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Scooter

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  1. Why do you think there are that many loopholes? You can pay into ISAs (£7000), into your pension for tax relief (uplift in pension and some income tax relief), pay into a venture capital trust for 30% credit but very high risk of losing capital and then you are left with funding British films for tax relief, equally evry high risk. You could go offshore but this is not that safe from tax either and it restricts use of your own assets. I am not sure what is left other than trying to manufacture losses through complex corporate/debt structures to offset tax on earnings and profits, not an easy task. S
  2. Bonuses are taxed at 40% plus NI like any other income over the threshold-why do you think the rich (other than the handful of Mittals etc) pay very little tax? I guess it depends what you call rich. S.
  3. We're in danger of turning 'success' into a dirty word By Jeff Randall There's something in the air; something that's not quite right. After a decade of Labour government, dedicated to increasing equality, widening inclusion and improving public services, those who should have benefited seem unhappier than ever. The stench of naked envy is polluting Britain, like stale cigar smoke in a dining room. Perhaps Labour's core voters expected too much. Perhaps they thought that 10 years of Tony would be like winning the pools. More pay, less work, free ride. advertisementPerhaps they are confused. Gordon insists that the system is working brilliantly, yet experience tells them that property is becoming ever more unaffordable, NHS hospitals are closing and state schools are a lottery. An average house costs £200,000. An average salary pays £25,000. Trying to buy the former, while earning the latter, is enough to make even Happy Larry feel miserable. Ordinary people are painfully aware that, though they have little problem affording many household essentials, cheap food and discount clothing, when it comes to securing high-quality education and health facilities, life starts to get tricky. Despite Brown's injection of many extra billions of pounds into state schools and hospitals, voters know that there's a disconnect between what has been spent and what is being delivered. More resources going in hasn't meant better services coming out. Where there's private-sector competition, by and large, the economy is producing more for less. As a result, we're all better off. But where there are public-sector monopolies, it's often the other way round: value-for-money exists only as a concept. This has thrown up some bizarre anomalies. Minimum-wage earners can afford to fly to Spain twice a year, but they can't find a dentist. They can buy a ticket to Malaga in five minutes, but need to queue all morning to have their molars fixed. And it's not just those at the bottom of the ladder who are fed up. A breadwinner on £50,000 is forced to share his wage packet almost equally between his family and the Chancellor. British taxes are at their highest level for 20 years. For those even farther up the income scale, there is, at least, the option of paying twice: first through taxation and again via school fees and health insurance. Though galling, many prefer to forego holidays than condemn their kids to a second-rate education. By the way, for those who are keen to find out more about the shortcomings of state schools, letters and post-cards, please, to Labour MPs Ruth Kelly and Diane Abbott. For the majority who make up Middle Britain - the people who it is fashionable to call "hard-working families" - there is a mounting sense of injustice. Above them, they see City bankers and commodity traders earning more in a year than they will in a lifetime. Below, there is an underclass of benefits junkies who take whatever they can, while contributing next to nothing. When you're working 10-hour days and commuting on top, it's hard to accept that a financier can make your annual salary in a single phone call. Equally, it's tempting to be cynical about what Lord Browne does to earn £90,000 a week at BP. As for welfare scroungers, why does the Government allow 1m incapacity-benefit claimants (there are 2.7m in all) to continue drawing handouts, even though ministers believe that they could and should be in employment? If half a million Poles, many with no English, can find jobs in Britain, why can't all those domestic idlers earn a living? And why should we pay for them? These understandable anxieties, and others like them, are gnawing away at the silent majority. The upshot is the unfortunate growth of a grievance culture. In the 1970s, it was known as "the politics of envy" and manifested itself in the question: "If I can't have it, why should you?" Today's sociologists call it "success resentment". Early promises from New Labour about a positive attitude to wealth creation have wilted along with the Prime Minister's popularity. The Government says that it wants Britain to have a dynamic, entrepreneurial economy, yet ministers are taking cheap-shot swipes at the winners who are coining it. It's intellectual dishonesty. Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Beverley Hughes are sending out signals that it's OK to have a pop at big earners. Unsurprisingly, the trade unions are on the warpath. In particular, GMB leaders are persecuting Damon Buffini for making so much money at the private-equity firm Permira. They claim his salary is paid for by the misery of others. Yes, Permira got rid of a lot of staff at the AA. But has anybody bothered to look at its other businesses? Buffini's team has created many more jobs than it has destroyed, but nobody wants to hear that. Voters are angry and politicians are delighted to pander to their prejudices. So, too, are parts of the media. In its coverage of the private-equity debate, Newsnight, BBC2's main current-affairs programme, depicted those in the industry as stand-and-deliver Dick Turpins. When I asked the editor of another leading BBC news show about impartiality and the internal reaction to Newsnight's approach, he said: "Nobody even mentioned it." We are, as a business-based economy, regressing, sliding backwards, dangerously close to the point where financial success is no longer admired; instead it has to be justified. Too many businesses that are doing well are pilloried rather than applauded. The vocabulary of analysis is changing, too. New codes have crept in. Markets are "casinos", profits are "rip-offs" and dealers are "spivs". When I was business editor at the BBC, I became bored by having to bridge the yawning gap between public concern that our pension funds should be well funded and general disgust that banks, supermarkets and pharmaceutical companies were making so much money. One, of course, is paid for by the other. I have moved on, but the debate has not.
  4. My purple skin is a little paler in the flesh after the winter. Actually I am likely to be protesting against the playgroup protesters as well. My anger/annoyance with Camden stems from my ever increasing tax bill and my non-consumption of virtually every service they provide beyond walking on the pavements and a bit of rubbish collection. I have had "hard working families" and "won't someone think of the children" and enforced settlement of Somalis on benefit (yes they really are by and large) up to my ears. I agree where you live you may get shot or crushed by a tank. I am more likely just to get locked up for vocally not buying into the Socialist Paradise (even with a few Lib Dems in power) that is LBC. S.
  5. Tim, Am I not allowed to be equally angry at the way my taxes are mispent? S.
  6. ...plus a few builders. New build is great value now you know. S.
  7. As a Camden council tax payer bled dry to pay for gold plated pensions, social-engineering non-jobs, massive absenteeism and local council propaganda papers printed in Somali and Urdu (English version a few pages in), I think a few more job cuts would be in order. Had I know about the "protest", I would have shown these parasites a fecking riot. S.
  8. I have to agree. Lots of chickens saying the sky is falling... S.
  9. Or are the suckers the ones who sold their shares/funds in panic? Time will tell. I am more interesting in buying a few things at the right level... S
  10. Keith, I wish you were correct but regretably I suspect there are some desperate, gullible people out there. S.
  11. Exactly-the pitfalls seem numerous and obvious. Who will buy a share in a house if someone leaves or falls out with the others? This just strikes me as incredibly desperate on a par with people priced out here buying a BTL in Bulgaria (or wherever). S.
  12. Let's all buy a house With the UK's stratospheric prices friends are clubbing together to get on the ladder, writes Liz Phillips Now that the average home in Britain costs more than £200,000 the first rung of the property ladder can seem a long stretch up for first-time buyers. advertisementAs a result buyers are taking less conventional routes to becoming home owners, including inter-generational loans where debts remain unpaid for decades. Another option to make high house prices more affordable is to club together with others to buy a property. Nearly all mortgage companies will now entertain the idea of lending to friends, siblings or even strangers buying a home together. Mel Bien of independent mortgage broker Savills Private Finance said: "More lenders are recognising this growing demand, allowing up to four people on one mortgage. This means borrowers can get a bigger loan than they could have done on their own, plus there are more people contributing to the deposit and monthly payments so it should be more affordable." But not all lenders calculate the amount they are prepared to advance in the same way. Even if there are more than two of you some lenders will only take the two highest incomes into account when calculating the amount you can borrow. This is the case with Northern Rock and C&G. Others such as HSBC and Britannia will take everyone's income in to account though most limit it to a maximum of four incomes. Further confusion comes when working out how much you will be allowed to borrow. HSBC and NatWest, for example, will arrive at a figure based on their calculation of how much you can afford, but whereas HSBC will take up to four incomes into account, NatWest only makes this calculation on two incomes and then simply adds one times the annual income of the other two. With only two of you the choice is easier, as all lenders will treat you the same as any other couple. Among the most generous are Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Cheltenham who will lend five times joint incomes. Ray Boulger of independent brokers John Charcol said: "Many lenders have special teams who look at larger loans over £250,000. Professionals buying together could borrow the whole purchase price of their property and get five times their income. A good broker will know which lenders are likely to be most accommodating." If you have little or no deposit you are likely to have to pay a form of mortgage insurance now called a higher lending charge, which protects the lender if the value of your property falls below the amount of the mortgage. However, Scottish Widows, Standard Life, Portman, Mortgage Express and Coventry do not levy this charge even on 100pc mortgages. And C&G, Woolwich and Nationwide only charge it on loans above 95pc. However, there are more potential pitfalls to be aware of and precautions you need to take when buying with someone you're not legally and financially tied to. David Hollingworth of London & Country said: "Co-buying gives you greater borrowing power and maybe a larger deposit but you've got greater risks. If you're renting together, you can simply walk away if it doesn't work out. It's not as simple as that if you've bought together. "For a start you will be jointly and severally liable for the mortgage, which means if one of you can't pay then the others are responsible for all the shortfall, not just their share." So it makes sense to draw up a contract or deed of trust to cover off all the "what if" scenarios. Not only do you need to spell out who owns what share but also what will happen if one of you moves away or meets a new partner he or she wants to live with. "The exit strategy needs to be thought through carefully," said Mr Boulger. "Usually the co-owner has the option to buy out the other's share. You need to spell out how you will calculate the property's value at that point because your interests are not aligned. You could state that you will take the average of three estate agent's valuations. We recommend that you take separate legal advice." Most couples buy as joint owners, meaning they both own the whole property, whereas co-owners should buy as tenants in common which states the share each owns individually. One advantage is that tenants in common can will their share to a member of their family rather than it going to the other owners. Ms Bien added: "The biggest downside of buying with friends or siblings is what happens when things go wrong? If you fall out, it is much more serious than it would be if you were simply renting together. "Buying with siblings is arguably less risky than buying with friends as the former are less likely never to speak to each other again than the latter. It is always worth renting together for a while beforehand to see how it works out and getting a legal contract drawn up. "This won't stop disagreements arising but will make things more clear-cut if they do." The riskiest route is to buy with a complete stranger. Despite that, property matchmaker sites exist to put would-be buyers together. They include gohalves.co.uk, co-buywithme.co.uk and sharedspaces.co.uk. Co-buying tips • Try renting a place together first to make sure you can live together. Even if you are best friends the other's personal habits may be unbearable day in, day out. • Draw up a legal contract, typically a deed of trust, spelling out the deposit you have each put down, the share of the mortgage each is responsible for and how the property will be divided up when you sell. • Take separate legal advice to ensure your interests are protected. The exit strategy needs to be spelt out to cover situations when one person wants to sell before the other one. • Own the property as tenants in common rather than joint tenants so that each person owns their share outright. • Check that your co-buyer is financially sound. You are each responsible for the entire mortgage if one person cannot pay their way.
  13. I know what you mean but I was not addressing whether they get it right or not, I was just questioning why it is ok to say the stockmarket is about to crash after a reasonble 4 year run on historically ok valuations but when it comes to houses, nothing will make it crash in the view of most newspapers and most will only concede a slowdown. S.
  14. Chance of expanding on that? Houses are assets with a value which people buy and sell in a market that broadly rises and falls in line subject specific details eg size, condition, location (as shares/companies). S.
  15. As the FTSE hits a new high, many papers are saying a crash is coming soon. They may be correct or not. However a housing bust after years of above inflation growth (way above!) seems at least as likely so why are the press so timid about predicting a housing bust? S.
  16. You mean "exocets"? It means "flying fish" in French and it will not banish demosn... S.
  17. To be fair, he did not say what he did at this investment bank for 7 hours and low bonuses. teaboy?
  18. And you do what exactly to help the country and the insatiable spending habits of the Nulab upper classes? Any idea where the money for hospitals and schools comes from, however badly spent? S.
  19. Alternatively, the perma-tanned w_anker, who moved smoothly from being a student activist to union "researcher" to Labour parasite, who has never done an ounce of good for his adopted country should go and stick a cactus up his aris. Can we deport him to live under his former friend Robert Mugabe? S.
  20. How much do you actually think a lecturer earns? Not much (lefty or otherwise) last time I looked... S.
  21. They are not all pro-EU or immigration. Several have made noises about their members jobs being lost or wages deflated. I am not a fan of any of them and I agree they feel the need to comment on things outside their ambit (such as foreign policy) but they do differ on some matters. S.
  22. I suppose it might be different. With the retards that our schools and unis pump out, do you reckon that there will be many Hindi or Czech speakers amongst them? I don't. S.
  23. I am all for taking care of your future but in terms of wanting somewhere to live, this is nonsense and to me bubble evidence beyond question, right up there with the Knightsbridge broom cupboards. The idea that for people in their 20s or 30s with no other assets or investments, a speculative BTL in a country you do not know and whose langauge you probably do not speak is preferable to say a spread of shares/unit trusts as a pension seems to me ludicrous. S.
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