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Everything posted by abharrisson

  1. I'd prefer to pay people for doing something rather than doing nothing. I'd prefer to pay "overseers" in a paid employment environment than enforcement officers, application staff, customers handling staff etc in a benefit environment.
  2. My view differs radically from this.... I'd prefer us not to have any unemployment benefit.... instead I would like the state to promise to employ anyone without a job... an employer of last resort if you like..... of course those jobs would be minimum wage, non-career type roles, there'd be admin roles, manual roles ... a mix.... but no unemployment benefit at all........ That surely ticks all the boxes.... no one can laze around doing zip all and getting benefits, everyone has the security of knowing there will always be work for them if they want it, in short nobody is given something for nothing or asked to do something for nothing.... and everyone who does take up state employment like this will feel at least they have been of some use during the day. I'd get rid of all unemployment benefit and replace it with the offer of a minimum wage job.... how long someone wants to do that work is down to them, whether they want to do it is down to them.... no one forces anyone to do anything and no one can claim something for doing nothing.
  3. I really cannot see how particularly Greece and ireland can struggle on as they currently are. Basically public expenditure is all being subsumed by the huge cost of fixing the crisis... taxes go on debt funding and crisis resolution and not on services.... jobs go , the tax take drops further and benefits bill rises and the process starts again. The greeks have been out protesting the point and while I am a rabid anti-socialist I really think they have a point......... the moment has come for Greece and ireland to give their bondholders the shortest of short haircuts......... how germany and france must be happy that england didn't get shot of NI, Wales and Scotland a few years ago, as they would surely have joined the euro and surely been in the same situation. Interesstingly the UK will also feel some pian with an Irish debt implosion but we'll also see some upside if it means their economy returns to growth as a result.
  4. Surely no one thinks any of the set of housing stats has any real credibility on a month by month basis... volumes are too low by a very long shot. The only real use for them is in a directional and rate of fall basis over time ( 3 months on 3 months).. Mind you there are some nutters who think that the stats have some relevance to an actual purchasing decision... that's so localised and property specific that the stats have no real relevance other than perhaps as a negoitaiting tactic if you happen to be buying in a month that has seen some recent falls.
  5. Clearly the trend is down and there are thankfully on this thread a number of the more educated HPC members willing to look beyond this months quite large rise and last months enormous fall........ however the excitement last months fall generated amongst the more excitable HPC sheeple was frankly amazing... now of course they are not quite sure what to say having had a hefty rise this month... those that have crawled out of the woodwork seem to blaming VI spin, don't trust the figures etc etc ... hoepfully they'll listen to some of the more educated voices on this thread , realise the error of their ways and not jump off the deep end next time there's a months large fall data.
  6. I've been arguing that we won't have a crash and that any correction is likely to be primarilly inflation driven for ages. Unfortunately there aren't many takers for that situation . Part of the argument has always been there won't be a trigger big enough to set off a crash ( overvaluation is not in of itself enough). I'd be amazed but relieved if more people were swayed in this thread but it doesn't look that way. I expect espeically now with salivation levels for a crash at their maximum its going to be even more difficult to get a differing opinion heard to the one the crash VI's want to hear. My own view is clearly more at risk now than it has been for the many many months ( I have taken this stance even when the market was rising) but I have stuck by it, I am convinced I'll turn out to be right and the crash doom mongers wrong.
  7. Labour failed to understand that unless you clamp down severely on benefit cheats then the system effectively breeds new benefit cheats who learn how to get away with it and are reassured that they can. The same happens with tax... many a reasonable person if you told them that the Govt data didn't tie up and they could possibly get away with all sorts of non-declarations might try it, and as years go by and more and more get away with it the more it becomes the norm... greece has a huge problem in this area. Just as a small example... PAYE they should be able to get straight but can't seemingly.... do you think they know who has received what in dividend payments or in bank interest payments, or in cash gifts, or from rental of their properties. Do you think they know who owns what property even and how much rental should be declared no is the answer to many of these things. Thats before you even get into for instance the probable 300,000 that mis-declare self-employment and therefore get away without paying NI, those funnelling payments for contract work through companies to their families in odd ways etc etc etc. We need a clearer tax system and whatever it turns out to be it needs to be enforcable and enforced....... if we continue to have a complex system, we'll continue to have loopholes and the longer that goes on the more the culture of not paying tax will becoem entrenched.... simple , perhaps lower tax levels an systems might actually end up collecting more in revenue. Of course you should never have a tax system you cannot afford to enforce which is what we have currently
  8. Every time Cameron steps up and says £20,000 per year in housing benefit is more than enough.. I am left thinking he hasn't gone far enough... and while I haven't digested the policy fully I hope that £20,000 applies to london only and as you get into other areas it goes down... in many areas the cost of a 3 bed terrace shouldn't be over £6,000 per year in rent. Of course every time Ed Milliband steps up to say the limit is wrong he just looks plain bonkers.... labour in office said yes to every crack pot scheme and demand for cash, in opposition they recognise the need for cuts ( as they did finally when they were dragged there kicking and screeming) and yet they are not able to make one single decision about what they would cut... standing against the housing benefit cut is the ultimate demonstration of the malaise. Labour voters always assume Tories defend Millionaires... her we have Labour MP's defending the millionnaires of the benefits culture.. their own susperstars... those who live off the state like Kings in a socialist wet dream
  9. I'd agree with the above highlighting especially that France has five times the land per head of population and that it's banks are less "genernous" than the UK. I'd also add that the culture of home as investment is not as big France, people aren't always on the make when it comes to buying houses and the culture of property porn and DIY prgrammes is not nearly as great. However many brits do a false comparisson, taking some delightful but in the sticks home in france and comparing it to the cost of a 3 bed terrace in a hertfordshire commuter town..... comparissons are very difficult, but safe to say not all french property is cheap compared to the Uk... take a decent flat and K and C in London and compare it to the very best Paris area and they won't be far off.
  10. So in some ways you are saying the crash has happened near you with 160k property selling for 135K but the national charts don't reflect this...... I'm sure you are right many areas have seen very very large reductions already... and as last time I doubt all areas will be effected the same way, some will get harde rthan others. As always I don't think the national stats in the end will turn out to be of much help to someone who wants to buy a specific house in a specific area.
  11. I am sure some people are experiencing overly heavy management charges... but there are laws controlling this so it should be easy to stop... I have a falt in a building where the insurance costs alone are £40,000 add a porter, regular planned maintenance, contributions to a sinking fund, bear in mind the building has a lift, add in managing agent charges , accountancy fees etc etc and you soon get to a pretty big sum... In other words its pretty understandable that flats have service charges and depending on the flat I can recognise these can be very big. Where people make the mistake is not understanding what the charges are going to be going in, what they might be in the future and were historically. Equally people compare the charges with house upkeep... for a start many do this themselves which isn't possible in a block, others don't do it at all, and pretty much everyone doesn't include similar costs for a comparisson like insurance for instance. The funny thing for HPC'ers is that a very large number of the amateur BTL'ers have been badly caught out with this... they had no idea on the way in how much service charges on an ( as yet unbuilt probably) building would be, and may not have even asked. The contract would not have specified anything.... for many they may be in an oversupply rental area, with a property that has lost significant value, where their numbers are blown even further apart by annual ground rent and service charge costs.
  12. I've seen some economists saying we'll be up nominally and in real terms in five years and some have even said we'll be back to 2007 in real terms in seven..... personally from here if I was a betting man I'd say we'll be flat over the next five years. I think Hamish might well be in party of one expecting prices to be significantly higher in five
  13. First off when " expected " is I don't know and The Telegraph itself has flim flammed from a rates up to rates flat approach for months. My personal view is that rates won't rise this year and will only rise next year if: 1/ The VAT increase in Jan doesn't dent growth. 2/ The tax rises scheduled to come in doesn't dent growth. 3/ That the impact of the early cuts doesn't dent growth ( don't forget the cuts haven't started yet) 4/ Company tax revenues are rising, and fewer companies are effecitvely on special needs with the revenue. 5/ Manufatcuring stock levels are rising. 6/ Consumer confidence is at acceptable levels. 7/ House prices are flat or rising. In other words I think there's a really really long way to go before the BOE decides that the recovery is secured and the time has come to deal with inflation..... let's remeber this whole story is on the basis of one set of growth figures which may very well be revised downwards and are backward looking prior to recent consumer confidence dips and very much prior to tax rises, VAT rises, and the cuts actually begining to bite at all.... I doubt anyone has lost their job yet... the BOE will want to see what growth looks like once the cuts have had some impact. They certainly won't want to raise rates and then be forced to drop them again or introduce more QE.... they will want a near majority in favour of rate rises before they move. I reckon they will take a better late than early approach.
  14. Don't realy know what you are talking about I'm afraid as I am not sure this discussion has ever been about land value tax.
  15. In a budget of nearly 700bn, 20bn is a mere flea bite. It doesn't surprise me it wasn't spent..... cleverly though the coalition could use this relatively small sum to provide some "highlights" amongst the gloom.... investment in their green bank, funding for capital projects , seed funding for business investment etc.... what was once next on the list to be wasted could be turned into tomorrows future positive news story and who knows maybe even productive expenditure
  16. Labour in my view are winning the PR war on this front... however if there is a double dip then if they pla it well it should be easy for the coalition to avoid the blame... it would have been worse if we'd done nothing, at least we are not borrowing even more, we wouldn't have grownn under labour, the mess labour left means there will be set backs along the long long raod to recovery but borrowing more is as silly a suggestion as borrowing too much was in the first place.
  17. I'd agree that it's like a sort of socialism .... I did hear of ( its not new by means) a very different idea for streamlining tax in a similar way to this idea streamlining benefits that seemed to me to have the advantage of not rewarding sloth while at the same time encouraging people to work... I forget the exact details but it went something along the lines of..... everyone can earn £10k free of any tax, over that level income tax is 20%, VAT is 20%, corp tax is 20%, IHT 20%, Cap Gains 20%... I am sure someone will know the true facts, but in essence it occurred to me offer quite an attractive way ( if the numbers added up) of encouraging work, streamlining the tax system, getting rid of all the ancilaries like child benefit, and tax credits etc, stopping tax avoidance ( as there would be precious little incentive) , encouraging companies to Uk domicle, etc etc ..... I am sure there must be a radical solution out there somewhere ( of course not every one would win) and it just may be that this time of crisis might provide the opportunity to change the game completely rather than just tweak around the edges.
  18. For me the end of the article that says recognises Cameron is risking losing power by implementing the budget cuts he thinks are right... is the most interessting. I was thinking if only Labour had taken a similarly enlightened approach rather than making staying in power their driving force.... for instance when we toyed with recession in 2005 if they had not loosened things then we wouldn't be in the muck as we now are... I do believe they were genuinely frightened of an economic downturn on their watch and tried to do everything they could to prevent it... even if it was bad longer term for the country.
  19. I think there's a lot in what you say: Labour were scared of losing power having been out for so long and so overeacted to the whole high tech bust and 9/11 scenarios, they then were too frightened of recession in 2005 and chose to over stimulate..... in the end it pretty much feels like they bought election victories for many years. Their driving motivation was the fear of losing power through an economic recession that would back the ghosts of their previously finacial mismanagement.... it's co-incidental that in trying to do so they caused the biggest of big busts and proved to be the very worst money managers in labour history which is quite something.
  20. I'd agree with you in principle as without the investment ongoing you'd have no business...... however it's a very complicated area and it's quite possible ( as I have done recently with a business purchase ) to effectively take the piss..... I'd say the whole area needs re-working to encourage genuine investment and hinder the swines like me.
  21. I do think making cuts was necessary but I do think the Tories have uncharacteristically missed the PR iniative.... they have made great play about the cuts and have taken the oprtunity to change things rather than just cut which is all well and good... I do however think that they are playing catch up when it comes to peoples confidcence and are allowing labour to feed fear with their 500,000 civil service redundacies and 500,000 private secotr redundancies message. I wish they would give us more info... for instance something like £680 M was spent in 2007..... £740M or soemthing of that order will be spent in 2014... in other worrds this is a budget cut to some degree rather than a current expenditure cut. I do wish they would illustrate more often how reckless Labour were in growing the public sector so fast, the point being that many of those in public sector work now should really never had that job to fill becasue the govt shouldn't have expanded so far.... equally many new labour services should never have been introduced and so should not be seen so harshly as a cut now.... basically we have had nutters in control for many years and that doesn't mean the new environment will be harsh... just normal. I am starting to see more flim flam and cracks emerging... for instance is the pupil premium being funded by new money or re-allocating respurces from better-to-do areas to poorer areas... I think it's likely to the latter. Where we have children from families who care about their education and are willing to pull their won weight helping their children ( encouragement, help with homework etc etc) I am more than happy to fund them to a greater degree, but where we have parents who couldn't care and kids who don't often bother to turn up I struggle to see how spending more on their education is going to help... those problems are more deeply social and need different and myriad actions to start to resolve them. I think the jury is still out and Cameron has done I suspect a good co-alition job but perhaps not such a good Tory job as yet. In the current environment I am not one of those who hate having the lib dems around but I do hope we see clear policies coming through and that we don't lose the PR battle with labour.
  22. I suspect anything that is done to re-invigorate the economy will be viewed as positive by the public.. the last thing they want is a recession and with interest rates so low and taxes being raised to mop up some of the debt QE is one of the few things in the armoury to try and boost the economy.. On a different point though the debate on Bankers Bonuses vs Public suffering looks set to run and run.... for one I really really hope that the politicians don't let it runaway with them beyond all reason. if they implement measures to restrict the UK environment beynd that in other countries it will be unnecessarilly damaging. I don't think we are nearing another banking meltdown so the only thing that will be achieved by punishing bankers is to force them out of the UK which will make the economic hill we have to climb more difficult... I don't want to appear as an apologist for bankers but I do want to emphasise that taking action on our own will be counter productive... action together fine, but as the UK by itself risks being more damaging than anything else. besides this whole argument about restricting bonuses and getting banks to lend more is facile... the maount paid out in bonuses would make little difference to lending to samll businesses or people, partly becasue the large bonuses are not paid in retail banks.... if goldman sachs paid NO BONUSES the effect on lending to small businesses or individuals in the states or here would be zero I suspect, whereas in say lloyds TSB..... all members of staff might get a 10% bonus if the business does well, but that bonus has I suspect evolved over time and so is viewed a little like normal pay and rations as it is not paid on performance.... cutting it would be difficult, cutting the much bigger bonuses of the top team ( which is small) would have probably zero effect on a business as huge as that....... the bonus argument is a difficult one and in my mond Vince has trivialised it in a very ill advised way.
  23. For me this is all about communication NOT cuts. When the coalition came in the game was to get a message out there that A) they had a grip and the UK was not going to be a risk for bond buyers etc etc That they were going to put right the wrongs of Labour and cut out the wastage etc etc. Since then the markets have calmed, there have been a number of initiatives to try and highlight the wastage ( eg Green's report, the closing of quangos , the reporting of cut scenarios for departments etc etc ). But there has been a side effect which is consumer confidence has been stung by thoughts of mass redundancies etc. Recently we have seen an attempt to calm consumer fears with re-itterations of any cuts being spread over five years, that growth will be maintained etc etc. I think the emergency budget will seek to make political capital out of Labours wastage, continue to demonstrate to world markets that a firm hand is on the tiller but crucially there will be calming messages about the scale of redundancies and when these will impact mingled with some good news tax breaks perhaps and some growth stimulation initiatives... it wouldn't surprise me if housing didn't feature somehow. Someone else said the cuts woun't be far off the level Darling talked of.. it too wouldn't surprise me if the true difference between the parties wasn't that Labour promised balanced cuts ( but wouldn't have been able to delvier even those) while the Tories talk about deeper cuts but end up delivering the very level of cuts labour had proposed in the first place. I am pretty relaxed that the cuts will be a fluid exercise over the next five years, I'm not even sure the tories are that committed to actually getting to their target more importantly they are interessted in calming the money markets, keeping confidence positive, keeping growth moving and ramming home a message about Labours wastage.... they just happen to be dressing all these things up in the political theatre of cuts.
  24. Stop me if I'm wrong but I don't think social housing tends to deliver profit... councils seem to have found that by building homes and repairing them and maintaining them they end up losing money becasue in many cases the rent they can charge doesn't provide for a profit. Things might change if they had greater scale I suppose but I wouldn't bet on it.. councils are not renowned for running things ata profit. I would say though that the core idea that new social housing should remain as such is something I support.. all that happens with these so called affordable housing developments is that someone who has managed to make a sufficinetly compelling case it and then sells it for as much as they can get ... there's no sustainably low price built into the process... in some cases in inner london .. the social housing they had to build to get permission was sold for £300, £400, £500k to people like surgeons and senior police officers and in some cases those would had a qualifying job but were also BTL landlords... so much for the ownders of the soical housing wave, it solves nothing.
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