On the 21st of September, 07, the Daily Telegraph published an item which stated that The Inland Revenue, which I assume means Gordon Brown, are proposing to levy inheritance tax backdated for seven years. I am hoping that this is yet another flag being run up the mast to see who salutes it. To even propose such a scheme, shows a complete disregard for the peace of mind of the citizen, a dishonest approach to legislation, and a contempt for all things honourable. It also encourages spending while you have it in case it is ripped off you on the quiet, the opposite of current Government urging. I don’t know if the levy of taxes is comparable to legislation, in other words it requires an act of Parliament to rescind it. If it hasn’t it should have. In one breath Brown is wanting us to bolster our savings, so we thought, for our good, but in fact it would seem that in another, he feels he can make what amounts to fresh taxation retrospectively, on a whim whenever he likes. The fact that he is having to furnish a war which was achieved by sleight of hand, and at the same time back up the banking system, has presumably placed him in this situation, The nation as a whole, and pensioners in particular, have to make serious decisions about inheritance tax. If their savings are inadequate, and they require sheltered accommodation, the government can force them to sell their home to make up the difference. For those who can just about afford to meet the crippling charges of possible incarceration in nursing homes, they need what little savings they have to enable their children and grandchildren to get on to the housing ladder, which by government neglect, is making it virtually impossible. When tax is levied, long-term judgments have to be made, with something like a rolling programme, although we’re not aware that that is what it is, so that we can budget for most eventualities, and meet most of our needs. To suddenly turn round, having effectively previously given a firm decision on future taxation, to change that so radically, can only be considered despicable, deceitful, and uncaring, almost a form of theft,. It does cross my mind that it is an electioneering ploy, ‘frighten with the threat of a big stick, and when you withdraw the threats on alleged consideration, people think you’re a lovely feller.’
Removals People even younger than I am are moving house on a regular basis, from the old family house, to a smaller house or flat that they can manage as their health and their strength diminishes. A friend of mine told me he was moving and that made me think of my own experience of moving. I don’t say this is standard, but from my own experience that is the advice that I gave to my friend , We have moved twice, and each time I have had things stolen. When we moved to 15, not only my campaign medals, but those of some relatives were stolen from a drawer. I didn’t discover this for some time. At the same time I had some quite valuable Chinese warriors in a box, about a year later I went to look at them and they had obviously been dropped and smashed. Of course I couldn’t prove this by then. In the second move the whole thing was totally bizarre, I was standing in the garage, surveying from a distance and this is what I saw. One young man came out of the house and walked in a strange, surreptitious, manner carrying something in his hand, to the drivers door, climbed inside the pantechnicon, and clearly secreted something, and then went back to unloading. Halfway through they decided to have a tea break. The whole time, the Foreman stood with his arms outstretched across the entrance door to the pantechnicon. I later discovered that some of the boxes had been opened, some of my audio equipment was missing, one of the men I heard say ‘most of this stuff is rubbish’, how did he know? I lost a special fluorescent, colour matching light, that I had especially built for doing oil paintings in the winter. The problem is that it is only later when you need something that you discover all that is missing. It is our experience that workmen and delivery men can be honest and can be thieves, it’s a risk one has to take – a toss up. In consequence of all this, if there are items that you value, I suggest you box them, tape the boxes with gaffer tape, and number the boxes and list the contents separately, and not write the contents on the box which is what I foolishly did.