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Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Old Dec 2nd 2013, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
That's an anomaly that already existed in the tax system, as in the UK we tax as individuals, not households. A household with 2 earners just under the higher tax rate, would pay less tax than a single earner with the same total income.
I think that it's the fact that the family is getting 100,000 quid per annum, minus 2 and still getting some sort of benefit that makes no sense, not the separate assessment of tax for spouses.
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
I think that it's the fact that the family is getting 100,000 quid per annum, minus 2 and still getting some sort of benefit that makes no sense, not the separate assessment of tax for spouses.
Well, until very recently, everyone with children got child benefit as it was a universal benefit.
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by old.sparkles View Post
Increasing house prices is only good for sellers really - and prices in a lot of places are too high for many. Given the extrememly low interest rates, it sad to see any home reposessions - heaven knows what would happen if interest rates were to rise.
..

As one of the older plonkers in this life, this is exactly where the UK, for want of a better word ,have since the end of the 60s got the mentality wrong.

UK citizens tend to look towards the house market, and interest rates in short term,
then measure or valadate, the health of the economy and recovery accordingly.
Then reckon a 3 month improvement, shows the country is on to a recovery.
The idea that selling and buying houses/properties at ever increasing higher prices, improves personal and countries economy status, is beyond me.It moves money from one place to another, but within the same circle.
Priortising education, and putting people in jobs, is what allows ones country, to develope, and market itself, which in turn encourages and developes internal growth.
I believe UKs fundamental prioritities are wrong.

Is the UK that bad ??. Its relevant to your own expectations and what life you can
afford yourself I suppose.
Would I go back ??, not now, but if I was younger, why not.
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by old.sparkles View Post
Doesn't that depend on if it was one or both earning. One person earning the 50K meant no CB, but both parents could earn more than that combined (say 30k each) I thought and still claim.
I don't think so - I am pretty sure it is BOTH
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by bigglesworth View Post
I don't think so - I am pretty sure it is BOTH
Just checked here - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefitc...troduction.htm - and it's if one of you is a higher rate tax payer, so as dunroving said - both parents could earn 49,999 each and still claim child benefit
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by fuchs01 View Post
..

As one of the older plonkers in this life, this is exactly where the UK, for want of a better word ,have since the end of the 60s got the mentality wrong.

UK citizens tend to look towards the house market, and interest rates in short term,
then measure or valadate, the health of the economy and recovery accordingly.
Then reckon a 3 month improvement, shows the country is on to a recovery.
The idea that selling and buying houses/properties at ever increasing higher prices, improves personal and countries economy status, is beyond me.It moves money from one place to another, but within the same circle.
Priortising education, and putting people in jobs, is what allows ones country, to develope, and market itself, which in turn encourages and developes internal growth.
I believe UKs fundamental prioritities are wrong.

Is the UK that bad ??. Its relevant to your own expectations and what life you can
afford yourself I suppose.
Would I go back ??, not now, but if I was younger, why not.
All the UK papers today are talking of Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon CEO's plan to deliver packages by drone in the next few years, subject to FAA approval.

I guess they were all watching CBS's 60 Minutes last evening which did a feature on Amazon and Bezos spoke of it when looking at innovations.

Bezos's attitude is that you only have so long to survive before somebody else will come along and take you out of business. You had better look long term at innovations and set a course for future growth or die and so to hell with everybody else. If you have to trample on a whole load of little people to get where you want or need to be then so be it.

The US has been extraordinarily good at this ruthless business approach to growth investment and innovation which unfortunately does not help the interests of the average worker.

I see remarkable similarities between what is now going on in the US and UK at the grass-roots level. Employers are in a race to the bottom for minimal risk of union intervention/organisation and will only go where the labour is plentiful and skilled and costs are minimal - a la Boeing pitching to individual states for production of the 777X. American business uproots in Michigan and looks to re-settle in Alabama where it all costs much less and offers no hassles. In the UK, businesses uproot and disappear the second the incentive package ceases to operate.

Almost all of the productivity that can be squeezed out of technological innovations has been so squeezed. Employers are fearful that further investment in labour, training and expansion - not areas of strength in the UK anyway - will be against the backdrop of a false dawn, so are making do with what they have got.

The increasingly rich rich are positioning their money where it can still be sheltered for minimum tax while the rest are mostly struggling to make ends meet.

Our economies are now consumption-based and manufacturing is mostly in niche areas so the rest gets imported.

The previous 'activity' and (paycheck/bonus) wealth generated through financial services in the UK mostly turned out to be a zero-sum game. However, it's my recollection that banks such as Barclays and RBS were still paying huge amounts of taxes to the UK prior to the collapse and precious little gets into the coffers from them today.

How could the economies function if not for perceived increased wealth through home-ownership and capital appreciation thereon coupled with access to cheaper debt?

For the UK, there's pretty much nothing else apart from the bloated civil service and related government expenditure financed by sovereign debt which is largely why it got bloated in the first place.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Dec 2nd 2013 at 5:17 pm. Reason: American business uproots in Michigan
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Wow you lot would be a right laugh down the pub on a Friday night
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 5:27 pm
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Talking Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by chris955 View Post
Wow you lot would be a right laugh down the pub on a Friday night
Who me, moi, I, ich, yo, naaaa, my mam only lets me go out on Saturdays,
She tells me that Fridays only the political crazies and naughty girls go out.
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
All the UK papers today are talking of Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon CEO's plan to deliver packages by drone in the next few years, subject to FAA approval.

I guess they were all watching CBS's 60 Minutes last evening which did a feature on Amazon and Bezos spoke of it when looking at innovations.

Bezos's attitude is that you only have so long to survive before somebody else will come along and take you out of business. You had better look long term at innovations and set a course for future growth or die and so to hell with everybody else. If you have to trample on a whole load of little people to get where you want or need to be then so be it.

The US has been extraordinarily good at this ruthless business approach to growth investment and innovation which unfortunately does not help the interests of the average worker.

I see remarkable similarities between what is now going on in the US and UK at the grass-roots level. Employers are in a race to the bottom for minimal risk of union intervention/organisation and will only go where the labour is plentiful and skilled and costs are minimal - a la Boeing pitching to individual states for production of the 777X.

Almost all of the productivity that can be squeezed out of technological innovations has been so squeezed. Employers are fearful that further investment in labour, training and expansion - not areas of strength in the UK anyway - will be against the backdrop of a false dawn, so are making do with what they have got.

The increasingly rich rich are positioning their money where it can still be sheltered for minimum tax while the rest are mostly struggling to make ends meet.

Our economies are now consumption-based and manufacturing is mostly in niche areas so the rest gets imported.

The previous 'activity' and (paycheck/bonus) wealth generated through financial services in the UK mostly turned out to be a zero-sum game. However, it's my recollection that banks such as Barclays and RBS were still paying huge amounts of taxes to the UK prior to the collapse and precious little gets into the coffers from them today.

How could the economies function if not for perceived increased wealth through home-ownership and capital appreciation thereon coupled with access to cheaper debt?

For the UK, there's pretty much nothing else apart from the bloated civil service and related government expenditure financed by sovereign debt which is largely why it got bloated in the first place.
Given that China (and India and Brazil) are mercantilist economies, it is difficult to see how the UK could be anything BUT a consumption based economy.
The trick surely must be to produce something that others want (and produce does not mean manufacture).
It is tue that the UK does not export the quantity of goods that it once did. Twenty or thirty years ago I think we were among the top half dozen and now I believe eleventh. (But two of those places have been taken by China and India).
But we are the second largest exporter of services. And services tend to be higher end. Goods exports have grown at roughly 2.5 percent for the last 10 or 15 years whilst services grow at 3 times that rate.
Certainly we could produce more manufactured goods, but you have to do it in competition with the low cost labour force producers. (Personally, I think Germany's export model will bite them in the bums pretty damn soon- it won't be long before the Chinese produce cars every bit as good as Mercedes and at half the price. Perhaps that is why they are trying to force the rest of Europe to use the heavy goods they excel in).
Education - yes - but look at the opposition from the many organisations who like things the way they are - just like the Health Service. There is an entrenched entitlement and dependency culture in the UK that is hard to change. But things are changing.
I personally have enormous faith in my countrymen.

It is IMO no coincidence that the Agricultural Revolution in Europe started in - Britain.
The Mercantile Revolution in - Britain.
The Industrial Revolution in - Britain.

(I quite agree with the comment about the "rich". The fact that the top one percent of earners pay fifteen percent of tax does not really cut it for me.
If the country's prosperity is growing (and after we work the Madness of King Gordon out of the system, it will again), then ALL should have some share in that. And not just his banker pals.
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
See this:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_317365.pdf

'On average, households in the top two income quintiles paid more in taxes than they received in benefits, while households in the bottom three quintiles received more in benefits than they paid in taxes'

Page 4 chart:

bottom three quintiles come to just under 30,000.

A little light reading, spells out what's in the benefits system and what is projected to be in it, plus costings and parameters:

http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn13.pdf
Thanks Pete & Bigglesworth.
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Old Dec 2nd 2013, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Some interesting posts today. My own opinion is that most of the western economies and their citizens have lived above their means for far too long and a drop in their standards of living is inevitable, gradual, but inevitable. The 'Lump of Labour Fallacy' is oft quoted, and it may well have been creditable in the past, but I don't think it holds true in the UK of today due to some of the points raised in the posts by PistolPete, & Bigglesworth above.
I'm still looking at returning to the UK as a retiree. Would I return if I needed to find work.... NO. Would I return if I had children.....Not a cat in hell's chance.
The UK is still a great country, but, somewhere along the line there will be a reluctant acceptance, if people are honest, that it's not as great as it was and probably never will be again.
The BRIC countries will increase their standard of living and be joined by others at the expense of the western nations that have lived of the fat of debt for far too long.

I quote from a friend of mine....

I grew up in a generation (I am 67) that used adjectives like First World, Second World, Third World, West and East, North and South, poor, rich, developed, under-developed, developing and more to describe their nations and others. They all have two things in common. First, they are no longer adequate or relevant to describe the world as it is today. Second, they were created by people living in formerly wealthy nations who considered themselves and their ways of life to be superior to others. How did they know they were superior? They knew because they were rich and the others were poor. It was all about money.

Today, many of these "rich" nations are drowning in a sea of debt of their own creation, often dependent on the willingness of the "poor" nations to lend them money so their economies do not collapse, but many still act as if they are superior. They have come up with some new terms. Two popular ones are "emerging economies" (or markets) and "advanced economies" (or markets). These terms will eventually die out too. New categories will be created, but they will be chosen by today's so-called "emerging economies", not just the self-anointed "advanced economies". Perhaps the one thread of continuity with our past will be that the terms chosen will again be all about money. That habit is simply human and knows no national boundaries.

I mention this often in my reports not as an insult to my home nation, the US, or any other formerly "First World" or "Second World" nation. They are all great nations in their own right, but they should no longer consider themselves superior simply on the basis of their past. They also have to come to grips with the present. Many "classes" of humanity understand this shift and have moved globally - the rich in search of comfort or security, the working poor in search of a job, criminals in general, terrorists in general, refugees in general. I think it can be argued that the "criminal class" is the most globalized class on earth as it shows absolutely no respect for national borders and never has.
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Old Dec 3rd 2013, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by old.sparkles View Post
Just checked here - http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/childbenefitc...troduction.htm - and it's if one of you is a higher rate tax payer, so as dunroving said - both parents could earn 49,999 each and still claim child benefit
Yes.
That is what I said.
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Old Dec 3rd 2013, 7:27 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by bigglesworth View Post
Yes.
That is what I said.
Sorry I was confused - I thought you said that if they had a combined income over 50k they wouldn't get CB either - I blame nightshifts
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Old Dec 3rd 2013, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by old.sparkles View Post
Sorry I was confused - I thought you said that if they had a combined income over 50k they wouldn't get CB either - I blame nightshifts
Try Pyjamas?
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Old Dec 3rd 2013, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by bigglesworth View Post
Try Pyjamas?
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