The point about liberals are relaxed about crime until it affects them. Then they become “murderous with rage”
Today people protested around the world, how can this offensive use of force go unchallenged, state terrorism?.
You have a view and you comment,of course you will get a lot of people that will always know better than you.But i say let the people decide who was right or wrong. Of course you can trade insults but i don’t think i would wish to waste my time.
I think over the next couple of months we will see revelation after revelation coming out in the press, the ordinary working man and women will suffer and certain members of our society will profit.With luck we may see the rise of people with passion and not camp followers.To often we see people who preach what’s right and wrong and still self indulge. I hope more people sit up and start to take note. Then we may see some change from the same boring rubbish we have to sit and listen to week after week,
But the council don’t have that sort of money to put in to projects do they i here you say.
Well they would if you took away the amount of money paid to Councillors as special allowances. And guess who claims the lions share, guess right?
Just think for one moment.
- How many pot holes would that fill
- How many part time jobs could that create.
- Perhaps fund a couple of youth clubs
- How about an old peoples centre
- A couple of extra street cleaning machines
- A play park.
- Fund some street wardens
- Teenage pregnancy advice centre
- Drug and alcohol advice
- Central fund for employers to use for job creation.
The list could go on perhaps you could think of something, No one should be out of pocket for doing the job, but £300,000 pounds goes to far,
It’s been great to have a break but it’s back on the road next week. It’s been a pain waiting for some of the team to come back from holiday. My thanks go out to Reg for buying the folding machine it makes life a lot easier. I met with some activist last week my thanks for the invite,i was amazed how many people are out there who are so passionate.One thing that did strike me was how many environmental issues are ongoing i think i must have been going round with my eyes closed. We hope to see as many people a round the city over the coming months i think we have our work cut out but at least by next may we should have a serious base.And the way the Con.Lib coalition seems to be going we should not be short on things to write about.
The way the other half live
It’s been a bit of a rough start for our new coalition government as far as its personnel is concerned and it didn’t look to be getting any better at the weekend.
Firstly, Tory leader David Cameron was handed a personal kick in the teeth when Sir Anthony Bamford, the chairman of the JCB construction equipment firm and Mr Cameron’s personal nomination for elevation to the House of Lords, was blocked from becoming a peer because of apparent concerns on his tax affairs.
Sir Anthony had his nomination rejected by the House of Lords Appointments Commission when the tax authorities declined to support it, although neither they nor anyone else has made any suggestions of improper conduct.
He had been a generous backer for the Tories, with his firm contributing to the tune of a cool £1.5 million and the knight himself coughing up £86,000.
So no seat in the Lords for him, then.
And it left the Tories even shorter in the upper house when Lord Laidlaw, another of the Tories’ big backers, who has contributed more than £3 million to the party’s coffers, forfeited his seat in the Lords because he was unwilling to lose his non-dom status and face the resulting tax bills.
The noble tax exile apparently promised to become resident in Britain when he took the title in 2004, but has never honoured that pledge.
Mind you, it’s not surprising, because he’s worth £700 million and would face a £50 million tax bill if he had.
And, of course, we’re still waiting with bated breath to see if Tory donor Lord Ashcroft follows suit or if he values his Lords seat enough to come back and cough up.
But it’s not just the nobility or would-be nobility that is giving the coalition problems at the moment.
The new austerity seems not to have sunk in with the new ministers in the Commons and that’s left egg on a few faces.
Defence Minister Andrew Robathan raised more than a few eyebrows when, instead of following the new ministerial guidelines about using public transport wherever possible, he took a chauffeur-driven government car across the Channel to attend the veterans’ anniversary assembly in Dunkirk – a means of transport that he described as “appropriate and inexpensive.” ‘Nuff said.
And now, as if all that wasn’t sufficient, Treasury Chief Secretary David Laws has had to resign after it was revealed that he had paid £40,000 of public money claimed as expenses to his partner James Lundie for renting rooms in Mr Lundie’s home, in clear breach of the Commons rules on expenses.
The expressions of support for him have been effusive, from both Tory and Lib Dem sources, but he has admitted his guilt and is repaying the claimed cash.
That won’t give him many sleepless nights, of course, since he is, like so many others in this government, a millionaire in his own right.
But it really can only be in this coalition that you can cheat the taxpayer out of £40,000 and be described by the Prime Minister as a “good and honourable man.”
Mr Cameron was joined by Business Secretary Vince Cable in his appraisal of Mr Laws, saying that “it is a big loss, but he has done the right thing.”
The right thing? Ripping off £40,000 of our money and only owning up to it when exposed by the press?
And to cap it all, Iain Duncan Smith says that he “has the talent to come back.” Words fail.
So, when you next hear that we’re all in it together, that a new age of austerity has dawned and because of it your wages are cut or your job vanishes, bear in mind that the “all” who are in it together excludes Tory donors, tax-dodging multimillionaires, filthy rich “sex addicts,” coalition ministers and all the rest of the rag-tag bunch of money-hungry parasites grouped around this disreputable coalition of profiteers and big business stooges.
We’re not all in it together. They are in power and in the money. We’re in trouble and being squeezed until the pips squeak. It’s a great world in Cameron’s coalition.
Mr Lyons is expected to spend several months investigating Mr Laws and will then report his findings to a parliamentary committee.
Under rules to be introduced by the Government, if he is found guilty of serious misconduct he may be “recalled” by his constituents and face a by-election.
Mr Lyons is expected to focus on two aspects of the former Chief Secretary to the Treasury’s expense claims.
The first will be the monthly rental payments Mr Laws made to James Lundie.
The Daily Telegraph expenses files show that from April 2004, Mr Laws claimed £700 a month rent for a room in Mr Lundie’s south London flat. The MP’s monthly rent rose to £780 at the beginning of January 2005 and then to £920 in February 2006.
In 2007, Mr Lundie sold the flat for a profit of almost £200,000 and bought a house nearby for £510,000.
Mr Laws rented a bedroom in this property for £950 a month.
During the five-year period, Mr Laws’s rent claims came to more than £40,000.
The Liberal Democrat MP said he had paid rent to
Mr Lundie since at least
2001, when they became lovers.
In 2006, the parliamentary authorities banned MPs from paying rent to “partners”.
Sir Thomas Legg who conducted the expenses inquiry ruled that such arrangements, even before 2006, were
unacceptable. He described such transactions as “conflicted”.
Mr Lyons is also expected to study a series of other claims made by Mr Laws.
Between 2004 and 2008, Mr Laws billed monthly for maintenance, repairs, telephone bills, food and utilities.
The claims were typically in “rounded” numbers and receipts were not provided.
Over the four-year period, the claims for such items totalled more than £30,000.
The MP was also facing questions over whether he should have declared an interest when hosting an event in the Palace of Westminster for Edelman, a lobbying firm that employed Mr Lundie.
The official list of functions sponsored by MPs shows that Mr Laws hosted a dinner for Edelman with 14 guests on Sept 7, 2004.
Danny Alexander, new Treasury chief, avoided capital gains tax on house
The new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, avoided paying capital gains tax when he sold his taxpayer-funded second home at a profit, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Mr Alexander, who was appointed on Saturday after the resignation of fellow Liberal Democrat David Laws, designated the property as his second home for the purpose of claiming parliamentary expenses but described it to HM Revenue and Customs as his main home.
Last night Mr Alexander admitted that he took advantage of a loophole to legally avoid paying CGT on the sale of the south London property for £300,000 in June 2007.
When Mr Alexander sold his flat, the top rate of CGT was 40 per cent. It has since dropped to 18 per cent but the Lib Dems are now pushing for it to be increased to 40 or even 50 per cent.
The Daily Telegraph is running a campaign calling on the Government to protect the savings of small investors and ordinary second-home owners from any rise in CGT.
The fact that Mr Alexander has become the second Lib Dem to face questions about his finances within three days has focused attention on whether the party leadership has properly audited the financial activities of its senior figures.
The Conservatives thoroughly audited all of their MPs’ claims at the time of the expenses scandal. Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister, has been highly critical of MPs who avoided capital gains tax on the sale of their taxpayer-funded second homes.
After being elected as an MP in 2005, Mr Alexander declared the flat in south London as his second home to the parliamentary authorities. He claimed more than £37,000 in expenses for the flat, and carried out some work to the property at the taxpayers’ expense shortly before selling in June 2007.
Mr Alexander took advantage of a tax loophole that allows people to continue to tell the tax authorities for three years that a property is their main home even if they have bought another house – in Mr Alexander’s case in Scotland – which has become their “principal residence”.
However, this did not stop him telling the authorities at the House of Commons that the London property was his second home.
The three-year loophole was introduced to give people time to sell their homes during housing market downturns. However, the Lib Dems have previously criticised its capacity to be abused.
Last year, they attempted to change the law to reduce the period to six months unless people were genuinely struggling to sell their home after moving to another property. This was not the case for Mr Alexander.
Senior accountants last night likened Mr Alexander’s arrangements to those of Hazel Blears, the former Labour minister. Miss Blears was forced to repay money to HM Revenue and Customs after selling a property designated as her second home for parliamentary purposes, without paying CGT.
There is no suggestion that Mr Alexander has broken any tax laws.
Mr Alexander said last night that he had bought the flat in south London in 1999. It is not known how much he paid for the property. Around the time he bought it, flats in the same row of terrace houses were sold for between £144,000 and £235,000, meaning he is likely to have made tens of thousands of pounds of profit.
He said that it was his only and therefore main home until 2005. During this period he was working as a press officer, including a period representing the Cairngorm National Park.
He was elected as the MP for Inverness in 2005, after which he began claiming expenses for the south London flat as his second home. His main home was in Scotland at this time. During the next two years, he claimed almost £37,000 in second home allowances for the London property.
At the time, MPs could claim about £22,000 a year towards the cost of living in the capital or in their constituency. Mr Alexander’s claims included up to £550 a month to pay the interest on the property’s mortgage, and hundreds more in monthly utility and maintenance bills. He also claimed £2,113 for a new boiler, £2,094 for a sofa and two chairs, and £332 for a new washing machine at the flat.
Claims were also made to fix the roof of the property before the MP sold the flat in August 2007. At the time, capital gains tax was levied at 40 per cent on the profits of a second home.
Mr Alexander said last night that he had been “advised” that he was not liable for the tax but admitted it was his second home for parliamentary purposes.
“I have always listed London as my second home on the basis set out in the parliamentary rules as I spent more time in my constituency than I did in London,” he said.
“I sold the [south London] flat in 2007 and moved to another flat but was advised that CGT was not payable because of the operation of final period relief, which exempts homes from CGT for 36 months after they stop being the main home. I paid all the taxes required but CGT was not payable on the disposal of my flat. I have already publicly declared that I will pay capital gains tax if the time comes for me to sell my [new] second home.”
After selling the flat, he moved to a new London home with far higher mortgage interest costs. He also claimed moving costs from the taxpayer. Mr Alexander’s claims for mortgage interest rose to £1,100 – more than double their previous level. They have recently fallen to reflect low interest rates.
The new Treasury minister also claimed more than £1,800 from his office allowances to pay a firm of chartered accountants for financial advice. One invoice specified that the firm advised him on tax and prepared his personal self assessment form.
Last night, a spokesman for Mr Alexander said he had not claimed for financial advice on his CGT situation.
The claims appear to undermine repeated claims by Mr Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, that no Lib Dem MP profited from the expenses system.
In the first televised leaders’ debate, Mr Clegg said: “There are MPs who flipped one property to the next, buying property, paid by you, the taxpayer, and then they would do the properties up, paid for by you, and pocket the difference in personal profit.’’
Mr Laws claimed up to £950 a month for eight years to rent a room in two properties owned by Mr Lundie. But, since 2006, parliamentary rules have banned MPs from “leasing accommodation from a partner”.
Ex Swinton councillor O’Neill thinks politicians are doing wrong if they are gay and not out. Unthinking, uncaring and illiberal.
I for one could not understand that in todays society someone should have concerns about being gay. I am also concerned about the sums of money involved. But sorry i did forget he his a liberal i wonder if the shoe had been on the other foot and he had been labour?. Like Mr Cooke i am putting forward an opinion. If you don’t like my point of view i suggest you dont read it. If Mr laws felt he had done nothing wrong then i suggest he should have stayed on, he did not.