Thursday, 30 December 2010

Look After the Pennies



In recent months the cost of food, utility bills and fuel has steadily increased but not quite enough for people to actually notice much difference.  Perhaps that's because at this time of year many of us have a larger budget for gift and food shopping and regular expenditure has been absorbed.  For the moment...

Come the new year VAT will increase by two-and-a-half percent, fuel - which is already over £10 a gallon here - will increase even more and, like many people in Scotland, I dread viewing my gas bill online.  The heating hasn't been off for over a month, although it's greatly reduced during the night. Keeping warm is a priority which is quickly becoming a luxury. There's also talk of mortgage interest rates rising, so all in all not good news for anyone.

In the shape of a postbox I have a piggy bank which holds 1p and 2p pieces.  Every week or so I empty my purse of this change to reduce its weight. About once a year the contents are taken to the coin sorter and usually the total amounts to a couple of bottles of reasonable wine.  I've never considered giving it to charity. Charities aren't interested in bronze coinage.  From my experience they much prefer paper money or one pound coins.

Not any more if the Westminster government gets its way. Users of cashpoints will be invited to make charity donations every time they take money out of a 'hole in the wall', is their latest money-grabbing.  Francis Maude intends to talk with banks to discuss whether they will voluntary embrace the idea.  Five years ago, HSBC allowed customers to donate to the BBC Children in Need campaign through its ATMs.

A spokeswoman for the Payments Council said the Link ATM network already allowed people to top up their mobile phones or receive utility bill statements. "I don't see why this couldn't work.  It's another button on the cash machine, isn't it?" she said.

I don't want to be asked if I wish to give to charity when I use a cashpoint. Another button will be another hurdle to jump when extracting money. The money will go to 'good causes' we are told.  That'll be the nationalised 'good causes' charities which already rely on public funding and, if this proposal is accepted, these fake charities will be able to include 'voluntary contributions' on their annual balance sheets.  Nice move.

Mr Maude wants to drain our wallets further and intends to ask retailers if they could introduce ways for people to donate with credit cards when making purchases. The excuse given for these proposals is that they form part of the coalition's strategy of helping to build a so-called Big Society.

Excuse me, but I'm opting out.  We give billions to countries with corrupt governments, we partake in wars which have no association with our security and yet Dave and his pals want to relieve me of the contents of my piggy bank in the hope that, if they ask me enough, I'll submit and start rounding up card purchases to the nearest pound.

Apart from preferring to choose my charities, I find it slightly offensive of central government to be thinking of preying upon people's emotions in order to fill the coffers of their lobbying pals.  I will continue to look after my pennies and pray that they still provide me with a couple of bottles of decent plonk each year.

38 comments:

Witterings From Witney said...

Well said SR, exactly how I feel and I can but suggest iDave & Co take up training to compete alongside Bob Beaman!

The can count me out too!

English Pensioner said...

The government gives vast sums to charity on my behalf - overseas aid is a typical example, where the charity seems to be motivated more by political than need considerations. I'm also apparently contributing to a large number of UK charities which it seems receive the bulk of their funds from government - one giving free books to children was recently in the news, how many others like this, that I've never heard of, are also given my money?
I would like a list of them, after all, knowing that I'm supporting all these good causes should give me a nice warm glow inside!

Dramfineday said...

Hear, Hear!

PS will they also install a button whereby I can extract a small contribution of my wasted taxes back from central government? I should think the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, aircraft carriers and the like could add quite a few quid to my account! No? Thought not!

lazaruszine said...

Thank you! The amount of people that I have had tell me to my face, 'there's no change,' then tell me that a 5p price hike on popular goods 'isn't that much' when I prove them wrong is infuriating. If people accept everything so blithely, I don't hold much hope for our future...
'Just one more button on the cash machine;' let's just keep shuffling to the point where all you have to do is have an ID scan, then press the picture of the chicken drumstick to get your Soylent Green, the picture of the pint to get your vitagoop and the rest can be skimmed off for charities and Lady Gaga CDs...

Oldrightie said...

Then down the line opting out becomes a bigger chore than just refusing. It becomes mandatory and VAT swells evermore.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

Spot on.

With very few exceptions I don't do charities since I started seeing the amounts syphoned off the pay the senior staff and the amounts paid to professional fund raising companies.

JuliaM said...

This might be their biggest overcalculation yet...

Joe Public said...

I read somewhere on the Net that our Foreign Aid was........

"Taking money from lots of the poor in the UK, and giving it to a few of he rich in the developing world."

That about sums it up.

On a pedantic note SR, I fear you're a victim of propaganda. "VAT will increase by two-and-a-half percent"

An increase from 17.5 to 20 is a 14% increase in VAT rate.

subrosa said...

I don't know how to make my voice heard regarding this WfW. We can't continue like this.

subrosa said...

Just one of the many websites writing about fake charities EP:
http://www.perceptions.couk.com/fakes.html

subrosa said...

No refund buttons Dram. You know governments don't work that way.

subrosa said...

True lazaruszine. It's a slippery slope.

In the city it can feel risky enough standing at an ATM in the dark without another button to press and if they get away with this then there will be no limit to their actions.

subrosa said...

Exactly OR, what on earth's going on with the tories?

subrosa said...

I do two Disenfranchised. One in memory of my Dad and the other connected with a local university which specialises in cancer research.

subrosa said...

I hope so Julia, I do hope so. They've got to be stopped draining the last few pence from people by using this emotional bribery.

subrosa said...

Sorry Joe, yes of course it is. I should know better.

Clarinda said...

No doubt when Big Society hits the ATM button to 'willingly' donate a fiver - it becomes a nice little extra interest earner for the bank or government treasury as it passes through on its way to the approved charity?
Just have a look at the nano-print on the bottom of so many 'charity' bags that drop through your letter-box inviting you to donate clothing and other articles which states that your goods will be "sold" to good causes etc!
Charity cards sold in most shops only give a pittance of the profit to charities when I suspect the public think the entire cost goes to the named charities. I volunteer at my local library to sell charity cards where the entire profit is returned to the individually named charities. We are a generous nation but subterfuge and coercion are not charitable tactics. As always - follow the money.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The problem with charity in today's world is it benefits so few of the many in comparison to the comforts it bestows on the even fewer.

And, in relation to the banks; it's not your money to give irrespective of the balance in your account. It's the banks money to use as it will under their libertarian interpretation of property rights.

Just a thought in relation to the plastic scam we've all sleepwalked into.

That aside and forever the optimist; I'll wish everybody the best of New Years.

Apogee said...

Hi SR, this will disappear off the radar until you suddenly see a new button which you you must press NOT to donate. Ainfirny bets that the donation will be a percentage of your withdrawal?

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

'Tis but a short step to "we know you all break speed limits sometimes so we're going to issue fines at random just to make it fair"

It seems this lot are even keener to use the "Yes Minister" archives as training videos than the miserable shower who swapped seats with them in April.

The coagulation(thanx Leg Iron) are apparently borrowing more than the last lot and by inference must be spending more...

Now then, how does that work? - and why are folk whining about "cuts" when they've actually got more money (albeit shrinking in value) Am I the only one that's confused?

Demetrius said...

If the arrangement could be for all the money donated by others to be given to me when I use an ATM as a bonus I might like the idea.

Key bored warrior. said...

Wondrous are the ways that are found to relieve us of our hard earned money. Resist with all your might. I am soon to move to Skye to reclaim the simple no frills life I need. I will grow my own stuff and build a windmill. However in the meantime you could take a look at this...http://tinyurl.com/34yavka...fight back!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

It's a crap idea. It merely adds to the list of crap questions you are asked when you want something - "Do you have a Club Card?" "Can I just take your post code?" "Can I have some spare change for a bit of crack?"

It won't happen. Banks are hated because they are banks. They will not willingly consent to hate by proxy.

BrianSJ said...

As long as Maude is in the government, you know they are crooked.

This is Big Brother not Big Society.

tris said...

I thought this kind of government didn't interfere with your liberties and had a low tax- low spend policies.

So...the tax is going up and they are poking their noses into my charity giving... some libertarians they are!!

subrosa said...

Yes Clarinda, I noticed that a few years ago and told the relevant charities to stop pushing these things through my door. Haven't had one since.

Follow the money indeed. If there's a good skelp of this in admin costs for banks, they'll go for it.

subrosa said...

Yes RA, the plastic scam indeed with all the other cards on the go.

Happy New Year to you too. Keep optimistic. :)

subrosa said...

That's the way it will work Apogee right enough. Better to catch those having a junior moment. Wouldn't surprise me if the amount was related to withdrawals.

subrosa said...

No I'm also confused Gordon. Of course those who buy from abroad aren't so happy with the pound now devalued by 25%.

subrosa said...

You'll be behind me in the queue then Demetrius. :)

subrosa said...

I'll resist KBW, believe me. Good for you moving to the islands. Don't know about the windmill but, I think a generator would be handy too.

Watching your video as I write this.

subrosa said...

If there's enough commission in it for them WW they'll do it.

subrosa said...

KBW, I'm wondering if this is a form of pyramid selling. A strange video and sounds a little like a setup I was involved in way back in the early 80s. Pity they don't give more details.

subrosa said...

I don't know much about Maude Brian, but I accept your superior knowledge.

subrosa said...

The Coagulation libertarians tris? Never.

Key bored warrior. said...

Rosie, pyramid selling is illegal, and not acceptable in any form. This is called referral marketing, which means that it is spread by word of mouth only and not advertising which is expensive. If you go on to U Switch for example UWH will not get rated as we do not pay there exorbitant rates, every time you use U Switch or similar to change provider they get a fee of around £100 from the provider. If you log in as having Scottish Hydro as your provider they will recommend you switch to N Power for example. If you then log out and log in as having N Power as your provider they will then recommend you switch to Scottish Hydro or similar, it is one huge scam.
If you check the TEP share price...http://tiny.cc/en842... they have out performed the FTSE 250 for the past 10 years, and are now riding high at 448p, a phenomenal result. They also have several recommendations from Which magazine.You can contact me through my website I sent you if you need more info. I see myself as a missionary, spreading the good word and helping people get back in charge of their finances ;o)

Key bored warrior. said...

Sorry Rosie meant to say this page is probably better to start on....http://tiny.cc/c6cc2....then you can find you way around from there.

Season greetings and a guid New Year to you and yours.

subrosa said...

Many thanks for the explanation KBW. The video did remind me of the Amway style of advertising although they also did wider selling in the MSM.

I'm off to have a look at your links.

A guid New Year to you and yours. When do you move? It'll be quite a change from the east to the west.

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