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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, March 28, 2013 with No comments | Labels:


New £80bn 'Help to Buy' scheme may get you on the housing ladder – but if prices rise, so does your debt
Help to Buy should initially mean it becomes easier to get on to the property ladder. But the Chancellor admits he hopes it causes a steep climb in house prices. But this will cause a mini bubble. When the scheme ends in three years, the number of buyers will drop, and house prices will fall again. This could leave many homeowners who bought a home with a small deposit stuck in negative equity — i.e. they owe more than the value of their home. DAILY MAIL
(“Cheap credit to house buyers who can’t otherwise afford it? Why didn’t I think of that first? Oh, right, I did,” said every bank that caused the biggest global economic collapse since the 1930s...)

OECD says UK tax hits stay-at-home mothers hardest
A family with one worker and two children lost 27.9% of wages in tax in 2012. This compared with 26.2% in 2009 before the Coalition was elected. The international average for such a family is 26.1%. Also, “well off” British families with stay-at-home mothers are now worse off, paying 40.5%of earnings in tax compared to international average of 38.6%. This contrasts with both single people and two-earner families which have benefited from cuts in the tax-free personal allowances and other changes. DAILY MAIL

The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority has officially revoked the banking license of HSBC S.A. (Cayman Islands Branch)
The CIMA concluded that HSBC’s activities were “detrimental to the public interest, the interest of depositors or of the beneficiaries of any trust or other creditors and that the direction and management of its businesses has not been conducted in a fit and proper manner.” Following recent record fines for money laundering whilst paying multi-million pound bonuses to hundreds of its staff, HSBC’s marketing teams are already at full stretch trying to rescue their reputation. CAYMAN NET NEWS
(NEWS LATEST: HSBC launches new advertising campaign, called “We try so hard to dodge tax for you, even the Cayman Islands won’t touch us.”)

45% rise in UK banks’ core profits wiped out by billions in fines, regulation violations and their own mistakes
The UK’s five major banks were hit by PPI mis-selling compensation costs of £7.4bn. In addition, there were other fines and penalties from regulators and "redress provisions" of £4.7bn, and a £12.8bn accounting hit for losses caused by the revaluation of "own debt." The news is likely to provoke stern words from bank shareholders. BBC NEWS
(...those stern words being: “Either stop screwing customers, or stop getting caught. Preferably the latter.”)

Prime Minister in rip-off price clash with energy firms
Britain’s biggest energy firms have attacked the PM’s plans to force them to simplify billing options. Soon, energy suppliers must only offer 4 tariffs, and clearly inform all customers of cheaper options. Currently there are around 300 tariffs, causing confusion and poor choices by consumers. But the energy firms claim this reduction in choice was “unreasonable” in a competitive market, and that the cheapest tariff today may not cut your bill in the long term.“ A snapshot forward-looking view of the cheapest tariff may well, in hindsight, turn out not to have been the cheapest,” npower said. TELEGRAPH
(“…and we should know. ‘cos that’s precisely how we’ve been gipping money out of you fools all these years,” said six of the Big Six energy firms.)

£16m pay bonanza for five British Gas bosses: Windfall came just weeks after inflation-busting price increases
British Gas chief Phil Bentley will walk away with a nest-egg worth more than £10m when he steps down in June, in addition to a £5.4m pension pot. The CEO of its parent, Centrica, Sam Laidlaw is handed £5m. British Gas made £606m profit. The average gas and electricity bill will rise to £1,420 by end of next year. The coldest spring for decades means everyone has been hit with a 6% rise in bills of around £100 each over the past few months. A spokesman replied: ‘At Centrica, pay and bonuses are based squarely on performance.' DAILY MAIL
(Errr… whose performance? Performance of the weather, which is poor this year. And performance of the energy regulator, which is poor every year.)

£166 reduction in energy bills, boasts Government, provided we green appliances
Households will have to spend thousands of pounds buying new green appliances to benefit from the Government’s claims its policies are bringing down energy bills. Ministers claimed this would more than “offset” green taxes and subsidies, which are likely to contribute around £199 to your average bill by 2020. For example, the Government estimates we will replace our washing machine every 12 years. But the White Goods Trade Association say a good quality appliance can last for 10,000 hours, so we would need to use the machine for 15 hours a week to wear it out in 12 years. TELEGRAPH
(...And the only one to do that much laundry every week is the Department of Energy & Climate Change. To their data.)

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