/ One in six Britians has no savings

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Blizzard - on 25 Feb 2013
That's 8 million adults who have put nothing by.
One in 3 adults are not currently saving.
A third of those who have saved have accrued less than £1K.
A quarter of parents have lent a substantial sum to their children.

Do you think these statistics matter?

What does this say about life in this country? That its an expensive place to live? That times are hard and getting harder?
Philip on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

That a lot of people think f#%k it, the state will support me?

Or just that there are too many people who are obsessed with consumerism.
crustypunkuk - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Philip:
Or that many of us don't earn enough to save, and live hand to mouth.
Orgsm on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

It's because we speak English
Timmd on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Philip:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
>
> That a lot of people think f#%k it, the state will support me?
>
> Or just that there are too many people who are obsessed with consumerism.

They'll both be happening, but things are difficult for people as well, that can't be denied.
Ron Walker - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Philip:

Or maybe folk that saved all their life's have had their pensions, stock market shares, insurance policies and saving stuffed recently and are now living hand to mouth...!
Orgsm on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

We have a future tense, and so separate the future from the present. So we don't plan as well for future as the present as we see them as separate with the future holding less importance.
Dax H - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to crustypunkuk: Most of my peer group don't have any savings but they mostly all have fairly new cars and bikes, manage a decent holiday every year, eat out often, have the latest phones and still claim that times are hard and wages are low.
I think that times are easier than they have ever been.
I look at my childhood and we did not have half the things or the disposable income that we do now and neither did the families of my childhood friends.
It was all hand me down clothes and toys, a 1 car family was just beginning to be the norm and a holiday was a week at the seaside that had to be saved up for.

Cornelius Kite - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: Well I aint got any savings - I can barely afford to pay my mortgage, food bills, council tax, food, gas/elec - let alone have any spare cash. I'm surprised it's only 1 in 6?
crustypunkuk - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Dax H: Agreed, although how much of the shiny stuff is bought and paid for? Everything these days is done on the never never- one of the reasons we're in the economic mess we are!
As my parents are always keen to remind me, they never had anything like hire purchase etc- if they didn't have the money to buy things then they didn't get them until they did have the money.
gethin_allen on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
The fact that nobody is saving is potentially worrying but if they all suddenly decided to save the country would be buffered as our addiction to buying shiny shot is likely the only thing keeping the shops open.
Perhaps people aren't keen to save as they know they will be penalised for it next when the time comes that they are old enough to claim a pension.

The statstics about inter family lending could as much be a sign that interest rates for savers are so poor and obtaining credit is more difficult (not too bad a thing IMO)
gethin_allen on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:
Sorry about the random typing, New phone without the dictionary set yet.
Lord_ash2000 - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: It does not surprise me in the slightest and itís not as bad as it was, 10 years ago everyone seemed to be piling on the dept to pay for junk they didnít really need. Now the time has come to pay it back and times are hard all of a sudden. But of course people want to live the lifestyle still so they use up all their deposable income living on the limit every month. All it takes is one slip up in their employment and they have nothing to fall back on and they suffer, hard.

Personally Iím a natural saver, money has always just accumulated as I never feel that earning x amount suddenly means I have to spend more or have more things. It does give a lovely feeling of safety and security, Iím not rich and far from immune to finical problems but Iím protected enough that I donít have to care about job security or when the next bill is due in or how much I can spend on a night out etc. I highly recommend it.
firewireguy on 25 Feb 2013
I save and have some savings, but there's not much incentive with interest rates at the level they are. Having said that, I'm saving for a deposit on a house, at which point I'll be glad of the low interest rates.
Dax H - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to crustypunkuk:
> (In reply to Dax H) Agreed, although how much of the shiny stuff is bought and paid for? Everything these days is done on the never never- one of the reasons we're in the economic mess we are!
> As my parents are always keen to remind me, they never had anything like hire purchase etc- if they didn't have the money to buy things then they didn't get them until they did have the money.


Again looking to my peers most of them are in debt and live off multiple credit cards. Personally other than the mortgage I dont have and never have had any debt. If I want something I save for it and if I want it now I will dip in to my savings but they are then not touched again until the money is paid back in. The only deviation to this is that I tend to have something running on interest free just to maintain my credit status just in case I need credit but before taking the interest free I save up enough to buy the item outright just incase.
It is very tempting to live beyond you're means but life is much easier if you dont and by waiting a bit longer to get something you save a fortune in interest too.
Kieran_John - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

Since buying a house my savings have gone out the window, I too live hand to mouth (though my wife has been out of work for a number of months, now she's back in work I imagine we'll put something aside).
Milesy - on 26 Feb 2013
A mortgage is technically saving. You are making an investment which will pay off either to you, or your offspring down the line.
EddInaBox on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy:
> A mortgage is technically saving. You are making an investment which will pay off either to the tax man, or for your nursing care down the line.

Fixed that for you.
andrew breckill - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: never been out of work in the last 20 years. I have no savings in a bank account. I have and private pension and a company pension, my ethos is why save? I'll never be out of work. Not all of us think the state will provide. I self funded a 2 year sabbatical from work from 06-08 which was funded from my business profits and did not claim JSA or any other benefit, nearly did. But after seeing the long term wasters in the office walked out and thought sod that.
EeeByGum - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to crustypunkuk) Most of my peer group don't have any savings but they mostly all have fairly new cars and bikes, manage a decent holiday every year, eat out often, have the latest phones and still claim that times are hard and wages are low.

I think this is partly the nub of it. There was a young woman from Manchester on the radio this lunchtime who had a joint income of £50k and rent of only £625 and was moaning that she couldn't afford any houses where she wanted to live and couldn't afford to save a deposit. But when I was in exactly the same situation, income and rent, we could afford to stash about £800 a month away and choose not to live in the most desirable area to save money.

There is definitely a 'must-have-now' mentality amongst some.
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Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

Does that include pensions?
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> But after seeing the long term wasters in the office walked out and thought sod that.

Did you see long term wasters or just people claiming the dole? That's quite a funny story though, someone who isn't seeking a job walks into the dole office for JSA (job SEEKERS allowance), calls the others there seeking jobs wasters, and flounces out in a snobbery induced fit of pique.

On the saving thing. I think with much more job insecurity, people are finding it hard to get into a settled routine which would allow saving. Many obviously cannot earn enough. I do think too much accusations have been leveled at individuals here. For too long BoE interest rates were too low and the banks lent too easily. Coupled with the short termist, state financed consumerist economy we have developed over the past 35 years, its no surprise saving is not as high as it could be.
Ramblin dave - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Philip:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
>
> That a lot of people think f#%k it, the state will support me?

Yeah, they must think we've got some sort of national insurance system or something.
Neil Williams - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Kieran_John:

Same. It's not a situation I massively like, but it's something that will improve (assuming I don't move to a bigger house) as inflation makes the mortgage cheaper in real terms, one big advantage of buying over renting.

Neil
martinph78 on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> (In reply to Blizzard) never been out of work in the last 20 years. I have no savings in a bank account. I have and private pension and a company pension, my ethos is why save? I'll never be out of work.

With no savings lets hope that you never are out of work, although managing to take a 2 year self-funded sabatical suggests you did actually have savings (even if you call them "profits", and your pension plan is saving for the future). How you can say that you will NEVER be out of work is stupid thing to say though. Not everyone who is out of work is so by choice. You never know what is around the corner. Having been out of work it's not as easy to find work as you'd think, even stacking shelves in Tesco has hundreds applying for just a few positions. Then there's factors that you can't account for such as being seriously injured and unable to work (especially if self-employed).

Not everyone can be as smug as the next and not everyone in the Job Centre are long-term scroungers.





ti_pin_man - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: by the time i get to the current retirement age, the age will have risen if not disappeared completely. I guess we work till we die, keep paying NI and tax and then draw back down off that if we're ill rather than dead. ;)
andrew breckill - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin1978: It isn't though, as I'd take any job, I am not bothered what, not having a career as such. I have Been self employed as much as employed, makes it easy for me to do 'any job'. I see your point though, if I was a production manager or chemist with an expectation of income 'any job' would be difficult to adapt to.

to CNDB: Well not so much flounces as I guess culture shocked, they weren't newly unemployed, they were long term druggies by the looks and there were security guards on the door. I have once claimed about 20 years ago when I got back from aus. It was just a different world back then I guess.
neilh - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
Turn it round..... 5 in 6 Britains save!!! A far better headline.....
tipsy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

I'm 24, just. I come from a working class family with a very low income and a single parent who brought up 3 boys on a teaching assistant salary alone.

Now that I'm 24, I have a car that I own outright, I have a very nice apartment in a desirable area of my city, I have savings, I have a degree from an OK university (by no means one of the countries top) and I have a reasonable job and income which allows me to focus not on buying more things but putting more money away and giving more to charity and to my church.

None of this came about because I was privileged. I was far from it. It came about because the low income family I grew up in, and my angel of a mother, taught me to value money and live well within my means rather than rely on a state sponsored backup plan. I have no sense of entitlement. Everything I have, I work for. If I want something I either work harder for it, or I accept I won't have it and don't bitch and whine about it.

I don't feel like the state owes me anything, I simply feel privileged to live in a country where we have a state, and infrastructure and I can walk down to the corner shop and buy some milk for my cereal. Before I had a good job and I lived in a dive of an apartment, I didn't earn enough to pay tax so I benefited from this infrastructure free of charge. Now I pay tax and some of that goes towards providing me and my peers with a whole host of benefits largely overlooked. Free healthcare for instance. It's a system not without it's flaws, but - it's free. We'd be lucky to have access to a charging healthcare system let alone a free one.

This misplaced sense of entitlement is something I see so much time and time again from my peers. It seems to stem from all sorts of reasons ranging from bitterness over the way their families have been treated in the past, to bitterness to the way they're treated now and it's an ever increasing circle.

Why can't people just be thankful for what they have and hopeful and hard working for what they might have!

Just my two cents worth.
Blizzard - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to tipsy:

Your two cents worth is appreciated.

Why can't people just be thankful for what they have and hopeful and hard working for what they might have!

Perhaps because :

1) They are selfish

2) They don't realise how lucky they are
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to tipsy:
> (In reply to Blizzard)

> Why can't people just be thankful for what they have and hopeful and hard working for what they might have!

Because they strive for opportunities not yet open to them. Women who want to vote, working class men who want to vote, blacks who want to get on the same bus and have access to the same careers as whites. Women who want to go into politics without fear of harassment. Workers who want to be able to stand together in the face of unfairly exploitative wages. Because things are unfair and others are benefitting at their expense.

tipsy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:

You might notice the end bit of what you quoted me as saying there... 'hopeful and hard working for what they might have.'

I think that essentially sums up in a nut shell all the things you just implied I was ignorant of.

My point is, there's a big difference between striving for opportunities not open to you, and bitching about not having them because it's always someone else (read: the states) fault. I don't think it's important whether you have savings or not as some people simply cannot afford to put money away and that's fine. The crucial bit is managing your finances in as responsible and appropriate manner as possible, out of acceptance and gratitude for what you already have.
tipsy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: Essentially, and it's a bold statement, our entire country and society needs to get a bit of a financial perspective. Look at countries where people are 'forced' to live on less than a pound a day with absolutely no state benefits or infrastructure to speak of. I don't see them complain about any of it. I see them happy and grateful each day they wake up with the benefit of another day to live and to love.
balmybaldwin - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to tipsy)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> Because they strive for opportunities not yet open to them. Women who want to vote, working class men who want to vote, blacks who want to get on the same bus and have access to the same careers as whites. Women who want to go into politics without fear of harassment. Workers who want to be able to stand together in the face of unfairly exploitative wages. Because things are unfair and others are benefitting at their expense.

Er... last time I checked:
Women can vote
Working Class Men can vote
Blacks can get on any bus they please, and have equal career opportunities
Workers have the rights to a Union and to strike if they so wish (in most cases)
Women can go into politics without the fear of harrasment (except possibly as Lib Dems)

All of these rights are protected by law, and therefore these opportunities are open to them
Indy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: I guess that many believe that the baby boomer generation stole the wealth of future generations and that whatever you do you'll end up poor.
jonfun21 on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Indy:

That is true to an extent....but every generation probably feels that is the case!

Point I have made before is all government decisions will now favor older people as they make up most of the electorate, hence why the axe has fallen disproportional on areas of most benefit to young people.
Blue Straggler - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: I think you missed Chateauneuf's point!
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: On the last point, there's more to come but yeah otherwise all these advances have happened (to a greater or lesser degree). But my point (and i thought it was obvious) was that they wouldn't have if people hadn't strived for things the system in their time didn't provide. Simply contenting yourself within the regulations the powers that be set is fine but don't shoot down people for wanting to change them. If your next point is some sort of Fukuyama end of history type thing, then I could easily list many as yet unresolved injustices.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to tipsy: I wasn't implying you were ignorant, and we can't all be hero's and change the world. Every hero draws support from many more who are just not happy with things and think the system is unfair. With social mobility what it is I don't blame them.
Fultonius - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Philip:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
>
> That a lot of people think f#%k it, the state will support me?
>
> Or just that there are too many people who are obsessed with consumerism.

I think a lot more of the latter than the former. Certainly anyone who I know that lives more in the red than the black does it more out of the "need" to have more/better "stuff" than some strage thought of "Ach, well, living on the dole ain't so bad".

I'm sure the tories would rather have you believe the former...


Indy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: Apologies I did.
Indy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to jonfun21:
> (In reply to Indy)
>
> That is true to an extent....but every generation probably feels that is the case!

I think your massively understating it there especially with the baby boomers. Speaking to my parents they fully expected to buy a home. For many today even renting has become unaffordable. A university education was free, now people leave owing £10's thousands. A final salary pension was pretty normal with retirement at 65 or earlier. Now FSP gone for ever? work till your 70? for worse benefits.

Others have said that people these days have multiple holidays, the latest phone, car etc BUT now its the norm for both adults to work going back to parents generation the wife was a housewife!

> Point I have made before is all government decisions will now favor older people as they make up most of the electorate, hence why the axe has fallen disproportional on areas of most benefit to young people.

I think the govt has woken up to this the problem is that they've already made too many unaffordable promises.

Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to tipsy:

> Free healthcare for instance. It's a system not without it's flaws, but - it's free. We'd be lucky to have access to a charging healthcare system let alone a free one.

Your last bit is contradictory. I think we'd be unlucky to have a charging healthcare system, because cost can and does inhibit access.
jonfun21 on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Indy:

I agree with you, except I don't think the government has "woken up" far from it. I think they will continue to do what is rational, which is offer policies that please the majority of the electorate (e.g baby boomers and older people).

We are continuing to see this e.g. offering to pay for old age care.

I appreciate I am being a bit flippant but this policy is basically designed to ensuring that well off people have lots of cash to leave behind as inheritance.

It also in part helps ensure that house prices remain high; something many baby boomers see as their given right (despite the fact they did nothing to earn it as such) that no one can take away. As the inheritance enables people to buy houses at artificial prices which couldn't be supported if people were funding them solely on income multiples (as boomers did when prices were sensible).

The result is ordinary people who whose parents are not well off cannot afford a house as they don't have the inheritance money to pay for them.
Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to tipsy:

> Why can't people just be thankful for what they have and hopeful and hard working for what they might have!

I'm glad things are working out so well for you. It sounds like, though tough, you got the best possible start in life having a mother who had her head screwed on. So, don't dismiss the benefit that that has been for you, because I suspect it is probably the most important thing that has afforded you the life you now have. Why not everyone is thankful for what they have is because they start off in life with a lot less than others, not just less money, but less resources, aberrant parental priorities, bad sets of genes (e.g. people with disabling illnesses in their youth), bad psychological development, being abused (that can fill people with life long guilt, anxiety and self-esteem issues) all of which can seriously inhibit one ability to float up in the system and be positive about the future. I've had a very fortunate upbringing on the whole, but was not brought up to use money well. As a result I got into trouble earlier in life with credit cards, overdrafts, loans, bad credit rating... ...I was fortunate to be in a position where I could work and improve my situation, along with getting help from family. I was so scared / avoidant about how much money I had in my account, I'd spend it without looking at the bank balance, all the way until "the cashpoint computer says... ...noooooooooo". I've learnt my lesson now. Don't allow myself credit cards / overdrafts, prioritise paying off mortgages, and I save my money by putting it into a derelict house my wife and I have been developing off and on for 6 years... ...almost there. I have been lucky, and others could find it so much more difficult. Of course we need to encourage everyone to make the effort with jobs, savings etc, but don't assume that everyone can manage as well as you have.
Baron Weasel - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: Savings??? That's like where you earn more money than you spend??? That would be nice, although I'm working on it. Hopefully I will be a qualified heating engineer 'gas safe' this time next year. Currently as an adult learner I have about -£5 to my name after buying a bottle of wine on my way home. Did pass two exams with good grades today though :-)

BW
andrew breckill - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to jonfun21: All very true and unlikely to change, it does make you wonder though what the hell has been going on in europe in the decade that lead us to where we are know, not one politician of any political party in power at the time was prepared to put the brakes on. I remember thinking in '04 that we need a massive rise in interest rates to put the blockers on the insanity that is house prices (particularly in the south). I had to pay the deposit for my youngters first house, otherwise he'd still be with us, god forbid) I left school with basic qualifications and what I have, I got through graft. I can see my parents had the best of it in terms of standard of living. Now we are well and truly in the global economy I think we'll see an increasingly high number of people living in what we presently define as poverty. With a smaller and much more wealthy elite. To be fair I would not put money into the banking system as savings anyway, I would invest it in other more interesting things.
martinph78 on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> (In reply to Martin1978) It isn't though, as I'd take any job, I am not bothered what, not having a career as such. I have Been self employed as much as employed, makes it easy for me to do 'any job'. I see your point though, if I was a production manager or chemist with an expectation of income 'any job' would be difficult to adapt to.

Problem is there are millions across the country who ARE like that and many of those would have been the folk in the job centre who you think are long-term scroungers...have you sent out 200 CV's and had no replies before? It's not as simple as it sounds to walk into a job no matter what it may be. And, as I mentioned, that's presuming that you are physically able to work and not suffering from an injury. You have no savings, so if you were injured and unable to work for 6 months how would you manage?

There are always going to be those who screw the system, same with EVERY system in the country, be it politicians fiddling their expenses, police looking after their own, or benefits cheats robbing the system. Doesn't mean that there aren't genuine politicians, police officers, or benefits claiments though.

Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

> Problem is there are millions across the country who ARE like that and many of those would have been the folk in the job centre who you think are long-term scroungers...have you sent out 200 CV's and had no replies before? It's not as simple as it sounds to walk into a job no matter what it may be. And, as I mentioned, that's presuming that you are physically able to work and not suffering from an injury. You have no savings, so if you were injured and unable to work for 6 months how would you manage?

Hey.. ..come on.. ..you're not saying IDS was wrong to insinuate that such people should swallow their pride and go and stack some shelves at Tescos. I mean, if it was good enough for Terry Leahy, it must be good enough for you! You just need to forgot that you've had any education or training, and get over yourself and learn how to bung a load of tins onto shelves - that way lies the route to a chief executive role in a large corporation. No... ...you can't be disagreeing with that can you?!!! You'll get Simon4 and PMP all upset and hot under the collar if you continue like that!
Indy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

Its also worth bearing in mind how the jobs market has changed. In my yooof stacking shelves at the local supermarket was pretty much a guaranteed job to pay all the basic bills. Jump forward to now and a recently made redundant friend found that all the supermarkets were only prepared to offer minimal hours with anything extra being 'as needed' and all for minimum wage.
Think about it!
martinph78 on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: I applied to Tesco and Sainsburys, and didn't get a reply. I'm WELL over qualified/educated for both. I even "faked" a CV to downplay my qualifications as I was told I may be overqualified and that was the reason I wasn't getting a reply!

THAT is the reality of job seeking for many.

There are many problems with todays society. One of the biggest is thinking everyone who isn't like you is the problem...
martinph78 on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Indy: You don't need to tell me that! Casual work was much easier to come by in the past as well. Not so much anymore.
Indy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to jonfun21:
> (In reply to Indy)
>
> I agree with you, except I don't think the government has "woken up" far from it.

Understandably you can't reneg on promises already made but there is talk of removing free travel, winter fuel allowance, taxing some benefits etc for the wealthier pensioners.

Its a start I guess.
Jimbo W on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

> I applied to Tesco and Sainsburys, and didn't get a reply. I'm WELL over qualified/educated for both. I even "faked" a CV to downplay my qualifications as I was told I may be overqualified and that was the reason I wasn't getting a reply!
> THAT is the reality of job seeking for many.
> There are many problems with todays society. One of the biggest is thinking everyone who isn't like you is the problem...

I know mate, I was writing sarcastically in support of your predicament! Must be all those cheap work placement people forced to go to Tescos for claiming JSA keeping you out of that job. This government is just wonderful isn't it... ...not. Job centre here is pretty empty.. ..almost no jobs. It took my sister 2 years (2:1 English grad from Dundee interested in initially Speech and Language therapy, then also primary teaching, then also PR) to get a job after finishing uni, tried numerous different posts, and only got a salaried job after a years worth of unsalaried internships in PR companies in London. Two years kipping on floors, churning out CVs ain't that bad, but others are having it much more difficult.
Indy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin1978:

Availability of casual/temporary work has always been up and down I think what's changed is the balance of power between employer and employee. The benefits system being the stick.
Ramblin dave - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to jonfun21)
> [...]
>
> Understandably you can't reneg on promises already made but there is talk of removing free travel, winter fuel allowance, taxing some benefits etc for the wealthier pensioners.
>
> Its a start I guess.

To be honest, it's the house prices that really seems to be taking the mick. I can understand the university thing as being a product of the last government's attempt to turn university from a high quality education for an academically inclined minority into a crap finishing school for the middle classes. I don't mind the fact that my taxes are paying for stuff like the winter fuel allowance, free bus passes etc because I'd hope that the government will look out for me if I'm hard up in my old age. But it does do my head in a bit that some of the old folks who are being supported this way are living in houses that I can't even imagine being able to afford simply because they bought a house in the south-east before the boom...

IMHO the long term answer is probably to try to re-balance the economy a bit so that not so many people have to live in the south east to get a job. And to accept that house prices rising faster than wages might make middle england floating voters happy but will come back and bite you in the end.
Ramblin dave - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Baron Weasel:
> (In reply to Blizzard) Savings??? That's like where you earn more money than you spend??? That would be nice, although I'm working on it. Hopefully I will be a qualified heating engineer 'gas safe' this time next year. Currently as an adult learner I have about -£5 to my name after buying a bottle of wine on my way home.

Haven't you read the thread? I think you'll find that you're actually mindlessly frittering away your entirely adequate income on useless consumerist geegaws.
Indy - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave: the long term answer is to stop NIMBY's from preventing the building of new homes. The reason for much of the ridiculous cost of housing is the lack of it... basic supply and demand!
martinph78 on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: Yeah, it's life these days. I've gone back to school now and am enjoyng it, figured I'd try working/job hunting in about three years, see if things have changed lol. Will save that for a student bashing thread some other time though :p

Dax H - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave) the long term answer is to stop NIMBY's from preventing the building of new homes. The reason for much of the ridiculous cost of housing is the lack of it... basic supply and demand!

Is it supply and demand or is it too many landlords buying up property to rent out that is causing the lack of housing.
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SARS on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Dax H:

If that were the case then we would see rental yields fall. They aren't so I think something else is happening. In London my guess is that a lot of housing stock lies empty having been purchased by foreign owners as "safe" investments.
thebigdon - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: i have never relied on the state but thanks to two redundancies in three years we now have no savings, not a penny

two salaries only just cover our outgoings and until our eldest kid goes to school later this year we will have no opportunity to save/reduce debt

some people have no savings because of life and not due to a lack of foresight or reckless spending

andrew breckill - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin1978: I do not think of all the people in job centers as scroungers at all. I was merely stating what I saw the day I went in. It was shocking, chav types clearly out of their faces, and a very oppressive atmosphere. I understand your point about walking into a job, but in my case its never been an issue, and I intend to stay positive in my thinking that it shall remain the case for me. I am in no way wanting to give the impression that I believe there are people out there not trying to get work, and an pretty sure I have not either directly or indirectly indicated as much, just that for me, from the 70's recession onwards I have never been out of a job when I wanted one.
stroppygob - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> (In reply to Martin1978) I do not think of all the people in job centers as scroungers at all. I was merely stating what I saw the day I went in. It was shocking, chav types clearly out of their faces, and a very oppressive atmosphere.

Always best to go when they first open, it's not hard to beat the Chav rush.
Ridge - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to jonfun21)
> [...]
>
> I think your massively understating it there especially with the baby boomers. Speaking to my parents they fully expected to buy a home.

You're also extrapolating from your parents experience and applying it to their entire age group. 'Baby boomer' is a handy label that ends to be applied to anyone retired, regardless of when they were born. Regarding 'fully expected to buy a home', I think that's a more recent expectation, and also assumes buying a very nice house on a single income.

> A university education was free.

To about 5% of the population at best. You can't increase that by an order of magnitude and expect the taxpayer to cover it, especially as it's of dubious benefit to society.

> A final salary pension was pretty normal with retirement at 65 or earlier.

I think you had relatively wealthy parents. Final Salary Pensions have never been the norm for the vast majority.

> Now FSP gone for ever? work till your 70? for worse benefits.

Again, the vast majority of baby boomers left school at 14 or 16, so they worked for around 50 years for the state pension.

> Others have said that people these days have multiple holidays, the latest phone, car etc BUT now its the norm for both adults to work going back to parents generation the wife was a housewife!

So on the basis of one person's wage your parents bought a house and raised a family? I think they were doing a lot better for themselves than a lot of people. This wasn't the norm for a lot of people.
>
> I think the govt has woken up to this the problem is that they've already made too many unaffordable promises.

True. But there are a lot of pensioners in poverty, with meagre private pensions that keep them just above the threshold for many benefits, which puts them in a worse position than those just on a state pension.
girlymonkey - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:
The only reason we have anything saved, and it's not even much, is because my Grandpa gave us money for our wedding that we are to use for 'setting up home' if we ever move out of rented and furnished accomodation. Other than that, I have for many years now spent the summers paying off the overdraft that I accrued over the winter months. This winter I have just about stayed out of the overdraft, this month's rent will just dip into it but will be out of it again soon, so might soon be able to start saving a little. I'm self employed and my husband has only managed to get a part time job.
I'm not too bothered though, I can pay rent, put food on the table, I can buy outdoor kit second hand etc. I have a good life, I'm happy. I have no pension, but our generation will be working til we die, so I don't really think it's a priority. In the early years of being self employed I can remember only have £5 to my name at points and having to choose to eat or put fuel in the car. Fuel had to win as I couldn't go to work without it! Glad those days are over and hope not to go back to them!!
doz generale - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: I had savings but have had to use them to live on since having kids.

I'm not surprised that less people are able to save these days seeing as the cost of living has rocketed compared to wages.

British gas announced an 11% rise in profits today, they also raised their prices by 6% last year and don't have plans to lower it. It's this kind of profiteering that is stopping people from being able to save.
SARS on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard:

Ridiculously expensive country with high taxes and low incentives for saving.

We also need China to reduce their trade surplus.
TheDrunkenBakers - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to tipsy:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
>
> I'm 24, just. I come from a working class family with a very low income and a single parent who brought up 3 boys on a teaching assistant salary alone.
>
> Now that I'm 24, I have a car that I own outright, I have a very nice apartment in a desirable area of my city, I have savings, I have a degree from an OK university (by no means one of the countries top) and I have a reasonable job and income which allows me to focus not on buying more things but putting more money away and giving more to charity and to my church.
>
> None of this came about because I was privileged. I was far from it. It came about because the low income family I grew up in, and my angel of a mother, taught me to value money and live well within my means rather than rely on a state sponsored backup plan. I have no sense of entitlement. Everything I have, I work for. If I want something I either work harder for it, or I accept I won't have it and don't bitch and whine about it.
>
> I don't feel like the state owes me anything, I simply feel privileged to live in a country where we have a state, and infrastructure and I can walk down to the corner shop and buy some milk for my cereal. Before I had a good job and I lived in a dive of an apartment, I didn't earn enough to pay tax so I benefited from this infrastructure free of charge. Now I pay tax and some of that goes towards providing me and my peers with a whole host of benefits largely overlooked. Free healthcare for instance. It's a system not without it's flaws, but - it's free. We'd be lucky to have access to a charging healthcare system let alone a free one.
>
> This misplaced sense of entitlement is something I see so much time and time again from my peers. It seems to stem from all sorts of reasons ranging from bitterness over the way their families have been treated in the past, to bitterness to the way they're treated now and it's an ever increasing circle.
>
> Why can't people just be thankful for what they have and hopeful and hard working for what they might have!
>
> Just my two cents worth.

Tipsy, I take my hat off to you. For a 24 year old you appear grounded, sensible and hard working.

I'm sure that if you were unfortunate enough to find yourself unemployed, you wouldn't sit back, blame the capitalists and bankers for your misfortune, blame society for its lack of fairness, decide to go on the booze and fags and sit in parks drinking beers when you should be working (or trying to find work), not use the current economic climate as an excuse for trying your hardest to find new employment, not feel 'entitled' to the state benefit but feel grateful that it is there to support your during your short period between roles, not sit at home feeling sorry for yourself and blaming everyone else for your position.

I get the feeling that you would accept that there is in fact work out there if you are prepared to look hard for it, be creative, perhaps temporarily lower your standards before you got back on track, take two jobs, take part time work or volunteer if no jobs were available.

Its all about self respect and attitude and I suspect that you wouldnt sit at home embittered by the state of macro economic affairs and no matter what, you would always try your hardest to contribute to a society which you accept is not perfect, but which has many good points too.

I applaud the position you are in and wish you well in your future - we have very similar backgrounds, by the way, although I'm a little older.

What I'm not surprised about is one of the responses you got from your uplifting anecdote.



Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Ridge: While I think there is some significant basis to this generational unfairness thing, especially with regard to housing, its also overplayed. Even the Tories speak of it (David Willetts wrote a (crap) book on it), yet do nothing obvious to deal with it. The reasons for overplaying it it up are often rather more complex than tackling inequality though, it seems to be a good tactic for ignoring cross sectional inequality and preaching fiscal restraint (or rather ideology driven vandalism).
Alyson - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Indy:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave) the long term answer is to stop NIMBY's from preventing the building of new homes. The reason for much of the ridiculous cost of housing is the lack of it... basic supply and demand!

We grant planning permission for the building of new homes every day, but the majority aren't getting built. Some developers are sitting on land banks, some are not able to fund build projects they have permission for and almost all are fighting to get out of paying affordable housing contributions or putting aside a percentage of their development for affordable homes.

In the meantime the government is putting increasing pressure on local authorities to allow greenfield sites to be built on - but this is not necessary and will not guarantee houses get built any quicker or market pressures will ease. The developers who can afford to are biding their time. Meantime I see empty houses and flats every single day, all across the city. It's certainly not as simple as saying there aren't enough homes!
jonfun21 on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to doz generale:

British gas announced an 11% rise in profits today, they also raised their prices by 6% last year and don't have plans to lower it. It's this kind of profiteering that is stopping people from being able to save.

Just for reference...the period the profits apply to is prior to the price increase, which only came in this November. The main reason was the cold weather increased consumption at the old price.

Great quote on BBC Breakfast today about the £500m they are returning to shareholders, which is as a result of them not investing in new nuclear power plants. The presenter asked why they are not just giving it to customers.....er because it belongs to shareholders who generally like to see a return on their investment (e.g. it wasn't a charitable donation).

I am not trying to defend the BG or the energy companies here, the market needs looking at, just point out a few facts and how stupid some of the current BBC interviewers are (another classic the other day was asking why the NHS doesn't just source its food locally.....in reality they can't stipulate that as they would break EU procurement regulations (a fact not pointed out to viewers)).
wintertree - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

>> Free healthcare for instance. It's a system not without it's flaws, but - it's free. We'd be lucky to have access to a charging healthcare system let alone a free one.

> Your last bit is contradictory. I think we'd be unlucky to have a charging healthcare system, because cost can and does inhibit access.

Are you intentionally misunderstanding the posters very simple point?

I.e. that we would be very luck to have a functional health care system that charged at the point of use compared to, say, living in a failed state without any functioning health care, free at the point of use or not?


Rob Exile Ward on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to jonfun21: Yes John Humphries kept on suggesting that BG should make less profit 'as a gesture'. Yes John, that's exactly why shareholders invest in companies, it's a form of charity.

Frigging patronising, wilfully ignorant dope that he is.
jonfun21 on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Way off topic now but....

Its funny how people get very emotive about energy company profits, I agree the 'coincidental' industry wide increases in price and market concentration need to be looked at.

However the profit margin BG makes on residential supply (e.g. sale of gas to household customers) is 6.6%, which is hardly what you would call extortionate

See slide 9:

http://www.centrica.com/files/results/prelim12/2012_preliminary_slides.pdf
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward: I suspect your maybe coming at this from a different point of view to me, but I completely agree. Companies should pay tax because they have the responsibility to pay for the services they directly and indirectly benefit from and not as some sort of political/advertising gesture. Also John Humphries is an ignorant fool, the BBC needs to get rid of its silver haired old guard. John Humphries thing on the welfare state was complete nonsense and arguing to the right of the CSJ is in no way balanced reporting.
Rob Exile Ward on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to jonfun21: Oh you're missing the point I'm afraid. ANY profit above .1% of turnover is 'profiteering' in any business, and therefore bad.

Gudrun and Bruce will be along shortly to set you right.

:-)
jonfun21 on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:

I agree with you, the UK needs profitable companies that are HQ'd here and pay tax here (e.g. centrica). Clearly in non competitive markets then there has to be some regulation to stop excessive profits.

The issue is when they make profit here and don't pay tax on it (e.g. Starbucks, Amazon, Vodafone etc).

Clearly the UK level of corporate taxation needs to be competitive, but if countries worked together we could avoid a race to the bottom (e.g. Ireland undercutting the UK, then Ireland gets undercut by Switzerland etc).
Postmanpat on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to jonfun21:
> (In reply to Rob Exile Ward)
>
> Way off topic now but....
>
> Its funny how people get very emotive about energy company profits, I agree the 'coincidental' industry wide increases in price and market concentration need to be looked at.
>
Perhaps we get emotional about it because the media encourages us to.
It's a sort of knee jerk story.

I wonder if one day Humphreys will ask "Ofgen is predicting an energy shortage in the UK. Why aren't you raising prices more to pay for the capital expenditure required to deal with this shortage"

Pigs might fly :-)
SAF - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Blizzard: I haven't read the whole thread, so I apoligise if this has already come up...

But if 1 in 6 britains have no savings and the "average household debt in the UK (excluding mortgages) was £5,946 in December" (from credit action site)... then either one in six people are in excess of 35k in debt or the stats are up the creek....

Does the stat about the 5 in 6 people who do 'save' included people who have a savings account but have an equal or greater sum in a credit card bills, or higher purchase?

I have approx. £1500 saved, owe the 'bank of dad' 1k, own my car outright (unfortantely it's french!!!), and have whatever equity is in my house (less than I'd like, but more than a lot of people my age), and an NHS pension I have paid into since I was 24...

Most of my furniture is second hand, either inherited, hand me down or ebay (but this actually means it is higher quality than I would ever afford if I bought new). I have only once owned a car less than 10 years old, and that was only for about 2 months until is '10th birthday' came along. I have certainely come across people at work who look down on me/ask me if I am struggling because I drove around in a 15 year old/230k mile Golf for a long time... these same people had there cars on finance!!!

I do worry that I should have more 'cash' savings. But I do try!!!
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John_Hat - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to jonfun21:
> (In reply to doz generale)
>
> British gas announced an 11% rise in profits today, they also raised their prices by 6% last year and don't have plans to lower it. It's this kind of profiteering that is stopping people from being able to save.
>

Daft statement.

OK, Our gas bill is 5% of our total bills. I suspect we are not atypical. 6% on 5% is 0.3%. If that kind of increase is stopping me being able to save then I've got bigger problems than a gas bill.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to SAF: As you point out you can have savings and debt. So nowt wrong with the stats, well not that this would prove at least.
SAF - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to SAF) As you point out you can have savings and debt. So nowt wrong with the stats, well not that this would prove at least.

Saving when you have larger debts is just living an illusion/lie. Really the stats are pretty meaningless unless they take this into account.
Alyson - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to SAF: That can depend on the relative interest rates of each though.
Wiley Coyote - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to SAF) That can depend on the relative interest rates of each though.
Exactly. My daughter has both savings and a student loan. Since the student loan was taken out at 1pc below base rate (now at 0.5pc) she is currently actually receiving half a per cent interest from the govt on debt she owes them as well as receiving interest on her savings. She'd be daft to use savings to pay off the debt.

jonfun21 on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to John_Hat: I was quoting the original post by Doz Generale, should have used quote prices
ebygomm - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Just out of interest, what year did your daughter take out her student loan? I wasn't aware that any had terms that were 1% below base rate.
SAF - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
> Exactly. My daughter has both savings and a student loan. Since the student loan was taken out at 1pc below base rate (now at 0.5pc) she is currently actually receiving half a per cent interest from the govt on debt she owes them as well as receiving interest on her savings. She'd be daft to use savings to pay off the debt.

She is better off keeping her student loan, but as long as the amount she owes is more than the saving she has, she is still in debt, simple, and as long as she realises and accepts that that is the case, then it's all fine. The problem is there are alot of people out there who seem to be able to pretend that there debts aren't there and that their balance on there savings is actually reality when it isn't.
ebygomm - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to SAF:

Is a debt that gets wiped out after 25 years really a debt though?
Jimbo W on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to thesaunter:

> Are you intentionally misunderstanding the posters very simple point?

No, I'm pointing out that it isn't lucky if you can't afford it. In fact it might make absolutely no difference to having none at all, dependent on the model.
New POD - on 27 Feb 2013
One word:

Brighthouse.


"You can have it if you really want"

only 29.7% Apr


The culture of not saving up for stuff, but buying it on easy credit, means nobody has a reason to save.

I know that lots of people have incomes that barely cover their living expences, but I wonder how many could save quite a bit if they choose to give up some of their life style choices.

I have met too many people who were "living beyond their means"

Nice cars. Fancy holiday destinations. Smoking. Binge drinking. Nights out costing half the weeks wages.

I personally COULD save more if my wife chose not to buy her chothes in monsoon, if I didn't own 3 cars (2 are actually my wife's - she's a petrol head), and if I didn't eat so much rump steak
SAF - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ebygomm: As an outgoing of £100 a month (what I was paying by the time I finished paying it off)... and as something that some mortgage lenders bear in mind when calculating what can be borrowed, then for that 25 year period, yes I'd say it was a debt.
Rob Exile Ward on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ebygomm: Student loans are taxes by another (more politically acceptable) name. It's a shame if that puts off less worldly students for applying for them.
New POD - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin1978:
> (In reply to Jimbo W) I applied to Tesco and Sainsburys, and didn't get a reply. I'm WELL over qualified/educated for both. I even "faked" a CV to downplay my qualifications as I was told I may be overqualified and that was the reason I wasn't getting a reply!
>
> THAT is the reality of job seeking for many.

I made that mistake once. For 2 days, before I found the solution.

The solution, is SPIN the CV to a higher state of play. There are LESS people chasing the jobs the higher you go.

I'm not saying LIE, but if you do spin yourself into a job you can almost do, for 6 months with a risk that they might 'find you out' but you might survive 3 years before moving on, it's a better risk than not having a job.
New POD - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to SAF:
> own my car outright (unfortantely it's french!!!),

Technically a Liability then. What possessed you ?


In reply to SAF:
> and have whatever equity is in my house.

An investment towards FREE housing once you've paid it off.
doz generale - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
> (In reply to jonfun21) Yes John Humphries kept on suggesting that BG should make less profit 'as a gesture'. Yes John, that's exactly why shareholders invest in companies, it's a form of charity.
>
> Frigging patronising, wilfully ignorant dope that he is.

It's just a shame that British gas' main shareholders are registered overseas. I'm not too comfortable with huge profits being sent overseas for the supply of heating fuel in the UK. Fair enough we need to buy the gas from overseas but why pay over the odds to maintain our domestic supply network?

Postmanpat on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Rob Exile Ward)
> [...]
>
> It's just a shame that British gas' main shareholders are registered overseas. I'm not too comfortable with huge profits being sent overseas for the supply of heating fuel in the UK. Fair enough we need to buy the gas from overseas but why pay over the odds to maintain our domestic supply network?


Bloody foreigners eh! Bet you hate all those immigrants as well :)

Incidentally are you postulating a connection between foreign shareholders and "paying over the odds"? If so, what is it?
David Martin - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to New POD:

There is a lot of truth to the statement that we are defined by what we consume or what possessions we display. This is all the more so given we live in a highly unequal society: you can catch up with the social status of others simply by buying more "stuff", which is cheaper than ever before.

Hardly surprising people choose to live beyond their means. Even less surprising given the credit culture is encouraged no matter where you look. You are considered daft if you you aren't using credit, the government tells us to spend more, the whole economy is predicated on us spending more, your were a fool not to go in to mega debt and make money off the housing market, and why shouldn't you have the same lifestyle as your neighbour - be that funded through savings or loans?
David Martin - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin:

Should add, while our parents looked forward to a world getting better, we have global warming, a population crisis, vanishing pensions and diminishing global resources.

I'm not terribly confident that we won't be living in a Mad Max style dystopia by 2040 when my pension starts being paid out. It really doesn't inspire me to pay in, or put aside for what the world may be like then.
doz generale - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
>
>
> Bloody foreigners eh! Bet you hate all those immigrants as well :)
I dont mind people coming here to work and benefit the ecconomy!

>
> Incidentally are you postulating a connection between foreign shareholders and "paying over the odds"? If so, what is it?

I think the gas supply should be nationalised. We pay over the odds as some company buys gas wholesale and then sells it to us at an inflated cost and these excess profits go to line the pockets of companies like investco who are registered in Bermuda. These companies don't even own or maintain any gas supply infrastructure! I can't see how any innovation or competition can drive down costs when it's just a case of buying and passing on gas.
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doz generale - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin:
> (In reply to David Martin)
>
> Should add, while our parents looked forward to a world getting better, we have global warming, a population crisis, vanishing pensions and diminishing global resources.

They did have the constant threat of total nuclear Armageddon hanging over them. The Oil supply has been a concern for at least a couple of generation too no?

>
> I'm not terribly confident that we won't be living in a Mad Max style dystopia by 2040 when my pension starts being paid out. It really doesn't inspire me to pay in, or put aside for what the world may be like then.

Postmanpat on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
> I dont mind people coming here to work and benefit the ecconomy!
>
So why do you mind foreigners investing here and benefiting the economy?
>
> I think the gas supply should be nationalised. We pay over the odds as some company buys gas wholesale and then sells it to us at an inflated cost and these excess profits go to line the pockets of companies like investco who are registered in Bermuda. These companies don't even own or maintain any gas supply infrastructure! I can't see how any innovation or competition can drive down costs when it's just a case of buying and passing on gas.

Can you tell me what sort of company Invesco is and whose money it invests?

I am not clear who you think doesn't own or maintain a gas supply infrastructure: centrica or invesco? Do you think private haulage companies shouldn't exist because they don't own the road network?

How you define excess profits? Have you an acceptable profit margin in mind? If not, how do you think capital expenditure should be financed?


David Martin - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to doz generale:

> They did have the constant threat of total nuclear Armageddon hanging over them. The Oil supply has been a concern for at least a couple of generation too no?

True to a point. But I think there's a subtle difference between the then reasonably remote chance of a nuclear war and the current, almost exponential and apparently unstoppable, slide towards environmental catastrophe. Maybe it would have felt different at the time, but I think there were more factors in favour of savings then than there are now.
doz generale - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Postmanpat:
> (In reply to doz generale)
> [...]
> So why do you mind foreigners investing here and benefiting the economy?

I don't believe they do benefit the economy. there is a net loss to the economy when large overseas companies lift profit out. If you took away a foreign gas company you won't take away the demand for that gas. The market or the potential for jobs wont go away.


> [...]
>
> Can you tell me what sort of company Invesco is and whose money it invests?

Here you go http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invesco

>
> I am not clear who you think doesn't own or maintain a gas supply infrastructure: centrica or invesco? Do you think private haulage companies shouldn't exist because they don't own the road network?

No but i also do't think that roads should be privatised. Do you?

Centrica own british gas and the largest shareholder is investco. They do not own the gas supply infrastructure in the UK. The National grid owns the pipeline infrastructure and they are also mainly owned by foreign companies. out of every pound we spend on gas in the UK a fair bit of this money goes abroad never to be seen again! In exchange for what? Jobs that would exist anyway?

>
> How you define excess profits? Have you an acceptable profit margin in mind? If not, how do you think capital expenditure should be financed?

Personally i think infrastructure should be state owned and run. profits should be used to maintain that.

Do you not think that there could be a sovereign issue with large chunks of infrastructure being owned by foreign companies?
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin: Not to dismiss climate change, but while if I was living in Tuvalu (is that low lying?) I may question the wisdom of buying property, I probably wouldn't in the UK. Climate change is a huge issue but its effects will vary vastly from one locale to another. I don't see why the UK should worry too much about its direct consequences. Though we might need to worry about how to accommodate those fleeing currently fertile land, at lower latitudes. .
Pyreneenemec - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin:
> (In reply to David Martin)
>
> Should add, while our parents looked forward to a world getting better, we have global warming, a population crisis, vanishing pensions and diminishing global resources.
>
> I'm not terribly confident that we won't be living in a Mad Max style dystopia by 2040 when my pension starts being paid out. It really doesn't inspire me to pay in, or put aside for what the world may be like then.


I wonder at what level unemployment would have to be to result in a social break-down ? Spain currently has a quarter of it's workforce on the dole, but apart from a few isolated incidences, the social-framework appears to be resisting quite well.

It's hard to imagine a Europe where people are born into a situation where there is absolutely no chance of escape. Where living from hand to mouth will be the norm for all but a very small and privileged super-rich.

Problems will be exacerbated by this same population being very well educated. I find it hard to believe that intelligent human-beings are just going to sit there and made to live miserable lives when they are surrounded by wealth and a small minority who pull the strings and have all the pickings.

I foresee a very violent and crime-stricken land, where the super-rich will have to live in fortified compounds to keep the thieving masses at bay. We may still be a long-way from the grim scenario painted in Richard Fleischer's film "Soylent Green", but the recent meat scandals have shown just how little we can trust industrialists producing our food. Before we know it, the poorest amongst us may well be eating their own shit !


Postmanpat on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to doz generale:
> (In reply to Postmanpat)
> [...]
>
> I don't believe they do benefit the economy. there is a net loss to the economy when large overseas companies lift profit out. If you took away a foreign gas company you won't take away the demand for that gas. The market or the potential for jobs wont go away.
>
No, just as if my mate wants to open a coffee shop and asks me invest in it this will make no difference to wether people want to drink his coffee. However, he will be pleased to share the costs of investment with me.
You argument seems to be that if I were,say,French, he should be less happy about it. Why? cross border trade and investment creates wealth for everybody. The only obvious objection is if you don't like foreigners so don't think that they should make money.

> [...]
>
> Here you go http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invesco
>
Yes, but you've missed the point of my question. They are are acting as an investor on behalf of pension funds and private individuals, many of whom will be British. Do you think pensioners should not be allowed to invest in companies?
Do you think that British pensioners should only be allowed to invest in British companies so they miss out on Apple, Microsoft, Google etc?
> [...]
>
> No but i also do't think that roads should be privatised. Do you?
>
Different subject. British Gas is the equivalent to a haulage company. National Grid would be the equivalent to the road owner.Let's stick to the subject.

> Centrica own british gas and the largest shareholder is investco. They do not own the gas supply infrastructure in the UK. The National grid owns the pipeline infrastructure and they are also mainly owned by foreign companies. out of every pound we spend on gas in the UK a fair bit of this money goes abroad never to be seen again! In exchange for what? Jobs that would exist anyway?
>
So, we've established that Invesco invests on behalf of Joe Public so we wouldn't expect them to own infrastructure any more than you or I have to own a shop to invest invest in M&S.
Why should Centrica own the infrastructure any more than the haulage company should own the roads?
>
>
> Do you not think that there could be a sovereign issue with large chunks of infrastructure being owned by foreign companies?

Not especially: if there are proper legal controls it shouldn't be much of an issue. But this is irrelevant in this case. National Grid is a British company with a largely British ownership and working within a legislatory framework to maintain the infrastructure.

Do you think that Brtish companies should be banned from having subsidiaries overseas?
How do you think the British economy would look if cross border investment were outlawed?



David Martin - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:

I'm thinking the impact, perhaps not on Tuvalu but on more important nations, will end up impacting us. It certainly bodes for an uncertain future with extremely unpredictable knock-on effects (thawing permafrost and other such events leading to reinforcement loops of ever more CO2 release despite any improvements in our behaviour). The Economist just the other week was noting that supposed gains from a more tropical polar region were highly likely to be very misplaced. This is doomsday stuff and, unlike nuclear weapons, requires at the very least positive action and substantial lifestyle sacrifices by every human being on the planet to prevent. If we in the rich world aren't willing to make them, why should the billions who haven't yet enjoyed this life style forgo?

But climate change is just one issue. There appears to be a gradual erosion of livelihoods (perceived or real) and relative wealth which doesn't inspire confidence. Top all that off with anything from vanishing bees and fishies to the exponential growth in humans and nuclear reactors, I struggle to see the world I expect to retire in (if I ever do get to retire) as being a better place than it is today. That wasn't the scenario my parents lived in. Hence listening to a previous generation, or even those of the current generation, saying I should save more doesn't really resonate. I do want to have as much fun as my colleague/neighbour/friend, and if that means buying my next bit of climbing/paragliding/skydiving/skiing gear on tick then so be it. None of it might be around in 20 years time for me to enjoy.

Perhaps having kids later in life allows us to put off the requirement to save earlier too.
David Martin - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Pyreneenemec:

Large parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa have sky-high unemployment (unofficial at least) and survive - in a fashion. But their living circumstances are different, and presumably their expectations are lower. I imagine Spain somewhat falls in this category (its expected and accepted for kids to live at home in the extended family, which provides a strong buffer). I'm guessing the unemployment rate would have to be somewhere between what we are experiencing today and what mining towns were threatened with in the 80s, before the riots started.

Collapse is probably not as far away as we would like to think though. You only have to look at Syria, a reasonably cohessive dysfunctional authoritarian state prior to the civil war, now utterly imploded and factionalised. In our Western case, if you combine the double whammy of energy and food shortages with a sharp global decline in living conditions, not to mention us having to compete with, rather than suck from, the developing world...our existence just seems a lot more tenuous than it did 50 years ago.
Rob Exile Ward on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin: 'That wasn't the scenario my parents lived in. '

I'm probably about the same age as your parents, and reading 'The Silent Spring' back in 1970 hardly inspired confidence in the future. When I started work we were immediately plunged into a 3 day week and sugar shortage (I was offered 13 tonnes of the stuff on Liverpool Docks when I just wanted a paper bag full of the stuff, but that's another story.) When my eldest was born I bought a copy of 'Beneath The City Streets', not least to get advice on how to survive a nuclear attack - Russia had just invaded Afghanistan, the cold war looked hot once again. Mid 80s - Thatcher's Britain didn't seem that great, and we'd just been involved in the first 'proper' shooting war that I could remember. Oh yes - and we were DEFINITELY going to have run out of oil by now - no question.

So perhaps the future didn't look much rosier for your folks than it does for you?
JM - on 27 Feb 2013
What's everyone moaning about, I've got loads of savings.
Wiley Coyote - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ebygomm:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> Just out of interest, what year did your daughter take out her student loan?
Mid 90s
Wiley Coyote - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin:
> (In reply to David Martin)
>
> Should add, while our parents looked forward to a world getting better, we have global warming, a population crisis, vanishing pensions and diminishing global resources.
>
Ah yes, I remember it well, growing up in the 1960s, not long after the Cuban missile crisis, the Cold War at it height, Russia and the US bristling with ICBMs and all of us teenagers absolutely convinced we were going to be incinerated in a nuclear war. Happy days, eh?
Eric9Points - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:
> (In reply to David Martin)
> [...]
> Ah yes, I remember it well, growing up in the 1960s, not long after the Cuban missile crisis, the Cold War at it height, Russia and the US bristling with ICBMs and all of us teenagers absolutely convinced we were going to be incinerated in a nuclear war. Happy days, eh?

At least the music was better.
David Martin - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Something about the cold war doesn't seem quite as scary (granted, I didn't live during it). The Cuban missile crisis was an acute event and within 10 years the first arms limitation treaties started coming in to force. There was also something gentlemanly (hotlines between the powers to avoid escalation for example) in its conduct which doesn't between troublesome powers today.

I grew up in the 80s, a period when there were more nuclear warheads in existence than ever before. Today we have nuclear weapons tests going on in countries that seem, and probably are, far less rational than the Soviets were. Yet the world still seems a scarier place than at any point in my short existence.

The threat of nuclear annihilation is of course still very present. But it pales in comparison to the threat of our entire biosphere being crippled with no single person able to undo it. All the presidents in the world can join together, sing Kumbaya, and we'd still not be unlikely to resolve the threat we face today since the driving factors are out of any individual's control: population, resources, consumption.
Wiley Coyote - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin:
> (In reply to Wiley Coyote)
>
> Something about the cold war doesn't seem quite as scary (granted, I didn't live during it).

Your analysis viewed with logic and crystal clear hindsight may well be true but living through it at the time it seemed real enough and tbh with right wing nut jobs in the US and slab faced slavs in the Kremlin using words like 'mutually assured destruction' together and therefore arguing that a surprise first strike was the best form of defence it all seemed a goodly bit more scarey than your assessment, linked of course to the knowledge that it never came to pass, may lead you to believe. But the point remains, baby boomers did not have quite the sunny time many seem to believe
simon c on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to David Martin:

I guess growing up in the armed forces from the 60's onwards and being on bases both in UK and in Europe that were probable targets for first strike tended to make one slightly more aware of the tension but it was a palpable threat and based on some of what my Dad used to occasionally let slip had some close calls at times. The language of Governments these days are much more moderate than back then.
David Martin - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to Wiley Coyote:

Fair point. But I really don't like my finely honed rant against my parents (I really do wish I had never been born) generation being undermined.
David Martin - on 28 Feb 2013
In reply to simon c:
> (In reply to David Martin)
>
> The language of Governments these days are much more moderate than back then.

Which makes it all the more sinister, don't you see!
Jim C - on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to firewireguy:
> I save and have some savings, but there's not much incentive with interest rates at the level they are. Having said that, I'm saving for a deposit on a house, at which point I'll be glad of the low interest rates.

I was hit with the very high interest rates in years gone by, so never had spare money to save or spend and was risk averse to borrowing more , ( and I had 3 expensive daughters) but no that rtes are low I don't have a mortgage anymore. I see no real point in saving now for the reasons already given above.
Those with debts of course should ditch any savings and pay off as much debt as possible whilst it is 'cheap' to do so.
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Rob Exile Ward on 01 Mar 2013
In reply to David Martin: ' But I really don't like my finely honed rant against my parents (I really do wish I had never been born) generation being undermined.'

I think that your issues are slightly smaller and more personal than the state of the world.

There may have been better times to have been born, but for most people, not many. You'd still have your problems in paradise.

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