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Phillip Dearden

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Everything posted by Phillip Dearden

  1. It is still like that - the fact you get your allowances and deductions when you submit a return means you are not taxed at 20% on every penny you earn. As it is possible to get an exemption certificate, if you are up to date with returns and payments, even the 20% up-front payment is a choice.
  2. Some people pay 20% on some of what they earn but how do you get to 20% on every penny - no allowances and no deductions?
  3. There have been recent payrises - which in the main have not quite equalled inflation. In connection with another matter I had to review Health Service pay-levels for the ten years from 2008 ie the austerity period. The result is complex as there are many bands and spines and you can compare against CPI or RPI. However, overall result was pay-scales for similar levels had fallen against inflation by between 13% and 23%. There are mitigating factors, job security is probably better than private sector and pensions are good but salaries did take an unhealthy hit.
  4. Aren't the figures becoming more meaningful? The "Active" on 3/5 was 28, ie 20 in Hospital and 8 presumed still unwell but self-isolating. Roger M has commented a few times that the "Still unwell" category was just the unwell who had not yet survived 14 days, ie after 14 days they dropped out of this category and into "got better". I guess this was OK as a best guess but it does lack a bit of precision. The newer figure of 41 "Active" looks like 20 in Hospital and 21 unwell and recuperating at home. As there were 4 new cases, it looks like some checking has been done and that 9 of those who should have got better by now, haven't yet. If my guesswork is correct, then the figures have become more meaningful. You could complain that they weren't perfect before or you could be pleased that they have improved, that depends on your disposition.
  5. I am sure it was great business but should it work? If the shares were acquired with the intention of selling them (when the development was complete) isn't that trading in shares and thus taxable? Although the Assessor sometimes challenges property sales as trading he/she rarely seem to attack shares sales. This tactic was also used for UK SDLT, caused a lot of bother.
  6. Derek - of course these questions must be asked. However, if the UK took over what do you think the IOM, and in particular, the economy, would look like. I do not know if it is likely to be considered and if it is, what would the response be, BUT, if the UK did take over I am reasonably sure they would impose UK law and taxes. That is not generally a bad thing but I suspect most of our wealth-generating businesses would not be able to live with the new tax position. Is there not a danger that we would be left with an economy comprising 800 crofters?
  7. If the Government's main financial problem is cashflow going forwards, how does borrowing fix this? Before Covid-19 I did not see any evidence that the Private Sector was being held back by lack of funds to invest in viable projects. On the contrary, the world seems flush with cash and if you have a good investment someone will fund it. I suspect the loan is to fund short-term liquidity given the recent reduced inflows and expanded outflows. Whilst this may be necessary, it will mean some belt-tightening in the future.
  8. You were not imagining things. 15/4/2020 : "In total 90 patients have been instructed to self-isolate and 13 are being treated at the hospital. The contact tracing process is already underway led by Public Health." This puzzled me at the time, I thought it was a typo but now I think it was a new-number - "Tested positive and still unwell" ie 258 - 13 - 4 - 151 = 90 (Positives less in Hospital less deceased less Presumed Recovered) I am also just trying to understand.
  9. My figures are very tentative and I am prepared to accept they could well need improvement so any queries are welcome. I think we generally agree. My 48 unwell in the community was just an effort to review the figure of 1 in the tweet referred to by Roger M. Your active 70 could well be the 48 unwell in the community plus the 22 in Hospital. I don't think MMCC residents can be part of the numbers as they did not produce a blip on arrival and if they were tested before they arrived would it not have been in the UK and added to UK figures? 272 self-isolating did not become 48. 272 became 269 self-isolating, 60 became 48 unwell in the community (maybe). A change of 12 being 9 who got better, 1 who passed away and 2 who went to Hospital (also, a big maybe).
  10. People should come to MF and ignore Twitter! Aaron I must have double-counted Abbotswood and he has lost a person (307 v 308) The Govt. presentation of the figures are not the clearest (I blame no-one for this, they have been developing as we go, under pressure) so I say the following somewhat tentatively but using 23/4, are the number of oustanding cases something like; Total Positive Tests 307 Being Treated at Hospital (22) Deceased (16) Presumed Recovered (221) Still unwell and self-isolating 48 48 is also what you get if you assume the recovered all come out of the self-isolating group. Still unwell: Originally self-isolating 269 Now Recovered (221) Still Unwell 48 The above might read well but I think I have used my assumption to prove my assumption, so the logic is not as sound as it looks. I do think the downturn in new cases now looks like a real decrease and not a blip ie lockdown seems to be working.
  11. There has been the odd error of 1 or 2 that is quickly corrected and I guess this has alarmed Roger. These small differences do matter as we need the population to have faith in what they are told. I can understand that getting accurate stats out quickly is putting someone under pressure and thus small glitches will happen. Roger suggests we can't have faith in "cases" as these are a function of testing which is reduced but isn't that likely to happen when we get over the top of the curve? The people who are ill will have been tested and less will feel ill so that there are less tests required? If you could rely on numbers re new cases, then the recent results show a significant reduction and I would expect this to be first indicator of success. Whilst some would expect some politicians to try to present information in its best light, I can't see clinicians or patients allowing untruths to be distributed so I expect any errors are the result of creaking systems and people doing new stuff under pressure. I am not an epidemiologist or clinician so whilst I generally have faith in the numbers and I think they show promise, I am content to let the experts advise when the optimal time to ease lock-down should be.
  12. Has John compared Total tests with Concluded tests? Total Tests 2554 2654 Concluded (2,503) (2,534) Awaiting Results 51 120 John compared 2,654 with 2,503 which are not the same thing.
  13. We are mixing up two separate issues. Many Government schemes required contributions, more do now and the contributions have increased. The issue is not that employees should have contributed, it is that the contributions did not, and still do not, go into a fund so the pensions will have to be paid out of future tax revenues. Please don't all shout at me about this - I don't think it is the best way to fund pensions by a mile and I expect our current politicians are a little bit disappointed in their forebears. Re who pays? Well if there was an easy answer it would have come out by now. To some extent, we the public have an obligation as the money that should have gone into a fund was spent on services in those years ie we overspent. I realise this is not a satisfactory response as the public did not know they were storing a debt up for the future. I suspect the answer will be multi-faceted, some increased taxes, some reduced services, some shaving of benefits but I don't really want to go too far as there is much detail that I am not privvy to - understandably, I am not involved.
  14. I expect you are right. I hope no-one thinks I am suggesting this is not a problem, I accept that it is. I just don't think that the former teachers, police and health-service workers should take a hit because of the way our government organised its finances many years ago.
  15. Wrighty - that's a bit cheeky. I agree that the calculations are arcane and subject to many variables that have to be estimated and then change over time so that the calculation requires amendment BUT that does not mean meaningless. Most pension schemes involve money being put aside and invested (ie not in a bank) to fund the expected pensions. Any difference between the fund and the amount actuaries think should be held is a shortfall or deficit. In the Government''s case there is no fund so the whole liability is a shortfall or deficit. Many very wise actuaries and accountants have set out rules for how the calculations must be carried out. AND the the pension liability is a debt owed by the Government to its former employees. The current valuation may get revised regularly but there is an amount due by Government which is as much a debt as any loan. The real problem is cashflow and the size of the liability guides us as to the size of the issue ie quite big. I say the above in the interests of clarity. I acknowledge the debt due to former staff and I am in no way suggesting it should not be paid in full.
  16. I don't think anyone denies that government borrowing has its place. The IOM Government has borrowed in the past and some of these loans still exist. I don't doubt that at an appropriate rate new loans could be raised. However, and this is not an objection but a polite enquiry, what would the borrowing be for, what question does it answer? The Government has £millions of cash and investments, the problem looking at the Balance sheet is that its liabilities are greater. More borrowing does not fix that. The Balance Sheet is misleading as it leaves out the Government's biggest asset - the capacity to tax the population. If we look at cash flows the problem is that going forward, and in recent years since the VAT incident, receipts are either less than expenditure or not positive enough to replenish reserves and renew fixed assets ie cash flow is tight. I don't see that borrowing fixes that? You might think that the Government could borrow at a low rate and invest to achieve a greater return but having a Government operate like a hedge fund does not sound optimal. I can see a place for borrowing to fund infrastructure - the MEA loans have ended up with Government and I could see a way that the loans could become a sort of rotating capital with no need for repayment - a business that size does require a permanent capital. However, I don't think another power station is on the cards at the moment? I can also see a place for borrowing to fund seed-investment in new sectors. If a new sector needed infrastructure the government could afford to take a slightly lower return than commercial investors might require as it gets a triple-whammy in terms of return ie actual return, tax from activity and being relieved of having to pay benefits if those workers were not employed. You might fund a new space-age business park in this way - but you would have to be confident you could fill it once built. Thus, there are niche areas where a bond might be useful. However, as a way of funding general expenditure, I would have thought we are back to basics ie either raise more taxes or spend less but alternative views are welcome.
  17. You are quite right that MERA is £200. It is the Salary Supoport Scheme that is £280 and I that is what I thought was being discussed but it is confusing. MERA is for those who have been made redundant or lost self-employed income.
  18. You have your schemes mixed up. The IOM scheme does not require anyone to be sent home and it does provide for Government support, which would be an odd thing for the government to apply for or receive.
  19. There is no IOM furlough scheme. If you mean the IOM Salary Support Scheme - it would be a bit weird for the IOM Govt. to apply for a grant which provides for the IOM Govt. to assist with wages. I think the terms of the scheme would disallow it anyway but if it happened, it would be absurd. As for a plan to get everything moving again, I agree it would be great if there was a clear way forward but I suspect that both politicians and clinicians are taking things as they come and I can't really blame them - we have never been here before, it's tricky.
  20. Are you sure? I think the IOM scheme is £280pw and the UK one is £2,500 pm - and terms are slightly different.
  21. Are there?[1] If you add up all the Capital Accounts ie those labelled Fund, Reserve, NI Account or other, per the audited accounts at 31/3/19 you would achieve a negative number. If you added on a fall in value of investments, an increase in Pension Liability (due to increased interest rates) and the cost of Covid-support and lost taxes, you would achieve a bigger negative number. I don't think re-labelling will fix that. I support the government in its current initiatives but post-Covid there may need to be some changes. On a brighter note, and it is not in my nature to be too optimistic, do the recent Covid-test results hint at a plateau? [1] Perhaps you meant many Reserve Accounts? I would have to agree with that.
  22. You and Roger are having a dispute over VAT and the construction industry. Can I nudge this discussion in a more constructive direction? The IOM and the UK split the aggregate VAT collected between them according to FERSA, a new (since 2016) method of sharing VAT revenue which, according to Press comment, is based on the incidence of expenditure giving rise to non-reclaimable VAT. I cannot find a copy of this agreement and it may be kept confidential given the fuss its predecessor caused. In the IOM we have commercial and residential construction projects. Commercial will be (mostly) vatable but the recipient will probably reclaim the VAT (but maybe not if they are a bank or insurance company). Residential (new builds) are zero-rated so buyers will not suffer a VAT cost but zero is a vat rate for VAT law. How these impact the VAT sharing arrangement I do not know. I believe that you need to unravel these issues to understand what impact the IOM construction sector has on VAT takings. It may be that the discussion has gone too deep. Lockdown must be bad for both individuals (no salary, no self-employed income and stressful) and Government (reduced tax, extra expenditure) - I can't see the point in getting too detailed about why it is bad?
  23. If we try to isolate the Island so that we get zero new cases won't we end up with a very vulnerable population?
  24. Roger, Wrighty and Mr Newbie must be right that flattening the curve reduces the effect of the virus by allowing the Health Service to cope. However, we can't have lockdown forever so we need to relax it at a pace that allows the Health Services to continue to cope - which, as we have never been here, is a pace we have not yet identified so we need to relax gradually and see how it goes. VAT is not simple. The link is about residential property which is usually not vatable (sometime Exempt but new builds are zero, which is vatable but at 0%). Commercial property is usually vatable. Some properties will be exempt but even in those cases, there is usually an option to tax so that most commercial properties become vatable. I suggest this could be summarised as "There is VAT on most major construction projects" but this would be a gross simplification. I also have some qualifications in Economics and Numbers (albeit a very long time ago) and Wrighty's comments look spot on to me.
  25. It's not going to be that simple. The IOM's USP is low-tax, change that and you damage the economy. Lack of IHT is the reason many HINWIs move here, introduce it and they may well leave, taking economic activity with them and reducing property prices. CGT similar, but less so as rates now quite low in the UK. Public sector pay has been as good as frozen for 10 years. To continue that would be harsh and self-defeating. Harsh because we are talking about teachers and nurses and others who do a valuable job for salaries that will never make them rich.Self-defeating as, if we do not offer comparable salaries to the UK, we won't get the people and then won't have the service they provide. The IOM Govt. is different from most other governments in that it can't create money. The UK borrows in sterling and so won't default as it creates the money to repay with. The IOM can't do that, loans have to be financed out of tax revenues and in recent years they have been spoken for. I am not suggesting the Govt. is broke, just that making the books balance will take a bit of work.
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