Wealth distribution / tax avoidance and austerity :: prelude

I originally intended to concentrate on UK wealth distribution and tax evasion. That works well since UK wealth distribution and tax avoidance are inextricably (cannot be detangled) linked. We are (I am?) concerned with reality here and the reality that is becoming increasing clear is that UK wealth distribution is about wealth inequality, tax avoidance but also the austerity agenda.

As a prelude or preamble, a vid by 38degrees about TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). I would urge people to be active in the democratic process because democracy needs active participation. You can join political campaigns like 38degrees or change.org, start a political blog like my own or even be a shouty man or woman ;)

1.50am ed: Apologies, I forgot again. I wonder if there’s a sadistic element to it. The bedroom tax and the withdrawal of tax credits for the most vulnerable is so nasty – is it not also sadistic? Forcing people to leave their homes of many decades and forcing people into more extreme poverty are the issues here.

Continue ReadingWealth distribution / tax avoidance and austerity :: prelude

Appeal against the bedroom tax!

There’s a judgement that says a bedroom is a room furnished as a bedroom or used to sleep in. All bedroom tax decisions can be appealed. Time is running out to appeal.

The Bedroom Tax is Dead here’s why | SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites)

Bedroom Tax – Finally Killed by Plain Old Common-Sense?

The effect of this outbreak of common-sense is that, potentially, any or all of the original Bedroom Tax decisions taking effect last April are wrong – as councils cannot have known the actual situation and were making decisions based on an assumption that the rooms concerned were bedrooms. What’s more, despite the time elapsed since then, these decisions are still appealable – appeals can be accepted up to thirteen months after the date of the original decision. This clearly makes it important to act quickly. Anyone in any doubt about the correctness of their Bedroom Tax decision should write to the local authority decision-maker and seek an appeal in their own individual case. But this must be done soon – it will probably be too late by April.

The implications of this legal development may even go so far as to invalidate all of the decisions. If a room isn’t habitually used as a bedroom, it may fall outwith the normal everyday definition of the word – and therefore beyond the scope of the legislation as it stands. Technically, in order to assess whether a particular room qualifies as a “bedroom”, the local authority would have to go out and inspect it. In practice, this would be a task on a scale made impossible by limitations on resources. But unless a property has been thus assessed, then no decision can properly be made.

 

Continue ReadingAppeal against the bedroom tax!

Commentary and analysis of recent political events

Number of homeless in England has risen for 3 years in a row, report says

Homelessness has increased for three consecutive years, partly because of housing shortages and cuts to benefits, with an estimated 185,000 people a year now affected in England, a report says.

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Crisis found almost one in 10 people experience homelessness at some point in their life, with one in 50 experiencing it in the last five years.

Responding to the report, Emma Reynolds, the shadow housing minister, accused David Cameron of breaking his promises to tackle homelessness and get Britain building.

“Homelessness has risen every year under this government, the number of families with children living in bed and breakfasts is at a 10-year high and house-building is at its lowest in peacetime since the 1920s,” she said.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, urged the government to address a chronic lack of affordable housing and consider the impact of its cuts to housing benefit, such as the bedroom tax, welfare cap and shared accommodation rate.

Image of Accident and emergencyA&E Winter Crisis: Patients Wait 12 Hours

Hundreds of patients are being forced to wait more than four hours to be seen by accident and emergency departments as the winter crisis begins.

It is the first time since April that emergency departments have struggled to hit their four-hour targets as admissions to A&E hit the highest level since data started being collected in November 2010.

According to NHS England figures, 3,678 patients across the country were forced to wait between four and 12 hours for treatment.

Five patients were not seen for more than 12 hours last week – the busiest week of the year with 415,000 people visiting A&E departments.

Waiting times were worst in major A&E wards where just 92.2% of patients were seen within four hours.

Free-Market Ideology: The Destruction of Lives

The over-policing of America

BoJo the bozo: Cycling safety campaigners slam Boris Johnson over lack of helmet and hi-viz 

Idiot Johnson is not the only one setting a poor example. As a cyclist, I advise you to wear a helmet as I was advised by my GP (doctor). If you fall from a bike, you’re falling six feet or so possibly with your head impacting the ground. Even presidents can have a ‘bicycle accident’.

Continue ReadingCommentary and analysis of recent political events