Why it’s Morally Right to be Morally Wrong

cash in hand

Are you morally bankrupt? If a certain MP is to be believed, trying to help people in need makes you morally wrong. But maybe it’s time to stop listening to certain ‘authority’ figures.

So the Treasury wants to name and shame tax dodgers? So what? We all have a responsibility to pay tax. Roads need to be repaired. Nurses have to be paid. MP’s pensions have te be topped up.
But at what point does it become right to be morally wrong? Should we pay tax on every single transaction or should it only be the rich that are unmasked?

Conservative MP, David Gauke, seems to think that, by paying a tradesman cash in hand, you are morally wrong. For a moment, let’s put aside some of the very fishy smelling expense claims that Gauke made and answer his statement.

Who sets the moral standards?

MP’s? Yes, I know there are some passionate MP’s out there who sincerely believe that politicians can make the world a better place. The problem is that, for every one good politician there are probably 10 with their snouts in the trough.

You might think that HMRC would be a good place to start. Actually, they’re no better. There’s been lots of talk about how the rich and famous have been dodging tax by using service companies to minimise their contributions. HMRC has promised to clamp down but the problem is that even some of their own employees were up to necks in it. That’s them out of the moral running stakes.

Maybe the Church could help shine a light on the best path through the moral maze? No, that’s probably not a good idea. If they really knew anything about finance and taxation all the priests, vicars, etc would be working in banks.

What about you and me? Sounds mad, I know, but, as a group, human beings make a pretty good job of doing the right thing. Yes, there have been some past failures in the ‘do-good’ stakes (Ghengis Khan, Ponzi schemes, etc) but they’re just blips! My question to Gauke is, “Why not let the people decide what’s morally acceptable?”

Which leads nicely on to…

What is morally wrong?

It’s all down to your own interpretation. Paying a builder cash in hand for a job that costs thousands is not only wrong but it’s probably illegal. Like it or not, we should all be paying our taxes.
But what about paying a cleaner or the person that washes your car cash in hand? Is it morally wrong?

You need to weigh it up for yourself. Let’s face it, cleaners aren’t going to be doing a moonlight flit to South America with a huge pile of cash. But anyone working for more than a few pounds per hour e.g. your cash in hand builder, well, that’s a different story. They should be paid through the books.

Now, I know I said everyone should pay tax but I would to add that not…


All Wages Are Equal

But we all know they’re not. That’s why we have different rates of taxation. The problem is that some people think the rich should be taxed even more. Even the 50% upper end tax on anyone earning over £150,000 failed to make as much money as the ‘experts’ calculated. Taxing high earners even harder will result in the leaving country and taking their skills with them.

In truth, the bulk of government tax revenue comes from you and I: the average earners. This revenue is used by the government pay for keeping UK PLC on the road and this is where the problems start. The reason why so much money is needed to run the country is because of the inefficient nature of many of our public services. Some of them are just a money pits.

Take the example of unemployment benefits. If you have no job you get the bare minimum you need to live on. Most of the useful stuff such as getting help paying for transport to a job interview has gone. When times get a little desperate then you start taking on…

Jobs That Pay Cash In Hand

Window cleaning, collecting golf balls for cash, working in a car wash, brick laying, etc. So, when you think about it, sometimes it might just be morally right to be morally wrong.

Just a quick note for anyone that didn’t know: David Gauke, the MP who said it’s morally wrong to pay cash in hand has no right to be holier than thou. In 2006/7, Mr Gauke used his parliamentary expenses to pay for the stamp duty on his second home. In total, he claimed back over £10,000 (a combination of Stamp Duty and solicitors fees, land registry and property searches.

Normally, I would have a problem with anyone using their expenses for a house purchase. In this case, he was effectively using your taxes to better himself!


Government Vet Called In To Neuter Tubby Kitties

bob diamond

How much longer will he be smiling?

Don’t worry about Uncle George taking aim at you feline friend; he has bigger cats in his sights. Namely, the fat cat bankers who’ve been causing all manner of financial mischief.

So it would appear that so-called rogue traders might finally get their comeuppance after the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) announced their intention to launch a probe into into the conduct of certain banks. Personally, I’d like to see all bankers involved very roughly ‘probed’ but, sadly, that’s unlikely.

The hot topic of conversation that finally sparked the anti-fraud investigation was the recent announcement that banks had been tampering with the Libor lending rate. If the fiddling had been done to benefit the paying customers of the banks it might have been a bit easier to swallow but it seems the activities were carried out solely to make more profits for traders.

Although Bob Diamond recently jumped ship with a ‘mere’ £2 million golden handshake he’s not in the clear yet. As head of Barclays, he’s liable for the actions of his staff (look at it a little like a Roman Centurion having to fall on his sword as a ‘reward’ for failure).
Potenitally, Diamond faces a two-pronged assault. UK fraud cops will be unpicking the maze-like series of dodgy deals whilst, on the other side of the Atlantic, it’s likely that the FBI may become involved. In fact, it turns out the Federal Bureau of Investigation was already looking into the dealings of 14 members of Barclays staff prior to the Libor rigging announcement.

If he’s hauled in front of the courts and found guilty he’ll be spending a long time in prison.
America takes a much dimmer view of financial white-collar crime.

Up to 20 banks around the world could be implicated in the Libor-rigging scandal with potential fines of hundreds of millions of pounds hanging over their heads if found guilty.

What could be even more disastrous for banks involved is the recent news that lawyers in the United States are preparing class actions against any banks involved with the Libor scandal. If these actions are successful, banks could end up being liable for hundreds of billions of dollars. New York based Hausfield LLP is also planning to launch legal action in Europe and Australia.

With consumer faith in banks at an all-time low it’s easier to understand why many savers are considering moving their money elsewhere.

Whilst some government officials welcome the investigation it’s also fair to say that the fate of the big banks is hanging in the balance. I freely admit that I’m no great fan of the UK’s banking sector and recent news has made me even more cynical but I really don’t want the big 5 to fail.

Banking provides the UK with about one third of its GDP. Also, if the banks do go under what happens to all the tax payer money that’s invested in them? It’s unlikely we’ll see any of that back once all the fines are paid.

Still, to be safe, it might be time to shift your money somewhere a little safe… where ever that may be.

Anyway, I hope my talk of vets and surgical strikes don’t give your kitty nightmares.


Jersey To Get New VED Rate

In a shock move designed to quell the growing disquiet amongst their coalition partners, the Conservative Chancellor, George Osborne, has proposed a new rate of Vehicle Excise Duty for the Channel island of Jersey.

Dubbed the ‘Carr tax’, the new rates are being levied to remind Jersey based manufacturers of the K2 electric car not to avoid forget to pay their dues.

A draft release of the new document says, ‘In the medium term, the Government has decided to reform the existing VED to ensure that all parties involved make a fair contribution to both the public transport systems finances and UK Member of Parliaments pension funds. Sustainability and consistent funding are key to the success of future plans for the United Kingdom’s transport infrastructure and pool parties to which MP’s have become accustomed.’

One proposal within the new document suggests a new, environmentally friendly call centre be made available to curtain twitchers and amateur sleuths. Dubbed ‘the grass line’, this service will allow members of the public to anonymously report anyone they suspect of attempting to avoid the new tax.

Unlike the draconian ‘granny tax’, the new Carr tax does not allow HMRC’s inspectors to shoot the pets of ailing grandmothers at the first sign of tax avoidance. Supporters of the new scheme have suggested an amendment to the document that allows for the recreation of debtors prisons (complete with red hot fire pokers, starving ferrets and Cliff Richards greatest hits on repeat).

A poll carried out by some government nosey parkers suggests that the vast majority of the UK’s honest, hard working tax payers welcome the plans. “Why should I have half me welfare taken away every month to fund the Carr industry”, remarked one anonymous individual, “It’s just not fair!”.

The new tax plans haven’t been universally accepted. David Odger, of the non-Tax Payer Alliance, gave a withering response to the Chancellors announcement, “Bastard!”. He added, “For years, we’ve been getting away with blue murder and now some Tory twit wants to ruin our fun”, he added “It’s not like we’re hurting anyone; we simply forgot to add a few noughts to the end of our stated income”.

Carr Tax Proposals At A Glance

  • Tax inspectors to get new powers including ‘shoot on sight’ rights.
  • Individuals founding guilty of avoiding the Carr tax can expect to be publicly flogged and face up to 200 years in prison
  • Debtors pets and elderly relatives will be carted off to the vets for euthanasia
  • Anyone found whinging about the new laws face stiff penalties including amputation of their tongue, imprisonment or being publicly ridiculed by Jeremy Clarkson

In a separate report, it has been suggested that the coalition has been engaging Russian architects with a view to establishing a gulag on the Isle of Wight. Parties involved refuse to comment on suspicions that this will house a new facility for self-acclaimed finance wizard Vince Cable who, according to Tory sources, ‘had it coming for a long time’.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, made a statement condemning tax avoidance as ‘morally wrong’ before setting off on a whistle stop tour of the Middle East to promote the UK arms industry.

Jimmy Carr responded with a less than eloquent, ‘David Cameron is a f****** ****’! Fans of Carr have stated that he was in fact referring to the Prime Minister as a, ‘Folding Duck’. Does that seem reasonable?

Disclaimer: I made this up. Surprisingly, this article does not reflect any government policies. The quotes given in this article are fictitious but one thing is true – Jimmy Carr did dodge his tax payments. Whilst morally wrong there’s nothing illegal about this practice, yet.

On a brighter note: cheer up Jimmy, most people will forget about it in a few months. The only time you’ll be reminded about your follies is if you ever appear on Have I Got News For You.

How To Make Money Fast Selling More Than Just Your Underpants

Need some fast cash? Here’s a few ideas from the crazy world of high octane money making ideas where even selling your underwear can make you some hard cash.

Money! Who can honestly say they don’t want or need more of it? When times are tight we have a tendency to cast an envious eye over the ranks of the wealthy and allow ourselves to say, ‘what if…?’.

I could start off by telling you that, in times of recession, everyones wealth decreases. We all feel a little poorer. But you didn’t come to hear me go on about the vagaries of money. You came here to find out how you can make more of it and make it fast.

Here are a few ideas that have already been done. With a little thought (or even by simply copying these money making ideas) you could earn yourself a tidy little sum of cash… or maybe a large chunk of change.

So, in reverse order, here’s a list of ways to make some fast money:

Share The Money Making Love With HaveYouSeen

haveyouseen.com

What is it? HaveYouSeen is a cashback website. You’ve probably seen them before but this little beauty comes with an added twist: you don’t have to spend money to make it.

How does it work? After you’ve signed up, all you need to do is share links other subscribers to HaveYouSeen might find interesting. Copy and paste the link to a product of interest into HaveYouSeen. A unique URL is then created and mapped to your account. When someone clicks on your link and buys you receive a commission.

Will it make me rich? No. Well, not unless you can get millions of ‘friends’ to buy using your link. Commission rates on sales are around 5% e.g. you’ll get £5 if someone buys a £100 product through you link. That said, if you have large social following on a site such as Facebook or Twitter, you could like/tweet your favourite stuff and link back using your unique tracking URL’s. Hmm, I sense the rumblings of a plan!

Have Your Stamp Of Approval Tattooed Across Your Breasts

What is it? Fancy giving up a slice of your skin to the highest bidder? Yes? In that case, your a prime candidate for having a big, fat advertisement tattooed across your body. In return for a lifetime of regrets and having to you look your grandchildren in the eye and admit the error of your ways you’ll be paid a princely sum (about £10,000 if your name is Karolyne Smith).

How does it work? You turn your body into a mobile billboard (minus 3 foot high lettering that screams the world will end tomorrow). In return you’ll pick up some fast cash – in the case of Angel Brammer from Inverclyde, Scotland – about £422. Unlike Karolyn, Angel had her breasts marked with removable ink. Maybe Miss Smith should have thought about that one before she succumbed to the promise of a fast pay cheque!

Will it make me rich? No but, as you saw with Karolyn Smith, it can make you a very tidy sum very fast. £10,000 is nothing to be sniffed at unless you earn the same amount every day. The major drawback is that the advertisements need to be visible so, unless you’re Lady Godiva, you can forget having tattoo’s roaming across your body like a cash stuffed draft excluder.

Scrounging Off People You Don’t Know

What is it?

It’s called begging. The difference between the homeless guy on the streets and Karyn Bosnak is that she had a choice. Although I find the idea of asking strangers to pay off your debts distasteful, I have to give her 10 out of 10 for having the balls to do it.

How does it work? It goes a little like this: Ooops, you’ve built up an awful lot of debt and now your employer has made you redundant. Instead of going out and getting a new job and setting a monthly budget you simply set up a website and ask people to help you pay off your debts. Genius (and very lazy). So was born savekaryn.com,.

Will it make me rich? That depends. If you’ve spent half your life living on the streets and £14,000 drops into your lap then, yes, you’ll be rich. Actually, even if you’re not homeless, having the kahuna’s to beg for other people to pay off you debts might see your plight picked up by the major news site resulting in the inevitable book deal. Wclcome to the big time!

Throw Caution To The Wind And Dally With Lady Luck

roulette wheel

What is it? Casino’s! If you’re a seasoned gambler you already know how much money you can make at the tables (if Lady Luck tarries for a while). But there are two types of gambler: players that bet pennies and then there’s Ashley Revel of Kent. Revel sold his life, chanced it all on the roll of a dice – and won.

How does it work? To gamble at this level you’re going to need some serious cash to back you up. Revel was prepared to take the chance. He sold off pretty much everything they owned – house, car, clothes even his beloved 8 year old Doberman. He then took the £77,000 to a casino in Las Vegas and tried his luck at the roulette wheel. The result? He won and doubled his money.

Will it make me rich? Definitely but you need to be in it to win it. If you have the cash, the balls and a mild touch of insanity you’re all set to go. But this is a game of luck; all it takes is the smallest amount of momentum and the ball will fall into black… and you bet the lot on red.

P.S. Ashley didn’t really sell his dog. In fact, I don’t even know if he had one.


Sell Your Life To Interested Gawkers

What is it? Quite literally what the title says: you sell everything you own. Instead of blowing it all at the casino you simply pocket the money and move on which is exactly what Ian Usher did.

How does it work? Following the collapse of his marriage, Usher decided to make a new start. Now, for many of that means clearing out the old photo’s of happier times you and your ex had. Usher had different ideas. Instead of simply binning the celluloid memories and cleaning out the knicker draw he auctioned the lot (I’m not sure he sold off the used underwear though)!

Will it make me rich? How much money do you think will make your rich? In this case, Usher pocketed a total of £192,000. Not bad for eBaying your life although he did say that he hoped for more. But this isn’t the end of the story. Usher has written a book about the entire affair and, in true Hollywood fashion, the details will be mangled until they’re unrecognisable and turned into a movie. Now that’s what I call getting into the millionaire fastlane!

I’ll Swap This Paperclip For Your House

paperclip

What is it? It’s a true story but, obviously, it’s a little more complicated than the title suggests. Canadian, Kyle McDonald, proved that you can take an everyday ‘thing’ and use it to make your dreams come true using only the dark art of bartering.

How does it work? This idea is so incredible simple that you may not believe it! Kyle took a paperclip and started swapping. Paperclip for a pen, pen for a doorknob… etc, etc, until he finally had a place to lay his weary head. No tricks, no scams just good old fashioned, dawn to time bartering.

Will it make me rich? Oh yeah! Just imagine starting off with some mundane piece of junk and haggling your way right up to a house worth a few hundred thousand pounds. It’s not going to happen overnight but a few years of hard bargaining could see you live the dream in ‘mi casa’.

Earn A Million Through The Power of The Web

What is it? www.milliondollarhomepage.com one page newspaper advertisement that was transplanted to the web. Not exactly brain surgery of the highest order but it worked, as Alex Tew will tell you.

How does it work? The site is a huge, online billboard. A grid of one thousand 1,000 pixel slots have been created into which advertisers can insert their links for penis enlargement pills everyday products that people want. In return, the advertisers paid Alex about £600 for a 1,000 pixel slot. If you want a bigger piece of advertising space you pay more money.

Will it make me rich? It most certainly will. In total, Alex Tew made over $1,000,000 from this money spinning brainchild (that’s about £600,000, depending on the exchange rate). In fact, the final 1,000 slot was sold on eBay and this netted another $38,000! You might not be in a position to build a Google-like ad empire but think of all the niches you can use this idea on…


The Real Reason Polish Plumbers Drive Expensive BMWs


You might have got an F in Maths but that doesn’t mean you can’t get paid by the wheelbarrow load!

So you don’t have any academic qualifications to your name. So what? Your name probably isn’t Tarquin and you didn’t go to Eton but there’s nothing to stop you earning an awful lot of money in your day job.

Let’s take a look at where the money is.

Laying Some Pipe

plumbing tools

To clear up any misconceptions, I’m talking about training as a plumber. The average wage for a plumber is about £40,000 per year but that’s only what goes on the books. Think of all the back handers cash-in-hand jobs you can do.

The building industry is ramping up. Apparently, we don’t have enough affordable houses in the UK which means that more have to be built. Unless you’re thinking of living the authentic Tudor dream and pooing in a pot your house will need plumbing.

One important factor you need to take into consideration is: location. Although the Institute of Plumbing and Heating engineers have said the average plumbers wage is £30k to £40k graduate plumbers in London are earning as much as £90 per hour.

Looks like the Polish plumbers really are having the last laugh as they wheel spin their BMW’s into the sunset!

Cosying Up To Peter Stringfellow

Taking your clothes off for money has never been more profitable. Feminists argue that strippers are there merely for the sexual gratification of over paid money traders. Traders won’t argue with that point of view as they’re normally too drunk to care!

How can a stripper earn? Peter Stringfellow, the crusty old lizard, says that some of this girls are earning over £1,000 per night. For dancing. Erotically. In a night club. I think I may have missed my calling in life! It’s gets better: the money you earn is cash-in-hand. Somehow I don’t think even HMRC would stake out a strip joint just to get their hands on a little more cash.

One aspect that puts many women off this kind of job is personal safety. Fortunately, the industry has moved on from the less than gentile days of 70’s. If you think you’re going to get a sneaky grope of an ‘exotic dancer’, think again. You’ll quickly find your hand inserted in one of your own orifices before you’re ejected from the club by a very large bouncer.

Beware! If you’re a little too attractive you might find some unwanted attention coming your way courtesy of Mr Stringfellow. Pass the sick bag!

Near Misses Have Never Been So Lucrative!

If you ever had childhood dreams of flying a plane but missed out on your chance to emulate Biggles don’t worry: there’s still hope. In fact, wouldn’t it be much more fun to be telling the pilots what to do? If you’re in need of a serious power trip that goes hand in hand with a major pay packet then you need to think about taking a punt on the air traffic control industry

How much can an air traffic controller earn? In the UK, the average salary is around £52,000. Not bad for simply screaming, “Oh my God! Bank now or die” into a microphone. But there is more to be earned. On the European mainland, in Spain. This is the home of air traffic rock stars. By regularly punishing the Spanish government with threats to the revenue from tourist industry the controllers have managed to fleece extortionate amounts of cash from their employers

In some cases, some ATC staff are earning in excess of £800,000 a year. Seriously! Never has the threat of union action proved so lucrative!

Time to learn some Espanol and head off for a life of sun, sea, sand and state-funded bumper pay packets.

Cheeky Cabbies Are Making Serious Coin

Talking with a mild Cockney twang as you swerve through the back streets isn’t very glamourous. Ferrying drunken revellers from one night club to next night and spending the following day mopping vomit out of your taxi has to be the pits but it can pay well.

With so many taxis on the roads of Britain it would be fair to say that this is one job to avoid. Wrong! Some taxis drivers are making £60k – £70k a year. That’s a lot more more than a highly qualified nurse who spends most of her time cleaning up behind patients in the hospital.

It’s fair to say that being a cab driver isn’t the safest job in the world. On average, 100’s cabbies are mugged of their takings every year. Another point you need to consider is where you’re going to work. Running a taxi service in the middle of the country won’t earn you as much as the same job in a big city like London or Manchester. If you want to earn big you need to go the big lights.

You see, it is relatively easy to make some serious money without having a top notch degree or being married into royalty. Obviously, you might not have what it takes to be one of the Stringfellows girls (especially if you’re a bloke) but the path to wealth takes many twists and turns.


Controversial Money Saving Tips From Ebenezer Scrooge

Towards the end of this life, Ebenezer Scrooge turned over a new leaf. He became a beacon; a shining example of the love a man has to give. It’s a nice end to the story of the harsh realities of life in Victorian England but, before seeing the light, Scrooge was a cruel man.

Much as we like a story with a happy ending, right now we don’t really care for Mr Nice Guy! Today, we’re going to look at some of the more controversial money saving tips that could have come from the pages of Scrooge’s big book of misery! Continue reading

How A Cow Fetish Made Millions For Ryanair

How Ryanair’s time honoured farming methods helped to milk the cash cow to a tune of £406 million

ryanair fees

When a company reports healthy annual profits it’s normally cause for cheer but not when it comes to certain budget airlines. Ryanair have just reported an annual pre-tax profit of £406 million. Ordinarily, we’d give them a big slap on the back but not in the case of Mr O’Leary’s airline because the profits, in the main, come from the add-on charges levied against passengers.

The profit announcement represents a massive 25% jump for the company that calls itself the worlds favourite airline. But all is not as it seems. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Ryanair made such a killing and how next year might not be so rosy for the company or it’s passengers. Continue reading

How To Burn An Olympics Sized Hole In Someone Elses Pocket

Psst! Want a genuine Olympic Torch? One owner. Yours for only £150k (plus P&P).

It’s been argued that entrepreneurs will sell anything. Even their grandparents. But making money isn’t the preserve of the budding Steve Jobs clones as the Olympic Torch bearers have proven.

Olympic flame carrier Andrew Bell posted his torch up for sale on eBay shortly after completing his leg of the relay in Cornwall. Apparently, he has no use for the torch and, “It is nearly a metre long and looks weird on the mantelpiece.” Continue reading

Save Money on Back to School Clothes

Scuffed shoes, trouser knees with ragged holes flapping in the breeze, torn jumpers. For many of us, these images of our childrens battered school clothes will carry over into our old age. In fact, they’re our private equivalent of showing off the baby photos when little Johnny or Jemma brings home their first love! Continue reading