those with poor role models, limited opportunities, disconnect with society and often starting from a worse position due to these same issues affecting their parents. Of course, then you just get people who've been stripped of morality and empathy for fellow human beings from living in warzones such as Albania and Somalia who ruin it for everyone else. And then there are some people who are just *****, no matter how much melanin they have in their skin.
  13. Never really understood that argument - usually, the subprime/ LA crowd are the LEAST likely to vote in the first place. Besides, NUT's hardly what you'd call a marginal constituency - ESPECIALLY not for the Tories. http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/core.nsf/a/genelect2005 Quick sample: Newcastle upon Tyne Central Total Return : 35,920 James Mackay Cousins: Labour: 16,211 45.13% Wendy Morton: Con: 5,749 16% Gregory Martin Stone: LibDem: 12,229 34.05% East and Wallsend Total Return: 31,678 Nicholas Hugh Brown: Labour: 17,462 55.12% Norma Dias: Con: 3,532 11.15% David Ord: Lib Dem 9,897 31.24% Obviously, it's not just Geordies who invest in GBRock, but some commentors have also been saying how the only reason the govt got involved was to protect labour mps. Well, by these figures, that's a pretty soft cushion they've got, bearing in mind that only 6K in the area are actually employed by them in the first place, and that most voters aren't single issue led.
  14. 100 bn is our EXPOSURE - which means that if every customer of Northern Rock suddenly stops paying, that's how much we've leant out, leaving GBRock with nothing except a stable of costly repossessed houses. Of course, that'd solve the social housing shortage and, as I've said elsewhere, having pikey council scum with a dismantled car on the drive* will drive down house prices in the area - hurrah! *hyperbole for comic effect
  15. However, if NRUK do continue repossessing at the same rate as they have been, we've just solved the social housing problem in one fell swoop. Rather than merely auctioning them off, stick in a lick of paint, give it to Cross Keys and presto, new LEA accomodation in the middle of privately owned territory. That'll drop local prices, which will precipitate a faster drop in house prices - bargain.
  16. When all the building societies became banks in the late 80's, there was a payment for savers dependent on how long they'd been with the company. Is there any precedent in nationalisation for the government to do the same, and thus kick the carpetbaggers in the ****? "Those of us who are old enough to have read about the 70's know the perils of nationalisation": George Osborne.
  17. Well, technically 'we' gave England to the Scottish in 1603 when Queen Bess died, and the only successor was her nephew James of Scotland. Fortunately, he agreed to take both thrones, eventually culminating in the Act of Union. However, in 1746, when the Highland Scots decided, with the help of the French, that they were going to put James Stuart on the Throne, the Hanoverians (what was to be Germany) DID, in fact, take over the monarchy, ending in the saxe-coburg family which changed their name to windsor in the early part of the 20th century. So which 'English' are we talking about?
  18. Poor old Simon Lambert. This was his quote in November, which is still being touted as received wisdom on thisismoney. Might let him off on the 'major economic shock' bit, though.
  19. I'm sure I read somewhere that Australia's most profitable export, certainly in terms of tax being filed, was the Wiggles.
  20. I didn't think about it at the time, but when we bought our property in 2000, we couldn't afford the 5% of the sale price that the mortgage company was asking for. However, as we were paying 52,500, and the property was valued at 65,000, we didn't see that as problematic; we were well within LTV guidelines. Thanks to this programme, I realise now that what we were doing was propagating the land registry figures that helped to exacerbate rapid HPI in the first place.
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