CUNNING WHEEZES

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 06 Jul 2015, 09:22

Bottled water tastes better if you have a heavily chlorinated water supply. The chlorine will go if you boil the tap water to make a hot drink but it isn't nice to drink straight from the tap.

We stayed in Camelford, Cornwall, a few weeks ago and have stayed there on a previous occasion some years ago. Remember Camelford in the 1980s? A lorry load of aluminium sulphate dumped in the drinking water? The lorry driver came down from Bristol with the instruction "Tip it in the first tank on the left" because there wouldn't be anyone at the site to direct him. He got there, wasn't sure at first but then thought, OK, they said first on the left...and in it went, straight into a tank of purified water waiting to go down the pipes to consumers. Result? Lots of people ill in the local area. The water company was fined a relatively small amount but the case has rumbled on until the last year or so when an inquiry said there were no lasting effects on those who drank the contaminated water. The locals still disagree.

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 07 Jul 2015, 03:48

I remember Camelford.... Funny isn't it how when something like that happens the goal posts miraculously change positions. My Mate John Henry Pickles was diagnosed with Farmer's Lung and had to retire. When FL was designated an Industrial disease he put in for compo but was told he had asthma....
Newton tells a story about being asked by the regular man to dose the header reservoir for the town with chlorine when he finished the maintenance job he was doing one weekend. He told Newt to put 'a bucket full' in but forgot to tell him that the neat compound had to be diluted 1:15. There were complaints......
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 07 Jul 2015, 09:15

The water companies still get away with too much. There's been a running battle between them and the surfers over the beach at Godrevy in Cornwall. Every time there's a heavy rainstorm sewage overflows into the stream that runs onto the beach and the surfers get stomach upsets. Probably swimmers and paddling kiddies get it to but the surfers are there regularly. The water company denied it but the surfers filmed the sewage going into the stream. Then the water company gave the usual type of response: "It only happens now and then".

Surfers are good at monitoring seawater quality, as anglers are good at monitoring river water quality. I've mentioned before about Prof Jim Lovelock in 1960s buying an old house on the upper reaches of the Tamar. He got a bit annoyed the first time he found anglers on his property fishing in the river but on talking to them found they knew a lot about the `health' of the river, so he encouraged them after that.

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 08 Jul 2015, 06:24

It's the old story Tiz. The accountants have more control than the customers who are on the ground and monitoring the reality, not the spin and the dividend rate.....
The biggest CW I have noted this morning is Ossie and his budget strategy, shameful manipulation and the object is to take forward the re-engineering of society. Eventually it will blow back on them but not before enormous misery has been inflicted on those with the least to lose. Where is the effort to get cash rich companies to pay a living wage?
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 11 Jul 2015, 06:28

The more I hear about analysis of the budget the more convinced I am that it is full of Cunning Wheezes to support the claim to be a One Nation budget. Loopholes are appearing and the take from the poor increases with every revelation.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Pluggy » 12 Jul 2015, 12:03

If we're brutally honest, every budget is full of cunning wheezes....
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 13 Jul 2015, 03:24

You're right Pluggy. The aim is to sound as though you are doing good things but in affect, when all the small print is analysed they are squeezing us until the pips squeak.... It's economically illiterate because the harder we are squeezed, the lower domestic consumption falls and this is the main driver of the economy. Austerity is self-defeating, all the economists are saying this but the politicians are ignoring them as it suits their political DNA. Secretly the Tories want to go back to the 19th century and the 'Glory Days' of laisser faire.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 19 Sep 2016, 06:26

Have a look at this LINK to some old news that has only just come to my notice. I reckon this is a Cunning Wheeze. We have all seen the increasing complexity of 'bundled' services in communications making it almost impossible for customers to fully understand charges. This legislation due to start in April 2017 opens up the way for even more complex bundles, taken to its extreme it could end up with you being tied to one company supplying all your services. I shall resist this with every breath in my body!
The mantra is 'more choice', don't believe them, it's a bid to get you hooked into complicated and expensive contracts.... Suppose you reneged on the payments? Would all your services be cut off at the same time?
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 21 Sep 2016, 04:26

One of the biggest cunning wheezes at the moment is to obscure important matters with froth about May being statesmanlike over immigrants and Brexit. Meanwhile, apart from the major decisions that are in abeyance slow burners like the ongoing pensions mess are allowed to continue unabated. So much trouble building up for the future. I have had several overtures about my small private pension.... Guess what I have done!
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by PanBiker » 21 Sep 2016, 09:21

Sally is going to the Tory party conference with her WASPI friends to barrack the Pensions Secretary and this lot in general for their breach of contract on women's pension rights. Sally is one who was not told until she was 59 that she would not be receiving her pension at 60, they have put her back 6 years to 66. A not insignificant blip in our financial planning, the loss is roughly calculated at around £48,000.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Pluggy » 21 Sep 2016, 11:47

Somewhat ironic that Women Against State Pension Inequality want to maintain the inequality between the sexes. I always thought it very unequal that the sex that tends to live longest should get their state state pension 5 years before those who snuff it first. The government could have staged it a bit more than they did. I was told fairly recently I would have to wait until 66 to get mine and Mrs Pluggy has to wait until 67. Its rarely mentioned, because its politically sensitive in the extreme, but the pensions bill make the NHS bill and benefits look reasonable. I can't raise much enthusiasm for WASPI's cause, sorry.......

I've spent my life balancing the books, I can't blame the government to want to balance the countries books. Whatever they did to get the sexes with equal pensions, they would p*ss off somebody. And in my opinion it should have been done 3 decades ago.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by PanBiker » 21 Sep 2016, 12:53

One of the arguments rather than penalise a whole tranche of women would be to standardise both women and men at 63 years of age. Sally's particular argument is that she was not told until she had turned 59 that she would not be receiving her pension at 60. She has voluntarily paid full stamp (not married women's rate) whenever she has been in employment and like me has more than enough credits paid in to expect to be paid as contracted by the government when she started work at 15. If she had been told 10 years ago that she was not going to receive a pension at 60 we would have set out our stall somewhat differently

As a family we have managed our finances all our lives through various employments and in my case self employment for a period. To be told with very little notice that you will be denied any income is unfair to say the least. We are fully aware that life isn't fair and we have had enough personal experience of that. If this was a private pensions scheme where the trustees spent all the money there would be an equal uproar, so what is the difference? There could be a legal argument for suing for breach of contract. I am fully in support of what they are standing up for, it's a matter of simple theft and squandering of someone elses money. A local man has just been sent to prison for doing exactly the same thing and over a lot less money as well.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Pluggy » 21 Sep 2016, 13:44

I think we'll agree to differ, a self confessed leftie will never see eye to eye with a centrist (I've voted both ways in my time, but only labour in the 'new labour' Blair era - the 'hard left' - as the press have called it, left me cold).

I like to think I'm an improvement on my old man, who has been a die hard Tory all his life. He thinks the sun shone out of Maggie's backside.

As big kev used to have in his signature 'It doesn't matter who you vote for, you always get the government'
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by plaques » 21 Sep 2016, 14:21

Funnily enough I've just finished a book on this subject The Great Pension Robbery. by Alex Brummer. "How Politicians betrayed retirement". Virtually every man and his dog is keen to get into the pension pile. That is everybody from Robert Maxwell and the various New Labour and Tory governments not to mention all the 'Private' takeover merchants. The big losers are always the poor pensioners. Any regulation has always been kept to an absolute minimum with loopholes at every turn. Except for the EU regulations the pension scene would be even worse than it is now. I tend to agree with PanBiker, if promises have been made then they should be held to. How else can people plan for "X" years down the line?.

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 22 Sep 2016, 03:49

You all make good points. The lower age for woman puzzled me for a long time but remember its roots were in a time when many women had suffered multiple childbirth and were suffering from the results. The pensions system should have been adjusted slowly over the years as circumstances changed but it is such a hot political potato that politicians closed their eyes, we see the same syndrome now over many matters. Cans kicked down the road.
On the breach of contract, I agree, the way the changes to Women's pensions has been handled is a disgrace and there is more than a trace of misogynist in it. Go Sally!!
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 25 Sep 2016, 04:30

The Tory CW department will have to go in high gear to counter the bad news that the Labour Party is showing signs of getting its act together at last!
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 01 Oct 2016, 04:59

The deterioration in local council funding as evidenced by David Whipp contains another cunning wheeze. The government assures us that essential services will be maintained but fails to say it will be done partly by increased Council Tax and forcing Councils to use reserves (which are there for a very good reason!), Definitely a cunning wheeze
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 06 Oct 2016, 05:07

If you are a politician bang on about how good things are going to be but whatever you do, don't mention current ills. There are no votes in them!
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by PanBiker » 24 Oct 2016, 15:20

All sorted now after an online chat session with Carl at HMRC. A small annuity provider (Phoenix Life) advised me today by letter that they were going to deduct tax on the monthly income that I receive from my annuity at the equivalent of 50%! This is despite me not being liable for any tax whatsoever. I rang them and found that they had a code of 15T for the income stream and would deduct tax accordingly as I have been overpaid. I told them it was wrong but they insisted I contact HMRC as they can only work on the instructions they receive from them.

If you register with the HMRC gateway you can see all your records for tax and pensions and and the like. My current record indicates that I am exempt from paying tax as I don't earn enough. Carl agreed with me and has reassigned the correct code to the income stream and will advise Phoenix accordingly. I will either get a refund next month via my provider or at the end of the tax year from HMRC.

The online chat system is quite good apart from the wait in the queue after initialising the chat session with your opening question. I had to wait 8 minutes (with a countdown indication) but still better than hanging on the phone with the ting tong music! Once connected and after basic security checks, (name, address, postcode, DOB and NI number) the session went very smoothly. He could not see why the code had been altered but agreed that it was wrong pretty quickly and sorted it. Recommended route if you have any dealings to do with HMRC.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 25 Oct 2016, 03:43

Ian, nice to hear a report of something working well in HMRC. I suspect they have more agents now after the barrage of criticism of late.
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 28 Oct 2016, 06:55

I have a feeling that the Department of Cunning Wheezes is working flat out at the moment to try to convince the electorate that the adverse effects of Brexit are nowhere near as bad as was forecast. This before the event of course! The latest one is the great Nissan wheeze, It's fairly clear that while 'the cheque book was not employed' may be true at the moment we may see a different story if and when the government fulfils its evident promise to Nissan that higher tariffs won't affect them. Will this apply to all exporters? I get the feeling this is one of the slow-burners that might come back to haunt the government. But of course that will be at least three years down the road, in politicians terms that is an aeon away.....
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 28 Oct 2016, 10:06

I bet they won't give such assurances to the owners of small businesses even though they contribute 47% of revenue to the UK economy, according to the Economic and Social Research Council. LINK

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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Stanley » 29 Oct 2016, 03:41

Dead right Tiz and not for many major industries either! This is a stop gap to avoid early evidence that dropping out of the Single Market is already proving to be a big mistake. It's naked manipulation of the realities of what is facing all industry as the pound loses value. What about the financial institutions in London? Do we really think that the brain power they employ isn't working flat out on what they can claw back from this mess? They will be bribed to stay by further relaxing regulation and taxation..... Remember what was said about ITV? "A licence to print money".
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tripps » 08 Nov 2016, 13:16

I noticed this last week - now the Mail catches up. :smile:
Toblerone

I bought a couple of these bars last week (not for myself you understand). and being a driven label reader, noticed one was 150g, and the other was 170 g. The packaging was absolutely identical. I thought it was because one was from Tesco, and the other from Home Bargains, and assumed the smaller size was to enable one to compete with the other, since both were the same price. Seems not. I heard a chap from the grocery trade on R4, say that this practice was known in the trade as 'value engineering'. I don't think we are supposed to notice the cunning wheeze. :smile:
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Re: CUNNING WHEEZES

Post by Tizer » 08 Nov 2016, 16:55

Another case of it being a good time to leak bad news! Sorry Tripps, but your cost of living has just risen by 10% (oh, I should have said your friend's cost of living of course). :smile:

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