France and Greece reject the medicine and opt for the chocolates

Norman Younger
Maximiti Limited
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What an interesting bank holiday weekend . France and Greece have voted to go on spending. Not sure where the money is coming from as nobody will lend them and in Greece nobody actually pays any tax. I cannot make up my mind if they are in denial or are acting like a person being told they have only weeks to live so go on a spending spree.

One thing is for sure - the uncertainty is going to make it a turbulent time to be invested anywhere !

Hopefully it will create fissures in the EU and take it back to what it was sold to us as - an economic union only.

About Norman Younger

Accountancy practice brokerCommercial mediator & negotiatorBoutique business broker & corporate financier 25+ years professional experience, charity trustee and community worker with a broad (but not-always "PC") view of the country's financial, business, political and social problems. Tel: 0800 2800 321. Follow my personal Google+ page


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07th May 2012 17:25

Will the threats happen?

We have just thrown more money their way as apparently, it is cheaper to throw more money at them than let them go bust. Something there reminds me of the banking crisis!!!

Where do we draw the line? It's time the banks, and everyone else, are told to be responsible for their own actions. We paid for the banks twice, once to bail them out, then again (in higher interest rates) to make them the profits they needed to pay off their debt to us. It will be a bottomless pit with Greece.


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to Adam12345
07th May 2012 17:56

France and Greece

It is a game of poker and chicken mixed together. Lots of excitement. We draw the line with policitians who have the backbone to refuse to help these lazy socialist Europeans. They have to learn what happens if you don't take the medicine and we have to stand by and watch them throw up all over the carpet.If our banks are overexposed then they will go belly up and be nationalised.Ten years ago I put a "no euro" sticker on the front of the office and people laughed....

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08th May 2012 09:48

Keynsian …

Of course the classic Keynsian solution in times of recession is for increased public spending (infrastructure etc.) to boost the economy & provide decent trade routes when times get better

This would probably work for Europe - problem is 'all the money has gone to prop up no-hopers'

No sense of realism - Some sectors/countries have an over inflated value of their own worth (i.e. Spanish housing/Greek failure to pay tax) and simply refuse to budge when offered realistic prices or tying to blackmail over exit from the euroAll the money that could have been used to kick-start economies has been poured into loans to basket-case countries, who for the most part have been architects of their own down fall and still refuse to see the error of their ways – wanting ever more hand-outs and threatening refusal to honour existing obligations

Greece has only NOT been in default for about 50 years in the last 200, so they are serial defaulters – history does tell us something, but people choose to ignore it. Unfortunately where an ideology is at stake (euro), politics supplants all  common sense or business acumen.

It is very simple. At a personal level would you lend a serial defaulter money, knowing their past record and being fully aware that they had neither the means nor the inclination to pay the money back? mmmmm.... difficult question

PS. Just in passing, has anyone seen this latest stunt by Brussels to allow Turkish Nationals access to UK benefits - another 'winner'

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08th May 2012 09:53

Variation of ' teach a man to fish ...'

Very appropriate in respect of the PIGS

Give a man a mug only quenches his thirst for a day

Teach a man to mug ......

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08th May 2012 09:59


I think it is a case of "pigs will fly"


The only reason to lend a serial defaulter is because it gets him off your back . As they say - when you owe the bank 310k you have a problem , when you owe th ebank £10m , the bank has a problem.

Out of interest when was the last time a developed country went truly bankrupt and failed to pay it's civil servants and its pensioners ?

People talk about it but does anybody really believe it could happen?


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08th May 2012 11:40

Goldman Sachs ... Greece fraudulent entry ...

Interesting thing about Greece entry was that it would not have been possible (in 2000/01) without Goldman Sachs cooking their books

and yet nobody has held Goldman Sachs to account or even attempted to. This probably just goes to show the reach of the GS tentacles into all financial systems like a virus.

Furthermore, the roll call of their 'old boys' is indeed impressive - which probably explains why no-one has taken action

So the messsage is that firms like Goldman Sachs are simply untouchable - no matter what they do ....

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08th May 2012 20:34

Past Bankruptcies

Not sure how you define 'developed'; but Argentina and a lot of South/Central America went bankrupt in the 80's.  Brazil?  Not sure.

I don;t see the elections as a big problem.  France will be told to just forget it if they want to revise the financial stability pact in a big way and the probable conclusion will be a cosmetic re-write so Hollande appears to have gained something.  We get to watch them try the tax-the-rich approach and see if it works.  I hope it does - the usual squeals from fat chats have started and to be fair the line is set at E1M income in order to hit 75%.

Sadly for Greece I'm afraid they've blown it.  The time to go bankrupt and cause trouble to the rest of us was 2 years ago.  All the institutions who have lent Greece money have written it down with the benefit of QE money and now a default is more a case of recognising reality rather than blowing a hole in anyone's balance sheet.  It's like the end of Speed when all the hostages have left the bus and Dennis Hopper has no-one left to blow up.  

Internal political turmoil? Sure.  Riots in the streets? Probably.  Leaving the Euro in a chaotic way?  Certainly.  Contagion to Portugal and Spain?  Less likely by the day.  

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09th May 2012 09:23


I spent 6 hours driving yesterday so heard a lot of news and comment - I am a Radio 4 man. The recurring theme was that Greeks want to remain in the Euro but don't want the austerity. Are these people deluded ?

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10th May 2012 10:01

well i suppose at least with

all of this austerity still to come it seems the top rate of tax in a number of countries will be going maybe we don't need to worry about 'brain' drain should we put our top rate back up (every cloud...).


As for putting £10billion into the IMF (or Euro...whichever it is) - it doesn't look great, indeed i would prefer us not to.....but then again i don't export my services/products to Europe......if i did then maybe i might just have a different view......


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10th May 2012 10:50


Not sure that increasing top rate helps anything  . It is a disincentive to work . The self employed will ensure that they don't pay it and it prevents talent from coming in. Nobody disputes that but it is populist with the proletariat.

I have a supplier in Turkey , which I always thought would want paid in Euros as they are "trying" to get into the club , but he only takes US dollars. For now I am smiling............

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10th May 2012 11:37

I am presuming you believe those

of a 'lower' class are motivated by being paid less..and those talented few at the top motivated by more....


Not sure that really fits with the country/society I want to live in but each to their own.... we welcome all, try to ensure the poor and needy are provided for, have a health service 'free' to all and a society in which generally we are free to speak our mind, and it is reasonably safe/policed well.  (I wonder does Syria have a lower top rate of personal tax...perhaps all the talent is thinking of moving their?).....its not perfect.....but i think this country try's to be fair...and in doing so has a tax system to reflect that.....which means that the more income you have the more tax you pay..... 

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10th May 2012 13:29

Motivation to work
Not exactly as you put it. The avergae punter has motivation to pay the rent and feed the kids but it is not motivation in the sense that the harder you work the more you earn as opposed to paying a higher rate of tax becasue you have worked more. Mr Average usually has no opportunity to earn more but the talented ones do and they are wealth creators and employers themselves.

I suspect that in Syria the tax take reduces for the top earners in inverse proportion ot the thickness of the brown envelope proferred

Of course a civilised socity has to cater for the less fortunate but it does not mean that a big earner should pay a higher rate - they are anyway pouring in money by virtue of earning more

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10th May 2012 13:58

I guess Mr Average doesn't get the opportunity to

do overtime then?

We will have to see what the 'talented' ones do to get us out of this mess....given the 5% drop I am guessing they are more motivated than ever....wonder how long it will take (won't hold my breath)....


Although we should also remember that in a civilised society the likelihood is that the billions spent in state benefits etc will find its way into a business (whether they sell beer, fags[***], clothing etc) could argue that the government (that is the taxpayer) also subsidises the big businesses indirectly....and as with anything if you can sell to the country rather than county, sell nationwide rather than locally, you can make far more money.


Final point - if only all or most of those in that 1% top earnings bracket were ever so talented....but i fear that is not quite the case.....








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10th May 2012 14:31

Not class again ..


Could we have a discussion without introducing this word - firstly because it has emotive connotations and secondly because the context is incorrect - class refers to social standing and not earning power?

Nevertheless you are quite right about some of those at the top of the tree ('.. if only all or most of those in that 1% top earnings bracket were ever so talented ..'), although, the scatter gun approach taken by lumping all those high earners as a single entity is questionable

However, we need to identify the '.. talented ones ..', because there is a world of difference between entrepreneurs, who benefit many by association, and the CEO circuit where there is a massive disparity between ability and reward and who only seem to benefit themselves

Being on a salary & risking someone else’s money are very different from putting oneself on the line, which is the difference between entrepreneurs and others/CEO's.

If you don't provide the right climate for entrepreneurial risk then everyone loses because there is no wealth/job creation.

To say to someone - if you risk everything and lose then that is your problem but if you win the government wants half of your winnings alters the risk/reward dynamics. The balance has to be acceptable otherwise nobody would prepared to take the chance because the downside is too great

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10th May 2012 14:48

in my was the use of the word
proletariat that indicated that this was in fact about class and that in someway it is only those on minimal earnings or of that standing who found the higher rate tax drop of 5% absurd.

But i accept this is about wealth building/creation...and the possible effects on that. That said I do find the argument that the cut of 5% was done because in fact no one actually pays it (because of tax mitigation/planning etc) and yet it apparently is affecting the entrepreneurs....there is a paradox in there somewhere!

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10th May 2012 23:31

Class economic warfare ?

Mea culpa ! It was I who used the term "proletariat" and the reason I did so was to air my opinion that too many decisions are taken or not taken with  a political agenda although the decision - makers would never admit it in a month of Sundays.

The 5% per se doesn't make or break an entreprenuer's decision but it is a pivotal point in the direction of where the tax rate is heading. If it goes up from 40% to 50% the next step could well be 55% or even 60%  at which levels decisions of whether or not to create wealth are affected. Bit like watching a share price. 



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11th May 2012 09:04

I'm not convinced

Who is going to turn down £100,000 because they will only get an extra £50,000 (instead of £55,000 with 45% rate). Anyone other than an employee can usually avoid the 50% anyway! Logic has nothing to do with government decision anyway. It's more a case of which voters to court and nourish, and which voters they aren't bothered about (until they overdo their hand and get bitten).

EDIT: the 40/45/50% rate comes along with an 10%  reduction in NI anyway, which everyone on higher rate conveniently forgets about when it suits them.

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11th May 2012 11:29

50% tax

Perhaps sharing 50 percent of your income with the state won't put people off but when it creeps up to 60 or 70 percent I suspect people will think twice. Remember , many of these earners are highly mobile and work for large firms so will up sticks and take their talent elsewhere




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11th May 2012 12:01

not sure there has been any indication that the

rate will then 'creep up'....think you may have the same paranoia the union reps have about reducing their members pension benefits.

This is not a race to the top or bottom...this is about funding the country through this economic crisis.....apparently one in which 'we' are all in together......and perceived or otherwise these type of decisions make the 'we' look more like us and them. 





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to adam.arca
11th May 2012 13:46

All in this together

Paranoid ? Me ? Not at all . But the directional movement of a tax rate or a price is an accepted indicator of what could come. Movements send messages to markets.The better-off are still participating in the economic pain but in a different way to Mr and Mrs Average. If you were earning a £2m a year and had set up your lifestyle to live in such a fashion and now you have dropped to £1m per annum , you're bust - that means potentially losing your house , your luxury car , your holiday home . They had a lifestyle that many can only dream of but comaprewith the £50k a year man who bought a 2nd car or went on 2 foreign holidays a year and now has to cut back to 1 car and 1 holiday.  The latter is not bust - so who has  has the most pain ?

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11th May 2012 14:15

But wasn't it you who suggested we should all
live within our means, and hard luck if you have over spent/borrowed....(and I am kinda having a hard time equating a 5% tax increase to a £1m drop in income....). Indeed if you were on say £50k per year and then lost 50% of that i would suggest you would also be in danger of losing your house.

But you are quite right - things like this do send out a message to all - even to those lower class numpties.

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to Heather Burns
11th May 2012 14:31

Living within means

I do indeed advocate such a lifestyle. The income drop example was to show that the "rich" are sharing in the pain and perhaps sometimes in a greater proportion.

There is probably more chance of a £2m earner losing half , than a £50k earner dropping to £25k.

But these "numpties" get it - do they even realise that a message has been sent ?  

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11th May 2012 15:17

Well i guess we need to ask them....

i think half of them were on strike yesterday....nurses, policemen etc....i think most seem to find it hard to take a hit on their pensions etc whilst the talented ones get a 5% deduction...

I also think I got it wrong,  what is more likely is the guy earning 50k is more likley to be one who is getting made losing all income rather than taking a pay cut.







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to marks
11th May 2012 16:43

50k earners

They need to understand that their pensions are still generous - that's the deal. Lower pay but better pension, which they will still enjoy. Not forgetting that at 55 they go on to work part time or start a consultancy on TOP of their generous pension.

Yes, I agree about the redundancy . they either lose it all or face a cut in living standards due to rising costs. The clever ones will be insured against losing their jobs and the self employed will duck and dive a bit more.

Perhaps we need compulsory financial education instead of sex[***] education....but then again if you don't understand figures you'll never get it

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12th May 2012 09:50

Incapable of living within means ....

Harsh posting but …

A great many today are incapable of living within their means and in a 'now' society very few ever save to buy something - therefore credit has become the norm and with it go the associated risks which seem to be ignored until the … hits the fan – then the inevitable cry of … not my fault or I did not understand .. can be heard. Well guys you have had the dosh and understood the concept of spending and now it’s payback time …. So stop expecting everyone to underwrite your problems

Of course what should perhaps be looked at is re-instating the usury laws or introducing a M(max)LR - with lenders being capped on interest rates, after all the BOE sets the level at the other end of the scale and the likes of Wonga are simply exploiting the vulnerable

@justsotax - ‘.. i think most seem to find it hard to take a hit on their pensions ..’ The country simply cannot afford unsustainable public service pensions. Nothing in this world is fair and some of the hardest hit are not those being asked to contribute 3% to their own future wellbeing but rather those drawing or about to enter their pensions (see GAD rates & income drop of 20%) as well as discrimination against women of a certain age (circa 58 years) who have suddenly been moved from 60 to 65. Also savings income is non-existent (BOE fixing rates-knock on effect on annuities & GAD rates) effectively rendering the prudent at risk to support the feckless (borrowed to the hilt) - some estimates put the loss to savers at £40bn/year on-going

@justsotax - '.. what is more likely is the guy earning 50k is more likley to be one who is getting made redundant...' The question in this context is are they employed in a 'real' job or part of the public sector jobs explosion brought about by the last government? For instance is the NHS overburdened with admin staff rather than primary care staff - i.e. just one area alone 1.2m staff & 7,000 HR staff (1:171 ratio - I don't know whether this is comparable to the private sector)

So with this in mind is a re-evaluation (contraction) inevitable, however uncomfortable that may be? After all jobs for life no longer exist whatever the unions may try to impose

The thing that has always amazed me is that the heads of unions manage to get away with very comfortable pay packages, all being funded by their less well-off members and no-one bats an eye - especially in these times where CEO's salaries are being challenged at shareholder meetings. Furthermore, once in office these union chaps seem to remain there indefinitely, which does seem odd in a democracy where even governments change every 5-10 years

Ah well! obviously you can fool all the people all the time

Solution – let market forces take their course without constant interference from politicians and if people ‘go to the wall’ then so be it as a lesson about debt and borrowing then perhaps a harsh reality would hit home about decision making and accountability – but don’t sacrifice those who have been prudent at the altar of expediency to rescue those who have already had their cake – can’t eat your cake and have it

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to Euan MacLennan
13th May 2012 17:05

The "now" society

Harsh but true . Nowadays it is "illegal" to say or do things that may possibly offend somebody , not because it is nasty or racist , but because it doesn't allow them to hide from the fact that they may be impaired in some way and does not allow them false equality. All this does is bring down the whole system for all.

Take A level results and university access for all....

Problem is that once the genie is out of the bottle it is difficult to put back inside - that's where we have been for a long time with pensions. Wehn I was a wee boy a man of 70 was going well to get there and the pension age was as it is now. Man of 70 ? Commonplace and no feat , even man of 80 perhaps. Retiring age ...still at 65.

And why if we have sex[***] equality enshrined in law should women be able to retire earlier than men ? Am I missing something here ?




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13th May 2012 22:26

@jc...not harsh at all

although I fear you have misinterpreted my reference to pensions of the public sector (or the 50k earners...I think there are the odd one outside of the public sector who are paid that amount)...I don't support the unions in form....the unfunded public sector should have been dealt with years was more about the fact that cutting 5% off the top rate may well not go down well with someone who has signed a contract for a certain remuneration package and then is asked to tear it up (but yes these people are led by reps who are on 7 figure salaries....although this never seems to get advertised!)


I would ask this though....I assume you have a succesful that has plenty of cash/can pay its bills/allows you to provide a good living for your family......all i wonder is how much have you benefitted from those who have taken loans etc ...perhaps beyond their means in order to start businesses and spend money with you.  You may be right that it is just tough for those who lose out....but the UK is about supporting people lest fortunate (whether you like it or not...and whether you think they are deserving or not)

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14th May 2012 09:36

Borrowing to start

I have undoubtedly built my business on the back of the booming economy in the early

"noughties" but I don't think the £50 or so they paid for a company formation was on borrowed money and in any event a large percentage were contractors who didn't really have a business anyway.

I agree wholeheartedly that the less fortunate have to be helped , indeed I spend a lot of my working week and evenings doing just that , but one has to know where to draw boundaries and let people stand on their own two feet and the only way to do that is tough love.

In the current economic turmoil continuing to dole out benefits to people who are

playing the system  is not the answer

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14th May 2012 09:52

It may not be but for the majority

this will be the first time they have claimed anything.....not those who have been on the dole for years...those who have been recently made redundant or have seen major contracts disappear resulting in the loss of their business.



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14th May 2012 11:26


I don't disagree with you but when you have families where 3 generations live off benefits and are proud of it it makes you wonder.

My wife was recently in a house on a local "estate" , in a professional capacity .

One of the team commented on how nice the garden was and received the reply from the householder that they were the only house on the street of 20 or so , that was working and not living off benefits.

The authorities let it happen becuase it is the price of "buying off" rioting . These people have no apsirations because they are mired in a system that is broken and discourages enterprise. The trouble is that we have to work to pay for  it - that is why the welfare reforms have broad support in the country. People are waking up



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14th May 2012 11:39

No argument from me on that.....

although i suppose there is the case that the money from likes of jobseekers goes straight back into the economy via pubs/newsagents etc.....perhaps it is the provision of housing, cars etc that should be looked at (I know a client that although in ill health has a chrysler people carrier.....would a ford fiesta or something of that nature not do the job (and be better for the environment).....and the kick back for the firms that do the upgrades on cars for people with disabilities is frightening....

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14th May 2012 13:10

Playing the benefits system

I also know of families taking the mick and of working people who are genuinely sick but driving smart motors with their mobility allowance when they anyway would have had a car just like everybody else. The raneg of cars on offer is mind boggling and I suppose the argument goes that Mobility is a commercial venture etc etc , but somethign just seems wrong. Remember the old blue invalid tricycles - I doubt that the suspect claimants would be queuing up for them nowadays if it was the only thing on offer.

It is a veritable gravy train , just like everything else linked to spending other people's money. Since joining the "not for profit" sector as part of my community work I have had my eyes opened to money that is dished out like sweeties and the commissions that are creamed off by consultants. If you want to set up a charity and pay yourself £75k a year what are you waiting for ? It's jobs for the boys.....


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14th May 2012 13:23

Quite depressing.....


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to Duggimon
14th May 2012 14:51

The gravy train

Depressing ? :-(

Only because you're not on board !   :-)

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14th May 2012 16:05


how do i go about signing up?......close up my business...have a few kids......etc

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15th May 2012 09:09

Interpretation ....

@justsotax - '.. but the UK is about supporting people lest fortunate  ..'

Agreed with the sentiment, just need clarification on '.. less fortunate ..' - are we talking about

Those who have used their best endeavours and through no fault of their own end up in this situationAsylum seekers choosing the UK as a 'lifestyle choice' & wanting to live in Central London on £2k rent week. Surely asylum refers to the first 'safe' country you reach & not passing through them to head for the one with the best benefits system?Those in households where no-one has ever worked and the culture is endemic & generationalAll those with disabled parking badges who clearly are not disabled or 'borrowed' their relatives carThose involved in the various motability scamsThe 17 children brigade - meaning that they are better off not workingOne upon a time you could get the Government to pay the interest on your mortgage if you has no work - enter interest only & self-cert £250k mortgagesThose on state handouts who have endless funds for fags[***], booze & the latest mobile phones & tellys. 

... and so on the ingenuity is endless

The poverty line is also an interesting one & very difficult to define or find absolutes. Also it is related to median income which makes it a moveable figure - (Barnardoes) £13/day each say 5 children = £455/wk or £23,660/yr - to all accounts this is spendable (ex. tax) and ex. rent/rates

@justsotax - '.. how do i go about signing up? ..'. Forget the more children etc. too much effort all round and you have to spend money on them.

As already mentioned the real winner is 'not for profit' - and if you cannot get away with paying your self an excessive salary (>£75k) then never fear; just set up a service company accounts, IT etc. and re-charge any amount you like to the charity.

Frankly, the most extraordinary abuses seem to be ignored by the Charity Commission - i.e. annual income £2m, funds to charitable purposes £20k, balance expenses, fund raising, anything else you can think of to asset strip. No problem because the CC will not really do anything about it - mmm .... definately a growth industry

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15th May 2012 09:57

Charity Comission

The CC is a paper tiger. The joke is that in their newsletters the trumpet their successes in enforcement but they don't really have any substantial successes. I reckon they are happy to sit around shuffling papers and making it difficult for genuine applicants to complete the registration process by asking stupid questions and nitpicking. If they opened their eyes they would most likely find widespread abuse and playing of the system , never mind the money flowing to terror groups under the guise of "relief" . I bet the penpushers don't know the meanign fo the word "audit trail" and never stepped out of their cosy offices to visit non-existent schemes abroad. On the subject of foreign schemes are charities exempt from the new bribery rules or do the relief workers still buy their brown envelopes wholesale and dish them out with impunity ?

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16th May 2012 13:16

@jc....i think you know who i

 am targetting when talking of the less fortunate.....but accept that there is a subtantial number of undeserving cases who seem to be able to access money from the government like 'normal' people do from an ATM (but try getting a business grant and its like pulling teeth).


Unfortunately too many quangos (is that how you spell it?) do little or nothing about what they oversee.......and quite agree on charities.....



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to shaun king
16th May 2012 14:56

Undeserving cases

Looks liek we are singing from the same hymn sheet. I sense a general mood that people are fed up of those milking the system and the benefits cap is long overdue. When we all prospered we turned a blind eye to it and now it is "game over"  for shirkers, but we'll see how it plays out in practice.

It's like anything - push your luck too far and eventually something gives. I just watched the history of the 1970s on BBC iPlayer with Dominic Sandbrook , very well presented and nostalgic (especially the 1978 Scottish World Cup fiasco) . He aired Maggie's political party broadcast of winter 1979 and narrated how she was spot-on for the mood of the country against unions who had played the system and pushed their luck.

The cycle goes on and on and on. Now it Germany versus the Greeks

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17th May 2012 09:10

And look what we have now!

Instead of the unions holding us to ransom we now have big corporations and banks holding us to ransom! Things never change with government policy ... they just get rid of one problem by causing another!


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17th May 2012 10:13

Quite right ....

@ShirleyM - One of the problems with the banks is the way in which they are permitted to hold money - Client Money v Deposit

Client Money - cash in your accounts is segregated from bank’s own assets and held in trust accountsDeposit - they hold money as banker and not as trustee

(witness the uproar when Farepack went down)

Given the choice (not available with banks) why would anyone choose to allow banks to hold money as a 'deposit holder'. Yes the age old argument put forward by the banks is that it would cost more as 'client money' but that is rather a red herring to allow them to use (risk) your money for their own ends and conveniently blur the lines (chinese walls)

Have never really understood why GB did not let the banks go bust in 2007/08 - after all the state (FSCS) would have had to pick up the tab for customers and shareholders would have lost out, but they would be aware of the risk; in any event having shares drop from 600p to 30p has pretty much forfeited them anyway

However, it would have released the country from all the inherent other bank liabilities (i.e. pensions etc. Fred the Shred) and allowed a clean start.

Moreover it would have sent a message that no-one was too big to fail - which the banks have clearly failed to comprehend because they can continue to rely upon a bail-out

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to Mark_NW
17th May 2012 13:11

Banks and bailouts

Just been chatting with a colleague and he reckons Greece will be bailed out by Germany and I reckon they are leaving the Euro. If Germany foots the bill how will they stop the Greeks doing it again. It's like a bad apple on the staff - if they cannot be trusted , sack them. They cooked the books to join the Euro and that is like a fake CV . It's dishonest so out they go....

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17th May 2012 14:41

Skids under Greece ...

Depositors withdrew 0.7 billion euros from Greek banks on Monday and its back to the polls - to get the same answer as previously; anti-austerity will win because nobody likes a hard time

Greece will probably leave the eurozone later in the year - possibly followed by Portugal & Spain

Trouble is that Greece really has nothing to talk of for export - so even if they return to drachma & go their own way how do they sort their balance of payments with no proper industries

Who helped them cook the books - Goldman Sachs; but nobody does anything about holding GS to account

Alternatively Germany could exit the euro and leave all the 'basket cases' in in together - but they won't do this because they are doing well out of the euro

Don't know he Greek for 'Hasta la vista, baby'

On the other hand when companies go bust they divi up the assets - any takers for Crete or Rhodes or Kos to pay off their debts?

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17th May 2012 16:50


You don't want to be caught holding any olive oil at the moment - price is bound to plummet in desperate attempts to kick start their economy

Perhaps Stelios could help them and rename the country easyGreece - after all they've spent the last decade doing nothing and milking the Krauts. They change their flag to orange and people can be charged for carrying bags to the shops to get their groceries

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