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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 12/05/2009 : 08:16
Good parrallel with what happened with the banks. "Self regulation" means that neither bankers nor MPs have broken any rules but still acted greedily and immorally. 

Problem is we are dismantling regulation across both public and private sectors and things will only get worse.  Nolic


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 12/05/2009 : 09:58
When the RBS boss announced the company's results last week he said they would be able to keep up their pension scheme. They get retirement at 60, on up to two-thirds final salary...and the employees don't make any contribution to the scheme. Not bad eh?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 12/05/2009 : 10:10
It's terrible but you've got to admire the bankers. They are managing the system brilliantly. Truly Lords of the Universe!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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portia
Regular Member


78 Posts
Posted - 12/05/2009 : 12:45
My employer operated a 'non-contributory' final salary scheme.  In truth it was only non-contributory on paper.  Whenever our pay was reviewed, we were compared with workers doing comparable work elsewhere.   But then whatever figure they came up with was reduced to compensate for the fact that we didn't pay pension contributions.  So whilst it was non-contributory, it just meant we got paid less.
It's also worth bearing in mind that most of the banking pensions are paid to people with no say in how the system works - although if they had a say it might be better - and are probably fairly small in amount.  So whilst I certainly abhor the obscene pensions paid to the bods at the top, I wouldn't condemn the scheme as it applies to the general workforce.
(And no, I never worked in banking)


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 06:51
You are quite right Portia, there are always details below the headlines. However, what I was referring to is the investment bank activity which is doing exactly what it did to get us into this mess. Regarding securities as an opportunity for profit with no added value. In other words, money for manipulating money, not actually creating some value and earning it. This is the ethos which led to toxic mortgages, 'securitisation' and the crash.

Hazel Blears must be a fool. Did you see her waving the cheque for £17,000 she is sending to the revenue to make up for the capital gains she would have paid if she hadn't flipped her property? Doesn't she realise that in order to accept it the revenue has to break its own rules as legally she doesn't owe them anything. If they take it they break the law, if they refuse it she has to retract. I fear her career in politics is over whatever the management does.

As for The party leaders vying with each other to gain the upper ground... This isn't governance, it isn't even good politics, it is pantomime.

I was told today by a man who knows that the general view in Westminster is that they are in uncharted territory. I pointed out that when the TUC called the constitutional conference that led to the formation of the Labour Party after the Liberals had abdicated their position as the radical party they faced exactly the same problem.

Finally, I got word from an old journo with good contacts in whom I have complete confidence. Here's what he wrote:
Heard at the weekend of a lady responsible for checking MPs' claims. Seems she's been made to sign the Official Secrets Act -- legislation meant, I believe, to protect matters of greater import that the cost of bath plugs or swimming pools.
 
She told a mate of mine the things she sees would make your hair stand on end. She's gagged of course, but mentioned a £10 cup of tea.
 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 07:03
Just heard that Godron is 'going to take extreme measures'. On past performance this is a sure sign that the party is going to implode. Everything he touches goes wrong.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 07:52
I'm convinced that some restriction on the length of time someone serves as an MP and similarly how long a party can be in government would suit us all. Blears was a principled firebrand 10 years ago - as were many of those in power no.

Both MPs and ministers are now just so drunk on power and their own importance I'm sure they don't see what the fuss is about. Nolic

 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 08:47
Hands up anyone who thinks that after all the dust has settled we will be paying MPs less money. My point is that whilst the labourer is worthy of his hire, the ones who will benefit in the end will be the ones who never fiddled the system because the rates will be raised to make sure very few are worse off.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 08:55
What is scary about this debacle is they still don't seem to understand what they did was wrong. If you fill in a tax form late you get fined !! MPs are the people who voted this through. So I assume if they are paying it back because it was wrong, and not declared they will be fined and interest charged ??
If you can Flip your House for Capital Gains Tax purposes why does anyone pay Capital Gains Tax.???? I suppose it's just the little man paying yet again.
These same people voted through laws allowing people to be locked up for 28 days without charge. Do they have the power of common sense reasoning, to be able to comprehend laws like these. When they can't understand flawed expense claims.

Just listened to PMQs they are just talking about paying back the Capital Gains element of Second Home Profits. What about the other 60 % can they pocket that. ???

Edited by - frankwilk on 13/05/2009 12:32:03 PM



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
handlamp
Senior Member


1100 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 14:51
Excuse me, but I have always understood that if tax evasion is revealed HMRC can fine you up to as much as double the amount - has this suddenly dawned on today's `volunteers' ? As regards Michael Martin, the way he treated Kate Hoey yesterday when she queried his wisdom in bringing in the poilce to hunt for the mole should have every MP demanding he steps down. However, our blessed leader assures all and sundry that he has his full confidence - the Scottish Mafia coming into play no doubt. Can't wait for the next but one Private Eye. 


TedGo to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 16:42
Today's is bad enough Ted!

If, as it seems, we are establishing a moral principle that even though defective rules allow something it is up to the individual to decide whether taking such advantage is morally correct (a principle I wholly support), can we now include executives who receive rewards from in-house remuneration committeesand individuals and companies who take advantage of loopholes in tax law and domicile regulations. This surely is an exact parallel.Oh that we could extend the same principle to the dealing rooms in investment banks. Alternatively shouldn't common law be based on moral rectitude?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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portia
Regular Member


78 Posts
Posted - 13/05/2009 : 18:03
Re capital gains tax evasion - it depends on the precise details of what she did.  Anyone may legally arrange their affairs to as to avoid tax. The difference between avoidance and evasion is that the former is legal, the latter isn't.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 14/05/2009 : 06:49
Yes Portia but that doesn't make it morally defensible! As Frank says, it's not what they did or whether it was legal it is the mind-set that lies behind their actions. We have a perfect example in Pendle at the moment. We are being flooded with Conservative electioneering including some very expensive printing which we think is being financed by Lord Ashcroft, a man whose financial affairs are no doubt legal but definitely shifty as regards paying UK tax. This may all be legal under electoral law but it is immoral. Meanwhile our MP Gordon Prentice gets on with the job, did you see him on TV last night speaking eminent common sense about the Speaker?

I wonder what would happen if the expense accounts of the Civil Service, the Churches and the media were exposed to the same scrutiny as Parliament? This is the tip of a nasty iceberg and exposes the culture of grab and run that pervades the whole of society. The good guys are the ones that resist the temptation and that's the list that I want to see!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Another
Traycle Mine Overseer


6250 Posts
Posted - 14/05/2009 : 07:21
Bumped into a County Councillor whilst out with Misty. Apparently a lot of volunteers delivering manifesto's for the County elections are withdrawing because of the abuse they are receiving over the expenses issue.

This person was adamant that it is a national issue  but I then asked  about the many local councillors  who become  full time politicians by relying on the generous expenses system!!!

Only reponse I got was that it didn't apply to them. Nolic

 


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softsuvner
Regular Member


604 Posts
Posted - 14/05/2009 : 07:55
Steady on Stanley!

I can't speak for Whitehall, but in my time as a "rank and file" Civil Servant, cleaning out our moats and re-decorating the servants quarters was not claimable on expenses. After your first rejected expenses claim, you soon learned that the Civil Service did not give money away lightly, at least to its own staff!

Many years ago I worked in what was then called Staff Section, dealing with expenses claims. The main claim load was for travel and overnight accomodation for people working away from home, or people moving house under the transfer system for certain grades.

The whole point about these claims was that the system and entitlements were all laid down to the "nth" degree in standing instructions. Before you put in a claim it had to be countersigned by your boss. A certain percentage of claims were routinely examined by us at staff section. Every year a sample across the whole department was subject to audit by people from outside the Department.
 
I have no doubt there were loopholes and fiddles, but the system was transparent, what you could claim was laid down in black and white, there were very few "grey areas" . The whole thing was then subject to audit.

I am just totally gobsmacked at the continuing revelations on M.P.s expenses, especially the one this morning who carried on claiming for a mortgage that didn't exist!

If you want another expenses "can of worms" to open, I suggest Euro-M.P.s travel and subsistance would be an interesting place to start!

Malcolm


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