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Everything posted by kev-all-in

  1. From the BBC : Spain's governing conservative party has won the most seats in the general election but has lost its majority and must now try to form a coalition. With almost all votes counted, the Popular Party (PP) had 123 seats; the Socialists 90 and the anti-austerity Podemos party 69. The liberal Ciudadanos party was in fourth place with 40 seats. Podemos and Ciudadanos fielded national candidates for the first time, boosted by discontent among the electorate. The PP and the Socialists have alternated running the government for more than three decades. A spokesman for Podemos said the results showed that two-party politics in Spain had ended. "We are entering a new era in our country," said Inigo Errejon. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's PP needed 176 seats to form a majority. It had 186 seats in the outgoing parliament. link looks like the ruling PP lost half their seats, interesting times...
  2. from the beeb today : Spain election: Taking back Barcelona's apartmentsTourists enjoying an apartment in Barcelona may not know it, but the terms of their lease are, so to speak, in dispute. There are people in Spain's prime city-break destination who want visitors out of the apartments they source on home rental websites, and back into the city's hotels, because local people cannot keep up with rising rents. The campaign to keep rents affordable is one strand in the strategy pursued by the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH), a grassroots group which has branches across Spain but began in Barcelona six years ago. Santi Mas de Xaxas Faus, a current spokesman for PAH, described its work to me: It physically blocks evictions by non-violent means, seeking to force mortgage lenders into negotiationsIt occupies empty buildings owned by banks bailed out with public moneyIt "empowers" people with informationA businessman who does not own a house himself, he believes that sooner or later everyone will be affected by the debt "scam" organised by financial institutions and politicians. "It's a strong word but when you realise it is a scam, you realise you have to fight back because nobody is going to come and do it for you," he says. link - worth a look I hadn't thought of this before - how airbnb etc not only removes supply but also pushes up prices, I wonder how much affect this has in London? Looks like the people v banks standoff in Spain is still rumbling on, be interesting to see what happens in their elections in a weeks time. Good on them for fighting back. It seems like the new non mainstream / anti austerity / protest / right or left wing parties whatever are doing well all over Europe at the moment - hopefully it's the start of a long overdue shake up. I hope the establishment and EU are bricking it.
  3. I don't think it sounds like a bad idea in principle. How many of these small businesses / self employed contractors / startups go bust owing thousands to the taxman, then start up again and repeat? It would stop the paying last years tax bill this year scenario, which is the real reason small businesses will hate it - that tax owed won't be available for them to spend for year before being 'due' next year. If done properly it could be brought into line with VAT and in our computerised age surely it's not that hard to extract a few figures and type them into a computer? unless you're one of the carrier bag full of scraps of paper and receipts handed to a bookeeper once of year type of 'businesses' of course. That said, I'm sure HMRC will make it harder than it needs to be and utter chaos for many months / years. It's how they roll.
  4. From the link (Oct 2013) : Key PointsThere is considerable uncertainty about the value of remittances to and from the UK. Since the end of foreign exchange controls in 1979, there is no official mechanism for recording remittances. It is almost certain that estimates (particularly outflows) are lower than the true amount of flows. There is little information on the characteristics of remitters in the UK, including characteristics such as income levels and welfare programme participation. Some studies suggest that there are ethnic differences in remittance behaviour in the UK. From 1989 to 2011, remittance outflows from the UK increased by an annual average of about 3% in real terms, reaching close to GBP 2,031 million in 2011. The World Bank (2012) estimates that the countries receiving the larger amounts of remittances from the UK in 2011 were India, Nigeria, France, Pakistan and Poland. The UK occupies the twentieth-fourth position at global levels in regards to the value of remittance outflows and the ninth position among EU countries.Note that because of the lack of separate information on workers’ remittances in the UK, the World Bank Migration and Remittances Factbook estimates remittances to and from the UK as the sum of compensation of employees and migrants’ transfers. Therefore, it is almost certain that estimates of remittances (particularly outflows) are lower than the true amount of flows. I'm not sure I get your point? I'm sure the Govt. has a pretty good idea how much of our taxes flows straight out via benefits of one kind or another - but for some reason they pretend they don't.
  5. yes, a deafening silence about how much is claimed and how much of it is sent straight abroad. It's a shame that this information about how our taxes are spent is kept secret - I can't imagine why? I think finally people are starting to wake up re the EU and a BREXIT looks ever more likely.
  6. Releasing equity / remortgaging trying to add a couple more to their 'portfolio' before the extra 3% SDLT kicks in? or disposing of all / some of their properties before the rest of the BTL herd realise whats in store for them and rush for the exit? As someone said - I don't think it would be rude to ask, both the people who come round (you'll want to check their ID / credentials anyway before letting them in) and the Landlord - not unreasonable to be worried / curious about your long term future / options (if they are thinking of selling they might want to offer it to you, or if they're buying they'll want settled happy longterm tennents in their existing hoard of other peoples homes).
  7. signed. How pathetic that we have to beg and plead for an obvious common sense policy that already works well on the continent. Even more pathetic that it'll probably never happen, or be watered (lobbied) down to such an extent it's useless anyway. Yes there should be a proper Govt. petition on this - let's hear the right honorable rentiers defend the current mess they have inflicted on us.
  8. I completely agree. I'm an F1 fan, and I'd like the Sky F1 channel - but there's no way I'm paying their prices. If it were £10 a month maybe I'd reluctantly pay up to get rid of the awful BBC commentator they've got at the moment - it's terrible and painful to listen to at times, but it's more like £40 as you can't have it on it's own (conveniently for them). Same with moto GP, luckily I still get it included with my virgin package for now - when that ends its unlikely I'll pay. I used to follow boxing a bit too - but I've completely lost interest now. Got the mates round for a big fight several times, paid up then listened to about 6 hrs of adverts, waffle, endless build-up that runs 2hrs late for a boring fight that either lasts 10 mins or has most of us asleep by the 3rd round - pointless waste of £20. It's so short sighted / greedy of these sports, it doesn't BELONG to them - just because Bernie got lucky / paid off / bribed / colluded with / had better lawyers than his competitors to secure some TV rights many years ago does't mean he OWNS F1 for evermore as if it's his own personal scaletrix set. A proper shake up is long overdue, maybe If we all just boycott overpriced overhyped subsription channels it would help bring it about.
  9. Interesting idea OP! Makes me wonder if there is a potential privacy / conflict of interests issue here? a numpty might just assume it's a private message to their other half and reveal all sorts of information about what they can afford, what their maximum budget might be, what negotiating tactics they might employ etc etc. Would it be 'ethical' (lol) or even legal for third parties to be given access without some sort of warning or authorisation? I wonder if its buried in the T&C's somewhere?
  10. Currently Tesco shares trading at : 174.20p They've taken another downward turn recently from around 190p only a week or so ago. They are just too big to fail though IMHO - no way any govt is going to want a MAJOR FOOD SUPPLIER going down on their watch, it would be way to uncomfortable - no one really cared about COMET or Woolworths as there was plenty of better alternatives anyway. But TESCO or any of the big 4 failing would be unthinkable - just too visable I'm sure 'help' would be given, in secret if necessary to prop it up.....where have we heard that before lol !
  11. Greek MPs have approved tough economic measures required to enable an €86bn eurozone bailout deal to go ahead. beeb http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33535205 what a surprise...not
  12. 23:45 Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, who was sacked last week, voted "No". sacked now? lol
  13. now voting according to the beeb feed: 23:43 Each lawmaker is being asked to say publicly "Yes" or "No".
  14. It's the BBC basically telling us, with help from the usual vested interests of course. Lots of excuses. It completely fails to reach any conclusions as to why it was possible to build 350 000 houses a few years ago, yet is impossible now, nor does it suggest much in the way of solutions. It doesn't lay the blame at Liebours door, nor explain why the Cons have failed to do anything despite Michael Shapps identifying the problem 5 years ago. But it does at least acknowledge there is a massive problem. maybe worth a click to keep it in the most read section for a while. (although I fully understand if you don't want to have anything to do with pravdabbc)
  15. From the BBC Why can't the UK build 240,000 houses a year?"In 2007 the Labour government set a target for 240,000 homes to be built a year by 2016. The UK is nowhere near that. Why? For decades after World War Two the UK used to build more than 300,000 new homes a year. Recently it's managed about half that. The country is facing up to a housebuilding crisis. A decade ago, the Barker Review of Housing Supply noted that about 250,000 homes needed to be built every year to prevent spiralling house prices and a shortage of affordable homes. That target has been consistently missed" Pathetic list of feeble excuses, if it suited the nimby boomers we would be building 300 000+ homes a year, but as it doesn't suit them everybody else can go swivel - simple as that.
  16. from the beeb First-time buyers at highest level since 2007, says HalifaxThe number of first-time buyers in 2014 rose to its highest level in seven years, according to one of the UK's largest lenders. The Halifax estimates that 326,500 people bought their first house or flat last year - a rise of 22% compared to 2013. That was the highest total since 2007, at the start of the financial crisis. The main reason was cheap mortgage rates, and government schemes like Help to Buy, which require small deposits. Affordability The Halifax said the size of the average deposit fell by 7% during the year. In 2014, first-time buyers typically had to find a down-payment of £29,218 - compared with £31,582 the year before. And they spent a smaller proportion of their income on the mortgage than in previous years, thanks to lower borrowing rates. In the third quarter of 2014, first-time buyers were spending an average of 32% of their disposable incomes on paying the mortgage, according to the Halifax. That compares to 50% of their incomes back in 2007. However, prices themselves went up. The average first-time buyer paid £171,870 in 2014, a 9% rise on the previous year. About 80% of those taking advantage of the government's Help to Buy scheme are purchasing their first property. Help to Buy enables people to put down a deposit for as little as 5% of the selling price.
  17. Jesus H Christ - the road to Wiemar.... Michael Shapps has excelled himself again. Are they taking the piss? or is it just rank incompetence? I'm really not sure anymore.
  18. House price concerns grow as mortgage approvals hit a 17-month low Prospects for the property market in 2015 were dealt an early blow today with data from the Bank of England showing a further fall in mortgage approvals. The number of home loan agreements fell to 59,029 in November, the lowest since June 2013 and down from 59,511 in October, the Bank said. The figure also represented a 23pc fall from the 74-month high of 76,611 approvals in January. It is the latest data to point to a weakening of demand in the property market. Telegraph Link This is good news - approvals plunging despite falling mortgage interest rates.
  19. soaring again! 115 - £ 71.5 - $ central bank intervention looks like a massive FAIL?
  20. BBC link CPI down from 1.3% to 1% It's going to get interesting when the fuel price drops come through in the next few months!
  21. "BREAKING NEWS" It's confirmed that the CO-OP bank has failed it's stress test. BBC Link
  22. I'm usually wrong too, but I'm wondering if $50 oil would make a lot of bank loans made to fracking companies etc based on $70 oil, go bad with potentially a lot of crappy sub prime type loans freezing up the banking system - a credit crunch 2.0 / 3.0 what ever we're up to now? Banks not trusting each other as nowone knows who's been lending to who and who's left holding the steaming turd? Anyone got any insight into what the banks have been depositing / borrowing from central banks lately? or is it all done under the counter / behind closed doors now? Would these oil related loans be big enough to do this? The sell off yesterday in the stock markets makes me think something is afoot. Oil? Greece? markets positioning themselves to gorge on some more 'stimulus' in the new year? Who knows.
  23. After what happened in Cyprus you'd have to be mad to keep any amounts of cash in a Greek Bank. Does anyone know what's happening to house prices in Greece at the moment? I'm wondering if they are seeing a flight of cash from banks into property and other assets? what about a general flight of cash - wasn't that a big problem last time? Strangely quiet in the media about all this at the moment. The dramatic 20% move in stocks there, and sell off into the close yesterday on the Dow, FTSE, CAC, DAX etc makes me think some people know something - tipped a wink ;-)
  24. This reeks of desperation, naked corruption or both. The self proclaimed 'family favourite' brands have cut their own throat in a greedy race to the bottom, the whole point of them was consistency and best quality / taste - hence why they cost a bit more which was fair enough. But by mugging us off which shrinking portions of p1sspoor quality horsemeat, cheap additives and offering us smaller packs of pretty much the same thing as the budget brands at a higher cost is just taking the piss. I pretty much only buy branded stuff when it's on a half price / BOGOF deal nowadays, which is every few months in one supermarket or another. I wouldn't buy Mr Kiplings cakes at any price - truly awful.
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