Tax Credits are a Type of Benefit for Those Who are Nearly Unemployed

Many of my friends have told me that they don’t understand the Tax Credit system. Even when others try to explain they are none the wiser.

This government would have us believe the total jobless figures are correct, but they seem to forget that currently 5.7 million families are claiming this benefit. This means that they are “underemployed” or that they can’t get full time work and the government have to make up the difference to make a so called “living wage”, well short of the average wage of roughly £25,000. This is a Government benefit that in most cases makes wages up to the amount allowed if you are signing on the dole.

Also those qualifying for tax credits get issued a card which entitles them to free prescriptions etc. and because they have low income they are also entitled to things like housing benefit.

To all intense and purposes these people are on the dole, except that they have a few hours of paid work, which varies.

Many are self employed having been made redundant. They all think that they can start their own business and become entrepreneurs as they see on the TV. But in truth they too are scratching around for work like the other 5.7 million claiming these tax credits.

I feel that because the Tax Credit system is hard to understand the general public do not realise the full implications of those claiming and the effect on the overall economy and morale of this nation. And as far as I am concerned 5.7 million should be added to the jobless figures, because in essence they are unemployed.

Don’t Jubilee’ve it!

The UK is gearing up to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but not everyone is happy. Republicans are going to be stepping up their protest.

But near London’s Tower Bridge on the south side of the river, is the Republic’s protest, what they say is “the biggest and boldest in modern times”, will be a different idea.

After years as a low-key movement the Republic re-launched itself in 2006 as an official pressure group. Then in 2010 it had 9,000 members and now they say registered supporters have increased to 21,000.

The republic want to get rid of the monarchy and have a republican constitution with an elected head of state. Republicans also want a referendum because, for them, the monarchy is undemocratic.

They also claim that the Jubilee is “enormously wasteful”.

The Republic has changed over the last few years, it’s younger, more evenly split between genders, and more diverse in terms of professions, in fact they are ordinary people.

But polls suggest that only 20-25% of Britons want a republic.

But historically, there have been periods when the monarchy was quite unpopular. Even in the 90s, newspapers were actually discussing its future.

The Republic’s see unbalanced, unfettered royal press coverage and in particular about the balance of BBC reporting.

The Republic is ready for the Jubilee and their challenge  is convincing people in the UK to listen.

Euro Saved as Greece Falls

Greece has become a European experiment for austerity. Never has a Western economy country shrunk so fast – actually about 16 per cent in just four years! Greek politicians are now held in low regard at home and throughout the EU. There is ultimate shame that the running of their economy has mostly been handed over to outsiders. It is my personal opinion that the purpose of the recent bailout was less about giving help to Greece and more about saving the euro and saving international banks from a default.

Where will the Greek growth come from to bring down their debts. There are plans to change many internal things, but there is huge resistance. Some Greek government assets may have to be sold off, but all of this will take time.

The Greek government have told the people that they face a choice of leaving the euro and face chaos and/or catastrophe. Or accept austerity. The Greek people have largely accepted that argument. But staying in the euro will ultimately bring years of hardship and social tension. Some people, the ones with money and skills will and are emigrating. Their is alredy poverty everywhere, homelessness and social break down.

It should not be taken for granted that the Greek people will accept all of this. This Greek crisis is far from over . . .

Life of a Financial Affiliate

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Are You Rich or Poor?

Bankers bonuses, well what can I say. OK Cameron has said that the bonus RBS’s Stephen Hester was given was half what it was last year. WOW! I suppose a million pounds is nothing to Cameron, and most bankers. It really is about time that we banned bonuses altogether and had a pay limit of £100,000 a year. That’s still ten times what I’m earning!!!!!! Maybe we do need a revolution in this greedy screwed up country.

Happy New Year?

What a year 2011 was for the world stock markets.

The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 fell 5.6 per cent in 2011, while France saw stock falls of 18 per cent and German stocks fell 15 per cent as fears for the survival of the euro bit. But United States stocks ended 2011 up. The euro has ended 2011 close to a 15-month low against the US dollar.

The crises in the eurozone has had a huge impact on world markets, as investors await a plan to ensure that Italy’s government can continue to support its mounting debts. The United States and Europe, including the United Kingdom, have had to accept that it may be many years before their debt ridden economies get back to normal.

Also in 2011 the United States lost its AAA credit rating, following deadlock in Congress over raising the country’s debt ceiling – or the legal limit on the federal government’s total borrowing.

But 2011 has been dominated by the euro crisis and the euro ended the year close to a 15-month low against the dollar after it shed more than 3 per cent last week. Many analysts suggest that it could drop even further in 2012.

France and Germany could bear the brunt of any bailout costs for the southern European states – and this has been reflected in the performance of their equity markets.

France’s Cac 40 dropped 17.5 per cent and Germany’s Dax fell 14.7 per cent in 2011. The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 index is 5.6 per cent lower on the year, worries over the impact of the eurozone crisis did most of the damage.

Will 2012 be any better?