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nothernsoul

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  1. The ghost of Theresa May's so called "altzheimer tax" hangs over this. One of the few times (albeit lulled into a false sense of security by apparent haplessness of Jeremy Corbyn)that a politician put forward a forward looking, economically and morally correct policy during an election that wasn't just intended to buy votes. The reward? Vilfication from normally pro Tory press and a u turn within a week. All those older Tory voters probably didn't vote Labour, but enough to keep them at home on election day.
  2. 2021 study listing most significant tax havens in order. 1. British virgin islands,2.Cayman Islands,3.Bermuda,4.Netherlands,5.Switzerland,6,Luxembourg,7.Hong Kong,8,Jersey,9.singapore,10.UAE. The top three are British overseas territories and Jersey is a crown dependency. London is the hub with spokes going outwards to these place.
  3. Look at all the tax havens around the world, it isn't a coincidence that so many of them have links to Britain, former colonies. Nothing accidental about how the tax avoidance system works for the very wealthy, it is how London makes its money. Tax is for idiots like me on PAYE.
  4. If taxes need to be increased it should go on residential property, better than taxing productive wealth,and undertaxed by historical standards, particularly those in more expensive properties.
  5. Generation X is officially a very wide age range, from 41 up to 56 from what I read. Somebody who bought a house pre 2003 ish, has a decent enough job, got into a decent pension on time,should be ok. However, the big difference, aside not quite as much housing wealth, is a more demanding work environment, without the outs of early retirement. There is also a later retirement age, especially for women. The only area I know well enough to comment on is teaching. Work got much more performative, demanding, around a decade ago once most of the boomers retired. Options of early retirement have now gone, as have various roles within the local authority that lame ducks were shunted into. I am sure it is the same in lots of other jobs. A retired woman on my street was telling me how wonderful Marks and Spencer was to work for (hairdressers coming in for the staff,birthday treats, a nice working environment etc) up until shortly before she retired when increased competition put an end to all that. If you are late 40s, early 50s, in a role that has got tougher, just as you have started to slow down, retirement looks a long way off.
  6. Those teachers who left a decade or so ago didn't resign,they took early retirement before penalties were made onerous.Most would have been in their late fifties. They wont be getting a full pension but, if they left at top of the pay scale which is likely, it would be pretty decent. Again don't blame them, I would have done the same.
  7. To answer the question about the large number of retired teachers, one of the factors is a lot left before rules were changed regarding early retirement a number of years ago. Don't blame them,they could see how demanding the job had become. The mean average age of a classroom primary school teacher in UK is 30, very low considering we live in an aging society, lowest in developed world. Several reasons for this I won't bore people with.
  8. I worked as a teacher for two decades. Bluntly,on the topic of pensions a generation decided to feather bed itself. A couple of years ago I went into a meeting on changes in pensions. We were told that we would be paying a higher percentage in, career average instead of final salary, end to lump sum, women working longer. The rules on early retirement had also been made stricter a few years previously. All in all, a lot less generous than a teacher receiving full pension now. They also told us goalposts could be also moved in future. Don't misunderstand me, having a defined benefit scheme still much better than the majority. What made me angry was the fact that these changes should have happened decades sooner, those in charge would have known the cost. But not only is it not politically advantageous, remember those in power were looking after their own pensions too. This isn't particularly having a go at teachers. Lots of pensions were just unsustainable, BT still suffering from overgenerous liabilities.I imagine similar for long established companies that were never state owned such as Glaxosmithkline as well.
  9. I am not a fan of the monarchy at all, but one positive function of the institution is that it can take non politicised centre stage at sporting events, or more importantly ceremonies relating to war. I really dislike politicians of any persuasion basking in reflected glory when they havent kicked a ball or gone anywhere near a battlefield.
  10. The problem I have with this is the principle of the triple lock itself rather than the current level of state pension. Remember the triple lock is a recent phenomenon, it wasn't introduced during times of plenty. The Tories brought it in during so called "austerity", when other benefits were frozen and students had fees tripled to 9 grand a year. It was a dog whistle to a key voting group that said we will dump on others but look after you. Policies should be considered and based on affordability and fairness, not just crude electoral bribes.
  11. The problem with government measuring inflation as someone once said "Is like the mafia being responsible for measuring crime". Any official neasures of inflation are likely to be undersestimated. Secondly, as far as I know, with limited knowledge as somebody not receiving any direct benefits, benefits do not automatically go up with inflation. Their is often political pressure to freeze benefits for those deemed as scroungers, particularly when working people are finding it tough. The triple lock on pensions is an obvious exception for political purposes. As far as I can see, their is no rational calculation, beyond the political, as to what different groups receive. Compare the huge amounts paid out in tax credits, ir furlough, to those just unemployed(for whatever reason) . Did somebody sit down and calculate that 75 pounds was enough for a single person in the uk to live off a week? Finally, even if benefits do go up with official inflation levels, if original amounts are small and inadequate, the extra actual monetary gain is very small. If somebody on the dole gets 5 percent more a week, that is just £3.75, an amount unlikely to cover increases in weekly essentials like food, utilities, public transport, let alone necessary clothing or a haircut.
  12. Inflation is always hardest and most unfair on the poor. Firstly they dont own assets such as property that will eventually rise in value. Secondly they are generally in a weaker position than those higher up the ladder to negotiate a pay rise. Finally a larger proportion of their salary goes on essentials such as food, rent, travel expenses and utilities, so a rise in these hits them disproportionately hard. As mentioned it is also the most unfair of stealth taxes, designed to bail out speculative debtors at the expense of those who have saved.
  13. Levelling up sounds great. "We arnt those like those envious socialists who want to drag everyone down to the same level, no, we want to lift those at the bottom up". The problem is politics doesnt usually work like that. Even if we arnt talking about redistribution through traditional taxation of income, for levelling up to take place the tories would have to tackle imbalances in generational power, which I doubt they will do. That means changing a system that is rigged to favour those that already own assets against those that dont. Deliberately propping up prices so nobody new can get in on the game. A society that rewards rent seeking over working. Problem is, if they did that, they would lose most of their core vote and and the property developers and the like who fund the party would stop doing so.
  14. The problem is houseprice inflation has proved a vote winner(or politicians certainly believe so) for whoever has been in power for the last 20 years. In the 1970s, stagnant wages that didnt keep track with inflation did governments in. Until this year, wages have been stagnant for over a decade, yet the conservatives have held power. Low interest rates and high property values have been enough to mitigate this for enough voters. For me the foul icing on the cake, that completely showed the governments intentions was stamp duty suspension during the pandemic. Not only does it pump more air into an epic bubble, but sends the message that in extraordinary times, under extraordinary measures, dont worry, the value of your house wont fall.
  15. The last thing any governments want is any kind of deflation, and they have done everything in their power to prevent it. As already mentioned political interests strongly act against it. For several reasons the 70s saw inflation and industrial unrest. Governments couldnt maintain the status quo and their was a reset. However their were powerful interests waiting to step in and support that, business interests, ideologically driven politicians within the conservative party, well funded right wing think tanks, the press, plus a large section of the middle classes. The difference now is asset owners have so much power. It includes the elite and the majority of the voting population. They also know clearly what their interests are(I dont want the value of my house to fall). On the other side, renters without assets, mainly the young, who have been treated despicably for over a decade. Not only are they in a minority, they lack instruments of power or a clear view of what their interests are.
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