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Posts posted by Quicken

  1. 8 hours ago, MonsieurCopperCrutch said:

    Increase CGT then people are less likely to sell their assets. More likely collateralise them. 

    Basically any taxation has avoidance strategies. It isn't easy to collateralise everything though surely? CGT is just laughably low compared with income tax (basically half), with a massive annual allowance. I'd like to see a German style system with no specific CGT. The flat tax (Abgeltungsteuer) is 25%. Of course they have the solidarity surcharge but it's broadly applied and a separate issue.


  2. OK hive mind. Covid spending has been, to use the popular term, unprecedented. Big tax rises are surely coming after some can kicking. But where?

    It would make all sorts of sense to tax capital gains and dividends more like income, but will they do something sensible that hurts rich donors? What about all those allowances that keep accountants busy? Inheritance tax? Income tax? NI? VAT? Land taxes (chance would be a fine thing)? 

    So what do we reckon? I am genuinely stumped.

  3. Slough bankrupt: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jul/02/slough-goes-bankrupt-after-discovery-of-100m-black-hole-in-budget

    "An audit revealed in May that the council’s reserves – thought to be £7.5m – were only £500,000 after it emerged they had been drained to correct an accounting error made two years previously that had overestimated the council’s income from a commercial joint-venture, Slough Urban Renewal."

  4. https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/commentisfree/2021/jun/27/why-most-people-who-now-die-with-covid-have-been-vaccinated


    "PHE estimates two-dose effectiveness against hospital admission with the Delta infections at around 94%. We can perhaps assume there is at least 95% protection against Covid-19 death, which means the lethal risk is reduced to less than a twentieth of its usual value.

    But the risk of dying from Covid-19 is extraordinarily dependent on age: it halves for each six to seven year age gap. This means that someone aged 80 who is fully vaccinated essentially takes on the risk of an unvaccinated person of around 50 – much lower, but still not nothing, and so we can expect some deaths."

  5. 8 hours ago, MonsieurCopperCrutch said:

    Masks are only of questionable value because the vast majority of the people wear them incorrectly or use cheap paper/cloth ones. Either way they help reduce the spread. 

    Well yes but we are talking about the real world. And yes I didn't really give that statement context. First, it's herd protection which is fine and I do follow the rules (most do not). Second, social distancing is always more effective. Third, the better understanding of transmission from contact tracing suggests ventilation has a larger effect, and you're very unlikely to get transmission walking past people outside. So it's right they have been dropped from being required outside.

    I get the swiss cheese multiplicative measures idea by the way but it needs to be proportionate. Not opening your mouth has a big impact. So talking, puffing from exercise, and especially shouting and singing are all bad. But humans are social creatures and talking and seeing people's faces is a primal need. I am hopeful a largely double vaccinated population can get that back. It's important.

  6. 11 minutes ago, kzb said:

    It's still worth defending.  I guess you are all living too long, but I would much rather have modified DB schemes than DC schemes.  Also, universities are being European in this regard, so you must like it surely.

    Eh? USS is thin gruel. I prefer the MRC scheme. 😉

  7. 11 minutes ago, kzb said:

    It used to be 1/80th.

    Now it is a CARE scheme.  However when you think about it, if your pay rises are less than inflation, the CARE pension works out better !  This happened to me.

    Member contributions have gone up by over 50 percent since the pre 2011 final salary scheme. Employer contributions have also risen. Employer plus employee only used to total 22.35%. Now it is over 30 percent for cpi (used to be rpi) uprated career average. These cuts were explicity made to reduce a notional deficit. It is much less generous now. https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2011/mar/22/university-lecturers-pension-dispute

  8. For those wondering how these generous public sector pensions work, here's a breakdown from USS, the funded university pension scheme:


    The number that should stand out is 21.1 percent employer contribution. This is why full economic costing for university staff is a lot higher than salary...

    USS is currently career average 1/75. The boomers got a more generous final salary model with lower contributions.

  9. 7 hours ago, Frugal Git said:

    You wouldn’t be living on minimum wage, that’s the point. Depending on circs, you’ll get the vast majority of whatever you bung in the pension back in Universal credit. 

    I'll hold my hands up and admit I doubted this one as it'd be incredibly obvious for the treasury and home office (austerity anyone?). But no, here it is in black and white. Genuinely shocking: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/pension-contributions

    They must be relying on the fact most folk are spend it all now merchants.

  10. 14 hours ago, Dorkins said:

    So keep a record of income tax payments then. If you want a contribution-based state pension that doesn't have to mean taxing wage labour at a higher rate than investment income.

    Funnily enough, when you are looking at contributing to a private pension, investment income (e.g. p2p lending) is not deemed eligible ('relevant') as income despite being taxed at the marginal rate (albeit with no NI). Really annoyed me when I realised that and caused me to completely abandon SIPPs and adopt an alternative long term savings model. Complicated and inflexible, pensions.

  11. 2 hours ago, Timbuk3 said:

    Not just UK councils that have been investing in dodgy schemes.  Turns out some German councils have put a lot of money into Greensill Capital Bank.  Now not like;y to get their money back.


    Logical consequence of NIRP. The BoE of England is moving towards NIRP too. Guaranteed misallocation of capital - centrally enforced. It won't end well.


    Both Bad Dürrheim and Monheim said that they had invested with Greensill to avoid paying negative rates on the funds elsewhere.


  12. 2 hours ago, Will! said:

    The FT article also mentions John Lewis looking to enter the residential landlord business, in which it has no experience.

    Pensions companies have been getting into residential property for years (REITs post-2006). Hell, farmers have diversified into the residential landlord business. I don't see why John Lewis would be hamstrung by a lack of experience. Corporate strategy is another question.

  13. 17 minutes ago, Dorkins said:

    Interest rates are close to zero and the Bank of England is buying 90-odd percent of new debt the Treasury issues, what budget desperation? The Tory party doesn't want to (in its political calculus) waste money giving Labour-voting public sector workers payrises but it will keep looking after Tory-voting higher earners.

    You're clearly more optimistic than me about the likely tax take in the next couple of years. Slow motion train crash in exporters and financials. Think the bounce back loans will be repaid?


    EDIT: In my book, the BoE buying 90% of new debt IS budget desperation.

  14. 1 hour ago, Dorkins said:

    Funny effect of freezing the 40% tax threshold for years while keeping the ability to pay £40k tax free into a pension means there will be more earnings over that threshold available to be thrown into a pension. Tax free pension contributions will surely be taken away one day so now is the time to build up that pension pot if you are lucky to earn in that range.

    With a bit of joined up thinking and a bit of budget desperation, they'll probably move it to 20% deduction across the board for pension contributions rather than the 40% giveaway. With auto-enrollment bedding in, the pensions industry is less dependent on the high-rollers.

  15. 2 hours ago, captainb said:

    NHS was always exempt from the pay freeze which is this year. They are getting one in line with the previous 3 year pay settlement. 

    This is about next year. Normal submissions to an "independent commission", department goes in low at 1%,union goes in madly High at 12.5%... Ministers get to step in and settle at 2.5%.

    Politics of this are particularly odd this year but been the same process for decades. 

    Sounds about right. So, more than the teachers who have to get back to work so all the parents can too, or the scientists who do the sequencing work on virus strains and come up with vaccines, or the care home workers etc. Also more than the supermarket workers who've also been 'keeping the country alive' over the last year.

    To be fair, I think Boris and co. painted themselves into a populist corner with all this clap for our NHS heroes stuff.

  16. I think the property market interventions overall are small beer. At least they didn't revisit SMI, or BTL tax deductions (AFAIK).

    It will be interesting to see the Scottish government response in the build up to the elections in May. 

  17. 1 minute ago, steve99 said:

    No, its just what they charge you if you want to keep up payments as an unemployed person not on benefits. You can get it apparently if you sign on but then you get bullied to chase 10 non existent jobs a week or whatever nonsense they rope you into, ie exactly the same as if you were getting benefits. 

    Edited my reply to guess voluntary. Fun and games all round. I pay myself at the secondary threshold from my own company for similar reasons. Apparently set to rise by £5 next month.

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