Money in the news and how you are going to pay and pay and pay
SURE, we’d all prefer that Spain doesn’t go bust. That the euro survives in some form or other, that we don’t get the cataclysm of an entire continent seeing its monetary and banking system swirling round the U-bend. But that’s probably not the way it’s going to turn out.
THIS is a strange little headline from the depths of the policy wonks’ part of the internet:
A Great Success: World Bank has a 70% failure rate with ICT4D projects to increase universal access
To unpick it for a moment: ICT4D is when the World Bank tries to get computers into the hands of poor people (why it doesn’t just given them a smart phone is another matter). And the rest of the headline is stating that 70% of all the money it spends is just pissed away on nothing useful and that this is a great success.
ALLISTER Heath is the editor of London’s City A.M. It’s a free news sheet that’s handed out to bankers and baking types. His views on the London Riots are beyond parody:
FEAR. Debilitating, widespread fear. The country held to ransom by feckless youths. Thousands of shocked Londoners cowering in their homes, with many shops, banks and offices shutting early. I cannot remember anything like it; the atrocities of the 7/7 terror attacks, the shock from 9/11 and the IRA’s repeated terrorist attacks had a chilling, devastating effect on the capital but it felt different this time…
The cause of the riots is the looters; opportunistic, greedy, arrogant and amoral young criminals who believe that they have the right to steal, burn and destroy other people’s property… There were no extenuating circumstances, no excuses…
ARE women being unfairly denied jobs? No, I don’t mean the usual feminist whinge that women are discriminated against because none of them have been hired as FTSE chief executives immediately after 15 years of raising sproglets. No, rather, the general difference in unemployment rates that we’re seeing:
The latest figures also confirm an unusual feature of this recovery – fewer jobs for women and more jobs for men. In previous recoveries, the recovery in employment favoured women. In this recovery, job growth has been strongly male dominated. It remains to be seen whether the reversed gender bias in job growth will continue.
DON’T go to University – get a job instead. Yes, everyone says you’ve got to go to uni if you’re going to get ahead. But this isn’t actually true as a number of employers are now pointing out:
A poll of employers has revealed a surprising degree of scepticism about the value of a degree. The finding may encourage students who miss the A-level grades they need for university on Thursday to abandon the idea of re-applying next year.
The majority of the more than 400 UK firms surveyed said they would hire a school-leaver with two years’ work experience over a graduate. Two-thirds of firms said so. This rose to almost three-quarters when just businesses that employ 50 people or fewer were surveyed.
NUMBERS are so important – especially when people are blithely throwing them around to make some political point or other.
Usually, the political point being that we should all send more tax money their way.
In fact, numbers are so important that it’s often necessary to try and work out where they come from. To, umm, see whether they make sense or whether they’re just yet another example of people blowing smoke.
No, I mean can we fire all the people who work at the TUC at the moment please?
The cause of my demand is their latest nonsense on the Robin Hood Tax. You know the one, that Richard Curtis thing where if we just took pennies off every financial transaction then we’d have hundreds of billions to make kittens fart rainbows stuff?
GOOGLE buys Motorola… Or at least, Google buys the mobile phones division of Motorola.
Google has made its largest-ever acquisition, and biggest corporate gamble, by splashing out $12.5bn for Motorola’s phone division, Motorola Mobility. The deal puts Google into the hardware business in a serious way – and into direct competition with licensees of its Android operating system, who woke up this morning thinking they were Google’s business partners.
There’s two bits to this: the first is exactly what is mentioned there. That all those companies that were basing phones on the Android operating system now have the originator of that operating system competing directly with them.
No, we don’t have to pay more policement either. Thankfully, given that the Met employs 32,000 of them but when they get an all staff to action stations call they can only manage to find 16,000….and many of those from other forces…..so we’re probably already paying more to pass the donut plates in the offices than we need to be already.
No, there’s actually an excellent source of exactly what we need out there, a source we can tap into for free.
YES, yes, we know, women earn on average 18% less than men. Or 12 %, 38%, even 1% more, depending upon who you believe and which number they’re lying about. The first is the mean average between men and women working full time: but we should use mean averages here (you shouldn’t when there’s a lower bound but no upper as with wages) we should use median which is the second.
The third is the likes of Harriet Harman lying through their teeth (it compares female part time wages with male full time) and the last is one that is true in two ways. Part time women earn 1% more than part time men and never married, no children women in their 40s and above earn 1% more than their male compatriots.
Yes, really, we ought to start paying people who agree to give up a kidney so that someone else can live. That at least was the suggestion of one academic when writing in the BMJ.
Sue Rabbitt Roff believes making it legal to sell the body part would boost the number of organs available to save lives and help students struggling with money.
She argues that donors should be paid the average UK annual income of around £28,000.
It is currently illegal to sell organs and tissues in the UK under the Human Tissue Act (2004) and across the world apart from in Iran.
WHY is car insurance so expensive? There are reasonable ways of asking that question: reasonable answers to such reasonable queries too. Perhaps there’s not enough competition so monopoly profits are being earned. Perhaps interest rates are too low?
No, seriously, in a competitive insurance market the insurance companies don’t make a profit writing insurance. They almost always make an underwriting loss in fact. However, they get your money early on and only pay out later if an accident happens. So they’re got pots and pots of money lying around waiting for a claim: and they can invest this and make a profit on investing it. Which is what they do and which is the real secret of Warren Buffett’s wealth.
NO, not just the ritual complaint that the State is taking away the hard earned pelf of the capitalist classes. Actually, it’s a complaint that the State isn’t taking away enough of said cash wrung from the bitter tears of the workers’ starving children. They’re doing this by having a tax rate that’s too damn high.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I looked at the detail of the Treasury and OBR’s own forecasts following the Budget. There quite clearly shown, is a fall of £500 million or 15% in CGT receipts next year compared with this. It takes more than a year for the full effects of a new CGT rate to come in, given the lags in selling the assets, reporting the gains and then paying the tax. So the official forecasters themselves accept that 28% is not an optimum rate . They reckon the higher rate will cost the Treasury £500 million of lost revenue in the first full year.
It has to be said that John Redwood does have an argument there. We’ve got a higher tax rate and we’re getting less tax revenue from having that higher tax rate.
DID you know that whiplash claims in the UK are higher than most other countries? It’s true:
“Seventy-six per cent is twice the average for other European countries,” says a spokesman for the Association of British Insurers. “It’s unlikely we’ve got some of the weakest necks in Europe.”
I KNOW, I know, I bang on about this, but it really is true, building faster train sets really doesn’t make us richer:
No passenger was seen in the whole carriage of a high-speed train on the Beijing-Shanghai line on July 3rd 2011. It has been reported that the high-speed rail service recently suffered a plunge in ticket sales, with trains running at less than 30 percent occupancy in the first- and second-class seats and with business-class carriages almost empty.
THERE are two things that make this such a painful statement to have to read:
THE Government has claimed the use of solar panels will provide a vital element in the fight against soaring fuel bills as thousands of households in a Yorkshire city will benefit from the renewable energy technology.
THERE’S any number of people out there telling us that we must all spend the tax money on their favourite boondoggle. Might be yet more bleedin windmills, neighbourhood nuclear plants, the trains sets they dreamed of as spotty youths or that national broadband they want to spend billions on.
And in these spending demands there’s one word that flourished as the Ace of Trumps: “Infrastructure!”.
IT’S possible that there’s some sort of black hole in The Guardian, one which distorts time itself, so that their editorials sometimes seem to come from another century. This is most noticeable when they start to talk about economics. And yes, they’re at it again today:
Like it or not, real shoppers do not operate like the calculating consumer that economists conjecture; instead they value things subjectively.
IT’S quite stunning how the Guardian manages to solve each and every problem for us. If the little scrotes are mis-behaving then it’s Sure Start for them: bankers getting out of hand then tax them more. If there’s evil in the human heart then we must understand, empathise: unless it’s done by white men of course in which case more tax is the answer again.
So, what are we going to do about this?
(Image: Mitch and Janis Winehouse view the shrines to thier daughter.)
Which leaves us with the question of who gets her rumoured £10-£20 million fortune? That one that is increasing by the minute as people buy her albums in remembrance? The one that’s going to soar when they release that third one of demos?
IT’S not been all that fun watching our Lords and Masters running around like headless chickens over this euro crisis.
All along there’s been only a few viable solutions. The first is that those who shouldn’t be in the euro should bugger off out of it. But that would be a retreat from “ever closer union” and so wasn’t going to happen. The second is that pots and pots of money should be taken off Germans and sent the Mediterranean types.
DAVID Cameron’s such a bastard, inn’e? Taking services out of the glorious NHS and passing them over to outsiders. I mean, look at what they’re offering out now!
The government will open up more than £1bn of NHS services to competition from private companies and charities, the health secretary announced on Tuesday, raising fears it will lead to the privatisation of the health service.
In the first wave, beginning in April, eight NHS areas – including …. wheelchair services for children,
IAN Millington, has been unable to find a job, so he has resorted to standing next to a busy main road in Sunderland holding a sign advertising himself with his cv details on the placard which he hold’s up to the passing traffic at Sunderland.
WHY we need comepetition for the NHS – or at least one reason why we do:
THE NHS is spending more than £20 for a loaf of gluten-free bread, 10 times more than the £2 charged for a standard small (400g) gluten-free loaf in Sainsbury’s.