Monday 11th February 2013 - Inheritance tax… Robbing the poor to pay the rich

My kids were asking me what I would leave them once I’d popped my clogs, I didn’t want to tell them anything big just in case they start putting Arsenic in my tea (not that they make me a cuppa often).  I told them to dig deep at the back of the settee and whatever they find is theirs.  Winding my kids up has now become my full time job.  I don’t even need a lunch break.
The Government Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that there will be a £75,000 overall cap on the amount pensioners have contribute to their dotage years care plan.  The amount of assets people are allowed to have before they lose state help towards their bills will increase…  So that’s good news…  Right…  This will all come into effect in 2017, they say it’s to help people so that they don’t have to sell their homes or use all of their life savings in order to pay for their care.  This stems from the fact that lots of families are to fund the £1bn overhaul in order to help pay for the care of the elderly. 
How the government is going to do this is to raise the cost by extending the current freeze which starts from £325,000 - £650,000 couples will have to pay 40% tax on anything over these amounts, these figures have not been raised since April 2009.  Is this fair we ask ourselves considering that money that is inherited has already been taxed.  So how does the government get away with the double tax system?  Is it a simple case of, because they can? 
This move will affect thousands of wills a year and Jeremy hunt has recommended that employees take out insurance to pay for their care in old age.  When did it get to this point?  Is this why people are reluctant to stand for Queen and country, because their earthly rewards are being fleeced to the point where there is no longer anything beneficial to pass down the family line.  
I find it quite sad that the elderly who were once active people, putting their hard earned cash into the system are treated like the forgotten tribe because they are no longer beneficial to the governments needs, and are looked upon as blood suckers and the pariah’s of society.  Where’s the love and respect?
We can’t take it with us folks, but we do want to know that our loved ones will be taken care of.  Remember where there’s a will, there’s a way for the government to tax it.  

Tuesday 12th February 2013 - Just ‘Pope’ ing off for a lie down

A friend of mine asked me to go to midnight mass with her, to which I agreed to, after all of the saints were called upon and had gone marching in; an hour and a half had gone by before the service had even kicked in.  Sleep came easily…  Aah… Aah… Men (said in a sing songy voice.) 
Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he is going to resign the papacy due to ill health; I’ve never understood why the Cardinals generally vote in somebody who is usually in their dotage and needs to be propped up with a stick a few years into their reign.  The choosing of a new pope is revealed by the colour of the smoke (Fumata nera and Fumata Bianca) which translated means black smoke white smoke.  Black meaning the votes were indecisive and the white smoke means an election decision has been made. 
Although the youngest known Pope was only twenty years old when he was first elected way back in October 1032.  
Apparently to give up the papacy is usually a rare thing to do; they generally serve until they are laid to rest in the catacombs beneath the Vatican.  It always amazes me how many riches lie within the Vatican City.  Yet around the World many are dying from starvation, surely to be a soldier for GOD, what is said or preached needs to be backed up with actions.  
Just praying for the poor and oppressed isn’t enough, what is the Church doing about it?  This isn’t a generalisation but a valid question.  Now I’m not saying that all churches are neglecting their duties.  The crowds gather for the Pope, people light candles, Hail Mary’s are even said, but lest we forget that the Pope is just a man a supposed messenger for God… He isn’t God.
Peter Turkson a 64 year old Ghanaian Cardinal, is hoping that the Catholic church will look outside of Europe for the next Pope, and since Obama’s presidency whenever a person of colour is put forward for a state position, they are always likened to him.  Why? So that when he fails, they all fail is my guess.
Will he become the first non-European…?  Or is he just ‘pontiff-icating’ Well if the colour of the smoke after the secret ballot wasn’t decisive is anything to go by, then he hasn’t got a ‘Pope’ in heaven’s chance. 
Read what the Italian Paper's are saying.

Wednesday 13th February 2013 - Academy or not academy, that is the question

As I’m sat at work, listening to my boss waffle on, my eyes have glazed over and my mind has wondered back to when I was younger and people used to say to me “school years are the best years of your life.”  At the time I used to think “what do they know”, but as I sit listening to my boss drone on, I realise that they were right… Yawn…
Now the government is constantly telling us that there isn’t any money in the pot, and they have made so many cuts that we all look like shredded beef (or is that horse.)  Yet Michael ‘the school briber’ Gove, (well, if he was a snooker player, that would be his name,) is offering local authority schools money.  I’m not just talking pence here folks, but thousands of pounds.  This money is to try and convince hesitant head teachers to convert their schools to academies.
The Department for Education (DfE) has not denied this little monetary incentive; they have stated that the money was to also help improve schools.  Good one.  Some schools feel like they are being bullied into submission with money being the lethal weapon. This has all come from the leaked memo last week, which revealed that Michael Gove is thinking about privatising schools, he hopes to get rid of state schools and turn them into money making academies.  Once again it’s all about the money; the children don’t even factor in this decision.  
Hey, Michael, leave those kids alone!!!

Thursday 14th December - PE lessons…  Fat chance

I remember having to go up to my kids school to let the head teacher know that I wasn’t happy with the fact that my kids no longer took part in competitive sport within their school curriculum, the Head said it was to make sure that the young people didn’t have to experience failure.  He’s obviously never visited my house.
In more than a quarter of Britain’s schools PE lessons have dwindled as well as failing to improve the fitness of the pupils.  When I was at school we had to do all the sports known to man, not that I’m complaining because I loved it, cross country was one of my favourites, and the cue for my smoking friends to extinguish their fags and continue on the course was when they saw me running back towards the school.  Good times.
Now unless I organise outside school sports for my kids, they would just be learning the theory side of PE, which in order to keep fit doesn’t cut it.  When the Head Teacher told me that he didn’t want the kids to experience failure I saw red, how does he expect them to experience life, things are always going to happen.
Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) has accused teachers of taking the “physical” out of physical education, they think that the pupils fitness levels are low due to the teachers expectations of the pupils are low.  Primary children are struggling to swim 25metres before they’ve left school.
Then we wonder why we are never truly up there when it comes to winning medals for the Olympics, it was after the games when people realised our shortfall in encouraging young people to play sports.  I remember when I was at school we competed against schools on a national level, winning was amazing as well as a bonu,s and losing made you up your game.  It taught us well.
Is it any wonder why more and more young people are dying from heart disease and obesity in children is on the increase?  Not everyone is an academic, sport is important and as a country we cannot expect great results if nothing is put into the system.  
Sports day is now non-existent at my kid’s school and they’ve banned the parent’s race.  It might have something to do with the way I used to limber up like I was Flo Jo, and once I’d won and crossed the line my dance of victory used to wind the other parents up.  Losers. 

Friday 15th December - A change is gonna come 

We live in hope that things can only get better, yet they seem to be getting worse, but is this because we allow them too.  Man can only hurt the body, they cannot damage the soul.  A changed course means a changed end, but an unchanged course means an unchanged end…  Be the change!
I am just one persons opinion, think for yourselves and spread the love.
Citizen Jane ©

Article by Citizen Jane / 15th February 2013


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The Life and Times of Citizen Jane