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mattyboy1973

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  1. Yeah, I was really referring to the effort/toll on the lifestyle side of things, rather than cost. You are right about our trains tho, and the ticketing system. We really a cheaper way to travel flexibly but I wouldn't hold your breath - the new "flexible" tickets they announced a month or so ago are anything but flexible (8 days a month, use it or lose it), and cost nearly as much as a normal season..
  2. The police getting involved is a completely different proposition to someone giving you a ticket. My Mum got blocked in by someone on her drive once, and the owner couldn't be located. After quite a few hours, the police were called and actually attended. They smashed the window and rolled the car forwards by a few feet so that my Mum could get out..
  3. I'm talking about the US, the "Greenspan Put" and the deliberate fomenting of the US housing bubble that gave rise to the GFC. Brown is often blamed for the latter by people here, but what was happening was mostly happening beyond his control.
  4. Bang on - I've always maintained exactly this. As much as people like to hate on Brown, the changes we saw during the early 2000s were as much about global trends as anything within the UK (think low interest rates post dotcom crash, the "NICE" decade and the rise of China etc), and not only would the Tories have ridden that wave, they'd have done it with even more gusto IMO. At least Labour spent some money on the NHS and education whilst they were in power, without which we'd be even more screwed now. As for John Major, he now seems like a fundamendally decent guy, a titan compared with the shower we have in power now. That goes for many of that era, both Tory and Labour. I guess we end up with the government we deserve, but I have no idea what we have done to deserve this.
  5. Agreed. CGT is astonishgly generous here; not only is it a lower rate than income, but the annual allowance of £10k+ means that very people even have to pay that. Add on our rather generous tax free investment vehicles (ISAs), and it is hard to imagine many people pay it at all. So politically probably wuite easy to raise the rate/align with income tax rates, but I doubt it would raise too much revenue. For my money, it will finally be the much previewed hit on pension contribution tax rates, and possibly annual allowances too.
  6. Good luck with that. Many second home owners don't pay any council tax at all, having availed themselves of business rates relief and exploited the loophole of "making the property available" for letting during the year. They are supposed to be closing this loophole, but I don't know if they've done it yet. If you want to feel really sick, consider that some of these second home owning parasites have also availed themselves of one-off Covid grants for their "rateable business" despite never having let the property (or having any real intention to do so).
  7. On the one hand, this is a win-win for the company - less office space needed, you are paying for your own heating, PC running costs etc., so in principle they could afford to pay you more. On the other hand, labour is a resource like any other and is priced according to supply and demand. Personally, I would take less money to work remotely, both because I hate working in an office (mostly), and because it would save me around £6k a year (best guess).
  8. Maybe to an extent, but 2-3 days a week commute is still vastly different to 5. I used to do 2 hour commutes each way, 5 days a week - I wouldn't any more. I think I could handle 2 days a week if I had to. It still makes a big difference. Edit to add: I would never have bet on fully remote anyway, at least not to the extent of upping sticks and moving out of commutable range. Some sort of hybrid arrangement always seemed the most likely outcome to me.
  9. Just pushing the average age of having children forward from, say, 20 to 30 will drop the overall number of births significantly (and by an ever growing margin, thanks to exponential growth), never mind the fertility rate per woman - which is what they seem to measure here. Consider a 20 year old having two kids, who then have another two each at 20 and so on. In the space of 60 years, one woman could end up with 14 descendents on a 20 year generation gap, which drops to just 6 on a 30 year gap. These days in the UK, 30+ seems more common for a first child. And then of course factor in the difficulties of having children when older, so probably fewer on average, and the ever growing number of people in the West who just say "no", for whatever reason.
  10. Not sure how easy that is to achieve. People the country over seem more than willing to throw 30%+ of their take home on a mortgage. Bring better paying jobs to a region, and house prices will rise accordingly. The reason they were cheap to begin with was the lack of jobs. One exception here is holiday areas, who suffer from high house prices whilst the crap jobs remain. As far as Londoners leaving is concerned, most of them aren't from London anyway - they went there for work after university and now they are leaving.
  11. If you are in Germany, you pay VAT in Germany, to Germany. If you buy a German car in the UK, you are almost certainly paying a UK based company UK VAT.
  12. No. Your buyer pays German levels of VAT to you, which you (used to) give to the UK government, who then gives it to Germany. Now you have to cut the UK out of that transaction and deal with the German tax authorities directly.
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