Abuse of the Welfare System – Fact or Propaganda?

There has been a disproportionate interest in the media in the past year regarding what is being termed by some as “Benefits Britain” specifically proposed abuses of the welfare system.

Social media is also alive with tit-for-tat “Benefits this…, benfits that…” ranting from working class people that are too well off to qualify and generally disgruntled about the apparent “grass is greener” attitude towards benefits claimants.

DivideAndConquer-puppet1
To me it seems that the gullible public are once again being primed in yet another divide and conquer, shift in public opinion campaign aimed at demonising the poorest echelons of society, and tarring all benefit recipients with same dirty brush.

Coincidentally paving the way for the tories latest rounds of austerity cuts to the welfare system.

But is the benefits culture really a scourge of the modern age, a bill the country simply cannot afford to pay, or is there more to it?? I personally feel the latter is true and heres why.

The only true “abuse” of the welfare system is when money is not paid back in to the UK economy.
This is because the £160 billion that is paid out to benefits recipients etc. generally speaking goes straight back in to the economy, and is a huge part of why we all have jobs in the first place.

Take away that money from the poorest 20% of society and the economy and your jobs are in deep shit. Not needing to mention the associated rise in crime.

The point of the welfare system is to make the lives of all UK citizens safer and more comfortable.
We aren’t a poor third world nation, where babies routinely die of starvation, or where kids have to rummage through rubbish to survive, thanks to welfare.

If a benefits claimants only ambition in life is to live on Job-seeker allowance, good for them I say, more jobs for me. Just keep paying your £45 a week back in to the economy and we all benefit.

If you’re lucky enough to be more ambitious, educated, articulate or anything else that gives you the drive to NOT need the governments help in the form of Welfare “GOOD FOR YOU!”, well done!, pats on the back all round, three cheers and all that.

But don’t be so blind-sided to the think that your very job, is not based on the foundation of the Welfare state, that regardless of who gets the money in the first place, it benefits every business and working individual in the country as virtually every taxpayers penny of it gets pumped straight back in to the economy as it bloody well should be.

The alternative to the welfare state is trickle down economics that hugely benefits the top 1% and encourages everyone else to get into debt via low interest rates, giving the impression of growth but at an eventual catastrophic end for working people as we have seen many times in the past.

Inflation (i.e. the ACTUAL reason you work 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week to make ends meets) is a direct result of debt.. NOT welfare.

I don’t think I can take anymore “I’ve seen benefits street, so I know the score” bullshit. We are constantly being hoodwinked by the media to support the current agenda. It’s time to get educated and stop turning on each other.

Just because you don’t need it directly now, doesn’t mean you won’t be begging for it in the future.

 

Escaping to the Great British Countryside…. Permanently!

Most of  us dream of escaping the pressures of the rat race and busy city stresses, for a more relaxed way of life. Although for many the lure of an altogether more exotic climate abroad is no issue, many others prefer an adventure with a full attaché of familiar comforts and head for the the Great British countryside or any one of our breathtaking coastlines.

Amongst the most popular permanent destinations in Britain is Cornwall, Devon & Dorset.

There is a lot to consider, but ultimately deciding whether or not your plan is sustainable requires research. I set my sights on the beautiful Coastal town of Weymouth in Dorset to see if a move there could indeed be sustainable.

Moving to Weymouth, Dorset

Weymouth is the perfect seaside town, with miles of golden sand and a distinct harbour area just yards from the town centre. It offers a thriving boutique culture with plenty of job opportunities. With a mix of new developments out of town and charming Georgian buildings around the bay, it is splendid to look at and great fun to live in. For those moving away from London, or looking for a family home, there are plenty of houses for sale in Weymouth. From Georgian country homes to modern properties, there are plenty of three and four bedroom detached houses on the market for between £350,000 and £400,000.

Work and business

With a £150 million tourist business, Weymouth has plenty of seasonal jobs for a growing family, but the area’s attractions are wide enough that the town never gets swamped. There’s a thriving maritime industry for those with a nautical or engineering background. Along the coast, Bournemouth is a leading part of the UK’s digital revolution which is rapidly spreading through Dorset, using teleworking and the internet to create thriving businesses for those who work from home. If you require fast internet access, much of Weymouth is fibre-broadband equipped, but if you do need to get to London, then South West trains are reliable and efficient, and will drop you at Waterloo in under three hours.

With a population of around 65,000, Weymouth is a growing, but well-managed, town with attractive developments. Hemmed in by the Jurassic Coast on one side, and greenbelt land on the other, the town won’t be over-extended. It also benefited from hosting the sailing events at the 2012 Olympics with lots of new access roads and facilities. Continued development of the Jurassic Coast will only see the town’s importance grow.Weymouth_Dorset

Leisure and pleasure

Set on the edge of beautiful rolling Dorset countryside, Weymouth locals can be out of the town and in the wilds in no time, with stunning ocean views from the Isle of Portland and world-class sailing to watch in the bay. Food lovers can sample the delights of rural Dorset with fresh oysters from the Crab Shack at Portland, or at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s stomping ground of Bridport just up the road. Weymouth itself has several modern shopping centres, lots of sporting facilities, well-respected private and ‘outstanding’ comprehensive schools, and Weymouth College, which offers practical, creative, tourism and engineering based courses, among others.

The town has plenty of regular activities with a major seafood festival, the WeyFest and Wessex Folk Festivals, plus many regattas and other events. From relaxing on the quayside with a coffee and a fresh crab sandwich to exploring the coastline of Broadchurch country, and greater Dorset area, families will never be bored living in a gorgeous part of the land with healthy sea air. If you want to truly enjoy the nautical life, the town has plenty of well-run harbours and a busy marine sales industry.

All in all, Weymouth is a truly fantastic place to make your home!

Businesses – Getting Paid On Time

A famous mega rich entreprenuer once said “A business that has cash never goes out of business”, in fact the number one reason for new business start -ups to go out of business in the first year of trading is not a lack of sales, or even a bad business plan, but bad payers.

There is unfortunately very little that can be done to remedy this trend, 30+ day terms are still very much an expected part of many business transactions. As are bad & late payers, so what can you do?

For starters excepting every form of payment known to man will limit a stingy customers escape routes when trying to dodge paying.

Cash, Cheque, Credit Card, Debit Cards, Bank transfer & Paypal are all fine examples of how easy it should be to get paid these days. Most people living in the civilised world should have access to at least one of these means of payment or what the hell did they call on your services for?

Cash
Still prefered by many business, Cash has long been regarded as king, literally the lifeblood of any business.

Many business owners will be used to hearing “I don’t have any cash to hand”. If you are sensing some BS, offer to drive them to a cash point or there nearest bank or at least wait while they go.

Cheques
Thanks to lobbying from the Federation of Small Business (FSB) cheques are here to stay, and still favoured by elderly folk and those that don’t trust modern technology or feel safe walking around with lots of cash.

There are downsides to cheques including clearing times and the potential for cheques to bounce if there are not enough funds in a customers accounts.

Cheque guarantees were done away with in June 2011. However if a customer did willfully cancel a cheque, purely to prevent payment of goods or services they had authorised, they are actually commiting an act of fraud, so there is always the promise of legal recourse to persuade them to cough up.

Credit & Debit Card Payments
Taking card payments is a perfect excuse-buster weapon in battles against bad payers and an extremely convenient method for good customers too.

Firstly the ability to take a card payments on site, means you get paid straight away. Customers can put expensive bills straight on a credit card, and teamed up with cash & cheque payments, really gives Mr or Mrs Stingey no where to run.

Even the stars ofthe infamous benefits street all have debit cards.

Getting paid over the phone, gives you an awesome weapon when chasing late payers. “Can I take a card payment now” is often all you need corner your prey and get paid.

Although traditionally card payment services have been expensive, and in the case of mobile payments bulky and expensive, times have changed. Check out this iZettle review for details on the simplest and most cost affective mobile payments service around right now.

izettle-pin-reader

Bank Transfers, BACS & Faster Payments.
Everybody has a bank account these days, and banks are desperate for you to perform all transaction electronically. In fact for businesses there are ususally fees associated with every other form of payment including cash (If you pay it in or draw it out). With same country bank transfers, payments are virtually instant most of the time and completely free.

All you need to give your customer is your bank details and a reference (Ie. invoice number) and they can perform a transfer online or over the phone to their bank.

PayPal
This service needs no introduction either, the most online payment platform of all time is perfect for internet savvy customers who have a paypal account. You can simply give your customer your paypal registered email address, or email them an invoice via PayPal.

So in short, the best way of getting paid in a timely fashion is to make sure you accept as many forms of payment as possible, and prevent any potentially bad customers from having a reason to put off paying untill another day.

How To Increase Van Security In Order To Cut The Insurance Price

Vans represent a necessity for eight out of ten businesses. Since they are supposed to carry valuable stuff, they are often among the main priorities for thieves. For this reason, the insurance costs are also higher compared to regular vehicles. Fortunately, these things can change. You may increase your van security, but also benefit from cheaper insurance expenses for this reason. Luckily enough, modern vans are more secure than ever. Therefore, they are way harder to break into compared to a couple of decades ago. With all these, there is always room for improvements. Besides, if you choose to invest in an old and used van instead, working on its security is a must. So what possibilities do you have?

Plenty of modern thieves are trained to work within seconds, especially since people automatically have a feeling of safety if they miss for a minute only. Practically, you might park the car only to get some money from the ATM or to buy a few donuts. A lot of people have the tendency to leave the windows open, not to mention about a running engine. They know they miss for a minute, but a good thief can break into their vehicles within seconds.


When it comes to vehicle alarms, they are just as diversified. In some places, the laws forbid the alarms to keep going on, so they will most likely work for a few seconds only. Besides, some of them might be generally used by multiple brands. Practically, the manufacturer relies on a clone alarm you can find in commerce too. If a thief learns how to disable one alarm, he will most likely be able to disable all of them in the same brand. Investing in a new system is very useful. Make sure the alarm is based on sensors too.

High quality van locks represent yet another good investment. Today, you no longer have to rely on the classic locks you can find in absolutely any car. Instead, you can invest in more sophisticated locks with unique keys no one else might have. The systems are just as advanced. If you search long enough, you may come up with impressive locks that no other cars in the area have.

All these things are essential for your peace of mind, but they are just as handy for your upcoming insurance costs. A safe car obviously implies smaller payments in the long run, so invest in your future.