Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Child Benefit

A mother (or father) at home is not a burden on the state – far from it – he/she is actually bringing up his/her own children. In fact you could cast her as an entrepreneur or even running a small business !

Whereas a mother and/or etc father who both work are actually more of a burden as they are expecting other people to bring up their children. And even though they are earning two incomes they expect to be subsidised and are very often subsidised via child tax credits, child benefit (which is more available to these couples) and childcare voucher tax breaks/nanny tax. Even when their earnings are in the £100,000s they can claim tax breaks on the money they pay towards childcare. The nurseries and the nursery nurses etc are subsidised often by local councils and very often local councils provide free advertising of their services.

Meanwhile the mother who is looking after her own children – whether by desire or by circumstances, has given up her own salary to look after her children.

However in both cases, children do not look after themselves. We need to get our heads around this. Someone has to care for them. And in both cases there should be money going towards that, if we value those children for our society.
We do need children – demographically the population of the UK is aging and we need workers etc to provide income to support the retired and older members of that society. More to the point, we need educated, well behaved children who can contribute to that society. Families and
society can judge how this can best be achieved. Most families, even when the mother “stays at home”, will take children to become involved in toddler groups, playgroups and at the age of 3 they are entitled to a part time nursery place. This can be good for children and often these places can provide the activities like painting, arts and crafts, outdoor play etc that would be difficult to provide at home every day ! I would suggest as a minimum for society we should ensure that all children are brought to such activities so that mothers are integrated into society and families are not allowed to languish “at home”.

But my current complaint is the lack of subsidies or funding via the benefit system for “stay at home” parents .
And added to that the fact that benefits and tax breaks are actually being given to very well off parents is just madness when finances in society are so tight.

The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government need to quickly rethink this as we are now talking about a discrepancy of £5,000 a year between a family with one earner on £60,000 as opposed to a family with two earners on £30,000 when you take into account two personal tax allowances for the second family, the first family pays 40% rate of tax and only the first family loses child benefit. That is the difference of a new car every year in tax paid !!!!!!

But even more ridiculous is a family with both on £50,000 can keep child benefit, get two personal allowances and can probably claim back some tax in childcare voucher scheme.
And even richer families I believe can use the childcare voucher scheme.

I can give you an example of a stay at home mother who “stayed at home” for the years her children were young, but is now self employed and working numerous hours a week to earn £5,000 to £10,000 but what is annoying is that her earnings are basically just going straight into what other families get to keep as tax – its very annoying to say the least ! Yet another family with two earners on £30,000 and £40,000 get to keep the tax.

Also you might think I am talking about rich families here, but a family with one earner on £60,000 actually end up with after tax the same as a family with two earners on the minimum wage. So we are not talking about very well off families here, much as the government would like to make it seem like it !!

And here is a graphic of the discrepancies when the total income is £70,000, there is a difference of up to £7,500 in net income after tax etc depending on whether there is one or two earners and how much each earn – this is plainly unfair. Particularly as among my friends the people who have a husband (or wife) on a large salary like £70,000, then its often due to them having to work away or abroad or at least away for a few nights each week. So there are reasons for the big salary and often this makes family life more complicated and necessitates that the other parent is more available for looking after the children.

Preventing Metal Thieves

The stories of metal thieving have gone on and on and nothing seems to be done about it.

Many involve safety issues such as when the copper wiring that provides the signalling for trains has been removed – this is unbelievable that anyone would do this.

And this latest one left firefighters in a tower block having to use buckets of water to tackle a blaze as essential dry riser pipes had been removed by metal thieves - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-22179165

On other occassions significant inconvenience is caused – I have heard about a village where the cables for their broadband was removed seven times last year leaving people who were running businesses from their houses unable to communicate for days on end. This is unacceptable.  And locally where I live there have been churches targetted for lead, resulting in a congregation having to raise a further £7,000 which should be instead going to good causes. And every piece of public metal seems to be vulnerable – memorials, street signs, you name it. If you dont pin it down and guard it, then its gone !

However I can propose a reasonably simple solution.

The legitimate trade in metal, presumable comes from a variety of sources. From buildings being dismantled on either a small or large scale. From for example plumbers taking out pipes. Beyond that I cant quite think of further examples – comments please !
However all these people, if trading legitimately, can be issued with metal certificate booklets. These would be legal documents similar to MOT Certificates in their importance.

So, for example, take the example of a local builder who is working on a church. If the lead is to be removed and replaces with for example PVC, then the builder would obtain a signature from the Vicar, Minister or Priest, on that form with a brief description of the metal product. It could be signed and dated and the address of the property given.

It is then delivered to the metal scrap merchant, weighed and again signed for and recorded.

The original or a carbon copy of the original builder’s certificate with signature would have to be submitted at this stage and sent in to the government department overseeing this. (Again a similar process happens when you have to buy a new number plate – that information is all submitted via a computer to check that people are not fraudulently purchasing number plates.)

 End of story !

If people are illegitimately removing lead from a roof then in that case, firstly they would soon be caught using this method. Presumably they would firstly either have to completely fraudulently fill out a form, or they would work their way through their friends and neighbours and persuade them to complete the form to claim the lead was removed from their house or premises.  However in the end this would catch up with them by a simple cross examination of their accounts and where they are working etc etc.

It seems like a possible solution to me !
What do you think ?

A fraudulent scrap metal dealer who decided to accept metal without questioning the sources or who similarly falsified documents would again be quickly found out as the weights of metal etc that he traded onwards would not match up with the weights of metal that he had accepted from the legitimate sources. So once the metal is on his premises, the weights of each consignment along with its source should be identifiable. I presume they all have weighing methods on their premises otherwise how would they have traded so far !

Please forward to anyone you can think of who would be interested or able to do something about this.