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Everything posted by Tom

  1. Last year I was researching a route down to the South and came across this site describing a trip from St Malo to Narbonne. It  passes through  Vendée. http://francecoast2coast.co.uk/France-Coast-2-Coast-2007-Route-Map.html Haven't made the trip yet though.
  2. Most French radio stations stream on-line, so maybe an internet radio is a solution. If you google 'internet radio for a car' there seem to be quite a few options, including an app for iPhone and android.
  3. Lord Grade was criticising all the 'broadcasters' involved in organising the debates, not just the BBC. ITV, Sky and Channel 4 are involved too
  4. That's true, it is two=faced. Reminds me of the last series of Spiral when the case against the Libyan businessman is dropped at the last minute.
  5. I guess why there has been such a fuss about HSBC Switzerland is that a lot of the acounts were set up with cash derived from UK earnings of one kind or another. Reading in the FT that there has actually been one prosecution and £135m clawed back. FT article
  6. Concerning the HSBC Swiss bank files that were leaked, these contained the names of UK citizens with secret accounts. There is no law against setting up  a Swiss account, but as far as I know it is tax evasion if you don't inform  HMRC about it, as a certain amount of UK tax would be due. HMRC  has had the list of names for about 5 years. No one has been prosecuted.
  7. I had a similar query for a different route with them recently. Apparently they try to update load schedules at least 5 or 6 months in advance and all they could advise was to keep checking the schedule.
  8. edit [quote user="Quillan"][quote user="ebaynut"]But your views as a Jewish person of a mixed race marriage, with gay people in your family ( you often state these facts, so clearly you are very proud of them) would be completely different to a white English straight persons view. So you will never understand, or would I expect you too. Or would I waste my time trying to explain it to you.[/quote] And you don't think that is insulting to Jewish, coloured and gay people especially when you added "would be completely different to a white English straight persons view"? I think that is blatantly anti-Semitic, racists and homophobic but perhaps I am wrong, perhaps it's just me then?[/quote] It's not just you.
  9. The law has been changed recently. Rather than targeting individual loopholes a General Anti Avoidance Rule(GARR) is being introduced. taxavoidance The full report is quite an interesting read. Written in a straightforward way. There's a bit about serial avoiders! What is unethical avoidance is the question.
  10. This is from 'Tackling Tax Avoidance' document published by the Treasury in March 2011 .....But I want to be clear that being open for business does not mean being open to tax avoidance. We are committed to creating the right tax environment for business and individuals, which encourages enterprise and minimises red tape. In return we expect everyone to pay their fair share. And where we see tax avoidance, we will crack down on it. That’s particularly important at a time when the Government has had to make tough choices elsewhere.  We inherited a tax system with a ‘tax gap’ of around £40 billion. More than a sixth of that is due to tax evasion – that is, illegally understating tax liabilities. But a further one sixth is estimated to be due to tax avoidance – that is, reducing tax liabilities by using the tax law to get a tax advantage that Parliament never intended. And the problem is a persistent one – only this month, we have moved to close down an avoidance scheme using contrived, circular transactions claimed to generate tax relief twice for effectively the same expense. So these people with  HSBC Swiss accounts seem to have been getting  an advantage that Parliament never intended.  They should hve been investigated by now.
  11. There are actually a few worthy wealthy people in the UK who don't mind paying 45% tax. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-31517383 Among reasons given: Too complicated and they would rather concentrate on running their business. Guilty conscience Some avoidance schemes mean living abroad for part of the year
  12. [quote user="Gluestick"][quote user="PaulT"]Sorry, going to take this off course and perhaps Gluestick has some thoughts on this. We bought our house in early 2007 and the exchange rate was about 1.485 euros to the £. Since then it has been down to virtual parity and today at about 1.34. Obviously, if the UK had joined the euro then there would be no exchange rate or ups and downs. So how would the UK have fared if it had joined the euro?[/quote] Utter financial, fiscal and monetary disaster, Paul. Mainly since Britain would have lost its ability to: Adjust Base Rate/s: Money Supply: (e.g. no QE): No sole intervention in Northern Rock, RBS, Lloyds, etc. And finally, the exchange rate on joiing would have been fixed (very much to UK's disadvantage) on the benchmark of ERM. Which, if you remember, cost the exchequer £1 billion. Interestingly, I am attending an economics seminar in early March, when the speaker is Lord Lamont: and I am determined to pose the question, "Does George Soros send you a Christmas card each year?" [:D] [/quote] In Gordon Brown's defence, he was dead against the UK joining the euro. What with his five tests for joining that were never going to be met.
  13. And in the UK it is easier for firms to increase output by employing more people. The argument is that this has the effect of lowering the stats for national productivity per person employed. On the other hand the number of unemployed in the UK is reduced and the amount paid on benefits also.
  14. And in the UK it is easier for firms to increase output by employing more people, The argument is that this has the effect of lowering the stats for national productivity per person employed. On the other hand the number of unemployed in the UK is reduced and the amount paid on benefits also.
  15. It was a possible reason for the OECD productivity figures that Norman and Sue linked to. France GDP/hours worked being $49.3 in 2013,the same as Germany. UK figure was 42.1
  16. One of the reasons for the higher productivity in France might be that companies invest more in new equipment and automated processes. Whereas in UK companies find it easier to increase output by employing more people.
  17. Ici Londres has fiches pratiques on a number of topics such as health, finding a job, tax etc.  http://www.ici-londres.com/Fiches-pratiques,5864.media
  18. Useful tip from Nigella. She recommends freezing leftover wine for cooking purposes.  http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/Freezing-Wine/2349
  19. Following the mention of  Fred Vargas, googled her name, and found this interview with her from 2004. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/nov/18/italy.france Bit spooky, could have been written in last few weeks "since she declared her support for an Italian author faced with extradition, her calls are monitored and she is followed by the intelligence services".    
  20. I have a Kindle and a Kobo. The Kobo is clunkier to use, but in UK libraries you can download and 'borrow'  ebooks for 3 weeks on to the Kobo format but not yet the Kindle. The selection at my local library isn't huge, but recently read  Nesbo, Kate Atkinson, Le Carré and William Boyd books for free. Do French libraries offer ebooks?    
  21. Everyone is at it. There has been a huge leak of the names of people sheltering money offshore.    http://fr.euronews.com/2013/04/05/apres-wikileaks-offshore-leaks-met-en-lumiere-l-etendue-de-la-fraude-fiscale/  edit - English version http://www.euronews.com/2013/04/05/offshore-leaks-set-to-reveal-more-embarrassing-tax-dodging/
  22. Sorry, it's not really about Prince Philip, just find it an interesting  phenomenon. All this money sloshing about the world, it's now reckoned to be 3x bigger than total aid budget and some debate about it being an alternative to aid. Of course  financial companies take a nice cut. http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/jan/30/migrants-billions-overshadow-aid
  23. The Philippine government does  gets criticised at home for the economy depending too much on remittances. And for ignoring the social costs of families being split up.  Plus migrants often have to pay high fees to actually transfer their money. Prince Philip obviously recognised it as an important issue.    
  24. He is right, Philippine migrants worldwide sent home about US$24Billion last year.  Over 10% of their GDP is from remittances.
  25. Some of the filming for the series was done in Carcassonne.  link
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