Tag Archives: HMRC

As an election looms

Finally, we get some words on the Labour manifesto, the Guardian has been on top of it and whilst they are presenting a good part, I have a few issues as they went a little light on labour as I personally see it. Again, it is a personal side and as a conservative you should take into consideration that the flaw is on my side, and I would accept it, but let me give you the goods.

The entire review is at https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/16/labour-manifesto-analysis-key-points-pledges, so you have the option to completely disagree and seek your own version of their vision. The first part “a short note on a new £250bn “national transformation fund” implies that these costs will be funded through capital borrowing” shows their intent on rail, which is a quarter of a trillion through borrowing. So off the bat we are considering electing someone who wants to add a quarter of a trillion to a debt that went off the handles due to the Labour party in two previous administrations. How is that ever a good idea? a chunk of all the other parts is supposedly coming by adding a new tax group of 50% for those earning above £123K. A marginal addition for the ‘fat cat’ group. So those making more than that will be charged for the amount above and I have a hard time accepting and believing that this will get them the ‘speculated‘ £6.4 billion. It reads more like wishful thinking in an age where rationalism will not ever get you that amount. Consider, as mentioned before, something that any excel user can check with the numbers the UK tax office (HMRC) offers, the super wealthy, those making well over a million is limited to less than 5000 people. So how is this billion pound extra achieved? Let’s not forget they only get the 5% extra over the amount over £123K, as such the income will not get close, yet after the election they will come with excuses, whilst we already knew that this was never realistic. In addition, how many are close to the threshold? In this those making £123K – £199K, they might feel safer setting apart certain investment reserves into retirement, if they get that done, the £6.4B will drop fast by a lot. In addition, the Guardian gives us: “But recent evidence from the imposition of a 50p rate in 2010 shows that the measure could spark mass avoidance by the individuals affected and raise no extra funds for the exchequer“, so there is that part too! Remember Jeremy Corbyn and his nurses? The 10,000 nurses pledge? When we consider the already announced part “Health and social care reform at a cost of £7.7bn, as part of a package that includes a guarantee of A&E treatment within four hours and the end of the NHS pay cap“, and the “Free lunches for pupils as part of £6.3bn school package“, that’s another 14 billion, where is that coming from? Remember the tax increase part? When we tally, we see that the NHS part is already leaving the tax increase at minus a billion, all the other multi billion pound parts are not even close to being addressed. This is simple tally stuff that many in their final year in primary school can achieve from their calculus lessons and Jeremy Corbyn and his ‘raunchettes’ cannot deliver, a mere exercise in lewd offensive spending. Choices without proper merit and ignoring the consequences of the deep debt they got the UK in in the first place. I am all for some level of social levy, yet any social act requires to consider the impact, something that UK Labour is clearly not doing. It is even more upsetting that simple calculus gets us to a place where this would never have been a reality to begin with. Are you seriously considering voting for such a failed attempt?

When we consider the added Cyber security, and the promise to the security agencies, we see items that are promised without any claim to the cost. Now we might accept that part, yet their own £11.2 NHS IT fiasco should clearly show that they haven’t got a clue on how to tackle it because the limitations they imposed through failed IT is part of the reason that NHS IT is not up to date in the most meagre of ways which is also exactly part of the reason that the NHS hacks were successful in the first place. In addition the entire pension part is flawed, that is a given not because of what it states, but when you compare it against the Australian need to already up the retirement point to 67, with a population of 20 million, that is a retirement change already needed now, the fact that the age wave will hit with almost 4 times the intensity in the UK and the retirement age will not significantly up for another 6 years is delusional and as I see it set so that the current Labour electorate can ignore the issue until the next election, at that point it will be way too late and they will offer some diluted solutions using capital borrowing adding another . I see it as we now need an estimated £75bn a year, it is anticipated a near doubling before 2025. You see, some of the statistics have been placing comparison of life expectancy and percentage of retirement, yet as I see it, the quality of life for those born in the 30’s and those born in the 60’s is vastly different. the difference of those two groups is that maximum life is more likely to be in excess of 20 years, so those born in the 60’s and onward have a much higher chance of requiring a pension for close to 20 years longer, on a population of millions, that would equate to an additional pile of billions that would be required. In this the setbacks that the financial meltdowns gave all the people and government institutions, it shows that the shortage will increase and the pension deficit will increase annually by a lot over the next 5 years alone, so not seeing any repair actions is just weird. So as labour proclaims to be ‘social‘ their social unawareness and unpreparedness is just a little too upsetting. Now, the Tories are not innocent either. There is a given shortage and getting rid of the debt is a first step in solving it, so as we see that Labour is now willing to add close to half a trillion to the total shortage and that is just the added shortage of what they want to do to look cool. The added deficit will go straight through the roof adding overall a lot more debt than anyone is willing to consider.

And it is Labour of all others who have no welfare support. they promise a future policy paper, but the overall issue is not that paper (it will be though), it is “There are no spare funds in Labour’s calculations for extra welfare spending. To counteract the effects of planned cuts, under Labour’s current plans it would need to increase borrowing“, so that implies even more borrowing, whilst they amount needed is already through the roof. I did voice a change, I offered a view where there might be some additional ‘fat cat’ costs, even though that is not what I call it, it was a need to increase the second tax tier by 2% and the third one by 1%, whilst increasing the 0% tax group. so basically the lowest people get £100 a month more and the highest (45% tier) loses about £150 a month (as they also have the higher 0% part, they lose a little in the end), around £100 for tier 2 and £50 on the tier 3 part which I saw as a very social thing to do. And all that without burdening towards extra debt. I am not stating that the lowest group did not deserve more, I was working from a 0 balance difference for taxation, so that the coffer would not be denied more coins to address the massive debts it has now. It was a simple exercise in Excel and perhaps my method is flawed, my intention was pure, that is a lot more than I can state for the McDonnell-Corbyn group who will happily max out the UK credit card and leave others to solve the matter after they leave office, just like the two previous labour governments did.

Yet in all this it is not just the Labour party that needs a look, the Lib Dems are also due a little concern. In that I actually like the entire ‘rent to buy‘ pledge. I cannot say if it would work because the ground materials are not a given at present. What homes would be offered? Consider what the foundation is. New houses, would b great, but when we see where, there will be an optional issue. It is of course a way to get the younger generation out of London and perhaps towards other places where a younger population would be a good thing. However, would they embrace life in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire or Kent? What happens when that is not an option, what if the social houses in London does not get resolved? Those elements make the Lib Dems an issue that might not come to pass, yet for every person accepting a place outside of the greater London area, the pressure will go down a little, enough little’s will make for a moment of relief, yet will it work, time will tell. In all this I personally found the second ‘referendum’ offensive. So, because people did not like the outcome, because some didn’t bother voting, the people in the UK get to vote again? I wonder how the Lib Dems will be seen when the EU gets the bill of what Wall Street does, when the UK gets the pounding because the US could not get their house in order, I wonder how those second referendum people will be seen. Even as the US is ‘suddenly’ doing great again, whilst their debt is increasing by trillions of dollars a year, as well as their inability of dealing with their deficit, how will that push others? The US now with almost 20 trillion in national debt, they stated the 1st half of 2016 a collected taxation of 1.48 trillion. now, if we do something not entirely valid, but what if we double it? (the second half is never as much as the first half, yet for argument sake), this now implies that the US would collect a maximum of $3 trillion for 2016, that whilst at present, federal spending is at almost $4 trillion and the deficit is now approaching $600 billion for this year. The deficit, no matter what they report is not getting properly addressed and has not been or over a decade. What do you think will happen when that well ends? Do you think that export to the US will continue? At that point, who would be the trade partner that remains? I do not proclaim to have then answer, yet when we see that at present US total Interest paid is set at $2.5 trillion, where do you think that goes? Who is paid interest on debts that seem to be mainly virtual? Do not think it is a simple picture, because this part is as complex as anything could ever get. Machiavelli could not design something this complex. Yet at the end of the day, the taxpayer is left with the invoice. As such lowering debt is the only safety net that would allow the people in general to have any life. I have always stated and truly believed that once it collapses, it will hit whomever is in debt. I still believe that Japan is the first domino to fall, yet that also means that the US dollar gets a hit that will be a terminal one and Wall Street will falter almost immediately after that, after which the Euro will go straight out of the window, its value less than the German Deutschmark in 1923. Japan has a debt that is close to 240% of GDP, a group of nations that includes the US, Japan, the UK and several other European nations have a budget deficit that is surpassing $9 trillion, how is that allowed to continue? This is not me, this comes from Martin Weiss, PhD. Although his PhD is in cultural anthropology from Columbia University, not in economics. Yet we can agree that at least he has a few degrees which includes degrees from Columbia and NYU, so he is not the most uneducated tool we know, unlike some in politics nowadays. The problem is not the total deficit or the total debt. It is the fact that some players like the Rothschild’s, Wall Street and even the IMF are wanting this game to continue. A push it forward game that benefits the political and financial engine operators and 0.1% of the population. Would it be fair to call this a legalised form of slavery? Is the one option allowed to have the same as a freedom of choice? That is what is more and more at stake. When the people in the UK were allowed this freedom, they chose Brexit, now we see all these players trying to undo that one part, because it is the fear of the players with too much to lose. We get more and more weighted information from the press and that engine is less and less reliable. So what remains? Well, the people in the UK are about to make their selection, whilst we see certain manifesto’s that are debatable to say the least. Some parts are just not realistic at all, yet the people must elect someone. I will not tell you who to vote for, I am merely wondering if the people will ever be properly informed.

This is mainly because there is an election looming and those not governing will make whatever promise they can just to get into office. So what will happen after that? Remember Emmanuel Macron? Making all those statements on how Europe must reform, or else there would be a referendum? Well, merely an hour ago we see: “Both pro-Europe leaders were keen to show solidarity concerning the Eurozone and have broken with previous statements by discussing potential changes to EU treaties. The move is seen by both nations as a way of healing ongoing EU upheaval, combating the rise of the far right and showing a united front in the wake of Brexit negotiations” healing whom? the ECB spending spree recipients? When we see “Visiting Berlin on Monday, Macron ‘did not push for major, ambitious reforms (of the EU) because he knows the chancellor cannot deliver until the elections in September’“, I merely see the fact that the French people have been lied to again, and those people voting have elected a new Wall Street tool (as I personally see it), and the fact that he was a former investment banker was pretty much a clear giveaway. I expect to see some kind of ‘compromise’ that gets no one anywhere any time soon around the end of August or early September, implying that the European gravy train will move along with full speed ahead for another 4-5 years. When you realise this, do you still think my Brexit support was weird? If someone had effectively muzzled Mario Draghi, that might have been a first piece of evidence that reform of the Eurozone would have been a far fetched optional reality, yet so far, that has not and is unlikely to happen.


Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, IT, Media, Politics

And the price goes to?

This is the thought that started me this morning. The two articles in The Guardian, ‘Al-Qaida tempts Yemen recruits with quiz offering AK-47 as top prize‘ as well as ‘Jeremy Corbyn says Labour manifesto will transform people’s lives‘ gave me that feeling. Both hollow, both set in a weird form of fanaticism. The only thing that Labour does is push people to their doom by giving false hope and setting in motion promises that cannot be kept, for the mere reason that previous Labour administrations left the people in the United Kingdom with minus a trillion pounds. That requires £100,000 pounds per person to clear. So do you, the UK voter have £100,000? I guess that in well over 99% of the cases that is a no. So Labour is pushing a game that cannot commit to and should they push for it, it will leave the UK without any hope, pretty much pushing the UK people towards the Greek way of life. You might have seen that on the TV. Consider, that if the Tories could secure the election by just giving 10,000 nurses a job, would they not have done that? They are committed to grow the UK back to strength, it will take at least 5 more years to get the UK in a much stronger position. In addition, the European zone is in an unsecure place too. Even if they hide it in some good, some bad; They keep on spending. The quote “Mario Draghi said the European Central Bank’s stimulus hasn’t finished the job yet” refers to his monthly billions upon billions of spending on things that are not bringing anyone an economy tht brings money or jobs to the people. They are not securing jobs and they are increasing the debt by about 80 billion euro’s a month. Basically they are adding a second trillion euro’s in the second year that this is going on. So as we see some hollow promises, look at the Al-Qaida article where we see: “Al-Qaida is attempting to recruit new members in Yemen by holding a quiz, with an AK-47 assault rifle as top prize, according to local residents and media“, by the way, the second price is a motor cycle and the third price a laptop. It is one way to get militants, via direct mailing, yet what this organisation has in common with Jeremy Corbyn is that they both advocate a path to certain death. Who signs up for that?

In the previous election we did not fall for the unsubstantiated offers by Ed Miliband, the UK voters should not do that this time around either. The Labour party realises to get anything done, one needs to govern, yet when labour gets close to be in that position, we see infighting. discord amongst the ranks and power hungry labour MP’s the moment they think that they can get ahead. This is not the path to help the people of the UK.

So when we look at the mere examples:

  • Abolish university tuition fees
  • boost infrastructure investment
  • renationalise the railways
  • increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour

In these examples, how can any government a trillion pounds in the red do any of this? Because any government pulling this off, I would vote for that player, but when it is a hollow promise, one that cannot be kept, what are they other than wannabe’s with no clue how to get it done? It is only the 4th one that has a certain merit, yet when they do that, how many places will lose jobs and one person have to do the work of two? I have quite literally been in such places in the 80’s. I can tell you, there will be no objections, because you have a job and the few pennies more will reflect in longer hours (often not paid for) and as you get home with less and less energy it will become the hell you never wanted. All because the labour party failed calculus. In this we can speculate with a decent amount of certainty that they are doing this as they noted that the UK unemployment rate is at its lowest. Yet, bosses report to people who want to see return on investment, so as wages go up, production will either go up by certain amounts, and if that is not possible jobs are shed, because the bosses want their pound of commission, so the game is played on. Still the fourth past is the most likely option to work, the rest will cost the coffers of the chancellor, which is currently an empty chest filled with outstanding debt notices. debt notices the previous labour government dumped into that same coffer and we are still paying for those. So do you honestly want to add to that? So as we see this we now need to focus on: “Senior insiders say the drafting process involved a very small group, led by Corbyn’s policy chief, Andrew Fisher, in close consultation with McDonnell. Individual shadow cabinet members were only given details of policies in their own area; while the political officers of the affiliated trades unions were allowed to come and see the entire document, and discuss its contents with Fisher, earlier this week, but were not allowed to take a copy away“, so Labour makes a manifesto that is shown to a few insiders, yet it needs to be kept under wraps, all this whilst the elections are merely a little over 3 weeks away. So now we see them stating “each faction in the Labour party blames the other side for the embarrassing leak“, so they are blaming the Tories? All this should have been known to the optional Labour voter weeks ago. To drop something that I can shoot holes in in merely 5 minutes implies that Labour has gotten more clueless, they have no direction and they are giving voters the idea that they have a clue by offering things that cannot be achieved in this economy. If labour was true to all people, they would set in motion to raise the price of milk by £0.50 per litre so that the farmers in deep debt could find some relief. Where is that in their manifesto, where are they voicing this? People do not want to hear about raising the cost of living, because for the most the people in the UK have lost their quality of life. This is why Labour is pretty much bullshitting you. True Labour would have stood up for the farmers and their hardship, but the sexy side of governance is not found in that part of the world, so they remain silent. There you see the first direct evidence that this Labour is the same waste as the previous three ones, the two elected who drive us into debt, one non elected because there was no way to make good on the promise and the present one trying to razzle dazzle you with a manifesto that has no bearing on the reality of life, that is their embarrassing moment. In that whose story would you go for 1st, Al-Qaida with their Kalashnikov or Labour with nationalising the rails (which the BBC already showed in details in 2013 that it was not possible) and 60% in renewable energy. An absurd notion that the Swedes achieved as they have 3 cities (Stockholm, Goteborg and Malmo), with a total national population of 10 million people. The UK with 68 million and a lot more cities. the Greater London area alone is the size of the entire Swedish population, after that we get Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Leicester, Edinburgh, and these are merely the places larger than Malmo, the smallest of the three cities. The UK would require renewable energy amounts in excess of 750% of what Sweden has, a feat that is not possible as the UK would be short by well over 90% of the required need at present. So again we see how the Labour party is just full of… that stuff the cows make and makes the grass grow (read: it is a 4 letter word)?

There is just the small part of the manifesto I saw and some of what the media leaked. In addition, the fact that some in that small inner circle leaked it gives reason that they know that what they claim to offer is nowhere near feasible. That is modern labour for you. I could have made a much better manifesto in hours, one that might not have good news, but one that labour people could be proud of. Jeremy Corbyn basically left them with nothing and as we read that the other two were Andrew Fisher and John McDonnell, I just have to ask. Was Fisher not the one sacked in 2015? So how did he get back in the good graces of Corbyn? There is less against McDonnell the man is pure labour and we can ask how it is Corbyn and not McDonnell that is leading labour. That being said and how we is making the tuition free claim, how can he stand with this? Several sources have been asking how it will be paid for and not one valid answer came back at present. I will not fault them for the attempt as it is a noble one, yet when the treasury is showing well over minus a trillion, there is no way to get it done. Consider that there is still a deficit at present (it is a lot lower, but there is a deficit none the less), how can this be paid for? The government can pay for it, driving their costs up, or offer a tax incentive to companies lowering their income, there is no real solution. Some have been speculating into IP and letting students earn value whilst they study lowering their debt. Yet in that they would either take someone’s else’s job, or the last one there would be discriminatory value as IP Law Students and Engineers will have an unfair advantage against other students as patents are valued more and more. It is the most likely and the least fair system. It would drive business and art students in a rage as they need to pay full fair, which would be an unjust path.

If there is one side in the Labour manifesto that I support to some degree is that there would be a tax bracket for those making in excess of £80K, yet only if the 0% tax amount gets raised to give the lowest group a little more cash. If the 0% bracket is raised by £1500, whilst the 80% bracket is no more than 3% higher, there would be a social justice in play. Oh, and all references on how the higher bracket funds nurses, better realise fast that the highest income class, constitutes a group of less than 25,000 people, so how much extra would you charge them? The HMRC has those numbers (to some degree) and when you consider the cost of 10,000 nurses, you will realise that there is no validity or reality in such claims. Labour is failing the people if the United Kingdom in several ways and it started with a laughable presentation on a manifesto that has no bearing on truth or reality, the fact that it will be shown to the people in the 11th hour, how much faith can you have in any manifesto that is not openly shown, will not be in play until they are in office and the fact that large parts are already shown as non-achievable, how can you give them any consideration? In that I recall the UKIP manifesto, I might not agree with it, there are plenty of opposing views, but they gave it out when they tried to go for the election trophy, at the beginning, not at the point where the readers get a two-minute warning.

Oh, and for the little heads up. I will soon treat you to a story on how a place like the Australian Foodco, who is presenting the sale of franchises and only afterwards tell the people that its business model relies on underpayment, which actually will never work at all. Just in case you are interested in starting a franchise.

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics

Grasping change

We all tend to avoid change. Not because it is a problem, but we all believe in the expression: “When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. You, me all of us tend to go forward in our small circles, because for most comfort is king. Yet where is the moment when continuing the same is no longer an option? There is a lot of consideration in that because we tend to be like the frog in such manner. When you throw a frog in boiling water, he’ll jump out. Yet when you put a frog in a pot of water and put a flame below it, the frog will willingly boil to death. We are like that frog in many ways. Yet this is under normal circumstances, when we see an attack on our quality of life, we tend to get active real fast.

This is seen when our lives revolve around greed. When that happens the numbers go wildly out of control. This we see in the Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/10/hard-brexit-threatens-global-financial-system-city-chiefs-tell-mps), where we see people like Xavier Rolet, chief executive of the London Stock Exchange end up being connected to statements like ‘could spark more than 230,000 job losses‘. In all this the people involved are (as I personally see it) scared for their life filled with mistresses, large bank accounts and an overly rewarded quality of life ask questions like ‘clarity on the UK’s future relationship with the EU‘. You see, those people were lulling the masses around them into a false sense of compliance, but the people have lost too much, the gap of incomes too large and what no one was willing to accept is that Brexit became a reality and as the implementation is starting to move forward, those people are scared, their large incomes based on inaction is now in recession, it scares them, so they go into blame mode and flame mode. As Xavier Rolet called for a five-year transition period for the UK to exit the EU, possibly for additional reasons like a maximisation of retirement portfolios, is now confronted with ‘the Treasury select committee were told the triggering of article 50‘, which officially initiates the departure from the EU. Another Fat Cat, namely Douglas Flint has admitted a more playful response in this. “The ecosystem in London is a bit like a Jenga tower: you don’t know if you pull one small piece out whether nothing happens or whether it has a more dramatic impact”, is his statement and as he is allegedly fetching £7.6m a year (Compared to that, I am merely making 0.3% of that), we can feel secure in calling the man a fat cat of the finance industry. Yet he is not alone, the triplets of finance is completed with Anthony Browne, who is adding to all this ‘the preservation of the status quo‘ is the best solution.

You see, these people (some call them numbskulls) refused to listen for well over 4 years pushing everything forward and they all forgot that a nation is not them with their 322 friends who are all living the gravy train, it is the 68 million voters, who all for the longest time have lived a raw deal, they voted and there was enough to make a majority, too many had lost too many levels of comfort. If we push back to the frog in scenario 2, too many were getting too uncomfortable and the announcements from Mario Draghi on more Quantative Easing programs that can now be extended beyond 2017. The people see the debt growing and more important, the second time now has enough evidence that it will not be any better, almost certain that it will be worse. In all this we remember the action of an insane person. A person who does the same thing twice and expects different results. The people have had enough of fat cats drowning banks with cash whilst only the banks and the financial sector see the fallout bonus of those events. The people wanted Brexit and certain people in the English Financial Sector now see that the good times are ending, a few years too soon when they look at their retirement portfolios. In that they do not realise that the bulk of the population will have to work until the day they die, for well over 30% retirement is no longer a viable option. They all forgot about the people. In my personal view, the sooner the UK is out of that mess, the sooner can it actually grow its national value, the value of the British people! The fat cats all forgot about that, because for the most, their fortunes are all set in some mobile ‘currency’ that ‘avoids’, or is that ‘voids’ taxation in legal ways.

So even as some of these Fat Cats will grasp towards statistics like “median disposable income for the poorest fifth of households had risen by £700, or 5.1%, in the year to April 2016, while the richest fifth of households saw their incomes fall by £1,000, or 1.9%, over the same period” (source: the Guardian), yet what is left out in the shadows is that the poorest group is making less than £10,000, whilst the richest is making in excess of £55,000, with the top exceeding well over £275,000, so we can honestly state that those losing out of £1,000 should for the most not feel its impact and the top won’t even notice it. Change happens and only when it impacts our comfort levels (those not impacted by greed), that part has been ignored and now when the die is cast do we see levels of fear mongering, where a small group is hoping if they can get away with it a little longer. Almost like that little girl Beverly Hills Twist going to the front of the Crystal shop asking for a little more. Charles Dickens would roll in his grave is he witnessed this. I particularly like the Guardian Quote (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/10/uk-inequality-working-people-pensions-ons) “it calculated that the average FTSE 100 boss earned more than £1,000 an hour, meaning it took less than three days to earn the UK average salary“, the start of a new Beatles hit ‘three days a year’, greed run amok. Let’s be fair, I am for the most a capitalist. I have never objected to bosses making more than me, yet when their incomes with bonuses sets my income (me with two University degrees) at 0.3%, we can state that the imbalance is too far out of control. In that regard, I will need to be slightly less diplomatic and refer to the joke that is ONS senior statistician, Claudia Wells who said “a strong rise in pensioner incomes was behind much of the increase in incomes, especially of those in the bottom 40%“, perhaps she would like to show us evidence, especially when we see places like ageuk.org.uk give us:

  • 1 in 7 pensioners (1.6 million or 14% of pensioners in the UK) live in poverty, defined as having incomes of less than 60% of median income after housing costs.
  • A further 1.2 million pensioners have incomes just above the poverty line (more than 60% but less than 70% of median income)

So in all this, when she hides behind that ‘increase in income‘, how much increase? Because the bulk is not getting any place anywhere soon, too much data shows that. In all this they also tend to miss out on entitlements like Housing benefits because of several reasons. I expect that a lack of social housing is likely to be a first reason.

In this we need change. We will need to consider how business in maintained. The clamp down on tax avoidance was a first, yet the EU borders are too open and too many facilitators for lower taxation remain. With Brexit squarely in place the banks will need to reconsider, try to avoid taxation a little longer by moving, or in light of the European changes stay and pay a fair amount of taxation, at that point only the fat cats lose out, which gave us the three wise crackers at the beginning. When the tax comes rolling in, we will also see a change for the NHS and other parties who have been ransacked due to full infrastructures without properly taxed representations.

In this we need to face a few facts, not just from the HMRC, we see that the Diplomatic Corps needs to take a close look at themselves in the mirror. When we get quotes from the Guardian like ‘Ed Llewellyn told MPs his staff were making contacts with other French presidential candidates‘, whilst stating ‘his embassy will not be forging links with far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen because the UK government has a policy of not engaging with her party, the Front National (FN)‘, he better get his head in the game real fast, unless that order came from Her Royal Highness directly. Apart from these people engaging in discrimination, should Marine Le Pen be elected (not a guarantee at present), the UK will have no options but to sit at the table with France, France is one of the economy pillars for Europe and even as the UK is also one, there is enough indication that player number 4 (Italy) will be entering a very deep valley of recession for some time to come. At that point only Germany remains as a sizeable business partner. Perhaps Ed Llewellyn would be so kind on informing the people of England how often an option of one worked really nicely for the UK, like ever? In this Crispin Blunt is asking questions as should we all, Llewellyn’s response “would be a matter for ministers” will in my humble opinion not hack it as they are making connections to the other political players in France. The consequence of these choices could potentially be expensive for the UK, in a time when the required policy of turning every penny is squarely in place.

That wisdom was given by Natalie Nougayrède of the Guardian in September last year with ‘Angela Merkel and Marine Le Pen: one of them will shape Europe’s future‘. Their visions are opposite and there is no clear evidence where the future of Europe is going. Whilst stating that, we do know that Merkel is in seriously warm waters (read: wibbit, wibbit), as Sigmar Gabriel is challenging Chancellor Merkel, there will be an age of polarisation within the German SDP. This will intensify as my earlier blog now gets a new side to it all. Thomas de Maizière a member of the CDU will have options to influence this polarisation, especially if Sigmar Gabriel is willing to offer a better centralisation deal on German intelligence, which is a dangerous reason to change to say the least. So having France in the UK preference side is going to be rather essential, alienating the current number two in that race is not the best actions, in that regard, the anti-Trump actions within the UK are equally not the good an idea, at some point we get to be thankful for Nigel Farage taking open positive interest in the inauguration of Donald Trump. In this we need to realise the ‘blunder’ Sir Kim Darroch made when he decided to dismiss him as “an outsider and an unknown quantity“, I am not a diplomat (far from that) and even I could have phrased that better. So as the UK diplomats bungle one side of the Atlantic river (that narrow brook between the USA and the UK), blundering on the other side of the North Sea might not be the best action to undertake. This when we look back at a leaked telegram by Sir Kim Darroch, making it interesting why a telegram? How encrypted was it? A little embarrassing that this is happening to the former national security advisor, it could just be the irony of the universe.

So as we are trying to grasp change, the people around us are doing the same. In fairness, like you they are catering to the needs of themselves, we cannot fault anyone for that, yet when their incomes is in excess of 300 times your income, how much leeway should they get? I have never opposed differences of income. Someone made Facebook and got wealthy beyond all means. So did the person who came up with Windows, with Oracle, with Google and a few others, yet those who merely ‘facilitate’, those who live of the vulture principle, those who do not actually create anything, how should they be seen? I cannot claim to know the answer, but there is a massive difference.

What changes do you grasp and who is making them for you?


Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics

Matt Damon’s Quote

You could wonder what Matt Damon has been up to, there will always be reason to do this, not because he is an exceptional actor, even a celebrity on Mars. No, the reason here is his connection to documentaries. He was the narrator on ‘Inside Job‘, which got a well-deserved Oscar in 2011. I personally feel that this is the best documentary on the financial crises ever created. So let’s get started. Today, we see a number of news items reach the twilight of dawn.

The first one (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/08/panama-papers-22-people-face-tax-evasion-investigations-in-uk), gives us ‘Panama Papers: 22 people face tax evasion investigations in UK‘, with the added text “Philip Hammond also said a further 43 wealthy individuals were under review while their links to the offshore files were investigated further. He made the comments in a written answer to the House of Commons explaining what had happened since the offshore tax files emerged“. Now we might go all huffy and puffy on these tax evaders, yet when you consider the news from August (at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-31/ex-tesco-finance-chief-mcilwee-probe-closed-by-u-k-regulator), where we see “The U.K. accounting regulator closed an investigation into Tesco Plc’s former Chief Financial Officer, Laurie McIlwee, saying there wasn’t a “realistic prospect” that misconduct would be found in the case“, with the added “The Financial Reporting Council closed its case into McIlwee Wednesday, according to a statement from the regulator. It is still investigating the grocer’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and other individuals involved in Tesco’s accounts“.

This has been going on since 2014, they have not been able to find anything after two years and now you are going after ‘simple’ tax evaders?

My initial message (with all due respect) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer is “Mr Philip Hammond, are you out of your bloody mind?” You are still trying to get anything real on PwC, or were you ordered to let it die down?

When a company suddenly loses billions in value (also due to their own stupidity) and you cannot find anyone to prosecute and go to jail for overstating profits by £263 million ($345 million), whilst we also know that for that year PwC gave Tesco a 10 million pound invoice for auditing (annual) with an additional 3 million pounds for consultancy that year (Source: the Guardian). You cannot find anything and now you are going after people, where you cannot state whether they broke the law and you will rely on illegally obtained papers. How stupid is this?

How about you making the following change as per immediate!

a. Until the Tesco case has been satisfied, PwC and its senior employees cannot undersign any accountancy venue, or corporate balance for any UK corporation for 2016, 2017 and 2018 until the matter is solved.
b. In case wrongdoing by PwC employees is proven beyond reasonable doubt, PwC will not be allowed to operate within the UK.

How about them apples?

So far we have seen massive leeway by the press and the SFO has not achieved anything at all regarding Tesco. So it is time to adjust regulations and legal premises, until that point comes PwC will have to operate on non-British companies. Now, we can all understand that when we see the quote “McIlwee resigned as Tesco’s CFO in April 2014, prior to the discovery of the accounting errors, amid reports of disagreements with then-Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke” seems to imply that McIlwee was not privy to, and not guilty of any wrongdoings, yet the fact that the SFO got nowhere in two years means that there is something massively wrong. When we know that so many millions were overstated, we seem to have a decently clear case of fraud, yet no one goes to jail. In addition, we also know that PwC was in on it (at least to some degree) and in addition, the subsequent Deloitte investigation showed more than initially was found means that there is no scenario where PwC can be absent from guilt in the first or second degree.

The SFO gave that Carl Rogberg, Christopher Bush and John Scouler were charged (source: BBC), they pleaded not guilty and at present the court dates are set for September 2017. It is my opinion that until all that is settled, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has no business whatsoever to dig into cases based on illegally obtained papers, whilst his branch as well as the SFO has no flipping ability at present to close a 2 year old case for at least another year (if ever). And as reported by the Times in September (at http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tesco-auditor-slips-back-into-retailers-aisles-0gm9xt8md) that “Tesco has appointed PwC as an independent adviser, despite replacing it as auditor with Deloitte“, which gives my emotional and slightly inappropriate response “Are you fucking kidding me?

So, whilst the PwC issues were kept very low key by nearly all the press, whilst there is no condemnation on a daily basis by the press and even less success by the SFO, we should agree that PwC has no business being in the UK to begin with, especially as “Last week the FRC cleared Laurie McIlwee, Tesco’s former chief financial officer, of wrongdoing over the scandal, but added that its investigation into PwC and other unnamed individuals continued“, we could go by once bitten twice shy, or we could go by the fact that as the SFO is either unable or unwilling to prosecute PwC, why would we even consider their presence? In case some are considering a specific rebuttal, to them I would respond with the April article (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/14/brexit-could-lead-to-loss-of-100000-financial-services-jobs-report-warns), where they stated ‘PwC report estimates 70,000-100,000 fewer jobs in 2020 compared with estimated number if Britain stays in EU‘, so let’s start with theirs and let smaller accountancy firms continue and allow for growth. In addition, when we accept the news by the BBC in Feb 2015 (at http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31147276), where we see “We believe that PricewaterhouseCoopers’s activities represent nothing short of the promotion of tax avoidance on an industrial scale,” said Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)“, so in that light, we could just send PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) packing, giving light that the facilitator of tax evasion have been dismissed from the country and as such the UK will see a decline in Tax evasion, no need for illegally held papers, no long and expensive investigation and the thorn in the UK economies side is equally removed. It will not mean that tax evasion is a thing of the past, but if PwC is send packing now, the other three might do a 180 degree on that clientele, which would at that point make the tax evasion issue moot, or at least deprive it from many options, which would amount to the same in the end.

So, you like apples?

If I am accused from persecuting PwC, then I would plead that I am not entirely innocent in that regard. I would bring the defence that the SFO has not gotten anywhere in 2 years and they are supposed to have the ability to find those culprits. Yet, as John Crace pointed out in the Guardian on April 5th that “Only last year, the public accounts committee reported that the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was promoting tax avoidance on an industrial scale. To make things worse, it was first in the frame to benefit from administering the windup of Tata’s steel operations in the UK. So where was David Cameron? At PwC’s offices in Birmingham. Some might call it a brave choice“, in that light, there is an additional reason to give PwC their walking papers.

In all this the exchequer has one final issue to deal with, you see, accountant at large, including (read: especially) those at PwC are really clever with what they do, meaning that there could be no broken laws to begin with, making the actions from certain parties from 2014 until 2018 even more questionable, with a strong need to truly scrutinise the rules that accountancy firms applied and how they were applied. As I see it, there is nothing worse than to paint a lovely target on a person only to learn that the laws fell short and none were ever broken. If you question that, then consider the following two options.

  1. The SFO has, as it embraced corruption onto a new level decided not to dig into PwC on the levels needed to secure evidence for the prosecution regarding Tesco.
  2. The SFO has found that even as it is clear that PwC assisted in these levels of Fraud and Misreporting, yet when the books and memos were investigated for these transgressions, there was more than a reasonable doubt that PwC was not fully aware, in addition, there are no papers filed by PwC to implicate them in any way in fraud or misrepresentation. As well as the established fact that no laws were broken at present.

When you look at the two options, which one is more likely than not the situation regarding PwC?

In my book, the fact that a person is not guilty, does not mean that they are innocent. I remain of mind that shutting PwC down in the UK is not the worst idea at present, yet is that point of view valid when we consider premise 2, which is actually the most likely scenario? When we consider that the spirit of the law has been violated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, at that point we still have the issue that no literal laws were broken. Here we could set forth that the government (read: parliament) created the foundations and the setting where industrialised tax evasion and fraud became legalised options. Even as we saw that there was a clear case for fraud, the law has been altered to the degree that the facilitators cannot be held accountable, as such, an issue was created and until that is resolved, and PwC cannot be prosecuted (which is wrong in many ways from the point of a simple taxpaying labourer).

So, we now have the issue of the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law, which should be seen as grammatical opposites, not just in grammar, it is that they are also opposites of the soul (read: soul of the law). When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the “letter”) of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law. Which is what black letter lawyers (and accountants) tend to do, because a nation of laws is about a nation with rules of playing the game. In our case, in Common Law, until a case is set as a precedent in law, there will be no adjustment and this can go on ‘ad infinitum’ and Intentionally following the letter of the law but not the spirit may be accomplished through exploiting technicalities, loopholes, and ambiguous language (at times a mere comma does the trick too).

Yet, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not necessarily adhering to the literal wording, which could get them automatically prosecuted if the District Attorney woke up on a Monday morning with a really foul mood.

So, whilst we might agree with Margaret Hodge, stating “We believe that PricewaterhouseCoopers’s activities represent nothing short of the promotion of tax avoidance on an industrial scale“, the fact that they are not breaking the law, implies that no corrections to the law have been made to correct for this. As such, you only have yourself to blame and admittance of this failure to the public at large is an essential second step. As I see it, making a lot of noise going after people who might have done something like this, whilst papers are absent and whilst all parties know that this is because of illegally obtained papers from the law firm Mossack Fonseca is even less intelligent, as the people behind this have leaked these papers for their own personal interest and ‘late taxation’ was not their goal, so to adhere to the promotion of such crimes is not the best way to get results.

Now that we see claims rising towards Tesco for misrepresentation from their investors for the amount of £100 million, which comes on top of the diminished value, so I feel that no matter what, there should be a negative impact on PwC one way or another, yet within the confines of the law of course. This takes us to ‘The letter versus the spirit of the law: A lay perspective on culpability‘ by Stephen M. Garcia, Patricia Chen and Matthew T. Gordon (paper here). The part that gives us the cakes are found in study 5 on page 486. “Study 5 sought to examine another instance in which the letter of the law is not broken but the spirit of the law may have been violated“, which is where I for the most stand with PwC in the Tesco matter as stated “We also wanted to control for various counter-explanations that underlie culpability such as violations of social and moral norms“, with references to Bicchieri & Chavez, 2010 as well as Mazar, Amir, & Ariely, 2008. Yet in the first there is Tonry, 2010, where he argues that “the foundations for disparity causing policy choices lie in the cultural and social forces that combined historically to shape U.S. society“, which is interesting as this implies that the policymaker and not PwC is the actual culprit and my rage was misguided. Yet, is that actually true? The spirit of the law is not equipped, or better stated should not be equipped to manage the input of self-interest, because the spirit of the will assume the setting for all people and as such will force the text and derail the letter of the law (as I see it). Tonry goes on into the racial destabilising side, yet in my view the racial part is not the real instance, I believe that the division is that we see two groups One is the (white) social enabled group who is set to the game with preparation (read: legal advice) to break the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law as long as self-interests are served. This setting will at that same time destabilise the (black) group, a group that is suffocating on the lack and lapse of social options and opportunities, where without proper and affordable advice the letter and the spirit of the law will be adhered to, yet at a massive cost through loss of opportunity. This now makes PwC a facilitator for the wealthy to avoid breaking the letter of the law and to optionally, when unavoidable adhere to the spirit of the law. From one point, can the facilitator be held to account? I believe so, yet the area is slightly too grey for my comfort. It is the policymaker that requires to shift the grey area, so that breaking the law is a more clear setting and as such the SFO could actually create a situation where conviction (let alone prosecution) becomes a reality.

I still believe that PwC has done great wrongs, yet as far as we can establish, not in the letter of the law. I find them guilty of knowingly set the stage for managed ‘breaking’ of the law. The spirit is as much a factor as the letter, either should be seen as breaking the law. Yet there is diminishment as the policymaker is seemingly also guilty, yet the reasoning for that flaw can never be easily determined, so we can tell it was wrong, yet to what degree is not a given, but an essential issue to address. When we look at the policymakers, we need to ascertain the application that the paper discusses. “This framework broaches a new language to understand complex situations such as those that are not technically illegal but seem wrong“, we can see that this applies to multiple incidents. In those cases it needs to be clear that these levels of protection do not make the cake edible. It makes for a sour venue where those with legal advice can abort too many payments whilst the underprivileged groups end up without support, protection and options. I am speculating here that this is the (read: speculated intentional) creation of the haves and have not, which is a policy drip down effect when you implement a prismatic system, which policymakers from business and sociological fields seemed to have resorted to as they (tried to) implement laws, on the premise of a non-legal mind. Which is what is pushing the issues. The political field needed the business view of opportunity and the resulting laws are toothless against larger corporations who end up getting a free pass here with PwC as the facilitating office.

In the end I am more correct than even I thought I was, yet this should not digress from handing out the penalties that are needed to give a clear signal that the party is over. We have learned the hard way from 2004 onwards that unless we make a massive shift, this will continue a few more decades, as such stronger language and harsher penalties are required, because continuing on this path is far too rewarding for all the players that can afford to play this game, which gave me the idea to give PwC their marching orders out of the UK. I don’t believe it is too harsh, especially as they made 35 billion last year alone. So the question to you becomes, do you have any idea how much taxation they paid? I have no idea how much exactly, but we do know that PwC was elemental in avoiding Lehman Brothers to pay an addition £1.2 billion in taxation, due to inconsistencies, we see the quote by Mr Justice Hildyard: “It is of real importance, both in terms of good governance and a fair market, that HMRC should make every effort to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen again“, (at http://www.theweek.co.uk/lehman-brothers/77510/lehman-brothers-creditors-to-avoid-12bn-tax-bill) giving rise that larger changes are needed to bring back fairness to all tax paying people, who have not seen a whole lot of fairness in that regard these last 12 years.

Judges will soon have to science the shit out of these tax laws, making them actually fair to all, not just large corporations, who seem to be judged on ‘the Principle of least accountability’.


Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Law, Media, Politics