Monday, 29 May 2006

satellite tv part deux

Dear Overoften,

What puzzles me is the affordability of satellite tv. It's quite expensive, over £40 a month plus the cost of the hardware (up to £300). Given that coucil flats and houses are supposed to be there to house the poorer members of our society, satellite tv is a very unnecessary luxury. Even so, sides of council blocks are covered with satellite dishes.

Maybe I'm mis-reading it. Maybe the dishes are all actually linked like a gigantic radio telescope scanning the outer galaxies for intelligent life-forms. A sort of Jodrell Bank for Peckham. (I won't crack a cheap gag re. intelligent life-forms & Peckham).

14 comments: said...

Benefits - it does what it says on the tin.

Pangloss said...

Nice to know how unwisely my hard-earned taxes are being spent. I guess I'm the wonderful benefits are also paying for their cigarettes and Super T.

Given that I would rather help the genuinely needy rather than fund people's inflated lifestyles, and also that by the time I retire, my State pension will be as good as worthless, and that I never wanted to invade Iraq and that I flatly refuse to claim dole money because I believe in working, is there a legitimate way to opt out of paying tax?

This might sound facetious, but I'm pretty fed up of paying thousands and thousands of pounds in tax each year and seeing it being spent wrongly at Government, local council and soap dodger level. said...

Couldn't agree with you more really. The culutre of dependency is stornger than ever these days.

Anonymous said...

It's a Statellite dish Rodney!

Overoften said...

Well you have a choice then. You're either suggesting taking away the support from those that need it by doing away with the welfare system entirely, or deal with the fact that society (and not a welfare society, specifically) has bred some incredibly selfish people.
Is the rant about the welfare state, or about cheats, or about the fact that the welfare system is open to abuse?

Anonymous said...

Make it compulsary to do community work in exchange for benefit. That would cut down on the cheats. It would also foster pride, both in self and community.

Some claimants with disabilities might be exempt, but by no means all.

Vote for me.

Pangloss' Posh Friend

Overoften said...

You've evidently never been unemployed and don't realise how time consuming looking for a job can be. How is a 'genuine case' supposed to achieve that whilst also holding down one of your "community jobs"?

Overoften said...

Also many unemployed people have plenty of pride in both themselves and their community. It's just luck that they lack. What they don't need is to be patronised by local government and Daily Mail readers who've never had to worry about where the next pay cheque's coming from.

Pangloss said...

My rant is about cheats. I'm all in favour of supporting those who NEED support. In terms of the welfare system being open to abuse, well all systems get abused on one level or another, but tightening up on the abusers is needed.

It's a pretty big problem. My neighbour has two completely healthy children who have left school. Their dad has given them jobs within a big company he works for but they 'can't be bovvered' to go to work. Their lifestyle choice is to live off social handouts and claim the right to a council flat.

This is very common and not how I want my taxes to be spent.

I know another couple who earn over £80,000 a year and spend a couple of months yachting for pleasure. They've got a huge 4 bedroom council flat in Kennington.

And I've only just started. And none of these people are in need.

At Government level, the home office spent £4,000,000 (yes, four million pounds!!) on a computer system, very quickly decided it wasn't right then ditched the lot. Don't know how much they spent on the replacement system though.

All I want is for our taxes to be spent properly.

Overoften said...

So it started being about poor people who have satellite tv, then it was about benefit cheats, now it's about wasteful local government.
It's not very focussed, this rage, is it.
The fact that one can quote some glaring examples of cheating isn't terribly relevant to a logical debate about benefit fraud, as it's impossible to know the whole picture. (Are they being investigated, for instance? There's no way of knowing.) Getting your hands on benefits IS a fairly arduous process, and fraud IS investigated, but yes, some cheats are fairly determined and not only play the system well, but are fortunate to dodge attention.
It doesn't logically follow, as was suggested by the brave 'Anon', that "the entire class should be given detention for the actions of certain individuals." That kind of overreaction is the resort of the unimaginative, unacquainted with all the facts and only seeing a partial (and dare I say "fed"?) view.
Also, the fact that one pays 1000s and 1000s in taxes means that one must earn many 1000s more, and can probably afford entertainment which amounts to more than Sky telly and fags.
The inability of local government to organise a brewery-based piss-up is certainly screwing someone, but it isn't the tax-payer whose elevated salary attracts higher rates of taxation.

Pangloss said...

Paying thousands and thousands of pounds in tax is a very easy target to hit and you don't need to be a high earner to reach it.

Let's start with council tax. That's the £1,300 to start with. Of course, income tax is calculated upon earnings, but earning £25,000 and you've paid well over £4,000.

I am not saying that my knowledge of tax cheats is a route to a conclusion in a scientific experiment. Does that mean you only trust MORI polls and quantitative surveys?

You are misreading things. I am NOT against the poor. I am not against benefits for those who need it, I am against the incredible wastage of this money.

I'm sure this happens within all countries of the World, even in a fine country like Japan.

Overoften said...

I didn't mean to seriously accuse you of wanting to eat the poor or ban Tennant's Super. I just wanted to poke you with a big stick.

Back to the action. It certainly happens in Japan. Famous for it. But then they have had the same party in government for 50 years, so corruption doesn't even provoke much outrage here any more, it seems.
And as for financial ineptitude, it was recently suggested by a Finance Ministry study group that one way to solve Japan's impending pensions crisis would be to raise consumption tax (VAT) from 5% to 22%. Remember of course that Japan, once the world's 2nd largest economy, has been in recession for more than a decade. So what effect would a 340% rise in indirect taxation of consumers have on a stagnant economy?
Sing along if you know the words!

Anonymous said...


I'm not saying that unemployed should do full time community service, so they will still have time to find a job. But money shouldn't be freely handed out, to do so undermines its value.

And no, unemployed don't lack luck. They lack skills, experience or the ability to comprimise on the sort of job that they would take.

Vote for me
Pangloss' Posh Mate

Overoften said...

It's not free at all. Where does the government get the money from that it hands out? I think most if not all claimants can say that they've paid into the system through direct or indirect taxation. And the vast majority who will not stay on benefits will continue to pay into the system when their claim ends.

As for "They lack skills, experience or the ability to comprimise on the sort of job that they would take" - that might apply to school leavers or graduates, i.e people who've never had a job, but doesn't apply to people who've been working but had their job taken away from them.

What about if your local industry closes down after you've devoted years of your craft to it? It's not just as simple as upping sticks (you can't move away, you're stuck with a house that no one will buy), retraining, walking into a new job. Support is needed in this case.

And I'm sorry but your "money shouldn't be freely handed out, to do so undermines its value is deeply patronising. How much per week is the JSA? (Clue: It's a pittance). There are, of course, cases where people do OK out of the benefits system, but as we've already said, the system is flawed and needs tightening up. Abolishing it however would not only be uncivilised, but would cause more problems (not only law and order) than it would solve.

And vote for you? We had 18 long years of you, mate. The next lot weren't much better, but still...