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Working life
By gpig (Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 01:04:29 AM EST) (all tags)
which will officially take my working time down to 28 hours a week.

[Update by gpig 23/08/2006] Unholed because I want to keep the discussion, give me a shout if you object.




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I just signed a letter | 44 comments (44 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Good for you by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 01:23:22 AM EST
Hope it makes you happy - I'm convinced I need to do a similar thing, but then I've been convinced of that for about 4 years and have not done anything to bring it about.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

I have wanted to do this for a long time too by gpig (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 02:23:13 AM EST
Where I worked before it wasn't really an option. Now I'm at the University there's a proper procedure. Also it is more the done thing, probably at least third of my colleagues have some reduced hours or regular working from home.
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[ Parent ]
I would if I could by Phage (4.00 / 2) #2 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 01:57:15 AM EST
But the mortgage decrees otherwise.
WIPO - Learn an instrument, write a novel, enter a marathon etc.

Nice one by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 02:18:57 AM EST
I only do 35, it's chuffing great despite the lower pay. You won't regret it.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

And whilst you're off gallivanting by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 02:46:12 AM EST
Others are nose to the grindstone, paying the tax so you can get your lovely free tax credits.


[ Parent ]
But that's ok by DullTrev (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 03:16:20 AM EST

Because those of us paid from your taxes only do 37 hours.


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DFJ?
[ Parent ]
You forgot by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 04:09:36 AM EST
To also crow about your wonderful pension scheme, retire at 50 on full pay and all that.

How is your new job/not a new job thing going, anyway?  Have they sorted you out yet?


[ Parent ]
Get a lower paid job by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 03:29:03 AM EST
You won't have to pay so much taxes then.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
...Aaaaand by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 04:08:31 AM EST
Who makes up the shortfall?


[ Parent ]
People who get paid more! by nebbish (4.00 / 4) #11 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 04:16:06 AM EST
You get paid more, you pay higher taxes. Seems perfectly fair to me.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Let's do some sums here then, eh? by Breaker (4.00 / 3) #14 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 07:47:34 AM EST
Let's say person A works 35 hours a week, and earns £21K a year.

Assume a basic rate of 25% income tax on that for the first 25K, then 40% on anything over and above that.

A's net earnings are £15,750, and assuming a 47 week working year, A racks up 1645 hours.

A's net hourly rate is £9.57 and paid £5250 in tax on a year at an overall rate of 25%.

Let's say person B works 50 hours a week, and earns £50K a year.

Assume the same rate of tax on that, and the same number of weeks in a year.

B's net earnings are £18,750 on the first 25K, and then £15,000 on the next 25K.  Total net earnings are £33,750 and assuming a 47 week working year, B  rack up 2350 hours.

B's net hourly rate is £14.36 and paid £16250 in tax on a year at an overall rate of almost 33%.

B has paid 309% more tax, and that's not even including if person A gets a tax credit.

Does that sound fair to you?


[ Parent ]
309% more tax? by gpig (4.00 / 3) #17 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 02:41:34 PM EST
33 / 25 = 1.32

B has paid 32% more tax as a proportion of income.

Alternatively, if you want to talk about absolute figures, I'd work out what constitutes enough to live on, then compare the amount you get to keep after that.

e.g. assume that £10k after tax is enough to live on (which it probably is if you're not in London).

Then A has £5750 to spend on beer, pie and hookers, B has £23750.

B has more than four times the disposable income of A.

Probably, however, B has no time to spend any of this money and barely enough to go back to sleep in the house that he has just managed to afford the mortgage for. A gave up on getting a mortgage ages ago so spends the £5750 on cheap cider and a fast internet connection.

I don't know if that sounds fair. It's just life.
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[ Parent ]
That is solely on earnings. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #19 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 11:44:42 PM EST
Add into that the fact that A is probably claiming some form of benefit (be that tax credit or cheap council housing).  And that B is probably in line for tax on their private health cover, and the tax burden widens further.

And this in Bliar's "fairer society".

What really strokes my monnkey lime green sideways  is when A wants to reduce their work hours and their tax contribution, and expects B to pay for the shortfall in their earnings and tax contribution. 


[ Parent ]
You can get a council house if you earn £21k? by gpig (4.00 / 1) #21 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 12:04:16 AM EST
Please tell me your secrets.

As for tax credit, possibly -- if that person is the main wage earner for a family. I haven't got any problem with that really, it's for the benefit of the kids not the parents.

I can kind of see why you're pissed off, even though I don't agree. What's your alternative suggestion? Fixed rate tax all the way up? Minimum working hours?

In my case, I am actually going to try to start a business using my extra working day. So when it all goes horribly wrong, you hard workers will end up having to pay (indirectly through the banking system) for the bankruptcy of my company, too.
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[ Parent ]
I dunno by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 12:20:15 AM EST
Having been raised not to be a burden on the state I've never tried to get a council house.

The alternative suggestion can't really be legislated.  It's more of an attitude thing.  When I was in my teens, accepting help from the state was something you did if it had all gone wrong (serious illness, redundancy etc).  Now it's seen as more of a lifestyle choice to live off the state and I don't see that changing through legislation.  People don't see that the nation's money is in fact, our money.

One idea I've been toying with (and not found any research on, either) is have all tax gathered as VAT.  Obviously, living costs do not attract taxes (food, heating oil, bog roll, water, nappies etc) but "luxury" goods do.  You'd hit an astonishing rate of VAT, but tax would be based on consumption rather than earnings.  Not being an economist I'm unsure of how viable it is as a system though.  You do get a cheaper to collect, more straightforward taxation system though, which is harder to game by the rich and poor alike.


[ Parent ]
You have to be homeless to get a council house by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #24 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 12:22:35 AM EST
And the waiting list in some areas (eg all of London) can be as long as ten years, so it's not exactly an easy option.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I bow to your hands on knowledge! by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 12:24:53 AM EST
But what happens if my landlord refuses to extend my lease on my current place?  I'd be technically homeless when the current lease expires...


[ Parent ]
A few things going against you... by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #26 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 12:46:56 AM EST
You have no children and have a network of friends and family who can help you out (sorry, presuming a bit here), you'd be told to go to them because the alternative isn't very pleasant.

Without that support you can expect to be placed in a hostel pretty quickly (this has improved loads in recent years), and spend years in this adequate shelter with the various alcoholics, drug addicts and other chaotics you share with. This usually sorts out those who can get it together and rent privately from those who genuinely can't.

Most new single council tenants have issues with addiction or mental or physical illness. Families get housed a lot quicker but will also spend time in a family hostel or bed and breakfast.

And once you get through all that, the houses are crap.

The old days of easy cheap housing are gone, loads of council homes have been sold through the Right To Buy scheme and they're not building many more.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Thanks for that. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 01:00:05 AM EST
It's pretty interesting.  So my plan of building workhouses is a pretty decent one then.

What reforms would you like to see?


[ Parent ]
Big question that by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #28 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 01:13:51 AM EST
I think it's wrong to look at council housing just as a safety net for the poor, when the rent can provide long-term revenue for the council. I'd like to see more built, and them becoming part of the broader housing market. It'd bring down house prices as well.

The Right To Buy scheme has been put on hold in London and a lot of other cities because it has caused a shortage - once more council houses are built I'd like to see it brought back, it brings more of a social mix to estates with students renting from private landlords, young professionals getting on the housing ladder etc, which makes estates nicer places to live.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I don't like that idea by gpig (4.00 / 2) #30 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 01:28:28 AM EST
The council already runs lots of aspects of life, I'd be a bit scared if they actively wanted to be my landlord too.

A better solution would be to create an environment which encourages more housing cooperatives. (Specifically, it's a pain in the arse trying to get somebody to lend you money as an organisation if you're not trying to make a profit).

Once they get going these should be cheaper than commercial rented accommodation. There's a few still around in Edinburgh, generally they're quite old though (i.e. not many new housing coops around).

If you think Right to Buy is important, well you could implement that as a shared equity housing coop -- you're 'buying' as you pay rent.

I've spent far too long thinking about these things (as a result of a failed attempt to set one up) so I could probably diary about it more later.
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[ Parent ]
Housing co-ops by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #31 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 01:37:22 AM EST
I work for one. The estate is owned by Wandsworth Council and is a council estate, but is managed by the tenants who appoint a committee, who I'm employed by (though Wandsworth pay my wages). Decisions are a mixture of the Committee's and Wandsworth's and they liase regularly.

I think it works really well, a few teething problems aside, and it's a way of doing things that's growing fast.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
That solves the money lending problem I suppose by gpig (4.00 / 1) #32 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 01:41:13 AM EST
I hadn't considered starting a coop to rent rather than buy. Most of the people I knew who were interested in a new coop wanted at least some form of equity sharing, so not really an option anyway.

That said as soon as I realised I didn't have enough people in my circle of friends to get it going I gave up. I probably should have considered getting some Randoms in.
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[ Parent ]
Would it though? by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #34 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 02:22:22 AM EST
I mean, provide long term revenue?  Would the amount of rent that the council would be able to charge be sufficient to pay the loan that the council would have to take out in order to build new places?

I'm not arguing with you here BTW, I like your idea, just unsure of how it'd play out fiscally.  Can't seem to find interest rates for a 25 year mortgage on 30 million quid...  I can make some approximations though; how much would the average council tenant be able to afford monthly for a 2 bedroom flat do you think?

When I come to power in 2012, I totally have my Housing Minister lined up...


[ Parent ]
Heh by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #36 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 02:27:09 AM EST
Better get someone other than me to do the maths though...

You might be right about it not paying off long-term. There's inflation to consider as well, injecting vast amounts of cash into the economy can cause problems.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Oh, we'll have a Maths Minister as well by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #37 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 02:53:24 AM EST
So no worries there.

And let's not forget that lovely stamp duty that Gordon "Texture Like Sun" Brown is getting at the minute from inflated house prices.


[ Parent ]
Hit post too soon... by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 12:22:28 AM EST
What sort of business are you thinking of starting?  Bank managers are good people to talk to before you start, and I think there's a Small Business Advisory Service (think they may have changed their name though) that will help you get off to a good start.

And don't forget, the business could take off and you'll be joining in with me whining about how much tax we pay!


[ Parent ]
Business by gpig (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 01:16:02 AM EST
Something web based, still brainstorming ideas. I'm going into it with a couple of other folks, I'm not insane enough to think that one day a week on my own is enough to get something started. We're already getting advice from people who have done this sort of thing before (successfully). If it does get going then you'll notice when you see the ad on here :)

I hope I'll never whine about how much tax I pay. When I get my payslip, I only ever look at the little number. Anyway, the only reason I'm still whole and healthy is some pretty extensive treatment from the NHS (on more than one occasion). Even if I did care about it balancing up, I'd probably still be owing.
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[ Parent ]
Oh I got your business RIGHT HERE! by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 02:13:10 AM EST
Set up an online pet food delivery site!

I've no qualms about paying tax for the NHS save peoples lives and so on.  I do however whine when disproportionate amounts are taken from me and squandered or given to the undeserving and the feckless.


[ Parent ]
I hear your pain by gpig (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 02:23:03 AM EST
Come to think of it, I do whinge about how tax money is spent, specifically in the area of IT projects -- just because it's the one area where I know they could do better.

Can I have that idea for free? Scanning for domain names now. I favour 'mogmunch' (com or co uk), I would see if it's available but I fear typing any random domain in at work.
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[ Parent ]
Idea is for free! by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 02:54:47 AM EST
And be careful browsing for domain names.  Some squatters track the number of speculative visits and then adjust their price for the domain name accordingly...


[ Parent ]
Hold on by idiot boy (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 05:22:11 AM EST
Isn't the SBAS (unfortunate acronym) funded by ... tax payers?

Personally, I'm in the flat taxtax simplification camp. No rebates, credits or other tools of cack handed social engineering, just income tax, plain and simple.

I don't really mind paying the tax but the complexity of it all drives me nuts.

[ Parent ]
By the look of it by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 05:50:24 AM EST
It's sponsored and receives EU funding.  So I suppose it is tax funded, at least partly.  I've no beef about tax payers money being used to help people have a go; I do have a beef about tax payers money being used to subsidise the lazy.

"flat taxtax (...) camp"
You are Gordon "Texture Like Sun" Brown and I claim my £5!  When TLS Brown takes over the reins of Nu Labia, welcome to taxtaxtax!

So, one flat rate of income tax across the board, or  banded levels?


[ Parent ]
Ideally one rate yes by idiot boy (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 06:20:49 AM EST
Poll tax here we come.

A single rate with a much larger no-tax band at the bottom.

It's never gonna happen in the UK so I'd settle for simplification. Sadly, it's not in the Treasury's interest to do it.

[ Parent ]
Yeah by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #42 Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 06:26:41 AM EST
Too many of the Turkey Brigade in the Tax department.  Only way to dislodge them is to vote Nu Labia out.


[ Parent ]
Agreed by idiot boy (2.00 / 0) #43 Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 01:59:04 AM EST
Though the alternatives are hardly attractive. The prospect of Brown as PM terrifies me. We keep hearing about how he and Blair keep information from one another, it's crazy. It's like having a couple of five year olds running the country.

The idea of Dave "Nice but Dim" hardly appeals though.

[ Parent ]
There will have to be a day of reckoning. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #44 Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 02:13:42 AM EST
And that day will be in 2012.  Vote Breaker!


[ Parent ]
If anyone brings up numbers by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #18 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 11:30:19 PM EST
I have to concede defeat, because I just haven't got a bloody clue.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Hehe by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #20 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 11:46:45 PM EST
Never go into politics nebbish, you're far too honest!

Insert failing educational standards rant here. []  <---


[ Parent ]
Everybody thank Breaker! by yicky yacky (4.00 / 3) #13 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 05:27:36 AM EST

He is, after all, making up the shortfall for everybody else.

I'd be irate if I was doing that, too. Poor sod.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Damned right! by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #15 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 07:48:23 AM EST
On my shoulders, the bill for social policy rests!


[ Parent ]
Have you not heard of a little thing by idiot boy (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 04:53:33 AM EST
called pro rata then?

[ Parent ]
Good on you by lm (4.00 / 2) #6 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 03:14:26 AM EST
I've only got a verbal agreement for something similar, but my boss is the type that will honor that. He's a rare bird. He isn't even going to cut my salary, just not give me a raise this year.

I'm going to use the spare time to start taking lessons in Attic Greek at the local university.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
wipo by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Aug 22, 2006 at 01:55:39 PM EST
train like a pro athlete.

I just signed a letter | 44 comments (44 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback