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Ignorantbliss

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Everything posted by Ignorantbliss

  1. https://theferret.scot/north-sea-oil-250-billion-tax-break/ https://www.woodmac.com/news/opinion/uk-north-sea-decommissioning-the-17-billion-challenge/ https://environment-analyst.com/global/74130/north-sea-og-decommissioning-to-cost-uk-government-24bn Really surprised the media does not discuss more the decommissioning costs for North Sea oil, a lot of this is financed via tax reliefs. Now is that a form of subsidy? The oil companies look at it as a tax refund, example below from Shell.... https://www.shell.co.uk/sustainability/decommissioning/brent-field-decommissioning/decommissioning-in-the-uk.html Shell and Esso will be paying the decommissioning costs for the Brent Field. The tax relief we will get back is not a subsidy or a new cost to the taxpayer – it’s a refund – i.e. the tax has already been paid by Shell and Esso in previous years
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-house-price-index-scotland-july-2021/uk-house-price-index-scotland-july-2021 All positive figures for this neck of the woods, awaiting now the ramping from the P&J.
  3. Aberdeenshire NE Scotland. Definitely more houses coming on for sale in the last month compared to earlier in the year and selling fast (couple of weeks) if they are in good nick and in the country. Not monitoring Aberdeen. Have to wait for the pricing information to make its way through to the land registry. Houses we viewed in May (around Banchory) have come up as going for the asking price. That in itself is a change as last few years they have normally sold just under the asking price.
  4. That's brightened the day. @HateNewbuild - Some entertaining posts on the site, love this.... This also has its highlights - @PlanningShit
  5. https://www.scottishhousingnews.com/article/highland-council-agrees-short-term-lets-limitations https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-58475117 This is basically a mirror of the situation in Cornwall with short term holiday lets destroying the rental market for locals. Going forward, looks like a change of usage will require planning permission. The local council seem to have the support of the Scottish Government so this will go through in the months ahead. What will be interesting to see in the long term is how many conversions they will actually allow, there are a lot of VI's in that area so risk of it being just a PR exercise. Also be fascinating to see if they roll it out to other parts of the Highlands - Skye in particular.
  6. Surprised this has not been put up already (or did I miss it). https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58502618 Some interesting comments as well, must have been reading this forum.. Pity they are not allowing comments on the article.
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/sep/09/penne-in-your-pocket-uk-shoppers-could-pay-up-to-50-more-for-pasta
  8. Had a browse of the local rescue centres and Pets4Home site just now and the most obvious change from a few weeks ago is that there are a lot more dogs appearing on the rescue sites. Most with behavioural issues as well, good luck in rehoming them... What does surprise me a bit more is that the prices are still very high for puppies in the local area (50 mile or so radius of Aberdeen) with the vast majority of listings being £1k+ and the fashionable mongrel types still going for £1.5k+. I was expecting prices to be getting back to 2019 values now that schools are back and furlough is ending (combined with the tepid local economy). Also had a look at some of the charity sites that specialise in importing rescue dogs from Europe. Some very slick websites - £600 for some gorgeous setters for example. https://www.settusfree.org.uk/available-setters/
  9. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/113189366#/?channel=RES_BUY You know you've been on this site for too long when you see a clock like this and you immediately think of this thread!
  10. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9958491/Bank-England-staff-uproar-woke-Governor-Andrew-Bailey-says-work-home-WEEK.html
  11. https://www.insider.co.uk/news/shell-confirms-plan-move-north-24901073 Good news for the coffee/sandwich shops nearby. Sign of the demise of the O&G majors in Aberdeen though, moving to an ugly office block at the wrong end of Union Street. Neighbour works for Shell and they are hating the move as the commute will be a lot worse, so making childcare a lot more difficult for them. They expect employee dissent to be low due to the ongoing layoffs plus lack of other employment opportunities.
  12. Indeed. Was the guardian for my aunt (North Scotland area) and it was a real eye-opener dealing with the care home - god help you if you have to go into one of them. Better to enjoy high living now and die of a heart attack than rot away in there with Alzheimer's. Over the 4 years she was in the home the monthly fee went from £3500 per month to £4700 per month at the end (2018), all self-funded through sale of her house. Every year she undoubtedly subsidised the council funded residents who paid the home £2800 per month at the end (vs the £4700 my aunt was paying). And that was for the same size room. When you challenged the home owners about the fee differential (all solicitors with new BMW X5's every year....) they would just say that the fee difference was down to "market conditions". Each year the care got worse, with the good staff leaving the industry completely to go back to the NHS, as the working conditions and pay were better there going by the ones I spoke to. The best care used to come from non-profit carers like the Church of Scotland, but they are pulling out due to the costs involved to leave just profiteers that care nought of the patient. To them, the people under their care are just commodities to be milked for as much money as possible, whilst providing just the legal minimum level of care required to stop closure by the care inspectorate. That is what worries me about all this new funding, the industry at the moment is too lightly regulated as the care inspections are so infrequent, and there is such a severe lack of capacity that there is no real competition to force standards up. Not a lover of government interventions but I would favour NHS non-profit homes being set up, as the free market as I've experienced it is morally bankrupt.
  13. Express hyping the sure financial bet that apparently is property. Just depressing reading really. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/property/1486532/house-prices-uk-prediction-increase-2031-average-home-cost-323k-property-market That article above being based on this one.... https://www.comparethemarket.com/home-insurance/content/future-of-home-ownership/
  14. https://www.neighbourhoodalert.co.uk/da/394890 The Scottish legislation on interlinked fire alarms is going to be a big story up here, I reckon, as we get closer to the Feb 2022 deadline. Very few people know about it, and even fewer know how costly it will be to put in (looking at £150+ for a 3 bedroom house, if you self install). No wonder the Scottish Parliament has been pretty quiet on this (all parties apparently voted for it) as there is guaranteed to be a public backlash as its an expense many are not going to want to pay out (though the intentions behind it are are sound enough). Was discussing this with my solicitor and their personal interpretation of its effects are as following... House sellers will have to have a fully interconnected fire alarm system in place before they can sell All rented properties will need one They expect that almost all home insurance policies will require the system in place by Feb 2022, otherwise house insurance claims for fires would be invalidated (housing stock not complying with local government legislation requirements) Amusingly, the tad expensive, and supposedly trendy, Google Nest Protect system is not compliant. From Scottish Government website - "Please note: the Nest Protect System will not meet the standard. This is because they do not meet the requirements for a heat alarm under the relevant British Standard. British Standard (BS 5839-6:2019) makes it clear that only heat alarms should be installed in kitchens."
  15. Going by my solicitor prices have stopped falling around Aberdeen, and that with a dying oil industry and naff all else in terms of major employment opportunities. Got talking with a local (blue) councillor over the weekend, and to try and keep the local economy afloat, they are musing in the background about the idea of advertising in SE England for people to move up here. The logic is that people from there can sell their house for twice the price of a house round here. Being pioneering entrepreneurs they will apparently then use that spare cash to set up new businesses and create new jobs here. I then asked "What about the locals who cannot afford housing as it is, won't that just price even more people out of the market" (still well over the scottish average). "Doesn't matter, if they can't afford a house now, they're of limited use to the economy anyway". Still trying to compute all the conflicting messages in that, and I thought the westminster lot were callous. Just hope the council goes ahead with the plan as it will be a PR disaster for them, especially with the council elections next year. Can you imagine posters on the London Tube along these lines (head north, land aplenty and opportunities abound)!
  16. One of the main local Facebook sites summarises pretty well the latest leaked report from Aberdeen City Council regarding the purchase of the old indoor market in the city centre... https://www.facebook.com/AberdeenGuardian/photos/a.1421469054634099/4210722382375405/ Here is the story they are referencing. https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/exclusive-new-aberdeen-market-plans-could-use-up-half-of-councils-150m-city-refresh-fund/ You do get the feeling that the councilors are all SimCity addicts with all the grandiose plans they are coming up with (looking at you Beach Esplanade - https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/new-aberdeen-stadium-on-cards-as-part-of-integrated-masterplan/). That £1billion city debt is going to keep on growing. You do start to appreciate the more parochial conservative nature of Aberdeenshire Council when you ponder and think about how the residents of Aberdeen City are going to pay for all the councillors grand plans.
  17. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/08/24/snp-push-rent-controls-yet-another-nicola-sturgeon-disaster/ Another rant in the Telegraph (via the Spectator as its written by Kate Andrews who is a economics correspondent there) about the Green/SNP pact. Hyperbole brimming to the top as well....
  18. https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/former-city-centre-hilton-latest-aberdeen-hotel-earmarked-for-student-flats/ Yet another city centre hotel (third in a month) to be converted into student accommodation, the studentification of the city centre continues apace. Surely there must be a limit on how many students want to study in grey dreich Aberdeen!
  19. Nice area, nice enough house, not a nice price. Seems overpriced to me, looking for a naive London buyer with too much cash as there is no way that extension cost £200k. Quite taken by this house in Old Aberdeen, much bigger period property but similar price - just have to put up with the University students in term time! https://www.aspc.co.uk/search/property/400399/81-High-Street/Aberdeen/ Heard this evening of a second big O&G company deciding that all employees have to return to the office full time (having hinted at doing the direct opposite at the start of the year). If this trend continues, it could help support the price of housing within easy commuting distance of Aberdeen.
  20. We'll see how long the policy will last as last year, to save costs, the company closed the main office and literally demolished it. They've been laying of people since then, but even so, there is not enough space left in the remaining offices for all the employees to come back full time. So mood is that either there are more layoffs to come or they will be forced to allow WFH. Company holds the cards as there are very few jobs out there, so no competitors that disgruntled employees can go to unless they quit the industry completely.
  21. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/climate-crisis-scientists-spot-warning-signs-of-gulf-stream-collapse?
  22. Other half just got told today that WFH is to end by November. Just six months ago the company (oil company) was all for giving employees the ability to work from home most of the time. Number of them asked management today why the sudden change in direction, just got told its orders from HQ in America and its not negotiable. Wonder how many other companies are going to play hardball on this.
  23. Having lived in Texas for three years and endured the healthcare system there, you definitely do not want to emulate it over here. That system was immensely stressful to use, even with Cigna company insurance, and I heard some shocking stories from US work colleagues regarding the cost of treatment ($4500 ambulance fee for example for transferring between two hospitals 1 mile apart! - justification, the consultant had to accompany the patient....). I can fully appreciate now why the locals there told me that you were an illness away from bankruptcy. As most medical insurance there is linked to employment, losing your job through illness can literally and quickly end up being a life threatening situation, especially with the threadbare social care system. The whole system just seemed outright corrupt the one time I used it for a minor stomach complaint. At the time I was subjected to masses of tests over a 4 day period and ended up at the end with a $4900 bill (the medical insurance in the multinational company I worked for then had a 20% excess), this all being treated as a outpatient. What stressed you most was the complete unknown about how much it was going to cost, the reams of paperwork that you have to sign before treatment telling you little and the consultants etc telling you even less - utterly opaque. Coming back to the UK, local GP looked at what they had done and commented that most of the tests were absolutely pointless unless I had an immensely rare condition. On reflection, I've come to the conclusion that all that unnecessary testing was down to a combination of factors a) Healthcare over there is ruled by lawyers, the highly litigious nature of things meaning that the consultants cover their ass by doing every test under the sun, just in case they are sued for negligence. b) As its all private, there is a massive incentive to do as many tests as possible as there are kickbacks throughout the system for the consultants/doctors etc - be it direct commission or the likes of invites to golf tournaments down at Corpus Christi. Those two factors combine to reinforce each other, hence the spiralling medical costs. Profit in primary healthcare is a disaster, at least BUPA here is a not for profit company so theoretically there is less incentive for this type of unnecessary testing.
  24. https://scotlis.ros.gov.uk/property-summary/ABN30862 Think this is it, £460k in 2017.
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