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Global Solutions

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  1. This seems a fairly good article about it: http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Port-Vale-Vale-loan-breached-council-cash-deal/story-14401620-detail/story.html 2.25 million loan from the council in 2006 of which 1.897 million outstanding (20 year term). Part of the loan agreement was that no other loan should be taken out while the debt to the council remained. You can guess what happens next - yep a further 277k loan (mortgage against the ground) in December 2011. Councils response - seems to be nothing - any attempt to claim this infringes their loan agreement would likely result in the club being wound up and the council losing a large amount of their outstanding loan.
  2. Highly unlikely rank and file supermarket staff would be averaging about £1100 per month unless they were qualifying for tax credits or living/working in London - which is what the article is pointing out. Overtime is infrequent. Some months (Christmas and Easter) will see overtime available but in January especially there is none as stores cut their labour budgets after the Christmas rush and new year slow down. Full time (39 hrs) generally cannot take extra overtime as time over this limit is paid at a different amount. The store have to be really desperate to get people in past this. It's not unknown if the labour budget is really tight for the store to look for volunteers for unpaid holiday although this is pretty rare. Then there's the dreaded zero hour contracts, not at my store but a local competitor does use them - 20 hr contract and on call/make yourself available at any time for a potential further 15 hours. No chance of a second job with that one as you'll lose the first job if they phone you up and tell you they need you. The other problem is the 24 hour culture that been introduced over the last fifteen/twenty years. Convenient for shopping maybe, but often full time staff will now need to work 9-6 one day followed by 1pm-9pm then back to 9-6 again. On the plus side the work isn't too mentally demanding but is physically active (at least the part I work in is) and I have lots of different jobs to do during the day that break it up.
  3. Of course the other option for english employers would be to pay their graduates so low a wage that they are under the payback threshold so the graduates never need to pay back their university loans. Free university education (at the expense of all the other taxpayers).
  4. The calculator is far too simple to be of any use. For example I put in a single male earning 17000. (Roughly my circumstances). The calculator says I receive around 13000 in benefits. I do not qualify for any benefits at all. Looking at their FAQ page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15153803 It seems that being single my income is multiplied up because I supposedly have more spending power than a family. Then it seems that benefits including education is added to my benefits total. Here's the comedy result (5th decile): Households in the fifth decile pay £8,243 tax, on average. This includes £1,506 in VAT. They receive benefits of £13,435. This is made up of £6,940 in the form of services, such as healthcare or education and cash benefits of £6,495. This includes things such as child benefit or pensions. So with no benefits (although I haven't used the NHS for a while, it is there for me) what we actually get is a 17k income and 8k+ of tax - around 40-50% which is what I thought it would be. It also averages child benefit and other cash benefits for the whole decile and adds them to my benefits. However in fairness the actual calculator page does say households similar to yours. So what it actually does is just give a broad view that any average household (2.4 children, etc...) with a single 17k income could be getting 13k of benefits - which could be right with tax credits, child benefit, state school education and so on.
  5. Fortunately, this country has civic spirited citizens who have been amssing substantial gold reserves which we can confiscate and use to pay our debts.
  6. I have no idea if the reports are true, but the BBC intentionally made things worse for the street as well. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8509579/The-Street-That-Cut-Everything-BBC-One-preview.html http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351053/BBC-council-cuts-film-20-dogs-foul-street-services-benefit.html Apparently they brought in lots of dogs and dog owners to create some extra 'mess' for the residents to clean up as well as putting an abandoned car in the street and painting graffiti on walls, all so the residents would have to clean it up, still makes good TV for Nick Robinson to commentate on. This might have been quite senssible if they had just let the residents get on with it, maybe with an advisor to help organise and find solutions but looks like it might just be sabotage.
  7. They've been mentioning May a lot on the news this morning and Merv doesn't like doing anything unexpected so it's probably hold today and next month as well. Current world interest rates : http://www.worldinterestrates.info With the western countries rates so low cash/capital appears to be flooding into growth areas (or do I have that wrong?) Brazil rate 11.25% ! Even Europe has had a higher rate of 1% for close to a year.
  8. Is it this one? http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-29894741.html Name matches the article and the picture looks similar. Can't find out if he owns it still or whether this is someone else selling it though. Asking price £1.25 Million [Edit : Spelling]
  9. 7pc estimating that it will take them more than three years to clear their debt The other 93% are planning to clear their debt instantly by default.
  10. I watched the 800k episode this morning on iPlayer thanks to the link in this thread. They originally may have had quite a large sum of cash - he was in the army for 20 years, during this time the family was in army housing, so subsidised rent for 20 years - a payout on leaving the army, teacher training funded by the army, possible army pension and then his income as a supply teacher, they probably bought the house outright, no idea whether they also funded all the 'improvements' from income or loans though. But who on Earth wants a 7 bedroom, six bathroom house in a small market town, especially for 800k - no chance. Especially when some of the rooms still needed work.
  11. About the best you can hope for is that they received enough comments to book it into a longer time slot next time they do something. The piece was pretty short. Andrew O Niell just took the opposite view to his guest which is something he does quite a lot but I do think he was a bit more aggressive (trying to be in a jokey style way) than he sometimes is with other guests. Some politicians he has a real good go at and some he seems to let get away with an awful lot.
  12. EA : Yes it used to sit beside the river, but at this time of year you get this lovely view of these mud flats. (Picture 8 & 9)
  13. DabHand, I stand corrected then. It was more the physical retail box game I was talking about with regards to distribution - the costs there are rather large. It's interesting what you say about XBOX and iPhone though - I genuinely thought that these, while more open than physical distribution were under the dictats of Microsoft and Apple. I've heard positive and negatives for Steam, although to be fair I think most of the negatives may just have been complaints when a developers game is rejected by them.
  14. Generally speaking, the barrier to entry is distribution. Small, independent game companies and even lone coders do exist, (even if most of them are part-time operations) but trying to sell the game once they have completed it is the big problem. Advertising, word of mouth, web presence, bandwith are all issues. XBOX360 marketplace and PSN are more or less closed shops, Sony and Microsoft have to approve everything on those. The Wii has a few smaller games and things on its network but the PC is far more open to development. I'm tracking one game now which is due for release next month, its a localization rather than an outright development but the people behind it say that despite a relatively large number of demo downloads it was a bit of a struggle to get a platform for release. Eventually they've managed it. Of course, independent games tend to be low budget, and many just copy ideas from higher budget successful games, you can get a good idea of what's about from here :- http://www.impulsedriven.com/publisher/independent
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