Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A New Report From Cambridge University...

and commented on by the charity Shelter puts an interesting slant on what we've been hearing about Housing Benefit.

The media and politicians manage to find the extreme examples to support their plans to radically change the system. And arguing over the capital is unfair because to some extent it and similar cities are a special case and perhaps not representative of the UK at large. But it gets the backs up of hard working people because what they hear/see in the media makes them think their hard earned wages and then they feel that their taxes are paying is being wasted.

Is it any wonder that many, rightly or wrongly are becoming angry and having a go at the poor based on what they perceeve the situation to be from what they are fed.

Then we hear them phone into the speech stations who have phone-ins and presenters that wind the audience up.

The truth is many who receive help are working too. Rents are too high even on modest properties and the economy depends on too many jobs paying rubbish wages.

It is a low income economy. Much of the UK economy is dependent on service jobs mainly leisure based. That would be acceptable if the wage was good.

To some extent the Internet could be threat too as more people buy products and services on line(as the companies save on how many they employ and overheads on not needing buildings in every town)so fewer people are going out to work and fewer people are going out to visit and spend in places on the high street or wherever and a report was issued in the last day or two showing how much extra business the Internet is bringing to the UK.

A cap on housing if slight might be workable but if you are "poor"(I don't really like that term)poverty is relative to some extent. But if your income is low a small cut in income will hurt you much more than someone in a higher income bracket. I'm stating the bleedin' obvious.

What doesn't make sense is increasing rents on these properties so the squeeze is coming from two directions which means that families(and single people)everyone really will find themselves struggling to keep that roof over their heads and you know that a lot of properties especially the really cheap ones are often in a poor state of repair in an area that is not very hospitable to having a decent life.

It is more likely to lead to a life that is shorter due to stress or illnesses because of perhaps living somewhere that is cold or damp or an area where you feel unsafe because of violence or some other crime.

This in a country which is supposed to be the fifth richest in the world.

So back to this report from Shelter. They are saying stop worrying about the £400 cap on the help given to many and the expensive properties we keep hearing of...they are saying that many two bedroom properties will be out of the reach of many. London will not be the only area affected even if prices are different.

It is also said that the shadow Government want to force a vote on this issue and may do so in the next ten days. I'm not sure though what that will gain as the Government has an overal majority and have said that nothing will stop these palns going through.

So as I have said before unless there is a switch and some politicians decide to go against their own parties official line the situation is futile.

The Following Links are interesting...Especially the parts where the National Housing Federation is mentioned. They are saying that many families will because of paying rent be finding it difficult to pay transport costs to and from work(or the looking for work)paying their energy bills(one of the biggest energy suppliers is increasing their prices on gas on December 1st)others are expected to follow...and of course food...if they are concerned about the health of the population and what strain ill health puts on the NHS people will buy cheap food which is likely to be what you should not be eating.

All most people want out of life is to look after their families if they are lucky to have one, health, a roof over their head, not to worry about keeping warm in Winter and having enough money to pay the bills.

Housing Crises Shelter Report

You may have to sign up to read this next link...

London Housing Crises Shelter

Look Left Blog Part One

Look Left Blog Part Two

Of course I take an interest in events at home and abroad but I am amazed that I have in recent posts on my blog been quite political I try to avoid being so publicly, what do they say about avoiding certain subjects because of the reaction they'll cause...politics and religion I believe.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Now Does A Legally Acceptable Practice...

Actually save jobs and keep a business in profit and stop it from going bankrupt or is it wrong?

A BBC radio programme looked at Corporate business and their ways of avoiding paying tax. They named the company, I'll talk in general terms.

Its a big well known retailer. It took over another business but then, was taken over by a private equity company.

It is now registered in Switzerland.

The BBC worked out the profit in the last financial year to be £148million approx.

Tax paid to the UK economy £10million approx.

Previously when based in the UK they have paid £100million in tax.

Now, perhaps it's good that they've hung onto more money as it will give them a cushion for the difficult times and keeps it solvent. Then again that money could be put to good use I am sure.

In reality it's drop in the ocean but if many companies are doing this it all adds up.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time To Add Another Link...

Talking about the recent statement in Parliament and the cuts planned to our most vulnerable I mentioned the changes to Social Housing and earlier a blog site showing the plight of the ill and vulnerable...I'm afraid unless you have experience of caring for or have to ask for help yourself often it is believed that what help there is easier to obtain and greater than it really is and so any cut in what is already available is frightening and stressful.

So I am adding another link to another blog which I think deserves publicity.

To be honest I am unsure that in the current climate it will make any difference. I'd like to think that it might.

The Broken Of Britain

Update:Some Lib Dems are showing a possible revolt and may try to reverse/change some of the proposals on Housing but it's too early to decide if people can rejoice. Any change may be small...time will tell.

Some Lib Dems have said they do not know all the details and need to know more(as does the public)

As said earlier there is a cap on how much help you can obtain but at a time when more unemployment is likely and jobs are often poorly paid those caught without a job after a year were also to see the help reduced by another 10% when you are already struggling.

And another bit of information that came to light today is that the properties that are being threatened of having rents increased up to 80% and the average house prices of the area will be the guide and it seems the homes caught in this proposal are those run by Housing Associations...

Guess what most of this area has been turned over to various housing associations/charities...

And in these days where they have been pushing higher education and Universities you will always need sadly people willing to do menial, low paid work and it's been said that if the poor move out of of the capital and similar areas, just who is going to clean the streets, the office blocks etc...and how many of those living up to 70 miles away could afford to or should be expected to travel into somewhere like London daily?

In some ways it could be argued that someone doing some of these menial tasks should actually be paid more because often it is very physical work or is done during unsociable hours and it might give a kind of reward for what for many is probably not very enjoyable either.

It's not going to happen...

The Vulnerable Continue To Be Villified Part 2...

When I mentioned Social Housing earlier and the reduction in help towards the paying of rent, I criticised the media as they often make it look as though everyone is living in a large property and are always unemployed and are not trying to find work but there are so many variables why you could be suddenly in such a situation.

How many who do move into cheaper properties voluntarily or because they lose the property find that it's not too long before it also sneaks up in price and you'll be moving again. You are battling against the fact that these days more than ever few jobs are for life. So your situation changes more often and you are not able to say how things will be one year to the next.

So this horror story is being broadcast on LBC today(and I suspect other areas of the UK will be affected)

I think the estimated figure for this move is 200,000 people/families and yes there is talk of people being moved into Bed and Breakfast again.

Now if all the poor are moved you'll create ghettos and the rich will all be living in one area and their lifestyles will improve and the poor will continue to become poorer.

I notice the ever popular Government spokesman is quoted in the article as saying..."There is no evidence of these claims. Some private landlords target those on Housing Benefit because they can command higher rents from tenants causing a knock on effect on rents in the area. The current way that it is administered is unfair. It's not right that some families on benefits have been able to live in homes that most working families could not afford."

People might be able to afford to continue living where they are with some of the cuts(it won't be easy)if they'd drop the idea of raising rents.

As if you cap the help you are giving and raise rents you are being squeezed from both ends.

If vacated I think it's a fair bet the properties will be bought up by private Landlords and they'll never ever be available again to the average person. Or if people on a higher income move in, wasn't this the reason given for the changes that if you are "better off" you move so those on lower incomes have access to affordable housing?"

Unless all MP's other than the coalition and some of the Lib Dems(approx 25)decide to vote against this, it will become law.

I don't know if the next Government could/would overturn this but by then all the damage would've been done and probably could not be reversed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I've Been A Little Vocal..

on matters that might be seen political. I said earlier I tend to talk personal stuff and keep it reasonably light but with so much depressive stories it's no wonder many of us are feeling down, worried and stressed whether in work or out of work. Whether in reasonable health or ill and vulnerable.

I'll praise or criticise anyone and it's not because I am follow a particular political party or ideology.

But a lot of criticism aimed at those who receive help of some kind from the public purse are lumped together and when a story comes to light that gets the public going because someone did take what they are entitled to everyone gets classed as the same.

Ok the following blog is biased(I suppose we all are because of what we experience in life)it has to be because you are looking through some one's eyes who is living it but it is interesting, fair and links to many other websites and might just open the eyes of those who have not had such experiences or may in the future...

I've added a permanent link to my blog.

Benefit Scrounging Scum

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Vulnerable Continue To Be Villified...

As economic cuts are made to many of the things that make society work and stop it falling apart, they are putting proposals forward that are as good as cuts...

Such as the proposals on Social Housing. The last time this was mentioned it was heavily criticised and it looked as though the idea was dropped but it's been resurrected again.

This is one time where the Lib Dems(who is keeping the Government in power)could and should think of making a stand(and they hint that they will)but if they think they will never be voted into power again, they may just roll over and go along with the proposals. They could show their metal and make a stance and get some respect from the public again.

It will need all parties and independent MP's to work together.

The only slight chink of light is that those who are already tenants may be allowed to keep a roof over their heads and it's new tenants that will have to jump through all the extra hoops.

If people are going to be continually moved on or worried that they can afford a property I could quite understand some saying why should we put money into keeping a property in good condition, even when renting you'll do some repairs to a property rather than wait for the landlord or have to because the properties owner has less money for such work.

The problem is a lack of housing stock for so many reasons for those who want to start a life in their own home(My parents started married life in the home of my Mum's parents)a lack of new builds under all Governments, the right to buy, property being sold privately is too high, the same is often true on private rented property.

The cap on housing benefit will hurt those who have to take it but even if you could survive that worry now they propose a rise in rent of at least 50% so you will be attacked from two sides. Many are worried that we'll see a lot of homelessness. If the rent rises and the cap doesn't you're up the creek.

Many genuine people in work/out of work will be very worried and stressed.

Again, even those in work are now to hear that some kind of formula that keeps the train fares down is to be scrapped and season tickets will rise by such a large amount its bound to eat into the income they have and with all the cuts, its like a double whammy...oh we are all so in this together...not!

After the story about the Aircraft carriers being built which will cost so much they cannot actually have any planes for 5-8 years...it's reported that the Ark Royal is to be scrapped more or less immediately!

It is a frightening world.

Some of the rhetoric between certain sections of society and how they are turning against each other is quite nasty. Most of it is whipped up by the media and the Government. It's all spin.

Update:If we are to believe what the newspapers say(and we'll find out soon enough)it appears that the Lib Dems have rolled over and given in on the proposals on Social Housing. Some things can be rushed through Parliament seemingly without much trouble, other things have to be discussed and voted on and I cannot quite decide which side these proposals fall.

Monday, October 18, 2010

That Drug Problem...

You know the one that was omitted from the drugs I collected last week from the pharmacy with my prescription...

Today I contacted my Dr's surgery at 9.30am for help, they said they'd get back to me...

2.30pm and still no joy!

I phoned again and explained again the trouble...

2.45pm sorted!

Another chemist on the town can supply and says as far as they are aware there are no problems getting that drug.

They were to deliver it as a one off to the Dr's surgery for me to collect tomorrow and save me having to get a taxi over to that part of town but they are now delivering to my home address this afternoon.

So do you know what I think? I have no proof but I believe that Boots simply forgot to order the drug and covered their backs by saying it was a problem with the suppliers.

If the largest pharmacy in the UK cannot get the drug and others can...there's something wrong.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Panic! Well Almost...

When I collected my drugs on Tuesday for my illness(one was unavailable)I was told to come in the following day but I waited until yesterday that gave them four days to get that particular item in stock.

Yesterday, it still was unavailable and the answer given was that Boots the Chemists could not get hold of it from suppliers.

I have heard on the radio that some drugs are being sold abroad where manufacturer's/supplier's can get a better price so I started to wonder if this is the reason but it's not good if a main retailer(probably the UK's biggest)is having problems.

I asked what I should do if it doesn't come in this Monday...I was told to contact the Dr again and see what they can do possibly offering a substitute.

Luckily, I have a few tablets remaining but what if I had run out? Especially as the Dr's surgery is closed over weekends.

I contacted NHS Direct(a phoneline for advice)and what a helpful lady on the phone...lovely manner too and as I ended the call I was thinking this poor soul will soon be out of work as our Government is closing the service in this drastic cuts fest on Wednesday in a budget and they are promising to hurt just about everyone in work or out of work.

They say everyone will be touched! The vulnerable, the sick, the elderly and unemployed are facing the worst of them. To avoid it you need to be very rich or a tax dodger. Many are very, very, scared and even those who are in work may find the opposite in the near future. Enough political chat.

Anyhow, if I had run out of the drug(I thought I had even fewer of the tablets)this weekend her advice was phone the out of hours emergency Dr service.

Luckily I haven't had to do that. But it's not good as it's a drug you cannot drop suddenly.