Pension contribution holidays
It's funny to remember that many pension funds in the 1980's were forced to take pension contribution holidays by law as the government wanted to prevent them from being overfunded.
104 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Mar 2008
Governments of all political colours have been proven down the years to be awful at making investment decisions. So why do they still do it? I think the answer is that they are scared of being asked the question "what are you doing about X?" and being unwilling to give the courageous and honest answer, which is: "X is not a matter in which government should be directly involved. It is for the market to decide".
Instead, the knee-jerk response from politicians to every question has to be: "look how much money we are spending on X. Aren't we great! Vote for us!"
Surely in the world at large public and private sector administrators use rule sets every day whose rules are not open to inspection by the general public? It doesn't really matter whether the processing of these rule sets is automated or not, there is still the possibility of perceived unfairness.
For example, underwriting rule sets may or may not be computerised, and they will determine whether I can buy insurance or get a mortgage. I don't have access to the rules and I cannot question them.
What exactly is new here?
On reading section 56 (1) of the act, it would seem that while nobody is allowed to disclose any evidence of interception in court, unless I've missed something the act would not seem to allow witnesses to lie outright about the origin of information.
Where does it say in the act that somebody is allowed to perjure themselves? Surely, all anybody would be able to say is something like "I am not lawfully allowed to answer that question"?
For those unable or unwilling to traverse the paywall, I share some pertinent comments on Hypernormalisation from Mr. Gill of the Sunday Times:
"It is long and coherence-straining. Once Curtis starts, he can’t stop. There is precious little editing for clarity. The connections keep falling like snow, until they are a blizzard that blots out the point. You simply have to grasp the bits that make sense to you, and leave the rest on the side of the plate.
....The problem is that there is no end, no denouement, no summing up or message. In Curtis’s work, there is a log jam of things to see, but nothing to learn, nothing to make, no hope of change; and his well-rehearsed paranoia makes you question his motives."
Having had a couple of Lumias, the only problem I can see with them, and the reason I got rid of my last Lumia, is that car connectivity is limited. While it is common to find cars with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, there are few cars that I know of with Windows phone software. If you spend a lot of time in the car, I find that it's very useful to be able to connect your phone to the car via dedicated software rather than just Bluetooth.
... why we need this new law when there is a perfectly good offence of Encouraging or Assisting a Crime already on the statute books in the Serious Crime Act 2007?
What exactly is the nature of this speech that on the one hand doesn't break this law but on the other is deemed extremist?
The right to freedom of expression is not absolute.
For example, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 part 3A says "A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred."
There are also numerous other English laws that circumscribe completely free speech, most notably the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Section 4A which states:
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he— (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
You're right. In tax issues what is legal is a matter of opinion and the corporations can afford to spend a great deal of money on tax lawyers explaining how their opinion is the right opinion.
IMHO, the root cause of the problem is the complexity of the tax laws. Tolley's Tax Guide on UK law alone now runs to 11,500 pages - a doubling in length in the last 17 years. If only legislatures could get together and agree on a massive simplification of tax laws then it would make it harder for wealthy entities to avoid.
Of course, legislatures are full of lawyers, so why would they want to reduce their earning opportunities?
I'm afraid that the facts disagree with you.
The Gini co-efficient has been decreasing for several years now, meaning that inequality is reducing. Indeed the Guardian reported last year that the Gini co-efficient was at its lowest point in the UK since 1986.
Back in 1998, I noticed that the temperature in my fridge (an old one, which I'd had since 1980) was a little too cold and I upped it from 4c to 5c. I'm lucky enough that my fridge is still working and still at 5c.
I note that the average temperature of my fridge for 2000 to 2010 was higher than for 1990 to 2000, which in turn was higher than for 1980 to 1990. Based on the latest decadal figures, my fridge is continuing its warming trend - maybe it's time for a new one.
Over the last couple of years, I've had a Samsung Galaxy S2 as a personal phone and an iPhone 5 as a work phone. The S2 was OK, but battery life was poor to mediocre even with batterysaver apps activated, the screen was so-so and I found Android slightly hard work. The iPhone had the same mediocre battery life and the great screen and app ecosystem, but it was absolutely useless as a phone both where I live and work - dropped calls all the time.
Now I have a Nokia Lumia 720. The app ecosystem is obviously not as good and there are some annoying gaps, but it has all the basics plus a much better battery life, better onboard keyboard for typing (similar to the ones available for Android) and MUCH better call quality (with the same network provider). No dropped calls now. Haven't had the phone for long, so can't comment on build quality, but to be honest it does feel a little plasticky.
So what I think I really want is an iPhone with the battery life and call quality of the Lumia, Any chances do you think?
If you are a fan of Rumpole of the Bailey, you'll remember his waxing lyrical over the Golden Thread that ran through British justice. These were:
- The right to silence
- The presumption of innocence and the fact that the burden of proof rests with the prosecution
- The right not to be tried twice for the same offence.
Pillars of justice that had stood for centuries were removed in the space of about 10 years between 1994 and 2004 after terrorist attacks that killed, in this country, rather fewer than the number dying in road accidents in two weeks. Rumpole's Golden Thread is no more.
IANAL, but as I understand it UK law still permits companies to issue bearer shares, which means the owner of a company is the person who physically possesses the shares at any one time. The opportunities for obfuscation of ownership are clear.
If it were me, I think I'd opt for the Robert Maxwell solution - have all my companies ending up in a family trust based in Lichtenstein.
I think that 3D is a bit of a gimmick that doesn't really offer anything useful. However, I will go and buy right now any smartphone that lasts for 3 days. I'm so fed up discovering my phone is dead in the morning because I forgot to put it on charge before I went to bed.
Would any manufacturer's representative care to tell me which of their phones I can buy?