Hard times for Brit expats and visitors...

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03 Jul 2011 00:00 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

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One would have thought that with all the problems associated with the Greek second bailout that the Euro might have weakened somewhat, but it seems to be the other way around.

The exchange rate, £ sterling to Euro, is at a new low at just 1 : 1.07... bad news for any visitors from the UK or those dependent upon UK incomes like pensions.

I guess Brits buying Euros will probably wind up with less than 1:1 by the time they've paid the commissions.

To make things even more difficult for some, the 1 USD will only get you 0.68 centimos so US visitors are going to be hard hit as well.

Since our income is based on both the £ and the $, its going to be a long, hard month...

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03 Jul 2011 21:22 by rod Star rating in Uk and Spain. 469 posts Send private message

Yes the Sunday Times talked about parity soon again, but I guess we have that now really after the commision/exchange charges mind you a poll in the News of the World had 66% expecting it to get worse in the UK this reccesion is not over by a long chalk and most blame the GREEDY banks.

Rod

 





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03 Jul 2011 21:52 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

this reccesion is not over by a long chalk and most blame the GREEDY banks.

I thought the UK exited recession in the last quarter of 2009 and the last time I looked, the UK was growing at around 2%...



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03 Jul 2011 22:11 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

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Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics?

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04 Jul 2011 08:19 by Piltonian Star rating in Madrid. 36 posts Send private message

The UK economy grew by 0.5% in the 1st quarter of 2011 - which is indeed equivalent to an annualised rate of 2%, although the economy has only grown 1.6% over the past year.

Worth bearing in mind are (a) that's growth from a low position, (b) we're used to growth of around 3 to 3.5%, growth slower than that doesn't necessarily feel like real growth, (c) it's unevenly spread across different sectors of the economy and parts of the country - so some may still be shrinking whilst others are growing strongly, and (d) dealing with both the declared and the undeclared deficit is going to be a painful and slow process.

Sir Mervyn King has suggested that the UK is four years into a Biblical seven lean years. So three more years of pain...

Government debt in the UK is, of course, much higher - both absolutely and relative to the size of the economy, than that in Spain. It's only been the devaluation of sterling that has saved the UK economy from a much worse fate. So whilst the weakness of sterling will be unwelcome for those with euro costs and sterling income, it is at least preserving jobs back home.





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04 Jul 2011 14:11 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

Sir Mervyn King has suggested that the UK is four years into a Biblical seven lean years. So three more years of pain...

400K new jobs were created in the UK over the last year, unemployment has peaked at 2.5 million, 10 year gilt yields are 3.3%.  Hardley what you'd call "pain" is it?



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04 Jul 2011 15:23 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

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Seem to recall that somewhere in the thread 'Will the exchange rate ever go up' a comment was made that every time Mervyn King opens his mouth the exchange rate goes down...

Maybe its time he was put out to pasture...

Just a point but if Britain was to stop pretending to be a Superpower and getting itself into situations like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya for instance spending a million pounds a day where we have absolutely no legal right to be in the first place the country might just have an opportunity to recover.

Maybe if just for a year we stopped sending squillions of pounds of aid into countries who then spend the money on anything except that countries populace again we might be in with a chance.

Maybe if the powers that be took a realistic look at what's actually going on in the UK instead of blowing so much hot air...

Selective edit...400K new jobs were created in the UK over the last year, ... doing what? Flipping burgers? Security Guards at the airports for those that fail the Maccy D entrance exam?? Customer Service reps answering phones? Where are the real jobs? All sold down the river...

Selective edit... unemployment has peaked at 2.5 million,...  is this just because yet again the figures have been tweaked, removing those on 'training courses' or those no longer able to sign on because they have been out of work for so long they no longer count?

I was made redundant after 15 years with the same employer in the aerospace engineering industry, at the age of 62. One prospective employer told me that I would find it difficult because of my age (I had deliberatlely omitted my DOB from my CV just to get an interview, all previous attempts to solicit an interview having failed I suspect because my DOB appeared).

When I went to the job centre to look for work I was told there was no point in signing on since I already had enough NI stamps to qualify for a full state pension, that because I had two small private pensions totalling just over 8K pa I didnt qualify for Jobseekers allowance or any other allowance... and that quote 'at your age you are going to find it very difficult to get work...'  In so doing, they kept me off the unemployment lists... and committed me to either shelf stacking at B&Q or Tesco or doing something equally as mind-numbing. I finished up driving a bus for a year on £8 per hour... until being forced to give it up, selling up and getting the hell out of Dodge

The couple of links below show graphics of the performance of Sterling and the US Dollar against the Euro over the last ten years. It makes for a pretty gruesome picture.

Link 1 

Link 2

Given that some on this forum are of the opinion that the Euro is doomed, it seems to me that it's doing a pretty good job of kicking ass as they say...

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04 Jul 2011 15:52 by Piltonian Star rating in Madrid. 36 posts Send private message

Foxbat,

I'm sorry to hear of your experiences - that must have been tough to go through.

Regarding Mervyn King, however, if it is true that sterling goes down - making UK exports more competitive - every time he opens his mouth, then for the good of the UK economy he should get a slot on talk radio. The UK needs its exports to be competitive in order to preserve and create employment beyond the mac-jobs to which you refer. This does mean hard time for Brits spending their UK earnings abroad, either as tourists or as expats - but the UK economy benefits if people are encouraged to spend that money at home, so I doubt the Governor will be losing much sleep over that.

The morality of recent wars is a separate topic, the expenditure upon them and on foreign aid are, however, a rounding error in the context of government spending, where social security and the NHS dominate.

Not claiming unemployment benefit (JSA as it is now called) does not effect the unemployment statistics: only 1.5m people are on JSA, whilst 2.5m are unemployed.

The UK economy is in, and will continue to be in, hard times. We have significant government debt sitting alongside the thornier problem of unfunded, fast growing, government pension obligations, both the state pension and those of sizeable numbers of state workers. Reducing that debt without depressing the economy is a task in which none of the potential options guarantees success. But Sanchez does have a valid point - the UK has plenty of problems, but you don't have to look far to see that things could be much worse.





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04 Jul 2011 15:52 by Piltonian Star rating in Madrid. 36 posts Send private message

Foxbat,

I'm sorry to hear of your experiences - that must have been tough to go through.

Regarding Mervyn King, however, if it is true that sterling goes down - making UK exports more competitive - every time he opens his mouth, then for the good of the UK economy he should get a slot on talk radio. The UK needs its exports to be competitive in order to preserve and create employment beyond the mac-jobs to which you refer. This does mean hard time for Brits spending their UK earnings abroad, either as tourists or as expats - but the UK economy benefits if people are encouraged to spend that money at home, so I doubt the Governor will be losing much sleep over that.

The morality of recent wars is a separate topic, the expenditure upon them and on foreign aid are, however, a rounding error in the context of government spending, where social security and the NHS dominate.

Not claiming unemployment benefit (JSA as it is now called) does not effect the unemployment statistics: only 1.5m people are on JSA, whilst 2.5m are unemployed.

The UK economy is in, and will continue to be in, hard times. We have significant government debt sitting alongside the thornier problem of unfunded, fast growing, government pension obligations, both the state pension and those of sizeable numbers of state workers. Reducing that debt without depressing the economy is a task in which none of the potential options guarantees success. But Sanchez does have a valid point - the UK has plenty of problems, but you don't have to look far to see that things could be much worse.





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04 Jul 2011 19:24 by ads Star rating. 4022 posts Send private message

Has anyone heard of politicians pensions being reduced?





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04 Jul 2011 20:32 by Poppyseed Star rating. 898 posts Send private message

Foxbat & Ads, you took the words right out of my mouth...........



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04 Jul 2011 20:59 by guslopez Star rating in Lorca, Murcia.. 745 posts Send private message

" So whilst the weakness of sterling will be unwelcome for those with euro costs and sterling income, it is at least preserving jobs back home ."

Sorry I am home . Why am I interested in preserving jobs in a foreign country ?

 



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04 Jul 2011 22:36 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 853 posts Send private message

Foxbat,

Selective edit...400K new jobs were created in the UK over the last year, ... doing what? Flipping burgers? Security Guards at the airports for those that fail the Maccy D entrance exam?? Customer Service reps answering phones? Where are the real jobs? All sold down the river...

It just so happens I was reading an article on Bloomberg earlier today.  Jobs are being created in Engineering and Insurance:

July 4 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. employment creation accelerated in June as insurance and engineering companies increased hiring, according to employment website Reed.co.uk.

The Reed Job Index rose to 125 from 121 in May, the London- based recruitment company said in a report published today. A gauge of salaries was unchanged, said Reed, which runs Britain’s largest recruitment website.

“Demand for skilled, highly qualified staff has fueled this month’s increase,” Reed.co.uk Managing Director Martin Warnes said. “In spite of residual concerns over the economy, opportunities for jobseekers are growing again as employers look for the talent they need to support their ambitions.”

Source: Bloomberg



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06 Jul 2011 14:10 by Piltonian Star rating in Madrid. 36 posts Send private message

It may be of interest that the exchange rate question came up in the Lords yesterday...

Lord Vinson: Does the Minister agree that for the first time for many years the pound is close to parity level, which helps make our industry, at last, much more competitive internationally? Would she like to suggest to the Treasury that, in future instead of having just an interest rate policy or an inflation policy, we should also have a rate of exchange policy that might help us to support our industry over many more decades in the future?

Baroness Wilcox: My noble friend makes a very important and interesting point, and I shall take it back.





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06 Jul 2011 15:42 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

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quote...

It may be of interest that the exchange rate question came up in the Lords yesterday...

Lord Vinson: Does the Minister agree that for the first time for many years the pound is close to parity level, which helps make our industry, at last, much more competitive internationally? Would she like to suggest to the Treasury that, in future instead of having just an interest rate policy or an inflation policy, we should also have a rate of exchange policy that might help us to support our industry over many more decades in the future?

Baroness Wilcox: My noble friend makes a very important and interesting point, and I shall take it back.

 

Question...Just how out of touch can these protected people in their Ivory Towers get?

Its not the first time in many years...it was only last year in fact... when the pound sank to its lowest ever.

Despite the pound perking up a little over the last couple of days, my UK paid pensions are down by 85 Euros on last month... equivalent to a weeks groceries...

I wonder how UK resident pensioners would react to this monthly variation in their pensions?

Am I bitter? Damn right!. Years of successive government mismanagement have effectively bankrupted the country, and its the little people who are suffering as a result....

Heres a little pic that sums it up...

 

But there again, twas ever so...

 

 



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06 Jul 2011 16:33 by ads Star rating. 4022 posts Send private message

Like the little pic and video!

It's up to the "little people" to start making governments/banks/politicians accountable by being more constructively pro-active and organised. No time for apathy now. But it has to be in a constructive way and not destructive.

Keith forwarded something today, a statement from someone, which is very apt.. it read thus:

what we really need is a new model of society, morality, a new order in which those in power do not oppress the weak, do not abuse their position of power, and in which ordinary citizens are treated in the same way as their leaders."

 

Let's hope something of this order can be achieved by the "little people" standing together as one to shout their corner. It won't happen without pressure and organised effort however.





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06 Jul 2011 16:57 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

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ads... totally agree...

Spain got off to a good start with what someone on this forum referred to as a 'Street Party' but in reality was anything but. It was a serious protest by the people; such a shame (though not totally unexpected) that the Barcelona powers that be chose to end it the way they did by calling in the heavy mob.

Rubalcaba summed it up nicely on the eve of the elections when called upon to ban the protest said 'You dont cure one problem by instigating another.'

Unfortunately I cannot see the electorate in the UK ever doing anything similar. The marches of the 30th June turned out to be something of a non-event. No-one in power is going to take up the cause. Basically I think because those that would like to are afraid of being kettled, corralled or otherwise coerced by the UK's Big Brother movement and its all to heavy-handed heavy mob.

Off to Mercadona now to spend some of what the currency speculators / banks / taxman have left me with!

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06 Jul 2011 17:10 by xetog Star rating in Wiltshire/holiday ap.... 514 posts Send private message

"what we really need is a new model of society, morality, a new order in which those in power do not oppress the weak, do not abuse their position of power, and in which ordinary citizens are treated in the same way as their leaders."

Sounds like  Marx, it certainly sounds like Communism. As always it sounds like a great idea until some twisted b*****d gets his hands on the levers of power and makes the vast majority poorer and more subjurgated than they were before!  There are enough examples.





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06 Jul 2011 18:28 by ads Star rating. 4022 posts Send private message

No, we have to make a start somewhere and so long as people are aware of the pitfalls re your scenario and they enure that there are inbuilt regulatory checks in any system to curb abuse from the outset, with effective transparency and accountability in place, then it should not have to be the way you describe.

A classic case is the Justice system but I won't bore you with the details........

So long as folk over-generalise and categorise and dismiss these principles as ideals and not constructive ways forward, then there will never be better times ahead.

It is possible with the majority of people behind the principles of fairness and morality. No matter who you talk to these days, the majority appear to have the same message that they are sick to the teeth of corruption, self interest, unaccountability, lack of effective regulation, and the bottom line is sadly that without these inbuilt checks the situation worsens. Never say never.....





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06 Jul 2011 20:26 by foxbat Star rating in Granada. 1114 posts Send private message

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Tony Blair, on the subject of the Madrid Protest was heard to say to Zapatero...

"Absolutely admirable (or words to that effect)... but we can't have the electorate dictating to government"

Just about sums him up and his policies when he was in Government. He didn't listen then and he's not listening now... and who rattled his cage anyway? I thought he was some kind of envoy to the Middle East?

(Nice to see however that neither he nor Gordon Brown were invited to that wedding...)

Jeez, I loathe politicians... they are all bent, totally out of touch with the people and interested in nothing but the furtherance of their own dirty careers.

The problem here in Spain is of course that come the Spanish National Elections the PSOE are going to get a bloody nose just as they did in the regionals. Unfortunately, under the PP and Smugmug Rajoy & Co, Spain will remain just as corrupt as at the moment, maybe moreso. Pretty much as the UK is under Cameron and Clegg. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

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