Them & Us

No Tory freebie

The Tories’ Childcare Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech promises to extend free childcare from 15 to 30 hours a week by 2017. What’s the catch?

The Pre-School Learning Alliance says the government grant to childcare providers for the current 15 hours falls, on average, 20% short of the true cost.

“The so-called ‘free’ childcare scheme is nothing of the sort. For years now, the initiative has been subsidised by providers and parents because of a lack of adequate government funding,” says learning Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch “I think this is crunch time, I think there will be a meltdown,” he added.

Top dogs

MPs are expected to get a 10% pay rise, making a backbenchers annual salary (excluding generous expenses) £74,000.

Public sector workers, at best, can expect a measly 1% rise, after years of pay freezes,

Hard to swallow

The UK has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world. One in five cancer deaths are now caused by obesity. Odd then that the British Nutrition Foundation has produced a seven-page document which makes no reference to obesity or indeed the links between foods high in saturated fat and sugar and heart disease and diabetes. Well not so strange, as Coca-Cola, Mars and British Sugar helped write the document’s “core competencies” on diet and health.

Swingeing fees

If renting a home isn’t daunting enough, given the huge increase in rents charged by private landlords, then rip-off estate agent and letting agent fees will bankrupt you. According to Citizens Advice these unjustified fees, in March, were costing an average of £337 for each tenant. On top of a finding a deposit and advance rent, a tenant can face paying thousands of pounds upfront.


Having ‘non-dom’ status means that foreign super-rich people don’t have to pay tax on overseas earnings, despite living in Britain.

However, it seems that 800 fat cats born and resident in the UK also enjoy non-domicile tax status. HSBC bank boss Stuart Gulliver is one of these.

To qualify all it seems they need do is declare an overseas “domicile of choice”, making that location their home.


Buy-to-let landlords now own properties worth £990.7 billion.

Mortgage lender Kent Reliance reckons that private landlords made £67.2 billion in capital gains and £44.3 billion in rent in 2014-15.