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Phillip Dearden

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Everything posted by Phillip Dearden

  1. Isn't there a chance that this would increase the total amount payable?
  2. Because the pensions are not owed by a company or some pension trustees, they are an obligation of the government.
  3. Well said John - I didn't want to say this again as I was sounding like a stuck record. CS/PS Pensions have always been paid out of tax revenues. The reserve and the fact that some of the payments are charged to it is an accounting detail - the cash used is tax revenue and there is no separate fund, as there is with company pension schemes. Rather than worrying about the reserve, the matter to be concerned about is whether future revenues will be adequate to fund all government commitments, including pension payments.
  4. Well said Derek. The Forum would also be a more effective forum if commentators focused on issues rather than insulting each other or third parties.
  5. When I have met dual-residence it was often due to poor planning or lack of effort so I think you are generally right here but it can sometimes be the result of very good of expensive [or both] tax planning..or just the result of a complex lifestyle. I appreciate we are going down a bit of an irrelevant tangent for which I apologise but you did say "You can’t be tax resident in both. " when, in fact, you can. In a similar vein, most IOM resident have not been taxed in respect of UK source dividends for some time [similar, in that it is a bit of a tangent but I just wanted to clarify for the readers]
  6. You can be dual-resident. It's not a nice thing but it can happen.
  7. I was referring to the total of all funds, reserves, capital and revenue accounts ie the total of the Balance Sheet ie Net Assets/Liabilities.
  8. There are two important points there. 1. The PSPR is not very relevant. The government funds pensions with its own cash (there is no separate ring-fenced fund, as there would be with a company pension scheme). When pensions are paid the costs needs to be charged somewhere, while the PSPR has capacity we can charge them there. Practically, it is the availablilty of cash that matters, not the PSPR. [In accounting, when we pay pensions, we credit cash and have to put a debit somewhere - to most taxpayers and pensioners it will not be of great import whether the debit goes to PSPR or General Revcenue Account] 2. I think CT did say that pensions had now become sustainable. It is good that CT is confident and I expect he has either seen cash flows or spoken to people who have. I hope they were prepared on robust assumptions. This is the key to PSPR affordability.
  9. The quoting of reserves figures for the IOM Government is not a very helpful thing. The total of all Funds, Reserves and Revenue accounts in the 2019 accounts was minus 58m. This is obviously not an attractive number but the Government's main source of income is its power to tax the population and that is not in the accounts (although the revenue this "power" produces is in the Income statement). If you think the Government Balance sheet is important, this is a worrying number, personally I suggest interested parties should focus on cash flow. The Government needs cash to fund services and pay pensions and the Reserves figure is not very helpful here. Total Funds and Reserves and Revenue account (ie Balance Sheet total) were plus £3bn in 2010 so they have reduced significantly. Much of this reduction is due to re-appraisal of pension provisions. The "billions in reserves" comment arises because the Government treats certain of its capital/reserves accounts as official reserves. The Capital Fund and Reserves were 2.9bn in 2010 and are now 1.7bn. Both are significant numbers but I suggest it is more sensible to look at the total figure rather than to pick a figure or group of figures to look at in isolation. The NI fund was £914m. If you thought that was "ring-fenced" or unavailable (I don't), the remaining "funds" would be much reduced.
  10. I say this with some trepidation, but... are you sure? I have two queries; 1. Ordinarily seems to be an amplification of what we mean by resident ie it is adding extra description to the term resident. If this is right, you would have to be resident to be ordinarily resident. This would not be the case if there was a separate definition of "ordinary resident" but I can't find one in the ROTPA 1005 or the Regs. I accept it might be somewhere else unknown to me. 2. In the tax world, which I appreciate we are not in, Ordinarily Resident, means resident year after year ie not a one-off. The tax definitions might not mean anything for voting legislation but I suspect they might be taken into account if there is no definition within the voting laws. If there is no clear definition, this would seem unusual for something so fundamental but that is the way UK and IOM tax operated for many years. Tax was/is applied on the basis of residence but there was no clear statute to say what this meant. There was case-law but some of this conflicted and much of it came from a time when people were not as mobile as they are now and so was not too helpful. [BUT don't be alarmed, in most cases a person's residence is clear - it is the marginal cases that became tricky].
  11. Have you looked at real data? Average transaction value and volumes of sales have been steadily increasing over the period you mention.
  12. "I could not be less interested in the Royals" Yet there are 7bn other people on the planet that you did not start a thread about.
  13. "House Prices Dip"..but did they? Chris and Derek suggest we look at the data. As it is raining and the dogs won't go out, I did. I don't think a record of sales can tell you whether house prices are falling or rising. If you sell 4 houses at £1m in year 1, and then sell 8 houses at 500k in year 2, your average price will have fallen dramatically but is it really the case that prices have fallen or is it that the type and size of houses being sold has changed? I suspect that any change in the average sale price is a mixture of price changes and a change in the mix of property types being sold. What can we tell? Well; a) average prices seem quite stable, b) volumes are increasing steadily, c) some price-bands (per many anecdotes) sell better than others. Ignore 2019 as it seems many transactions not registered yet. There is a dip in 2009 as the world reacts to the Financial Crisis, this dip mirrors the FTSE. There is a smaller dip in 2011, a similar dip also happened in the FTSE but much smaller. Perhaps we are more sensitive. After that volumes have steadily increased. This is all property transactions so it includes land, commercial and some very large transactions. There are slight variations but I suggest recent years are very steady. These prices do not take account of inflation so, in real terms, prices are slipping. This is total value of transactions. It seems to be steadily increasing for the last 7 years. I often hear it said that houses in band £X to £y are selling, but over £z, no chance. This graph shows that there is much truth in these anecdotes. The bands £100k to 200k and 200k to 300k, each show sales of about 600 units per annum. This is double the 300k to 400k band at about 300 units per annum. All other bands are much less significant. There are many sales at £0 or £1, I suspect these are not commercial transactions (gifts, wills, re-organisatiions etc). I think this one might be difficult to see. This is sales in bands by value. It shows that the band 200k to 300k produces by far the greatest value of transactions - about £150m pa. The value of transactions in the three most significant bands is increasing. I did more but a lot of the results were boring. Some snippets; There are about 2,000 transactions pa Av value is about 270k (but this is lots of different transaction types) There were 31 transactions over £5m, all seem to be commercial properties. I could see no discenible pattern re seasonal variations NB Base rate plummeted in 2008 so cheap cash has maintained prices and volume more than might otherwise have happened. Any increase in interest rates could have an opposite effect. For some, borrowing became very cheap in 2008/9. Please all feel free to explain/discuss what the above means. I did this in a spare half hour because it was raining. I expect it includes errors, needs lots of checking and no-one should use it for making serious decisions. The numbers are all based on the govt. data re land transactions.
  14. I have to agree with Roger on this one. The direct taxes are progressive up to £784 pw or 40,768 pa, then it all becomes a bit static. I suggest you should include Employers NI as this is a tax cost of employing and employers will consider it in hiring decisions. If you look at employee taxes alone then after £784, there is employee NI at 1% and IT at 20% ie marginal rate of 21% (up to tax cap). Thus, we have marginal rates rising from 0% to 31% and then a flat marginal rate of 21%. That is progressive up to a point and then not so progressive. If you include Employer NI, then you eventually get to 12.8% Employer NI, 1% Employee NI and 20% Income tax. To get to this point combined marginal rates increase from 0% up to 43.8% and then flatten at 33.8%. For people on circa 50k, the total average tax take is about 29% and this remains almost constant up to the cap.
  15. I think this is wrong. You can argue about the justification for the level and nature of tax but that is a political decision. In my experience the Income Tax Division try to be fair and helpful and their machinery is set up to produce automatic rebates where appropriate.
  16. I don't think so...but I could be wrong. From 2007 accounts; 10.16Pensions Isle of Man Government employees participate in twenty-eight different pension schemes. These are all unfunded schemes which are regulated by the terms of each individual scheme. The net costs of pensions and other retirement benefits, after allowing for contributions where appropriate from employees, are met from the Revenue Votes of Executive Government on a pay-as-you-go basis. I take this to mean that in 2007 there were several schemes (ie pre GUS) and they were unfunded. From Cabinet Office 2016; Pay as You Go Schemes 2.1 All of the Island’s schemes (excluding Post Office and Local Government Schemes) are “Pay-as-you-go” Schemes as they are generally in the UK. There is no fund of money building up via contributions and investment returns, therefore the contributions received by employees and employers go straight out to pay both pensions, tax free lump sums and other benefit payments. Any shortfall is then met from the Public Sector Employees Pensions Reserve Fund and from General Revenue as determined by Treasury each year. I take this to mean that in 2016 we had moved to GUS which involved increased contributions, we still had no fund. PSPA The PSPA started in 1997 and initially took in transfer values from incoming employees ie monies that would have gone into a fund if we had one. Initially it seems to have received less than £10m pa. The first chunky transfers I can see are £28m in 2007 and £29m in 2008 although I seem to recall a 50m or 60m transfer in this period (but can't find any evidence). I see no evidence or even suggestion of separate control. The assets and "reserve" side appear on the Government's Balance Sheet. It seems to me that some Government funds have been labelled as funds to assist in meeting pension liabilities. This is a good thing but is not like a conventional pension fund.
  17. Separate fund? Where? Do you mean the PSEPR? This does exist and does include some assets so I guess you could call it a fund but it is not at all similar to most pension funds in that; a) it is not under separate control b) employer contributions do not go in here c) employee contributions do not go in here d) pensions are not paid out of the PSEPR (and could not be). The PSEPR is about 109m and is an allocation of both Government Reserves (ie bottom half of Balance Sheet) and Government Investments (top half of BS). It is really a re-labelling of some government cash and reserves...but you could call it a fund if you wanted. The last audited accounts (2018) showed a pension liability of 3.7bn. The PSEPR is a gesture towards funding this. The real problem is that neither employee or employer contributions were put in a separate place to fund the pension liability. When there is no fund, the concept of an employer contribution is odd, the pensions are funded in full by the employer out of current revenue, some of this is then charged to the PSEPR.
  18. Are you sure? If by "funded" you mean that someone is paying the pensions, then I agree the pensions are funded (by Government). However, I think that by funded most people mean that there is a separate ring-fenced fund manged by trustees into which contributions are paid and out of which pensions are met. If this is what you mean by funded, then none of the Government schemes are funded - except the Post Office (and SPCo, if that is included as govt). Co. pension funds are funded and the liability to pay pensions lies with the trustees of that fund. In the Government case, there is no external fund and the liability sits with the Government and is on its Balance Sheet. This does mean the concept of underfunding is odd, as there is no fund the Government uses its own cash to pay the pensions and any contributions are absorbed into Government Revenue. Effectively, the whole of the pension liability is underfunded. "Swindled" is harsh. The way the scheme has worked out is not optimal but I doubt anyone intended us to be where we are and the public have benefited in that money which should have been put in a fund was spent on Government services. That does now need to be rectified. The arrangement is far from ideal but not as bad as it sounds. The Government has a significant asset that is not recognised on its Balance Sheet, the right to tax IOM residents. This will be used to fund future pensions, unfortunately, there are also some other commitments for this asset.
  19. So True. Numbers - I think the Press numbers are just GUS but you really need to consider the lot. From detailed Government Accounts for 31/3/2019 the total cost of pensions was £100m. This is shown as met by 67m of contributions and 33m from PSPR. However, PSPR is just govt cash and the contributions include 37m from the Employer ie government. I think, and I am quite tentative about this, that this means employees contributed 26m and the Govt had to fork out 74m in cash. Language - we have grown used to calling the difference between pension contributions and pensions paid a "deficit" or "shortfall" but is this correct? These words imply that these two amounts should be or were planned to be equal, that one funded the other. I can't believe that this was ever the case. Why would contributions paid by current employees have any relationship with pensions paid to former employees who earned their pensions in different eras at different levels of salary and under different scheme rules. These two numbers are not the same thing but using language like deficit encourages us to believe that the answer lies in trying to balance the two amounts - I don't think it can and can't see why it should. Cash - the issue really is that the government needs cash to fund expenditure and this includes pension obligations. I do not know if there is a problem going forward but if there is it is about balancing all of the governments various inflows and outflows. Reserves - the PSPR is just an allocation of government reserves. When it runs out accounting will change but not the underlying reality. In fact, I think its use clouds our thinking. The optimal treatment would have been to account for the pensions as they were incurred ie when earned. We are accounting for them as and when paid but softening the blow by an accounting transfer which reduces the cost hitting the Income account but not affecting the amount paid out. Solution - I am sure this is well known within Government but the answer lies in increasing govt. cash inflow or reducing costs. Suggesting this is purely a pension deficit causes us to believe the answer lies in adjusting pension rights which, I suggest, is a small part of the range of options available.
  20. For Political beliefs, s15 could be re-worded as ; Do not discriminate against anyone on the grounds of ... philosophical belief which includes a reference to a lack of belief This seems quite wide to me. What more do you want? I expect the topic is not well documented partly because its tricky and partly because it does not happen very often, the other categories referred to do suffer discrimination on a regular basis. The UK has legislation which is similar and guidance says; "Beliefs such as humanism and atheism would be beliefs for the purposes of this provision but adherence to a particular football team would not be."
  21. Isn't it? The operative bit is s15 which says don't be nasty on account of a range of specific issues. One of those issues is "religion or belief". This is defined as; "(1) Religion means any religion and a reference to religion includes a reference to a lack of religion. (2) Belief means any religious or philosophical belief and a reference to belief includes a reference to a lack of belief." I am sure there is much clarification further in the act, in case law and in the various codes but it seems that "philosophical beliefs" are protected characteristics and I can see this causing some difficulty.
  22. Is that right? Surely charitable donations are deductible whatever monies you use to make them. and Professional subs would only be deductible if "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" incurred for business purposes. Would that apply here? Assuming it does, why would using untaxed money to pay the subs deny a right to tax relief?
  23. Co Act 2006 s157 allows for an arrangement to be binding on all shareholders if 75% have agreed (and Court approved) but I can't see this happening in secret with the other 25% being unaware.
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