Sunday, 25 April 2010

UK Election vs RP Election

Mga kandidato isang taon nang nangangampanya although official campaigns started only this year.
Dito sa UK, when Brown called for election end of March saka pa lang sila naglagay ng mga campaign ads.
Sa Pinas, may first time na automated poll pero this year lang sila nagprepare.. tsk! tsk! You can tell how inefficient the government system is.

Actually, I have never participated in the Philippine election. Pero the fact na nagpapadala ako ng remittance at home means I am contributing to our country. Hindi ko man sinadya na hindi bumoto pero wala talaga akong tiwala sa mga Pinoy politicians. They are all only after their own selfish interest. Mga sakim!

Sige nga, sinong politician ang may tunay na hinanakit sa pobreng masa? Sino ba ang naglalagay ng pondo sa national treasury? Ang pobreng masa dahil sa letcheng VAT na yan. Presyo ng prime commodities taon-taon tumataas. Hay naku! Bangon, Pilipinas!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Cancelled flights to and from UK: Counting blessings

This is how UK airports looked like in the past few days when European air traffic agency ordered airports to shut down. Meanwhile, across the globe hundreds of thousands of stranded Britons littered the airports. I don't know if I could consider myself lucky. Maybe I would. First, I was lucky that volcanic disruption happened the day after I arrived in Sicily. But my return flight was cancelled and since I only took five days off I am worried about the extended week because I won't get paid.

Still I am lucky--or I would like to think so--because I got more time off from work. I got more time to eat Sicilian food. I got more time to enjoy Sicilian weather and so on and so forth. I'm lucky that my return flight was cancelled a few days before and not on that day I was going to the airport.

But still I can't fully rejoice as I think of the other Britons who were stranded at the airports. Such an isolated volcanic eruption but the effect was "global" in the sense that all flights to and from UK were cancelled. Oh, well, I better enjoy the rest of my extended holiday.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Living in the UK, tax here and there, tax everywhere

Part 1: Income Tax and National Insurance

This blog has been put off for ages and I seemed to have forgotten about it if today wasn't the end of tax year 09-10.  Having said that, it's regretful to say I'm starting to pay income tax next week. Well, I have been paying tax already and it's called council tax and also national insurance (NI). I think NI is where they get money to give to those who are on benefit.  This is an awesome idea but it's been abused by so many.  People who receive benefits get more money than us who actually work except for people who get paid more than the minimum wage of course. Like I said, one side is good and the other is crap. Some women or even girls as young as 16 or maybe younger can get impregnated to claim benefit--free housing and allowance with bills all paid for. Yes, here in the UK they pay single mothers who are jobless. It's supposed to be for unfortunate single mothers but now it's becoming a legitimate excuse to not work. And who wouldn't take advantage of it? You work 7-8 hours a day and get paid minimum wage. You go to Jobcentre Plus and declare yourself incapable of finding job and you'll get benefit which ironically is more than average Joe receives from his wage.

But this is not to vilify my respected British people. People who are described above make just a fraction of the whole UK population. Still many British find it worthwhile to earn a living rather than just wait for the money in the post.

As you can see in the graph above, that's where the government receive tax from and of course most of it comes from the consumers. Income tax for example, if you're earning £7-37,000 a month you get taxed 20% above your taxable income. Taxable income depends individually. If a person is receiving allowance on top of his/her salary say for example fuel allowance that amount is added to his taxable income. My tax code for example is 647L and that means I get £6470 tax-free income. So anything beyond that is taxable by 20% and that's the minimum. Above 37T is 40% and the maximum is a whooping 60%.

What irks me most is the huge payouts and bonuses of the big bosses. I think it's so insensitive! Although considered as a first class country, England has got lots of citizens living in poverty. An add on a bus says that 1 out of 3 pupils is poor. How can the government afford to lavish on their spendings if they didn't have a heart of stone?

Going back to people who get housing benefit and other benefits it is, however, mind-boggling that there are a few people I see sleeping on streets. If it is their choice, I don't know. But if the government care enough, why leave them out in the cold while other fraudulent criminals get as much as 10 houses all from benefits? How can these people outsmart the gov't?

When I said fraudulent criminals these are people who claim a number of housing benefits using bogus identities. Some of them use dead people's names. A documentary on tv was shown about a year ago how people do this and yet get away with it.

Next topic is the Council Tax. Abangan....