Ban tax havens

The government needs to stop all companies who blatantly avoid paying their fair share of tax for example boots the chemist ,Starbucks etc. They need to get their act together and change the laws pronto. This would see a quicker end to the national deficit, which has gone up not down and an end to many cut backs for the elderly etc. If everyone went on like these companies¬† our country would soon go down the pan so why are the government letting this happen? It’s an absolute disgrace.

Why is this idea important?

The government needs to stop all companies who blatantly avoid paying their fair share of tax for example boots the chemist ,Starbucks etc. They need to get their act together and change the laws pronto. This would see a quicker end to the national deficit, which has gone up not down and an end to many cut backs for the elderly etc. If everyone went on like these companies¬† our country would soon go down the pan so why are the government letting this happen? It’s an absolute disgrace.

Scrap Part P of the Building Regulations

This nasty peice of legislation was passed in 2005, with the usual rushed through knee jerk reaction that went with it.
All in a veiw to make electrical work carried out in domestic properties safer.Yes very fine idea, however why does it cost ridiculous amounts of money payable to Local Building Control or some so called unqualified registered scheme member “Electrician(I use that term lightly)Needs to be scrapped ASAP. Let common sence prevail,I thought the nanny state was dead?

Why is this idea important?

This nasty peice of legislation was passed in 2005, with the usual rushed through knee jerk reaction that went with it.
All in a veiw to make electrical work carried out in domestic properties safer.Yes very fine idea, however why does it cost ridiculous amounts of money payable to Local Building Control or some so called unqualified registered scheme member “Electrician(I use that term lightly)Needs to be scrapped ASAP. Let common sence prevail,I thought the nanny state was dead?

Ammendment to the Arbitration Act 1986

The Arbitration Act 1986 was supposed to make the resolution of business to business disputes simpliar, cheaper and quicker. However this well meaning piece of legislation is being abused by big business where issues arise in their dealing with smaller business. It is a basic priniciple of our human rights that we should not be deined access to the court system which regulates and governs our land. Reference of a matter to Arbitration was supposed to require the agreement of both parties and the resulting arbitration was supposed to be immpartial.

However the Arbitartion process is now mainly run by the large trade organisations which are dominated by the large companies within the sector which also fund their very existence. This detracts from the immpartialality that one would expect from a quasi judicial process. The Arbitration process has also now become slow and expensive and indeed Arbitration are changing hourly rates high than that of legally qualified solicitors. This is making the process very far from the fair alternative it was supposed to be. Futhermore senior Industry employees are able to make large sums of money by working on Arbitration panels either upon their retierment or as a profitable sideline to their day job within the industry. Whilst people with expert knowledge obviously have something to offer the process, a degree of common sense is also require and can only be achieved if lay people make up the majority of any arbitration panel.

Why is this idea important?

The Arbitration Act 1986 was supposed to make the resolution of business to business disputes simpliar, cheaper and quicker. However this well meaning piece of legislation is being abused by big business where issues arise in their dealing with smaller business. It is a basic priniciple of our human rights that we should not be deined access to the court system which regulates and governs our land. Reference of a matter to Arbitration was supposed to require the agreement of both parties and the resulting arbitration was supposed to be immpartial.

However the Arbitartion process is now mainly run by the large trade organisations which are dominated by the large companies within the sector which also fund their very existence. This detracts from the immpartialality that one would expect from a quasi judicial process. The Arbitration process has also now become slow and expensive and indeed Arbitration are changing hourly rates high than that of legally qualified solicitors. This is making the process very far from the fair alternative it was supposed to be. Futhermore senior Industry employees are able to make large sums of money by working on Arbitration panels either upon their retierment or as a profitable sideline to their day job within the industry. Whilst people with expert knowledge obviously have something to offer the process, a degree of common sense is also require and can only be achieved if lay people make up the majority of any arbitration panel.

Speeding up Traffic Flow

One of the biggest daily holdups is that at the Dartford Crossing.   Tolls are collected both Southbound and Northbound.    Why not cancel either of these tolls and instead just double the toll on the other.   This method is already used on the Severn crossing.

Why is this idea important?

One of the biggest daily holdups is that at the Dartford Crossing.   Tolls are collected both Southbound and Northbound.    Why not cancel either of these tolls and instead just double the toll on the other.   This method is already used on the Severn crossing.

Creating new jobs without additional funding

The UK government has said during this period of austerity they will not be cutting the aid budget but something new needs to be done about employment and job creation. It should be noted that this idea works without the Aid element if you were looking at creating jobs there are elements in this idea that speak to that. If you reposition the funding and look for private sector contribution it still works . This might be might be politically sensitive / incorrect or dubious idea for the purist. If we look at the aid given by the UK / US/ EU to Africa (and the rest of the world), a percentage of that aid is tied to purchases by the aid recipient to the donor countries. But it’s usually business for the boys and usually badly managed. The question is that can that be changed taking the UK (just because I live there) for example will give approximately £100 million to Nigeria of west Africa ( see DFID ) not a lot you might say but with jobs scarce in the UK, should aid also includes job aid. Secondly have we maximised private sector involvement in Job creation if we can give them some tax breaks for creating some jobs even if the jobs are not directly working for them? This brief looks at the creating of an aid corps valued at possibly £3 million in terms of salary and deployment but can lead to jobs creation and business opportunities worth hundreds of millions. Their initial remit is entrepreneurial programs, Train indigenous worker and create markets for goods and services. The money does not have to be 100% government get the private sector involved the selling point is that they might be able to get a pool of trained staff in the future with local knowledge and management experience which they might not get in the in the UK on return. Do not forget the Africans in Diaspora who might want to go back and contribute for some time (like 6 months they may have local knowledge and skills plus they are not beholden to the aid recipient. Examples of this are experts from the World Bank who have been seconded to countries like Nigeria even if for a short time can have an impact (See Article ) especially as they are paid by the aid donor. I personally know that with jobs scarce British people are highly travelled and willing to work abroad The point is that there should be a paid aid corps (an example in the building and construction trade is suffering while aid funded construction projects could use the help of aid funded construction experts to not only execute but to train the local work force). This goes beyond selling equipment (I have horrendous stories of donated equipment which is never used) this forces the equipment to be setup and used. The alternative is to set up and African Venture capital fund and not based of the British Model ( my MBA dissertation written 12 years ago showed that British VC’s do not really invest in start ups and early stage companies and the angel investor are quite weak 12 years later things have not changed much) this should be more in line with the VC in America that have a more rounded port folio ( there are Chinese Indian and African returnees who have created their own funds in India china Nigeria Ghana but its not enough) . This should not be limited to goods and services. Africans send their kids to be educated abroad spending £240 -500 million (12000 students a year) for a population of 150million that’s a pittance compared to the potential of British secondary and universities extending their brands abroad. The question is that will it damage the education trade? The answer is no, when education was really good in Nigeria people still sent their children abroad and china and the middle east are opening branches of universities abroad . In certain universities the first two years are carried out abroad and the final year in the US or UK tech also means that they are in constant contact with satellite universities. For Britain and America to prosper they may actually have to invest abroad to create markets for their goods and services. To people without insight all of china investments in other countries are about obtaining strategic natural resources. But the probable mix is: strategic natural resources 40% political influence 40% creating future markets for their goods and services 20% any way back to the main point. The scenarios and options are varied and I will write a policy paper on it in the future in detail lets look at some issues : Political:The is a political price for changing aid policy but it does not have to be for all aid only a part of it. The political will and cost to change some of the status quo might be high. The will be resistance to measuring the real not perceived returns of the aid possibly calling this type development investment as a policy might remove it from the main focus of aid and make it some thing else. The goodwill might be obtained if private companies can be involved to contribute (an example is private companies can jointly fund positions in Africa the salary for a experts and engineers where need). The job creation part of things can be sold as a good thing.* There is a problem that the jobs might be abroad ( a component of jobs will be in the UK). There are other government agencies that do similar things like the DFID but note these are not entrepreneurial enterprises and an extension of government policy this goes beyond and is leaner in its focus. If the UK wants to change its perception by countries that it has labelled future strategic trouble spots then this kind of aid might buy them some good will. In country like Ghana and Nigeria the post colonial tactic of divide and rule might not be very effective if they are competing with the Chinese for oil reserves and they want to win hearts and minds in the north of those countries etc.Economic: The long term view is to create jobs up date workforce skills by working abroad or working with international agencies. Our thinking has to change since, financial services is the biggest industry what other soft services can we expand: education, remote medical diagnostics, we can export our film expertise the current value of Nollywood films is $400 million (they need help with piracy and production skills ,training ,equipment). Africa is screaming for IT investment in a transformative way. The Kenyan, South African and Nigerian market is huge, the return per user is lower but the volume is higher and there is less legacy cost which means that most of the investment is lower over time. It would be nice if all the jobs our created in the UK but if it cant UK will still remain the base and nothing has stopped profits from being repatriated as shell BP and chevron (who have invested over $3- 10 billion in Nigeria) repatriate funds. There is an explosion of microfinance in Africa one of its main problems is financing the right investments access of their customers to training and goods and services I am sure that aid could be directed to help this fledgling businesses in a measurable way also the use of the internet though mobile Phones ( as opposed the internet because pcs are expensive and access is not as pervasive) The list is endless and the possibilities endless. Seeding the venture capital market there is a great market for new venture funds for Africa but the approach will be different, there is also the ability to skip certain tech steps examples are in the telecoms. Secondly there is the low tech approach which means that some tech solutions are too sophisticated in its implementation (manual labour is cheaper in some solutions). Healthcare and technology is another area of growth I personally know of three companies from the US who are looking at investments in Nigeria. Social: The ability to redefine or channel aid and manage the public’s perception of aid without strings. The impact of the aid will be measurable and the quality of life improvement can be measured. Technological: Create a market for UK Jobs directly / indirectly for goods and services. Create and adapt technology that works in the third world. Creating systems that are cheaper to deploy. The impact of telecoms as a platform for deploying tech. The largest and fastest changes are using telecoms as a payment platform. Green Tech might be expensive for Africa but there are opportunities to create research hubs ( there are hundreds of scientists underemployed in Africa) there is also the weather and people seem to forget that there are at least six development banks focused on Africa looking at investing. There is an opportunity for the UK to created the worlds largest development solutions database this looks at all the different solutions ( solar ,pedal powered, medical equipment ,industrial equipment ) and the cost, location, the companies with database analytics and all the case studies / example of its implementation . The UK should be the number one destination for research on development technologies and the UK can hold conferences and services and support. The UK can become the base camp or Hub for development tech. Legal: Patchy regulations and enforcement. Immense infrastructural huddles. Corruption.Ther is a problem arround security of foreign national abroad ( kidnapping is on the rise in oil rich areas of nigeria). This is just a brief overview of a policy paper I will be writing in the future as I have gotten other potential contributors interested. I personally feel squeamish about aid with the addition of strings but in exploring the issue dispassionately it might trigger some really good ideas.

Why is this idea important?

The UK government has said during this period of austerity they will not be cutting the aid budget but something new needs to be done about employment and job creation. It should be noted that this idea works without the Aid element if you were looking at creating jobs there are elements in this idea that speak to that. If you reposition the funding and look for private sector contribution it still works . This might be might be politically sensitive / incorrect or dubious idea for the purist. If we look at the aid given by the UK / US/ EU to Africa (and the rest of the world), a percentage of that aid is tied to purchases by the aid recipient to the donor countries. But it’s usually business for the boys and usually badly managed. The question is that can that be changed taking the UK (just because I live there) for example will give approximately £100 million to Nigeria of west Africa ( see DFID ) not a lot you might say but with jobs scarce in the UK, should aid also includes job aid. Secondly have we maximised private sector involvement in Job creation if we can give them some tax breaks for creating some jobs even if the jobs are not directly working for them? This brief looks at the creating of an aid corps valued at possibly £3 million in terms of salary and deployment but can lead to jobs creation and business opportunities worth hundreds of millions. Their initial remit is entrepreneurial programs, Train indigenous worker and create markets for goods and services. The money does not have to be 100% government get the private sector involved the selling point is that they might be able to get a pool of trained staff in the future with local knowledge and management experience which they might not get in the in the UK on return. Do not forget the Africans in Diaspora who might want to go back and contribute for some time (like 6 months they may have local knowledge and skills plus they are not beholden to the aid recipient. Examples of this are experts from the World Bank who have been seconded to countries like Nigeria even if for a short time can have an impact (See Article ) especially as they are paid by the aid donor. I personally know that with jobs scarce British people are highly travelled and willing to work abroad The point is that there should be a paid aid corps (an example in the building and construction trade is suffering while aid funded construction projects could use the help of aid funded construction experts to not only execute but to train the local work force). This goes beyond selling equipment (I have horrendous stories of donated equipment which is never used) this forces the equipment to be setup and used. The alternative is to set up and African Venture capital fund and not based of the British Model ( my MBA dissertation written 12 years ago showed that British VC’s do not really invest in start ups and early stage companies and the angel investor are quite weak 12 years later things have not changed much) this should be more in line with the VC in America that have a more rounded port folio ( there are Chinese Indian and African returnees who have created their own funds in India china Nigeria Ghana but its not enough) . This should not be limited to goods and services. Africans send their kids to be educated abroad spending £240 -500 million (12000 students a year) for a population of 150million that’s a pittance compared to the potential of British secondary and universities extending their brands abroad. The question is that will it damage the education trade? The answer is no, when education was really good in Nigeria people still sent their children abroad and china and the middle east are opening branches of universities abroad . In certain universities the first two years are carried out abroad and the final year in the US or UK tech also means that they are in constant contact with satellite universities. For Britain and America to prosper they may actually have to invest abroad to create markets for their goods and services. To people without insight all of china investments in other countries are about obtaining strategic natural resources. But the probable mix is: strategic natural resources 40% political influence 40% creating future markets for their goods and services 20% any way back to the main point. The scenarios and options are varied and I will write a policy paper on it in the future in detail lets look at some issues : Political:The is a political price for changing aid policy but it does not have to be for all aid only a part of it. The political will and cost to change some of the status quo might be high. The will be resistance to measuring the real not perceived returns of the aid possibly calling this type development investment as a policy might remove it from the main focus of aid and make it some thing else. The goodwill might be obtained if private companies can be involved to contribute (an example is private companies can jointly fund positions in Africa the salary for a experts and engineers where need). The job creation part of things can be sold as a good thing.* There is a problem that the jobs might be abroad ( a component of jobs will be in the UK). There are other government agencies that do similar things like the DFID but note these are not entrepreneurial enterprises and an extension of government policy this goes beyond and is leaner in its focus. If the UK wants to change its perception by countries that it has labelled future strategic trouble spots then this kind of aid might buy them some good will. In country like Ghana and Nigeria the post colonial tactic of divide and rule might not be very effective if they are competing with the Chinese for oil reserves and they want to win hearts and minds in the north of those countries etc.Economic: The long term view is to create jobs up date workforce skills by working abroad or working with international agencies. Our thinking has to change since, financial services is the biggest industry what other soft services can we expand: education, remote medical diagnostics, we can export our film expertise the current value of Nollywood films is $400 million (they need help with piracy and production skills ,training ,equipment). Africa is screaming for IT investment in a transformative way. The Kenyan, South African and Nigerian market is huge, the return per user is lower but the volume is higher and there is less legacy cost which means that most of the investment is lower over time. It would be nice if all the jobs our created in the UK but if it cant UK will still remain the base and nothing has stopped profits from being repatriated as shell BP and chevron (who have invested over $3- 10 billion in Nigeria) repatriate funds. There is an explosion of microfinance in Africa one of its main problems is financing the right investments access of their customers to training and goods and services I am sure that aid could be directed to help this fledgling businesses in a measurable way also the use of the internet though mobile Phones ( as opposed the internet because pcs are expensive and access is not as pervasive) The list is endless and the possibilities endless. Seeding the venture capital market there is a great market for new venture funds for Africa but the approach will be different, there is also the ability to skip certain tech steps examples are in the telecoms. Secondly there is the low tech approach which means that some tech solutions are too sophisticated in its implementation (manual labour is cheaper in some solutions). Healthcare and technology is another area of growth I personally know of three companies from the US who are looking at investments in Nigeria. Social: The ability to redefine or channel aid and manage the public’s perception of aid without strings. The impact of the aid will be measurable and the quality of life improvement can be measured. Technological: Create a market for UK Jobs directly / indirectly for goods and services. Create and adapt technology that works in the third world. Creating systems that are cheaper to deploy. The impact of telecoms as a platform for deploying tech. The largest and fastest changes are using telecoms as a payment platform. Green Tech might be expensive for Africa but there are opportunities to create research hubs ( there are hundreds of scientists underemployed in Africa) there is also the weather and people seem to forget that there are at least six development banks focused on Africa looking at investing. There is an opportunity for the UK to created the worlds largest development solutions database this looks at all the different solutions ( solar ,pedal powered, medical equipment ,industrial equipment ) and the cost, location, the companies with database analytics and all the case studies / example of its implementation . The UK should be the number one destination for research on development technologies and the UK can hold conferences and services and support. The UK can become the base camp or Hub for development tech. Legal: Patchy regulations and enforcement. Immense infrastructural huddles. Corruption.Ther is a problem arround security of foreign national abroad ( kidnapping is on the rise in oil rich areas of nigeria). This is just a brief overview of a policy paper I will be writing in the future as I have gotten other potential contributors interested. I personally feel squeamish about aid with the addition of strings but in exploring the issue dispassionately it might trigger some really good ideas.

bring back British Standards in construction

Earlier this year, under an initiative from the previous Office Of the Deputy Prime Minister, British Standards were replaced by European Standards. This was supposed to make it more competitive for UK firms working in Europe.

EC standards that I am familiar with, and particularly EC7 on Geotechnics, are very academic and lack practicability. there is no real facility for engineers and architects to make judgements. All methods are prescribed. The techniques that are called for and lab equipment needed are not always the same as those that we are familiar with in UK.

Most importantly, very small projects such as school extensions or bus shelters or road signs, will require a degree of investigation and analysis that is uncalled for and very expensive. 

I believe that the cost of implementing EC7 will not affect major infrastructure projects or power stations but it will add at least 10-15% to simple projects and for some projects such as say adding a toilet at a school, the cost may be doubled.

I believe that the previous BS codes of practice were adequate and safe.

One could achieve a very large saving on Government projects by allowing engineers, designers and builders to continue to use British standards until such time as the EC standards can be simplified.

Finally, I work for a French firm in UK, Norway and China. I also carry out some work for other international clients. My belief is that other EC companies may not be implementing EC7 and its sister codes

So from the viewpoint of an international engineer with 40 years plus experience, bringing back British Standards would save the UK Taxpayer a lot of money.

Dr Denis McNicholl

MSc CEng FICE FIStructE FHKIE

www.dmcnicholl-technology.com 

 

Why is this idea important?

Earlier this year, under an initiative from the previous Office Of the Deputy Prime Minister, British Standards were replaced by European Standards. This was supposed to make it more competitive for UK firms working in Europe.

EC standards that I am familiar with, and particularly EC7 on Geotechnics, are very academic and lack practicability. there is no real facility for engineers and architects to make judgements. All methods are prescribed. The techniques that are called for and lab equipment needed are not always the same as those that we are familiar with in UK.

Most importantly, very small projects such as school extensions or bus shelters or road signs, will require a degree of investigation and analysis that is uncalled for and very expensive. 

I believe that the cost of implementing EC7 will not affect major infrastructure projects or power stations but it will add at least 10-15% to simple projects and for some projects such as say adding a toilet at a school, the cost may be doubled.

I believe that the previous BS codes of practice were adequate and safe.

One could achieve a very large saving on Government projects by allowing engineers, designers and builders to continue to use British standards until such time as the EC standards can be simplified.

Finally, I work for a French firm in UK, Norway and China. I also carry out some work for other international clients. My belief is that other EC companies may not be implementing EC7 and its sister codes

So from the viewpoint of an international engineer with 40 years plus experience, bringing back British Standards would save the UK Taxpayer a lot of money.

Dr Denis McNicholl

MSc CEng FICE FIStructE FHKIE

www.dmcnicholl-technology.com 

 

something politicians find hard to grasp about drugs

Whether something is branded illegal or legal has no effect on supply and demand nor any effect on whether people choose to take it. Drugs as harmless as cannabis are branded illegal for some reason, this to me shows that politicians know little about the drug and therefore why would I listen to their opinions on other drugs? Look at methadrone, before the media went crazy and hyped up the british public (which isn’t hard to do, most people will believe anything their precious daily mail says) I hadn’t even heard of it and minimal people were using it but as soon as the papers gave people the idea to use it low and behold everyone’s on it, the pub across the road from where I live is full of people ‘dronin’ off their face, before the methadrone ban it was full of people consuming alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. This is just one example of many how the ban hammer doesn’t work. You can’t wave a magic wand and it all goes away. The biggest risk for a heroin user is drug dealers, dirty needles and contaminated heroin not the substance itself. The same goes for most drugs branded illegal, the biggest risk for the consumer is the black market. More harm than good amounts from prohibition. Anyone who wishes to use any illegal drug can do so, prohibition doesn’t halt them in the slightest. There is nothing wrong with taking drugs every single one of has done so at one point or another whether it be alcohol, paracetamol, or crack cocaine. I can assure everyone on the planet people are not going to stop taking them and why should they? as long as not one other person is negatively effected by it. Its very simple either the government or respectable businesses regulate drugs or criminals will, it is a case of one or the other. These are the only two options when dealing with drugs. Drugs are THE most profitable business in the world, fact and criminals are reaping the benefits every hour of every day until this government decides to take the business out of their hands. Wouldn’t it be better for society if all addicts were registered and monitored as oppose to being left to their own devices funding the black market? Finally, who has the right to tell anyone else what they can do with their own body?

Why is this idea important?

Whether something is branded illegal or legal has no effect on supply and demand nor any effect on whether people choose to take it. Drugs as harmless as cannabis are branded illegal for some reason, this to me shows that politicians know little about the drug and therefore why would I listen to their opinions on other drugs? Look at methadrone, before the media went crazy and hyped up the british public (which isn’t hard to do, most people will believe anything their precious daily mail says) I hadn’t even heard of it and minimal people were using it but as soon as the papers gave people the idea to use it low and behold everyone’s on it, the pub across the road from where I live is full of people ‘dronin’ off their face, before the methadrone ban it was full of people consuming alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. This is just one example of many how the ban hammer doesn’t work. You can’t wave a magic wand and it all goes away. The biggest risk for a heroin user is drug dealers, dirty needles and contaminated heroin not the substance itself. The same goes for most drugs branded illegal, the biggest risk for the consumer is the black market. More harm than good amounts from prohibition. Anyone who wishes to use any illegal drug can do so, prohibition doesn’t halt them in the slightest. There is nothing wrong with taking drugs every single one of has done so at one point or another whether it be alcohol, paracetamol, or crack cocaine. I can assure everyone on the planet people are not going to stop taking them and why should they? as long as not one other person is negatively effected by it. Its very simple either the government or respectable businesses regulate drugs or criminals will, it is a case of one or the other. These are the only two options when dealing with drugs. Drugs are THE most profitable business in the world, fact and criminals are reaping the benefits every hour of every day until this government decides to take the business out of their hands. Wouldn’t it be better for society if all addicts were registered and monitored as oppose to being left to their own devices funding the black market? Finally, who has the right to tell anyone else what they can do with their own body?

Share Undreground Ducting to offer many services.

Why cant Cable TV providers share BT ducting or even sewers or lay cables next to water supply mains pipes?  Soon the Analog TV is to be phased out and Millions of homes with no cables have to go for unsightly Dishes and Ariels and lining the pockets of one main Satelite broadcaster.

 

Surely makes sense to make it law to share underground ducting which were layed at the cost of Tax payers in the days of Public ownership.

Why is this idea important?

Why cant Cable TV providers share BT ducting or even sewers or lay cables next to water supply mains pipes?  Soon the Analog TV is to be phased out and Millions of homes with no cables have to go for unsightly Dishes and Ariels and lining the pockets of one main Satelite broadcaster.

 

Surely makes sense to make it law to share underground ducting which were layed at the cost of Tax payers in the days of Public ownership.

Joining the Metric World

The whole world has adopted the logical metric system of measurements for business, technical and everyday use; apart, that is, from the US and the UK – the last significant bastions of imperal irregularity.  Over forty years ago, the government of the day resolved that the UK should 'go metric', and we have still not achieved that objective. (The likes of Canada, Australia and New Zealand converted in about twelve years.)  Instead, we remain in the ludicrous position of selling, say, curtain materials by the metre that are so-many inches wide; buying petrol by the litre for vehicles assessed by how many miles they can do to the gallon; seeing packed meats and vegetables in the supermarket labelled 454 grams (i.e., the old lb.), and everywhere there is 'bi-lingual' pricing.  This is utterly crazy and costly.  We are existing in a nightmarish limbo.

Nostalgia is all right in its place but, like it or not, we really are not living in the 1950s.  The world has moved on and is still leaving us behind in so many spheres, of which our misplaced, ill-judged adherence to the past is both a symptom and the major cause.

Why is this idea important?

The whole world has adopted the logical metric system of measurements for business, technical and everyday use; apart, that is, from the US and the UK – the last significant bastions of imperal irregularity.  Over forty years ago, the government of the day resolved that the UK should 'go metric', and we have still not achieved that objective. (The likes of Canada, Australia and New Zealand converted in about twelve years.)  Instead, we remain in the ludicrous position of selling, say, curtain materials by the metre that are so-many inches wide; buying petrol by the litre for vehicles assessed by how many miles they can do to the gallon; seeing packed meats and vegetables in the supermarket labelled 454 grams (i.e., the old lb.), and everywhere there is 'bi-lingual' pricing.  This is utterly crazy and costly.  We are existing in a nightmarish limbo.

Nostalgia is all right in its place but, like it or not, we really are not living in the 1950s.  The world has moved on and is still leaving us behind in so many spheres, of which our misplaced, ill-judged adherence to the past is both a symptom and the major cause.

Automate the Dartford Tolls to the Congestion Charge Standard

No amount of government pledges on climate change are credible until the biggest man-made traffic jam in Europe is abolished.  Every day, thousands of cars are trapped in an impossed jam, pumping thousands of tons of Co2 into the atmosphere and losing industry and commerce millions.  I am not suggesting scrapping the charge but simply implementing the London congestion charge system.  After all, I am sure every number plate is read when a car uses the booths now.

There is no excuse for not changing this.  If the goverment is serious about the environment and wants the population to do its bit, then the goverment should lead by example and implement a system to remove this MAN MADE traffic jam that is a huge embarrassment on the largest artery from Europe to the UK.  No where else in Europe can be seen such a poor example of road management. Its time government stepped up to the plate and tackled this blot on the landscape.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

No amount of government pledges on climate change are credible until the biggest man-made traffic jam in Europe is abolished.  Every day, thousands of cars are trapped in an impossed jam, pumping thousands of tons of Co2 into the atmosphere and losing industry and commerce millions.  I am not suggesting scrapping the charge but simply implementing the London congestion charge system.  After all, I am sure every number plate is read when a car uses the booths now.

There is no excuse for not changing this.  If the goverment is serious about the environment and wants the population to do its bit, then the goverment should lead by example and implement a system to remove this MAN MADE traffic jam that is a huge embarrassment on the largest artery from Europe to the UK.  No where else in Europe can be seen such a poor example of road management. Its time government stepped up to the plate and tackled this blot on the landscape.

 

 

Stop control by the Patent System

Originally, it was understood, patents were for the protection of inventors by infringement.

Why is technology of corporations, Gov't, always increasing, but not from the individuals.
If patent law were solely for protection, technology would not be imbalanced, and yet is.
The patent system is about control, regulated by laws, people foolishly believe protects.

The BP Petroleum catastrophe occurred due to legislation allowing a corporate exploitation.
Who funds Monsanto to obtain technology of genetic-engineering, or science cloning cows?
http://jahtruth.net/gmterm.htm
http://jahtruth.net/genet.htm

How do some corporations manage to expand via scientific-research specific for their needs?
Is there not one individual in this entire world that could not or has not produced much better.

Patents are a bigger business than infringement protection, and are about power and control.
All of these made-up laws, are not protecting, and allow exploitation, and technology control.

"The patent system in many other countries, including Australia, is based on British law" –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent

Why is this idea important?

Originally, it was understood, patents were for the protection of inventors by infringement.

Why is technology of corporations, Gov't, always increasing, but not from the individuals.
If patent law were solely for protection, technology would not be imbalanced, and yet is.
The patent system is about control, regulated by laws, people foolishly believe protects.

The BP Petroleum catastrophe occurred due to legislation allowing a corporate exploitation.
Who funds Monsanto to obtain technology of genetic-engineering, or science cloning cows?
http://jahtruth.net/gmterm.htm
http://jahtruth.net/genet.htm

How do some corporations manage to expand via scientific-research specific for their needs?
Is there not one individual in this entire world that could not or has not produced much better.

Patents are a bigger business than infringement protection, and are about power and control.
All of these made-up laws, are not protecting, and allow exploitation, and technology control.

"The patent system in many other countries, including Australia, is based on British law" –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent

Repeal Part I of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987

This Act gave tenants of blocks of flats (including converted houses containing two or more flats) a right of first refusal if their landlord wanted to sell his superior interest.. Apart from Rent Act protected tenants (and there are very few blocks  of flats occupied  more than 50%  of such tenants)  now have a right of collective enfranchisement and a 'Right to Manage'. They do not need a right of pre-emption and would not use such right as it will be cheaper to collectively enfranchise. If it was considered necessary to allow a right of first refusal to staturory tenants the Act could be amended to cover this  where there were more than 50% qualifying Tenants in the building while repealing PArt I in relation to long lessees

Why is this idea important?

This Act gave tenants of blocks of flats (including converted houses containing two or more flats) a right of first refusal if their landlord wanted to sell his superior interest.. Apart from Rent Act protected tenants (and there are very few blocks  of flats occupied  more than 50%  of such tenants)  now have a right of collective enfranchisement and a 'Right to Manage'. They do not need a right of pre-emption and would not use such right as it will be cheaper to collectively enfranchise. If it was considered necessary to allow a right of first refusal to staturory tenants the Act could be amended to cover this  where there were more than 50% qualifying Tenants in the building while repealing PArt I in relation to long lessees

Curb HMRC Powers (and the way they use them)

HMRC have a remit to search for people in positions of authority and to make examples of them as a lesson to future tax evaders (Dave Hartnett Acting Chairman HMRC, House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, 11th June 2008).

The fact that Tax Agents and Lawyers earn a living giving tax advice to clients and interpreting the cheapest way of having their clients pay the right amount of tax, is it not very dangerous when HMRC can arrest people in those positions for doing just that?

If HMRC arrest a tax adviser then HMRC must expect the tax advisers business will suffer, if not fail, as a result of the arrest and in a fairly short period of time. At the same time the investigation into the tax adviser can take anything up to two years with a very good possibility of no charges being made in the end.

The result would be the forced closure of a business by HMRC with no legal redress as it is unlikely that the owner will have the funds to mount any legal action.

Whilst the arrest of the individual is often just for the day whilst bail is organised, the sentence is one which hangs over that business destroying its ability to continue trading for as long as the investigation is on going.

What is even worse is that currently whilst the individual may have been arrested, HMRC only have to say what it is they are being accused of if they choose to raise charges. One could be arrested, released and have your business taken away from you and be none the wiser as to why. If this isn't a recipe for a bit of abuse of power I don't know what is.

It reminds me of an old judicial process we had of the use of the ducking stool. If they drown then they are innocent if they survive then they are guilty and should be burnt at the stake.

Are we not a little more developed than that? Obviously not.

Why is this idea important?

HMRC have a remit to search for people in positions of authority and to make examples of them as a lesson to future tax evaders (Dave Hartnett Acting Chairman HMRC, House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts, 11th June 2008).

The fact that Tax Agents and Lawyers earn a living giving tax advice to clients and interpreting the cheapest way of having their clients pay the right amount of tax, is it not very dangerous when HMRC can arrest people in those positions for doing just that?

If HMRC arrest a tax adviser then HMRC must expect the tax advisers business will suffer, if not fail, as a result of the arrest and in a fairly short period of time. At the same time the investigation into the tax adviser can take anything up to two years with a very good possibility of no charges being made in the end.

The result would be the forced closure of a business by HMRC with no legal redress as it is unlikely that the owner will have the funds to mount any legal action.

Whilst the arrest of the individual is often just for the day whilst bail is organised, the sentence is one which hangs over that business destroying its ability to continue trading for as long as the investigation is on going.

What is even worse is that currently whilst the individual may have been arrested, HMRC only have to say what it is they are being accused of if they choose to raise charges. One could be arrested, released and have your business taken away from you and be none the wiser as to why. If this isn't a recipe for a bit of abuse of power I don't know what is.

It reminds me of an old judicial process we had of the use of the ducking stool. If they drown then they are innocent if they survive then they are guilty and should be burnt at the stake.

Are we not a little more developed than that? Obviously not.

High Court Enforcement for Business Owners Houses

High court enforcement officer must not be allowed to enter a person's house without their lawyer being present and 30 day's notice and highlighting that receipts for all goods in their house should be presented – or preferably the defendant/owners ability to move all their company's goods into storage for their seizure first.

At present an enforcement officer can suddenly turn up to you're house if he can prove you've done ANY business work there and demand you show receipts for everything in the house (unrealistic of course when caught on the spot)…  it was enough to make my Mother pawn all her rings to get rid of him (I was in my twenties, living from home being allowed by my parents to still live at home – my parents had nothing to do with the company but they were targetted)… DISGUSTING.

Why is this idea important?

High court enforcement officer must not be allowed to enter a person's house without their lawyer being present and 30 day's notice and highlighting that receipts for all goods in their house should be presented – or preferably the defendant/owners ability to move all their company's goods into storage for their seizure first.

At present an enforcement officer can suddenly turn up to you're house if he can prove you've done ANY business work there and demand you show receipts for everything in the house (unrealistic of course when caught on the spot)…  it was enough to make my Mother pawn all her rings to get rid of him (I was in my twenties, living from home being allowed by my parents to still live at home – my parents had nothing to do with the company but they were targetted)… DISGUSTING.

Abolish penalties for nil HMRC returns, specifically CIS

To abolish penalties on late returns made to HMRC which are in fact nil and do not show any activitiy.  Specifically I would refer to CIS returns where the penalties are so draconian that you will be fined £100 for a late submission and then an extra £100 for each month it is late after that.

This punitive system means that penalties can increase to enormous proportions!

Why is this idea important?

To abolish penalties on late returns made to HMRC which are in fact nil and do not show any activitiy.  Specifically I would refer to CIS returns where the penalties are so draconian that you will be fined £100 for a late submission and then an extra £100 for each month it is late after that.

This punitive system means that penalties can increase to enormous proportions!

Procurement: end charges to see the tenders

End the £545 charge to see tenders on http://www.contracts.mod.uk

End the £250 charge to get national alerts on https://www.supply2.gov.uk/subscriptions/cgi-bin/menu.cgi

Why is this idea important?

End the £545 charge to see tenders on http://www.contracts.mod.uk

End the £250 charge to get national alerts on https://www.supply2.gov.uk/subscriptions/cgi-bin/menu.cgi

Financial Education

Financial Services should be a compulsory subject until the age of 16 in every school in the UK.

The subject should cover:

UK Regulatory structure and your rights as a consumer

Distribution channels (bancassurers, IFAs, Direct sales etc) and the advice process including the key sales documents.

Concept of risk

Types of financial products, Savings, Investments, Bonds, pensions, Mortgages

Basic Tax planning

State benefits

Projections, charges, fees and costs.

 

Why is this idea important?

Financial Services should be a compulsory subject until the age of 16 in every school in the UK.

The subject should cover:

UK Regulatory structure and your rights as a consumer

Distribution channels (bancassurers, IFAs, Direct sales etc) and the advice process including the key sales documents.

Concept of risk

Types of financial products, Savings, Investments, Bonds, pensions, Mortgages

Basic Tax planning

State benefits

Projections, charges, fees and costs.

 

better register of country court judgements

At present, county courts ask Registry Trust to collate their judgements and it costs £8 to find out if a potential trading partner has judgements against. If the search is on a company that has changed its name, the cost is £16 for two searches or for the company below, £40.

company number 2472364

21/02/1990      MERCEDES-BENZ FINANCE LIMITED
04/01/2000      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES (DEBIS) LIMITED
13/08/2001      DAIMLERCHRYSLER SERVICES UK LIMITED
14/02/2006      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
01/04/2008      MERCEDEZ BENZ FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
 
Burystead Court
120 Caldecotte Lake Drive
Caldecotte
MILTON KEYNES
MK7 8ND
 

Why is this idea important?

At present, county courts ask Registry Trust to collate their judgements and it costs £8 to find out if a potential trading partner has judgements against. If the search is on a company that has changed its name, the cost is £16 for two searches or for the company below, £40.

company number 2472364

21/02/1990      MERCEDES-BENZ FINANCE LIMITED
04/01/2000      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES (DEBIS) LIMITED
13/08/2001      DAIMLERCHRYSLER SERVICES UK LIMITED
14/02/2006      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
01/04/2008      MERCEDEZ BENZ FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
 
Burystead Court
120 Caldecotte Lake Drive
Caldecotte
MILTON KEYNES
MK7 8ND
 

Repeal/Amendment to the Smoking Ban

As an ex Publican I saw first hand the destruction of a once thriving industry. I lay 90% of the blame at the feet of the Smoking Ban. To this end I have a solution.

All pubs, bars, restaurants and anywhere that serves alcohol has to, by law, have a premises licence to trade alcohol. My solution to the smoking ban would be to do the same thing – licence it! The government could use it as a stick to beat the industry with in terms of tax generation, however that would be offset by the turnover that would undoubtedly be increased.

With the licensing would obviously come restrictions; pubs and restaurants with x% turnover on food (say for instance a pub with a 50/50 split on food against drink) would not be eligable for the licence. The scheme in my mind would be for the pubs with the greatest dangers – the drinkers pubs, or the pubs with kitchens too small to give a suitable food offering. Also, the requirements would have to mean that pubs taking part would have to have a set standard of air filtration and extraction, which would again mean investment. However, with the proposition of bringing supermarket alcohol prices in line with the rest of the industry it would offer a greater level of choice.

All my idea is, is a chance to give a bit of choice back to people, there wouldn't be a requirement for every pub to take this on as a compulsory measure, indeed, if pubs felt they were better off catering to the non smoking community then there would be no requirement for it. However, many of the smaller, drinkers pubs have found serious hardship and difficulty in maintaining revenue due to the lack of choice afforded to a large percentage of customers.

Why is this idea important?

As an ex Publican I saw first hand the destruction of a once thriving industry. I lay 90% of the blame at the feet of the Smoking Ban. To this end I have a solution.

All pubs, bars, restaurants and anywhere that serves alcohol has to, by law, have a premises licence to trade alcohol. My solution to the smoking ban would be to do the same thing – licence it! The government could use it as a stick to beat the industry with in terms of tax generation, however that would be offset by the turnover that would undoubtedly be increased.

With the licensing would obviously come restrictions; pubs and restaurants with x% turnover on food (say for instance a pub with a 50/50 split on food against drink) would not be eligable for the licence. The scheme in my mind would be for the pubs with the greatest dangers – the drinkers pubs, or the pubs with kitchens too small to give a suitable food offering. Also, the requirements would have to mean that pubs taking part would have to have a set standard of air filtration and extraction, which would again mean investment. However, with the proposition of bringing supermarket alcohol prices in line with the rest of the industry it would offer a greater level of choice.

All my idea is, is a chance to give a bit of choice back to people, there wouldn't be a requirement for every pub to take this on as a compulsory measure, indeed, if pubs felt they were better off catering to the non smoking community then there would be no requirement for it. However, many of the smaller, drinkers pubs have found serious hardship and difficulty in maintaining revenue due to the lack of choice afforded to a large percentage of customers.

Vat charged on zero-rated items at cafes(specifically Motorway Services)

Currently we are all paying Vat on zero-rated items purchased at Motorway Services (the cafe sections) If you are prepared to eat your cake ,purchased with your coffee ,away from the seating area then you should be entitled to receive the assumed 17.5% vat paid on these items as a refund.

 The question at each of these venues should be asked are you sitting in or are you eating out . Many customers are completely unaware that they are paying Vat on certain items in these outlets because they are simply sitting eating at the venue .If you took your cake etc. and ate it in the car or outside then Vat should not be charged. It should be a compulsary question 'sit in or eating out?' and the appropriate pricing regime applied according to the answer given.This would save the consumers money,probably more product would be sold (as the products would be cheaper) and probably more seats would be freed up at the venues.Details of the answer would have to be recorded as HMRC would require this as proof.(surely a minor software tweek)

Doubtless ,the Motorway Services owners are actually not gaining from the current situation as the extra Vat will be getting paid the HMRC ,Hopefully? and as they are dedicated catering outlets they are probably forced to charge Vat on thes items by HMRC but clearly if you are unaware of this as a consumer why ,if you intend eating in the car ,would you pay more at the cafe than say WH smith next door for the same snack!

 

Why is this idea important?

Currently we are all paying Vat on zero-rated items purchased at Motorway Services (the cafe sections) If you are prepared to eat your cake ,purchased with your coffee ,away from the seating area then you should be entitled to receive the assumed 17.5% vat paid on these items as a refund.

 The question at each of these venues should be asked are you sitting in or are you eating out . Many customers are completely unaware that they are paying Vat on certain items in these outlets because they are simply sitting eating at the venue .If you took your cake etc. and ate it in the car or outside then Vat should not be charged. It should be a compulsary question 'sit in or eating out?' and the appropriate pricing regime applied according to the answer given.This would save the consumers money,probably more product would be sold (as the products would be cheaper) and probably more seats would be freed up at the venues.Details of the answer would have to be recorded as HMRC would require this as proof.(surely a minor software tweek)

Doubtless ,the Motorway Services owners are actually not gaining from the current situation as the extra Vat will be getting paid the HMRC ,Hopefully? and as they are dedicated catering outlets they are probably forced to charge Vat on thes items by HMRC but clearly if you are unaware of this as a consumer why ,if you intend eating in the car ,would you pay more at the cafe than say WH smith next door for the same snack!

 

Repeal the ‘Work at Height Regulations 2005’

These are a prime example of regulations which add to business costs whilst providing unnecessary 'worker protection'. Telling workers when and how to use a ladder, or 'avoid work at height where they can', or secure themselves to a 'fall restraint system', is the nanny state at its worst. The regulations are a slavish " 'ealth and safety" response to a EU directive, implemented without  common sense and patronising to workers. 

Why is this idea important?

These are a prime example of regulations which add to business costs whilst providing unnecessary 'worker protection'. Telling workers when and how to use a ladder, or 'avoid work at height where they can', or secure themselves to a 'fall restraint system', is the nanny state at its worst. The regulations are a slavish " 'ealth and safety" response to a EU directive, implemented without  common sense and patronising to workers. 

Simplify the Packaging and Waste Regulations

The suite of regulations known collectively as the Packaging and Waste Regulations are without doubt the biggest environmental pain ever to be imposed on industry. I am an Environmental Legal Specialist working with a prominant certification body and visit about 120 to 150 companies a year. The time and effort required to calculate the "Producer Responsibility" is out of all proportion to either the money involved or even the environmental benefit. Ideally the whole concept needs a complete rethink. Short of that my idea is to simplify the system.

Allow manufacturing industry to make a declaration that the packaging used is proportional to production and that there has been no significant change since the last return. Then allow them to calculate the responsibility based on annual production figures – a 10 minute job.

To emphasise this a few anedotes:-

a) one company I visited spend 4 man months from December to the end of January to calculate a responsibility that almost always results in a payment of between £5200 and £5800;

b) another company was severely criticised by its compliance scheme for not calculating the weight of ink used in the cardboard box bar code marking system;

c) another was also in trouble because they forgot to take acount of the change in the type (and therefore the weight) of staples used.

As a suite of regulations they have lost the plot.

Why is this idea important?

The suite of regulations known collectively as the Packaging and Waste Regulations are without doubt the biggest environmental pain ever to be imposed on industry. I am an Environmental Legal Specialist working with a prominant certification body and visit about 120 to 150 companies a year. The time and effort required to calculate the "Producer Responsibility" is out of all proportion to either the money involved or even the environmental benefit. Ideally the whole concept needs a complete rethink. Short of that my idea is to simplify the system.

Allow manufacturing industry to make a declaration that the packaging used is proportional to production and that there has been no significant change since the last return. Then allow them to calculate the responsibility based on annual production figures – a 10 minute job.

To emphasise this a few anedotes:-

a) one company I visited spend 4 man months from December to the end of January to calculate a responsibility that almost always results in a payment of between £5200 and £5800;

b) another company was severely criticised by its compliance scheme for not calculating the weight of ink used in the cardboard box bar code marking system;

c) another was also in trouble because they forgot to take acount of the change in the type (and therefore the weight) of staples used.

As a suite of regulations they have lost the plot.