Discussion:
George Osborne v. Virgin Trains
(too old to reply)
Charlie Hulme
2012-10-19 16:20:48 UTC
Permalink
http://www.itv.com/news/story/2012-10-19/george-osborne-train-ticket-dispute-first-class/


Chancellor George Osborne did travel in first class on a standard
class ticket today, Virgin Trains told ITV News.

But, said Jim Rowe, a Virgin Trains spokesman, Mr Osborne had no
direct communication with Virgin Trains staff.

An officer from the Metropolitan Police, escorting the
Chancellor, alerted the train manager in advance that Mr Osborne
did not have the correct ticket, Mr Rowe said.

Once on the train, the train manager informed the police officer
that the Chancellor would have to pay an upgrade fare, a request
which Mr Osborne's aide initially refused.

But after asking for a second time, the Chancellor's aide agreed
that the extra £160 would indeed be paid.

Charlie
--
North Wales Coast Railway Website:
www.nwrail.org.uk
The Real Doctor
2012-10-19 16:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Chancellor George Osborne did travel in first class on a standard class
ticket today, Virgin Trains told ITV News.
Am I alone in thinking that Osborne looks like a nineteenth century
novel's idea of dissolute cad? I find it hard to believe that he does
not drink to excess, frequent opium dens in the Limehouse and visit
brothels in Paris for regular spankings.

Ian
Charles Ellson
2012-10-19 20:36:05 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 19 Oct 2012 17:36:02 +0100, The Real Doctor
Post by The Real Doctor
Chancellor George Osborne did travel in first class on a standard class
ticket today, Virgin Trains told ITV News.
Am I alone in thinking that Osborne looks like a nineteenth century
novel's idea of dissolute cad? I find it hard to believe that he does
not drink to excess, frequent opium dens in the Limehouse and visit
brothels in Paris for regular spankings.
You think he's that good ?
Owain
2012-10-19 22:28:26 UTC
Permalink
.... and visit brothels in Paris for regular spankings.
I would hope he's supporting British industry and visiting British
brothels.

Owain
Charles Ellson
2012-10-20 05:21:13 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 19 Oct 2012 15:28:26 -0700 (PDT), Owain
Post by Owain
.... and visit brothels in Paris for regular spankings.
I would hope he's supporting British industry and visiting British
brothels.
Wouldn't he have to use a French one to be fairly sure of not
supporting the black economy ?
Owain
2012-10-20 12:00:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Ellson
Post by Owain
I would hope he's supporting British industry and visiting British
brothels.
Wouldn't he have to use a French one to be fairly sure of not
supporting the black economy ?
I'm sure that doesn't bother him when he has a coffee at Starbucks.

Owain
D7666
2012-10-20 00:05:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Am I alone in thinking that Osborne looks like a nineteenth century
novel's idea of dissolute cad? I find it hard to believe that he does
not drink to excess, frequent opium dens in the Limehouse and visit
brothels in Paris for regular spankings.
Funny you wrote that as I think something like that too, he sort of
resembles an evil version Rick Mayall's Alan B'Stard - who did in one
series make such a visit IIRC.

--
Nick
allantracy
2012-10-20 11:56:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by D7666
Funny you wrote that as I think something like that too, he sort of
resembles an evil version Rick Mayall's Alan B'Stard - who did in one
series make such a visit IIRC.
You know what I find so utterly baffling.

The way that so many can find so much that is evil within the ranks of
the Tories yet remain totally oblivious to the crimes against our
people inflicted by Brown, Balls and co.

Even to the point of finding it totally reasonable that Ed Miiband
should join an anti-austerity march today protesting against a deficit
that he caused.

Then let's all listen in vain for a joke, just one joke, at the BBC
about Gordon Brown.

Surely, the worst, most idiotic, PM ever inflicted upon us is worth
one joke.
,
But no, it's Osborne or Cameron that get to be the figures of fun in a
way that has the most of the rest of us shaking our heads in utter
disbelief.
Fat richard
2012-10-20 12:06:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Post by D7666
Funny you wrote that as I think something like that too, he sort of
resembles an evil version Rick Mayall's Alan B'Stard - who did in one
series make such a visit IIRC.
You know what I find so utterly baffling.
The way that so many can find so much that is evil within the ranks of
the Tories yet remain totally oblivious to the crimes against our
people inflicted by Brown, Balls and co.
Even to the point of finding it totally reasonable that Ed Miiband
should join an anti-austerity march today protesting against a deficit
that he caused.
Then let's all listen in vain for a joke, just one joke, at the BBC
about Gordon Brown.
Surely, the worst, most idiotic, PM ever inflicted upon us is worth
one joke.
,
But no, it's Osborne or Cameron that get to be the figures of fun in a
way that has the most of the rest of us shaking our heads in utter
disbelief.
I am fairly certain that if you watch a few episodes of have I got a
little old news for you - or whatever it's called - you will find
enough japery to keep even your desire for anything not right wing
being besmirched satisfied.

But I am sure that you have seen them really.

Richard
D7666
2012-10-20 12:18:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fat richard
Post by allantracy
Post by D7666
Funny you wrote that as I think something like that too, he sort of
resembles an evil version Rick Mayall's Alan B'Stard - who did in one
series make such a visit IIRC.
You know what I find so utterly baffling.
The way that so many can find so much that is evil within the ranks of
the Tories yet remain totally oblivious to the crimes against our
people inflicted by Brown, Balls and co.
Even to the point of finding it totally reasonable that Ed Miiband
should join an anti-austerity march today protesting against a deficit
that he caused.
Then let's all listen in vain for a joke, just one joke, at the BBC
about Gordon Brown.
Surely, the worst, most idiotic, PM ever inflicted upon us is worth
one joke.
,
But no, it's Osborne or Cameron that get to be the figures of fun in a
way that has the most of the rest of us shaking our heads in utter
disbelief.
I am fairly certain that if you watch a few episodes of have I got a
little old news for you - or whatever it's called - you will find
enough japery to keep even your desire for anything not right wing
being besmirched satisfied.
But I am sure that you have seen them really.
Tracy is so theoretically right wing he'd want such editorial control
over the BBC they'd not make such programs.

--
Nick
allantracy
2012-10-20 13:16:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Fat richard
Post by allantracy
Post by D7666
Funny you wrote that as I think something like that too, he sort of
resembles an evil version Rick Mayall's Alan B'Stard - who did in one
series make such a visit IIRC.
You know what I find so utterly baffling.
The way that so many can find so much that is evil within the ranks of
the Tories yet remain totally oblivious to the crimes against our
people inflicted by Brown, Balls and co.
Even to the point of finding it totally reasonable that Ed Miiband
should join an anti-austerity march today protesting against a deficit
that he caused.
Then let's all listen in vain for a joke, just one joke, at the BBC
about Gordon Brown.
Surely, the worst, most idiotic, PM ever inflicted upon us is worth
one joke.
,
But no, it's Osborne or Cameron that get to be the figures of fun in a
way that has the most of the rest of us shaking our heads in utter
disbelief.
I am fairly certain that if you watch a few episodes of have I got a
little old news for you - or whatever it's called - you will find
enough japery to keep even your desire for anything not right wing
being besmirched satisfied.
But I am sure that you have seen them really.
Hislop is a notable exception but all the other right-on lot are
starting to sound very old-fashioned, being middle aged and trying to
remain right-on with the lefty kids.

Though, kind of backfires when your name is Jimmy Carr another one
that was never short, in the past, of an 'all Tories are bastards'
joke.

But then, we all know Tories are all Lord Snooty Toffs and Labour are
all 'salt of the earth' working class with no sign of privilege be
found in them, no doubt educated at bog standard comprehensives like
St Paul's Girls School.
Nick Leverton
2012-10-20 16:38:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Hislop is a notable exception but all the other right-on lot are
starting to sound very old-fashioned, being middle aged and trying to
remain right-on with the lefty kids.
Though, kind of backfires when your name is Jimmy Carr another one
that was never short, in the past, of an 'all Tories are bastards'
joke.
But then, we all know Tories are all Lord Snooty Toffs and Labour are
all 'salt of the earth' working class with no sign of privilege be
found in them, no doubt educated at bog standard comprehensives like
St Paul's Girls School.
In case you hadn't noticed, Labour are also all Lord Snooty Toffs, not
to mention a substantial number of the smaller party leaderships on the
fringes both left and right. You should try reading some far-left papers
if you want to find out this sort of stuff :-)

Nick
--
"The Internet, a sort of ersatz counterfeit of real life"
-- Janet Street-Porter, BBC2, 19th March 1996
MB
2012-10-20 17:35:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Hislop is a notable exception but all the other right-on lot are
starting to sound very old-fashioned, being middle aged and trying to
remain right-on with the lefty kids.
Though, kind of backfires when your name is Jimmy Carr another one
that was never short, in the past, of an 'all Tories are bastards'
joke.
But then, we all know Tories are all Lord Snooty Toffs and Labour are
all 'salt of the earth' working class with no sign of privilege be
found in them, no doubt educated at bog standard comprehensives like
St Paul's Girls School.
As when they turned on Louise Mensch when she made a comment on the
irony of the rent-a-mob from outside St Pauls protesting against
multinationals yet drinking very expensive coffees from Starbucks. I
was reminded of that last week when I read that Starbucks pay hardly any
UK tax.
Roland Perry
2012-10-20 19:44:03 UTC
Permalink
I was reminded of that last week when I read that Starbucks pay hardly
any UK tax.
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.

Not sure we really understand if the Starbucks-that-might-pay-tax is the
US parent company and its licensing fees, or the individual UK shops
with largely British licensees, presumably paying tax separately and not
necessarily consolidated on a spreadsheet inside HMRC.
--
Roland Perry
The Real Doctor
2012-10-20 21:42:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of which and
then some is eaten up by an "administration charge" which Starbucks UK
pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get back to you on that.

Ian
MB
2012-10-20 22:53:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of which and
then some is eaten up by an "administration charge" which Starbucks UK
pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get back to you on that.
Apparently the HufPost made a lot of noise about this, Guido pointed out
that HufPost is owned by AOL who pay even less UK tax than Starbucks.
Roland Perry
2012-10-21 08:46:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of which and
then some is eaten up by an "administration charge" which Starbucks UK
pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get back to you on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions this is?
--
Roland Perry
ian batten
2012-10-21 08:56:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of which and
then some is eaten up by an "administration charge" which Starbucks UK
pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get back to you on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions this is?
Ironic we're discussing this under the rubric "...v Virgin Trains",
given Starbucks are doing precisely the sort of thing that Virgin do:
large above the line payments for nebulous "rights" which happen to be
held by companies which are rather more opaque (Starbucks Switzerland,
Virgin private company) than one might like.

ian
mechanic
2012-10-21 10:46:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of
which and then some is eaten up by an "administration charge"
which Starbucks UK pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get
back to you on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions
this is?
What, they're not franchises?
Bruce
2012-10-21 11:44:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by mechanic
Post by Roland Perry
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of
which and then some is eaten up by an "administration charge"
which Starbucks UK pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get
back to you on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions
this is?
What, they're not franchises?
All the standalone Starbucks stores in the UK are company owned.

Those that are located within other stores such as WHSmith,
Waterstones are operated on a licensee basis. I think that differs
from a franchise by paying a fixed annual licence fee rather than a
percentage of sales, which is way most franchises work.

Starbucks UK pays an annual licence fee to the US parent company which
runs to many £ millions a year. That fee is treated as a business
expense for Starbucks UK and is set against Starbucks UK's liability
for tax. Other large payments go to a Starbucks-owned Swiss company
for the coffee beans, which are purchased all over the world, and for
roasting the beans, even though the latter is done in the Netherlands.
All are chargeable against tax.

Perhaps it should be called 'burning' rather than 'roasting'. As the
respected American magazine "Consumer Reports" stated, the coffee from
Starbucks is "strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes
water instead of open."

The highest rated coffee in the test done by "Consumer Reports" was
from McDonalds. It not only tasted the best but was also the
cheapest. Enjoy!
ian batten
2012-10-21 14:25:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Post by mechanic
Post by Roland Perry
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of
which and then some is eaten up by an "administration charge"
which Starbucks UK pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get
back to you on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions this is?
What, they're not franchises?
All the standalone Starbucks stores in the UK are company owned.
Those that are located within other stores such as WHSmith,
Waterstones are operated on a licensee basis.
For some value of "other stores". The test appears to be whether they
accept the Starbucks card, or whatever it's called: those that don't
are licensees. The ones in motorway service stations also appear to
be licensees, and the one on Birmingham University campus definitely
is.

ian
Bruce
2012-10-21 16:32:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by ian batten
Post by Bruce
Post by mechanic
Post by Roland Perry
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of
which and then some is eaten up by an "administration charge"
which Starbucks UK pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get
back to you on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions this is?
What, they're not franchises?
All the standalone Starbucks stores in the UK are company owned.
Those that are located within other stores such as WHSmith,
Waterstones are operated on a licensee basis.
For some value of "other stores".
That's true. It isn't always apparent. But all of the standalone
Starbucks are company owned.
Post by ian batten
The test appears to be whether they
accept the Starbucks card, or whatever it's called: those that don't
are licensees. The ones in motorway service stations also appear to
be licensees, and the one on Birmingham University campus definitely
is.
Interesting about the card, thanks. I avoid Starbucks as much as
possible because their "coffee" is utterly disgusting.

I import small quantities of fine coffees and supply them to the
restaurant and pub trades. I test every batch by sampling and brewing
coffee from it. I have never tasted anything that even approaches the
disgusting flavour of Starbucks coffee. When the beans are that
burnt, they could be any type of bean from anywhere. The flavour is
completely subsumed beneath the acrid taste of burning.

A couple of years ago, someone bought me a large bag of Starbucks
roasted beans for Christmas. I ground some and tried making coffee
using a filter, a cafetière, a percolator and a Gaggia Classic
espresso machine. All were undrinkable. Starbucks coffee is
over-roasted muck.

Costa isn't much better. If you want a really good cup of coffee, go
to one of the gourmet independent coffee shops in London (or another
major city) or to Caffe Nero or Coffee Republic. Or McDonalds, who
offer excellent coffee at much lower prices. :-)
MB
2012-10-23 11:52:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Costa isn't much better. If you want a really good cup of coffee, go
to one of the gourmet independent coffee shops in London (or another
major city) or to Caffe Nero or Coffee Republic. Or McDonalds, who
offer excellent coffee at much lower prices.
Apart from the high price, I get annoyed at the time you have to wait
for coffee with these brands. I would much rather a cup of Nescafe in a
fraction of the time for a fraction of the price!
Roland Perry
2012-10-23 12:10:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
Post by Bruce
Costa isn't much better. If you want a really good cup of coffee, go
to one of the gourmet independent coffee shops in London (or another
major city) or to Caffe Nero or Coffee Republic. Or McDonalds, who
offer excellent coffee at much lower prices.
Apart from the high price, I get annoyed at the time you have to wait
for coffee with these brands. I would much rather a cup of Nescafe in
a fraction of the time for a fraction of the price!
At least one of them also offers filter coffee, which means you can get
yours served quickly, but only once you've reached the head of the
queue. In the mean time you still have to marvel at the length of time
it takes three people to make one cup of coffee, for each of the people
in front of you.
--
Roland Perry
MB
2012-10-25 13:40:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
At least one of them also offers filter coffee, which means you can get
yours served quickly, but only once you've reached the head of the
queue. In the mean time you still have to marvel at the length of time
it takes three people to make one cup of coffee, for each of the people
in front of you.
--
How long before someone starts selling tea at inflated prices and makes
a fortune with chains of tea shops all over the world?
Bruce
2012-10-25 16:45:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
Post by Roland Perry
At least one of them also offers filter coffee, which means you can get
yours served quickly, but only once you've reached the head of the
queue. In the mean time you still have to marvel at the length of time
it takes three people to make one cup of coffee, for each of the people
in front of you.
--
How long before someone starts selling tea at inflated prices and makes
a fortune with chains of tea shops all over the world?
Of course the coffee chains all offer tea at inflated prices.
MB
2012-10-25 17:05:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Post by MB
Post by Roland Perry
At least one of them also offers filter coffee, which means you can get
yours served quickly, but only once you've reached the head of the
queue. In the mean time you still have to marvel at the length of time
it takes three people to make one cup of coffee, for each of the people
in front of you.
--
How long before someone starts selling tea at inflated prices and makes
a fortune with chains of tea shops all over the world?
Of course the coffee chains all offer tea at inflated prices.
But you have to convince the punters that they must come to your
Moondollars for a cup of tea with a fancy name costing a very high
price. It's a fashion market, logic does not come into it.
Bruce
2012-10-25 17:58:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
Post by Bruce
Post by MB
How long before someone starts selling tea at inflated prices and makes
a fortune with chains of tea shops all over the world?
Of course the coffee chains all offer tea at inflated prices.
But you have to convince the punters that they must come to your
Moondollars for a cup of tea with a fancy name costing a very high
price. It's a fashion market, logic does not come into it.
It still doesn't guarantee a profit, though. I think the reason that
specialist coffee shops have become so popular is that they are a
lifestyle choice rather than just somewhere to get a hot drink. The
USP is probably their ambience. They seem particularly popular with
women.

I don't have a problem with paying a high price for coffee if it is
excellent coffee. It so often isn't, and that makes a cheap instant
coffee from a burger van look like stupendous value for money.

I will give McDonalds another mention because their coffee is
excellent and reasonably priced compared with Starbucks and Costa.
Charlie Hulme
2012-10-25 20:32:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
It still doesn't guarantee a profit, though. I think the
reason that specialist coffee shops have become so popular is
that they are a lifestyle choice rather than just somewhere to
get a hot drink. The USP is probably their ambience. They
seem particularly popular with women.
I personally find coffee shops, and especially our marvellous
independent one in Davenport, far more friendly and comfortable
than pubs, which I now rarely patronise. For one thing, there
rarely seems to be a gaggle of smokers outside. And they sell
toasted teacakes!
Post by Bruce
I will give McDonalds another mention because their coffee is
excellent and reasonably priced compared with Starbucks and
Costa.
I find that Costa charge 2.50 for a (very) large Cappucino. Is
that expensive?

Charlie
Bruce
2012-10-25 21:30:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie Hulme
Post by Bruce
It still doesn't guarantee a profit, though. I think the
reason that specialist coffee shops have become so popular is
that they are a lifestyle choice rather than just somewhere to
get a hot drink. The USP is probably their ambience. They
seem particularly popular with women.
I personally find coffee shops, and especially our marvellous
independent one in Davenport, far more friendly and comfortable
than pubs, which I now rarely patronise. For one thing, there
rarely seems to be a gaggle of smokers outside. And they sell
toasted teacakes!
Post by Bruce
I will give McDonalds another mention because their coffee is
excellent and reasonably priced compared with Starbucks and
Costa.
I find that Costa charge 2.50 for a (very) large Cappucino. Is
that expensive?
Sounds cheap! Perhaps as with beer, you pay less up norf.

It makes no difference to me because I don't like Costa coffee.
MB
2012-10-25 21:50:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
It still doesn't guarantee a profit, though. I think the reason that
specialist coffee shops have become so popular is that they are a
lifestyle choice rather than just somewhere to get a hot drink. The
USP is probably their ambience. They seem particularly popular with
women.
It is just a fashion.

You need the right people to be seen going for expensive tea, cocoa or
Bovril and the sheep will follow.
ian batten
2012-10-25 22:02:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
It is just a fashion.
You need the right people to be seen going for expensive tea, cocoa or
Bovril and the sheep will follow.
How fortunate for you that you're a pure and independent thinker, able
to see through the murk that others are blinded by. And not just
someone adopting cliched attitudes towards "sheep".

ian
Alistair Gunn
2012-10-28 12:23:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
It is just a fashion.
You need the right people to be seen going for expensive tea, cocoa or
Bovril and the sheep will follow.
I remember there used to be a small 3-wheeled van selling coffee outside
West Monkseaton Metro Station. Which I thought was a strange idea,
because if you wanted a coffee on the way into work why not buy an
insulated mug and make your own before leaving the house?
--
These opinions might not even be mine ...
Let alone connected with my employer ...
Roland Perry
2012-10-26 09:08:53 UTC
Permalink
I think the reason that specialist coffee shops have become so popular
is that they are a lifestyle choice rather than just somewhere to get a
hot drink. The USP is probably their ambience. They seem particularly
popular with women.
That's right. Coffee shops are for having meetings in, either groups of
friends or somewhere out of the cold and rain when away from base. The
coffee itself is an incidental, and has to be expensive because so many
people spends hours in the shop with just one cup.

If all you need is a drink, but it somewhere else.
--
Roland Perry
Bruce
2012-10-26 09:46:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
I think the reason that specialist coffee shops have become so popular
is that they are a lifestyle choice rather than just somewhere to get a
hot drink. The USP is probably their ambience. They seem particularly
popular with women.
That's right. Coffee shops are for having meetings in, either groups of
friends ...
I wonder if the TV series "Friends" influenced this?
Post by Roland Perry
... or somewhere out of the cold and rain when away from base. The
coffee itself is an incidental, and has to be expensive because so many
people spends hours in the shop with just one cup.
If all you need is a drink, buy it somewhere else.
I tried writing in a coffee shop (no names, sorry!) and was made more
than welcome when I started. After about ten days of this they
insisted I bought a large coffee every 2 hours (plus lunch etc.) or a
small one every hour. I suspect the area manager had been consulted
and wanted to maximise his/her profit per square foot or per table.

I was happy to go along with it until I realised that I was so wired
with all the caffeine that my writing became more and more erratic. I
now work at home, within reach of several different ways of making
coffee, or in the car parked somewhere with a view of a nice landscape
with my coffee in a flask.

The good thing is that whenever I go back to the original coffee shop
they make a great fuss of me, ask me how the writing is going and
... wait for it ... make me a free cup! :-)
Graeme Wall
2012-10-26 10:21:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Post by Roland Perry
I think the reason that specialist coffee shops have become so popular
is that they are a lifestyle choice rather than just somewhere to get a
hot drink. The USP is probably their ambience. They seem particularly
popular with women.
That's right. Coffee shops are for having meetings in, either groups of
friends ...
I wonder if the TV series "Friends" influenced this?
Dates back to the 17th Century, see the history of Lloyds of London:

<http://www.lloyds.com/lloyds/about-us/history>
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
Neil Williams
2012-10-25 17:36:08 UTC
Permalink
How long before someone starts selling tea at inflated prices and makes a
fortune with chains of tea shops all over the world?
The Swiss have one, called Tekoe, but it appears not to have spread much.
In any case, Starbucks also sells overpriced tea as well as their
overpriced coffee.

Neil
--
Neil Williams in Milton Keynes, UK. Put first name before the at to reply.
Charlie Hulme
2012-10-25 20:02:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
Post by MB
How long before someone starts selling tea at inflated
prices and makes a fortune with chains of tea shops all over
the world?
The Swiss have one, called Tekoe, but it appears not to have
spread much. In any case, Starbucks also sells overpriced tea
as well as their overpriced coffee.
Some sort of 'tea shop' chain did open up in Manchester next to
Mosley Street Metro station, but only lasted a few months.

Of course all 'coffee shops' sell tea, as all 'tea rooms' sell
coffee.

I rarely enter Starbucks, but at Schipol airport (between trains)
it was handy for the station entrance, so we indulged. The large
tea was expensive came with a spare (plastic) bag of tea attached
to the top which we saved and use when we got home.

The server did the 'what's your name' routine with the Chinese
traveller in front of me, who hadn't a clue what he was on about,
but he didn't try it with me. Maybe it's only coffee drinkers
that have to suffer.

Charlie

'Tea House of ther August Goon?' ...
Paul Cummins
2012-10-25 20:23:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie Hulme
The server did the 'what's your name' routine
The correct response is "Can you spell A-Saddama Husayni bin Muhammad bin
Awa bin Ladin al-Magid al-Tikriti? No? then call me Bob"
--
Paul Cummins - Always a NetHead
Wasting Bandwidth since 1981
IF you think this http://bit.ly/u5EP3p is cruel
please sign this http://bit.ly/sKkzEx

---- If it's below this line, I didn't write it ----
Graeme Wall
2012-10-26 07:42:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Cummins
Post by Charlie Hulme
The server did the 'what's your name' routine
The correct response is "Can you spell A-Saddama Husayni bin Muhammad bin
Awa bin Ladin al-Magid al-Tikriti? No? then call me Bob"
Don't tell him Pike!
--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
Nick Leverton
2012-10-25 22:24:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie Hulme
I rarely enter Starbucks, but at Schipol airport (between trains)
it was handy for the station entrance, so we indulged. The large
tea was expensive came with a spare (plastic) bag of tea attached
to the top which we saved and use when we got home.
The server did the 'what's your name' routine with the Chinese
traveller in front of me, who hadn't a clue what he was on about,
but he didn't try it with me. Maybe it's only coffee drinkers
that have to suffer.
Charlie
'Tea House of ther August Goon?' ...
Sorry, try next door.

Nick
--
"The Internet, a sort of ersatz counterfeit of real life"
-- Janet Street-Porter, BBC2, 19th March 1996
d***@yahoo.co.uk
2012-10-23 13:14:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
Post by Bruce
Costa isn't much better. If you want a really good cup of coffee, go
to one of the gourmet independent coffee shops in London (or another
major city) or to Caffe Nero or Coffee Republic. Or McDonalds, who
offer excellent coffee at much lower prices.
Apart from the high price, I get annoyed at the time you have to wait
for coffee with these brands. I would much rather a cup of Nescafe in a
fraction of the time for a fraction of the price!
I'm a heathen at times,when the staff ask what style of coffee I would
like they get the reply " Plain white ,no sugar, as near to Nescafe or
Maxwell House as you can get and in a container that isn't the size of
a flowerpot please". To be honest to use one is usually a distress
purchase where there is no alternative such as at a motorway service
area. In a town street setting where there would be a full shop rather
than a semi portable serving unit I would seek out an old fashioned
long established hotel who serve a decent pot of tea or coffee in
proper cups and a pleasant place to sit down and staff that bring the
drinks to you.
Me and the Missus often use this one
http://www.the-redlion.co.uk/court-yard/
Far more pleasant than the zoo atmosphere of a modern coffee shop with
the constant din of ring tones and sad sods trying to impress each
other with their choice of exotic styled coffees and fancy add ons.

G.Harman
Bruce
2012-10-23 15:27:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@yahoo.co.uk
Far more pleasant than the zoo atmosphere of a modern coffee shop with
the constant din of ring tones and sad sods trying to impress each
other with their choice of exotic styled coffees and fancy add ons.
Personally, I blame 'Frasier'.
Bruce
2012-10-23 15:26:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
Post by Bruce
Costa isn't much better. If you want a really good cup of coffee, go
to one of the gourmet independent coffee shops in London (or another
major city) or to Caffe Nero or Coffee Republic. Or McDonalds, who
offer excellent coffee at much lower prices.
Apart from the high price, I get annoyed at the time you have to wait
for coffee with these brands. I would much rather a cup of Nescafe in a
fraction of the time for a fraction of the price!
Almost anything is better than coffee from Starbucks, except their own
instant which I hate. If you choose your instant carefully, it can be
as good as an average espresso and a lot better than a bad one.

I am not a fan of bog standard Nescafé. I drink Nescafé Café Parisien
which is a bit like Gold Blend but a darker roast. It makes an
acceptable cup of coffee. You can buy it in larger Tesco and
Sainsbury's and most Morrisons.

At home, most of the time I drink coffee that is brewed in a Philips
Senseo machine. It uses real ground coffee in paper pods - not the
stodgy, sticky mush that you get in the pods used by other brands of
machine. It is made with boiling water rather than steam so you don't
quite get the full flavour of an espresso but it is still excellent.

The coffee I use comes from a small, family-owned coffee importer and
roaster in Belgium. I choose a dark roast so it most closely
replicates a good espresso.

I also have a Gaggia high pressure steam espresso machine at home, but
the time taken to make the coffee and the amount of mess afterwards
makes the Senseo machine more attractive.

On the road, if you want a very good (real) espresso at a reasonable
price, I recommend McDonalds.
Roland Perry
2012-10-21 17:25:43 UTC
Permalink
In message
the one on Birmingham University campus definitely is.
The coffee shop inside the Leicester Uni students Union is a Starbucks,
which seems to give the wrong image vis-a-vis impoverished students.
--
Roland Perry
Roland Perry
2012-10-21 17:11:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
All the standalone Starbucks stores in the UK are company owned.
Those that are located within other stores such as WHSmith,
Waterstones are operated on a licensee basis.
It seems random whether or not the coffee shop inside big supermarkets
is branded by the store, or one of these other outlets.

The coffee shop in the big Sainsbury's in Nottingham is branded
Starbucks, but the one here in Ely is Sainsbury. Similarly my local
Tesco has a Costa, but the one in Cambridge has an own brand.
--
Roland Perry
Bruce
2012-10-21 18:07:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Bruce
All the standalone Starbucks stores in the UK are company owned.
Those that are located within other stores such as WHSmith,
Waterstones are operated on a licensee basis.
It seems random whether or not the coffee shop inside big supermarkets
is branded by the store, or one of these other outlets.
The coffee shop in the big Sainsbury's in Nottingham is branded
Starbucks, but the one here in Ely is Sainsbury. Similarly my local
Tesco has a Costa, but the one in Cambridge has an own brand.
Tesco had a deal with Starbucks until about two or three years ago. It
meant that every in-store branded (i.e. non-Tesco) cafe had to be a
Starbucks.

Then Costa offered Tesco a better deal. The former Starbucks outlets
were re-fitted and re-branded and all new coffee shops will be Costa.
There is also a policy of a slow changeover from Tesco to Costa with
the long term aim of removing 'white van man' as a customer.

(as told to me by a Tesco senior manager)
MB
2012-10-23 12:00:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Tesco had a deal with Starbucks until about two or three years ago. It
meant that every in-store branded (i.e. non-Tesco) cafe had to be a
Starbucks.
Then Costa offered Tesco a better deal. The former Starbucks outlets
were re-fitted and re-branded and all new coffee shops will be Costa.
There is also a policy of a slow changeover from Tesco to Costa with
the long term aim of removing 'white van man' as a customer.
(as told to me by a Tesco senior manager)
I sometimes eat in places like Tesco but rarely bother with a coffee,
just not prepared to pay the high prices wanted now for one.
Bruce
2012-10-23 15:31:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
Post by Bruce
Tesco had a deal with Starbucks until about two or three years ago. It
meant that every in-store branded (i.e. non-Tesco) cafe had to be a
Starbucks.
Then Costa offered Tesco a better deal. The former Starbucks outlets
were re-fitted and re-branded and all new coffee shops will be Costa.
There is also a policy of a slow changeover from Tesco to Costa with
the long term aim of removing 'white van man' as a customer.
(as told to me by a Tesco senior manager)
I sometimes eat in places like Tesco but rarely bother with a coffee,
just not prepared to pay the high prices wanted now for one.
Tesco used to position their cafés as a cheap draw to increase
footfall in the shop itself. They were subsidised.

Now it would appear that Tesco want to make every part of their
operation into a profit centre, hence replacing the 70p cup of Tesco
coffee with the high prices for fancy coffees at a Costa.
The Real Doctor
2012-10-21 11:14:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of which
and then some is eaten up by an "administration charge" which
Starbucks UK pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get back to you
on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions this is?
No, not the licencing fees. Administration fees, as I wrote.

Ian
Roland Perry
2012-10-21 17:54:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
They actually make a socking enormous UK profit, every bit of which
and then some is eaten up by an "administration charge" which
Starbucks UK pays Starbuck HQ for, erm, um, er, can we get back to you
on that.
In other words the licencing fees. Any idea how many millions this is?
No, not the licencing fees. Administration fees, as I wrote.
Do they not charge the licencees (including Starbucks UK) any fees, or
are they called "management" fees? Do you have a link to some annual
accounts that would clarify the position.
--
Roland Perry
The Real Doctor
2012-10-21 19:03:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Do they not charge the licencees (including Starbucks UK) any fees,
or are they called "management" fees? Do you have a link to some
annual accounts that would clarify the position.
According to the latest filing at Companies House, Starbucks “cost
of sales” was £319m, including £124m of staff costs, an undisclosed
amount of money paid in rent, and an £8.9m tax credit from 2010.
Starbucks was left with a gross profit of £78.4m, against which
£107.2m of “administrative expenses” were charged. The result was an
operating loss of £28.8m and a loss before tax of £32.9m.
and later
Post by Roland Perry
Starbucks UK also pays its Seattle parent 6pc in royalty fees, which
is considered very high in the industry, as Starbucks is charging its
wholly-owned UK division more than what most companies charge
franchises.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9610391/Starbucks-UK-tax-bill-comes-under-scrutiny.html



Ian
Roland Perry
2012-10-21 19:20:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Do they not charge the licencees (including Starbucks UK) any fees,
or are they called "management" fees? Do you have a link to some
annual accounts that would clarify the position.
According to the latest filing at Companies House, Starbucks “cost
of sales” was £319m, including £124m of staff costs, an undisclosed
amount of money paid in rent, and an £8.9m tax credit from 2010.
Starbucks was left with a gross profit of £78.4m, against which
£107.2m of “administrative expenses” were charged. The result was an
operating loss of £28.8m and a loss before tax of £32.9m.
How much do you think it really costs to administer the shops? And it
must include rent, because that has to be shown somewhere.
--
Roland Perry
The Real Doctor
2012-10-21 21:57:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
How much do you think it really costs to administer the shops? And it
must include rent, because that has to be shown somewhere.
According to the report I read on actual paper, that admin charge is
paid to the US parent company. Do you think it sound reasonable that
overseas admin eats up 1/3 of turnover for a chain of coffee shops? If
so, can I interest you in a nice cantilever railway bridge near
Edinburgh? Only nine careful owners.

Ian


[1] NBR, MR, NER, GNR, LMS, LNER, BR, Railtrack, NR
Charles Ellson
2012-10-22 00:19:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 21 Oct 2012 22:57:25 +0100, The Real Doctor
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
How much do you think it really costs to administer the shops? And it
must include rent, because that has to be shown somewhere.
According to the report I read on actual paper, that admin charge is
paid to the US parent company. Do you think it sound reasonable that
overseas admin eats up 1/3 of turnover for a chain of coffee shops? If
so, can I interest you in a nice cantilever railway bridge near
Edinburgh? Only nine careful owners.
Ian
[1] NBR, MR, NER, GNR, LMS, LNER, BR, Railtrack, NR
Only four owners (not necessarily all careful) :-
1-Forth Bridge Railway Company
2-British Transport Commission
3-British Railways
4-Railtrack, now renamed as Network Rail
Roland Perry
2012-10-22 07:43:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by Roland Perry
How much do you think it really costs to administer the shops? And it
must include rent, because that has to be shown somewhere.
According to the report I read on actual paper, that admin charge is
paid to the US parent company. Do you think it sound reasonable that
overseas admin eats up 1/3 of turnover for a chain of coffee shops?
Sounds fair enough if it includes the rent. (And if it doesn't, the only
other explanation from your earlier comments is that all Starbucks are
rent-free; now where's that bridge that I have for sale?)
--
Roland Perry
The Real Doctor
2012-10-22 09:13:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Sounds fair enough if it includes the rent.
Which it doesn't, since "an undisclosed amount of money paid in rent"
was paid as part of the "cost of sales" before the adminstration charge
was paid.

Ian
MB
2012-10-20 22:51:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
I was reminded of that last week when I read that Starbucks pay hardly
any UK tax.
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
Amazing what you can do with an expensive tax adviser.
allantracy
2012-10-21 13:06:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
Post by Roland Perry
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
Amazing what you can do with an expensive tax adviser.
Ignoring the fact that - thanks to an inefficient, pointlessly
complicated and highly expensive (to us all) system of taxation -
anyone that dares to run so much as an ice cream van will run
screaming to their nearest tax advisor (if they know what's good for
them).

Also, ignoring the fact that failing to do so would almost certainly
lead to HMRC giving you special attention.

Then, unsurprisingly, such advisors only come in one flavour - rodent
flavour.

My business legally avoids tax because my expensive tax professional
advisor tells me to.

I have neither the expertise or, life is too short, inclination to
ignore such advice.

It's just how the system works and I, for one, will apologise to no
one for seeking out such advice.
Bruce
2012-10-21 10:16:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
I was reminded of that last week when I read that Starbucks pay hardly
any UK tax.
They claim that's because they make hardly any UK profit.
Not sure we really understand if the Starbucks-that-might-pay-tax is the
US parent company and its licensing fees, or the individual UK shops
with largely British licensees, presumably paying tax separately and not
necessarily consolidated on a spreadsheet inside HMRC.
The individual UK shops are all company-owned. Those that operate as
licensees, within bookshops etc., are owned by large UK companies such
as WHSmith and Waterstones who {presumably} pay the UK tax that they
should.

Starbucks is just about to open its first UK franchise store. In
future, more of the new Starbucks stores in the UK will be franchises
rather than company-owned.
Neil Williams
2012-10-21 12:20:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Starbucks is just about to open its first UK franchise store. In
future, more of the new Starbucks stores in the UK will be franchises
rather than company-owned.
It's a model that has clearly worked for Subway, which barely existed in
the UK in 2000 and now easily rivals McD's. I think all their stores are
franchised.

Neil
--
Neil Williams in Milton Keynes, UK. Put first name before the at to reply.
Bruce
2012-10-21 12:44:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
Post by Bruce
Starbucks is just about to open its first UK franchise store. In
future, more of the new Starbucks stores in the UK will be franchises
rather than company-owned.
It's a model that has clearly worked for Subway, which barely existed in
the UK in 2000 and now easily rivals McD's. I think all their stores are
franchised.
You're right. I like Subway a lot. But the cost of opening a typical
Subway is much, much lower than a typical Starbucks. That's because
Subways tend to be much smaller and to be located in secondary and
tertiary retail areas where rents are a fraction of those in the
primary retail areas that Starbucks needs to be in.

That's why Starbucks want their franchisees to be established
companies rather than individuals in the same way as McDonalds' UK
franchise outlets. The start-up cost of a new Starbucks is much
nearer that of a new McDonalds than a new Subway.
Neil Williams
2012-10-21 13:14:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
You're right. I like Subway a lot. But the cost of opening a typical
Subway is much, much lower than a typical Starbucks.
That is true, though some are going upmarket a bit, so perhaps there are
different levels. The (no doubt extremely profitable as it's always busy)
one at Milton Keynes Central station has been redone recently, and now has
a more coffee shop style interior, a bit like the new style McD's interior.

Neil
--
Neil Williams in Milton Keynes, UK. Put first name before the at to reply.
Bruce
2012-10-21 16:34:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
Post by Bruce
You're right. I like Subway a lot. But the cost of opening a typical
Subway is much, much lower than a typical Starbucks.
That is true, though some are going upmarket a bit, so perhaps there are
different levels.
That's why I used the word "typical". :-) But it's good to see
Subway expanding. They offer great value for money.
Post by Neil Williams
The (no doubt extremely profitable as it's always busy)
one at Milton Keynes Central station has been redone recently, and now has
a more coffee shop style interior, a bit like the new style McD's interior.
Thanks Neil, I must take a look at that next time I'm in MK.
The Real Doctor
2012-10-21 15:05:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neil Williams
It's a model that has clearly worked for Subway, which barely existed in
the UK in 2000 and now easily rivals McD's. I think all their stores are
franchised.
Beats me why they're successful. I've tried them a few times, when there
was no alternative, and was astonished at how bland and tasteless it
was. Everything tasted of cheap bread and nothing else.

Ian
Neil Williams
2012-10-21 18:24:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Beats me why they're successful. I've tried them a few times, when there
was no alternative, and was astonished at how bland and tasteless it was.
Everything tasted of cheap bread and nothing else.
Try the salads. Not as good as you would get in a good restaurant, but
certainly better than ones in plastic boxes from supermarkets that were
made days ago.

Neil
--
Neil Williams in Milton Keynes, UK. Put first name before the at to reply.
allantracy
2012-10-21 12:13:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
As when they turned on Louise Mensch when she made a comment on the
irony of the rent-a-mob from outside St Pauls protesting against
multinationals yet drinking very expensive coffees from Starbucks.  I
was reminded of that last week when I read that Starbucks pay hardly any
UK tax.
The corporation tax avoidance issue is a complete red herring anyway.

Usually raised by lefties - brought up on the school of thought that
all large corporations are wicked (all the US ones being run by Satan
himself) that belongs in fifth form politics.

Plugging corporate tax avoidance would be pointless and neither could
it raise revenue in a way that was economically neutral.

Basically, unless we're all prepared, indeed able, to pay far more for
our CDs and books on-line or our low cost airfares, then there is no
additional revenue out there that could be collected.

To pretend such tax could ever be collected, in a way that was
economically neutral, takes a belief in pots of gold at the end of
rainbows.

The fundamental flaw in the 'let's tax our way out of austerity'
argument is that progressive tax always follows the law of diminishing
returns.

As was demonstrated so successfully by Old Labour who, despite
introducing tax rates of 90%, ended up needing an IMF bailout.
The Real Doctor
2012-10-21 15:06:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Plugging corporate tax avoidance would be pointless and neither could
it raise revenue in a way that was economically neutral.
Basically, unless we're all prepared, indeed able, to pay far more for
our CDs and books on-line or our low cost airfares, then there is no
additional revenue out there that could be collected.
We could keep a lot of money here which currently gets shipped abroad.

Ian
allantracy
2012-10-21 15:25:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Post by allantracy
Basically, unless we're all prepared, indeed able, to pay far more for
our CDs and books on-line or our low cost airfares, then there is no
additional revenue out there that could be collected.
We could keep a lot of money here which currently gets shipped abroad.
The money saved by avoidance either goes in reduced prices, extra jobs
or profit to shareholders.

If it goes in extra profits well share dividends get taxed anyway and
any corporation tax, already paid, is knocked off the dividend tax
bill in the form of a discount.

So even then, in theory, any avoided corporation tax just gets paid
later.

The only argument for plugging the avoidance is one of fairness to
smaller businesses but the coalition are just taking the easy way out
on that by cutting corporation tax, full stop, which is why the
revenue can't be arsed really.

Cutting corporate taxes when you're desperate for economic growth is a
bit of a no brainer really.

Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.

Then perhaps someone could also explain to UK Uncut, marching again at
the weekend, that when a company loses money they don't have to pay
corporation tax, until the loss is recovered, which is why some
profitable companies appear not to pay it and that's HMRC rules,
bugger all to do with avoidance.
The Real Doctor
2012-10-21 15:39:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
The money saved by avoidance either goes in reduced prices, extra jobs
or profit to shareholders.
Profits to overseas shareholders, thank you.

Ian
Peter Masson
2012-10-21 15:41:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
Business rates are set by central government. Rateable values are set by the
valuation agency, an arm of HMRC,, and central government sets the rate in
the pound. So blame central government if you like, but don't blame local
councils, who merely collect the money, pass it on to central government,
and get some handouts in return.

As rateable values are set as a proportion of rental values, blame grasping
capitalist landlords for charging extortionate rents. At least here the
local council is getting tougher on collecting rates from landlords of empty
units, which in return has got the landlords to let the units to new
businesses at reduced rents, with typically the first year free. Just hope
that at next valuation the Valuation Agency will realise that these are the
true willing landlord/willing tenant rents and reduce rateable values
accordingly.

Peter
Only me
2012-10-21 17:41:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
Avoiding the political nonsense I have to point out that local councils have no part to play in collecting non domestic rates. Rateable values are set by the Valuation Office Agency (part of HMRC ) and the rate in the pound is set by, at the moment, Boy George. Local councils keep only a small percentage of the money which is to pay for their admin costs. But why let facts get in the way of a good political rant?
MB
2012-10-23 11:58:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
Avoiding the political nonsense I have to point out that local councils have no part to play in collecting non domestic rates. Rateable values are set by the Valuation Office Agency (part of HMRC ) and the rate in the pound is set by, at the moment, Boy George. Local councils keep only a small percentage of the money which is to pay for their admin costs. But why let facts get in the way of a good political rant?
It often seems to be the shops being owned by distant companies who want
very high rents and prefer to leave the shops empty rather than reducing
the rent.

A friend's wife managed one chain's shop. I think they lost the lease
but could not find another shop at a realistic price. There was a
shopping arcade that was virtually empty but they would not reduce their
rental charges. So the branch closed and he and her husband moved from
the area.
Peter Masson
2012-10-23 13:12:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by MB
It often seems to be the shops being owned by distant companies who want
very high rents and prefer to leave the shops empty rather than reducing
the rent.
A friend's wife managed one chain's shop. I think they lost the lease but
could not find another shop at a realistic price. There was a shopping
arcade that was virtually empty but they would not reduce their rental
charges. So the branch closed and he and her husband moved from the area.
AIUI if the tenant has gone bust the landlord can forfeit the lease but
doesn't have to. If he does, the landlord is responsible for the rates, but
if he doesn't the tenant is liable (though cannot pay). So there's an
incentive for the landlord to keep the place empty.

If he does forfeit the lease and relet it at a lower rent he will establish
a lower 'market rent' which will be used against him at rent reviews of
other units. To some extent he can protect himself with 'upwatrd only' rent
review clauses,

Peter
Roland Perry
2012-10-21 17:58:06 UTC
Permalink
In message
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
I thought Business Rates were set centrally. They haven't gone into LA
coffers (rather than the Treasury) for ages, either.
--
Roland Perry
Bruce
2012-10-21 18:35:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
In message
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
I thought Business Rates were set centrally. They haven't gone into LA
coffers (rather than the Treasury) for ages, either.
The Uniform Business Rate started in 1989/1990. It was originally
collected centrally and then redistributed to LAs, but for several
years now it has been collected by LAs. The amount LAs are allowed to
keep is set by the Department for Communities and Local Government and
varies considerably from one LA to another.

The difference between what is collected and what is retained is
collected or distributed by HM Treasury.
Only me
2012-10-21 19:06:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Post by Roland Perry
In message
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
I thought Business Rates were set centrally. They haven't gone into LA
coffers (rather than the Treasury) for ages, either.
The Uniform Business Rate started in 1989/1990. It was originally
collected centrally and then redistributed to LAs, but for several
years now it has been collected by LAs. The amount LAs are allowed to
keep is set by the Department for Communities and Local Government and
varies considerably from one LA to another.
The difference between what is collected and what is retained is
collected or distributed by HM Treasury.
No.
Non Domestic Rates have never been collected by Central Govt. They have never had any mechanism to do so.
It has always been collected by local authorities.
All the receipts are sent to central govt., less a small amount for L A costs any other very minor amounts.
Charles Ellson
2012-10-21 23:46:46 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 21 Oct 2012 12:06:36 -0700 (PDT), Only me
Post by Only me
Post by Bruce
Post by Roland Perry
In message
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
I thought Business Rates were set centrally. They haven't gone into LA
coffers (rather than the Treasury) for ages, either.
The Uniform Business Rate started in 1989/1990. It was originally
collected centrally and then redistributed to LAs, but for several
years now it has been collected by LAs. The amount LAs are allowed to
keep is set by the Department for Communities and Local Government and
varies considerably from one LA to another.
The difference between what is collected and what is retained is
collected or distributed by HM Treasury.
No.
Non Domestic Rates have never been collected by Central Govt.
<pantomime>
Oh, yes they have!
</pantomime>

Rates for properties on the Central Rating List (including e.g.
railways, pipelines, electric and water systems) are paid to HMG in
England :-
http://www.2010.voa.gov.uk/rli/static/HelpPages/English/help/help153-central_rating_list.html

The rates for such properties in Wales are paid to the Welsh
Government.
Post by Only me
They have never had any mechanism to do so.
It has always been collected by local authorities.
All the receipts are sent to central govt., less a small amount for L A costs any other very minor amounts.
Only me
2012-10-22 08:51:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Ellson
Oh, yes they have!
</pantomime>
Rates for properties on the Central Rating List (including e.g.
railways, pipelines, electric and water systems) are paid to HMG in
England :-
Fair cop Guv.
Forgot about the central val. list.
Also what about Crown properties? Can't be bothered to look it up :-((
But the original point was that LAs could exercise control over the amount of non domestic rates paid by occupiers which is, with some exceptions, wrong.
Charles Ellson
2012-10-22 23:39:19 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 22 Oct 2012 01:51:42 -0700 (PDT), Only me
Post by Only me
Post by Charles Ellson
Oh, yes they have!
</pantomime>
Rates for properties on the Central Rating List (including e.g.
railways, pipelines, electric and water systems) are paid to HMG in
England :-
Fair cop Guv.
Forgot about the central val. list.
Also what about Crown properties?
BA reference Address Description Rateable value
400185000000 BUCKINGHAM PALACE, ROYAL PALACE £1,300,000
BUCKINGHAM GATE, AND PREMISES
LONDON, SW1 1AA

Balmoral Castle (which is personal not Crown property) is Council Tax
band H.
Post by Only me
Can't be bothered to look it up :-((
But the original point was that LAs could exercise control over the amount of non domestic rates paid by occupiers which is, with some exceptions, wrong.
Only me
2012-10-23 12:47:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles Ellson
On Mon, 22 Oct 2012 01:51:42 -0700 (PDT), Only me
Post by Only me
Post by Charles Ellson
Oh, yes they have!
</pantomime>
Rates for properties on the Central Rating List (including e.g.
railways, pipelines, electric and water systems) are paid to HMG in
England :-
Fair cop Guv.
Forgot about the central val. list.
Also what about Crown properties?
BA reference Address Description Rateable value
400185000000 BUCKINGHAM PALACE, ROYAL PALACE �1,300,000
BUCKINGHAM GATE, AND PREMISES
LONDON, SW1 1AA
Balmoral Castle (which is personal not Crown property) is Council Tax
band H.
Post by Only me
Can't be bothered to look it up :-((
But the original point was that LAs could exercise control over the amount of non domestic rates paid by occupiers which is, with some exceptions, wrong.
Thanks for info.
The arrangements for crown properties have changed since I had botheration about such matters!
I do understand the definition of domestic property for CT purposes - at least I did for England and Wales when CT lists were compiled.
Only me
2012-10-21 19:11:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Post by Roland Perry
In message
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
I thought Business Rates were set centrally. They haven't gone into LA
coffers (rather than the Treasury) for ages, either.
The Uniform Business Rate started in 1989/1990. It was originally
collected centrally and then redistributed to LAs, but for several
years now it has been collected by LAs. The amount LAs are allowed to
keep is set by the Department for Communities and Local Government and
varies considerably from one LA to another.
The difference between what is collected and what is retained is
collected or distributed by HM Treasury.
Start date was April 1990. ie 1990/91
Roland Perry
2012-10-21 19:21:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Post by Roland Perry
I thought Business Rates were set centrally. They haven't gone into LA
coffers (rather than the Treasury) for ages, either.
The Uniform Business Rate started in 1989/1990. It was originally
collected centrally and then redistributed to LAs, but for several
years now it has been collected by LAs. The amount LAs are allowed to
keep is set by the Department for Communities and Local Government and
varies considerably from one LA to another.
The difference between what is collected and what is retained is
collected or distributed by HM Treasury.
Just as I thought. Whether it's all paid to HMT and some paid back, or a
whether there's a net payment to HMT, is neither here nor there.
--
Roland Perry
Bruce
2012-10-21 20:17:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
Post by Bruce
Post by Roland Perry
I thought Business Rates were set centrally. They haven't gone into LA
coffers (rather than the Treasury) for ages, either.
The Uniform Business Rate started in 1989/1990. It was originally
collected centrally and then redistributed to LAs, but for several
years now it has been collected by LAs. The amount LAs are allowed to
keep is set by the Department for Communities and Local Government and
varies considerably from one LA to another.
The difference between what is collected and what is retained is
collected or distributed by HM Treasury.
Just as I thought. Whether it's all paid to HMT and some paid back, or a
whether there's a net payment to HMT, is neither here nor there.
There is a significant difference; the payee on your cheque or
electronic funds transfer is the LA rather than a central government
department. Plus, the LAs now have to carry the costs of collection
and recovery from the many who default.
Roland Perry
2012-10-22 07:46:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
Post by Roland Perry
Just as I thought. Whether it's all paid to HMT and some paid back, or a
whether there's a net payment to HMT, is neither here nor there.
There is a significant difference; the payee on your cheque or
electronic funds transfer is the LA rather than a central government
department.
That's irrelevant to the final destination of the funds, which is
decided by Central Government.
Post by Bruce
Plus, the LAs now have to carry the costs of collection
and recovery from the many who default.
Again, just a simple element in the equation=

LA income = (What is collected - collection costs) - (What govt says it
must have).
--
Roland Perry
Only me
2012-10-21 19:20:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Now all we need is for the local councils to come back from whatever
planet they are currently on, get real and cut those extortionate
business rates that are causing high streets to close down at such an
alarming rate.
Do you not understand that rateable values are based on rental values with assumptions about repairing liabilities and duration of rental period? So to reduce rateable values just arrange for businesses to generally pay less rent.
Bruce
2012-10-21 15:38:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Post by MB
As when they turned on Louise Mensch when she made a comment on the
irony of the rent-a-mob from outside St Pauls protesting against
multinationals yet drinking very expensive coffees from Starbucks.  I
was reminded of that last week when I read that Starbucks pay hardly any
UK tax.
The corporation tax avoidance issue is a complete red herring anyway.
Usually raised by lefties - brought up on the school of thought that
all large corporations are wicked (all the US ones being run by Satan
himself) that belongs in fifth form politics.
Plugging corporate tax avoidance would be pointless and neither could
it raise revenue in a way that was economically neutral.
Basically, unless we're all prepared, indeed able, to pay far more for
our CDs and books on-line or our low cost airfares, then there is no
additional revenue out there that could be collected.
To pretend such tax could ever be collected, in a way that was
economically neutral, takes a belief in pots of gold at the end of
rainbows.
The fundamental flaw in the 'let's tax our way out of austerity'
argument is that progressive tax always follows the law of diminishing
returns.
As was demonstrated so successfully by Old Labour who, despite
introducing tax rates of 90%, ended up needing an IMF bailout.
Old Labour needed the IMF bailout in 1976 because of the appalling
mess left behind by the Conservatives in 1974.

Edward Heath's government started the inflation problem that
handicapped the UK's economy until the mid-1990s. It is almost unique
for a UK government to have done so much damage in a mere four years.

I say 'almost' because whoever wins the 2015 election will inherit an
economy that will be in a significantly worse condition than it was in
2010, all thanks to the unlovable George Osborne.
allantracy
2012-10-23 13:22:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
I say 'almost' because whoever wins the 2015 election will inherit an
economy that will be in a significantly worse condition than it was in
2010, all thanks to the unlovable George Osborne.
It's all very fine to claim that Osborne's plan A is failing but where
is plan B?

I have yet to hear of any proposal for a plan B that's stands
scrutiny.

Least of all from an opposition that is struggling (and failing) to
distinguish itself from the coalition by anything more than the width
of fag paper.

Under Osborne, we are, or are about to, experience the worst public
sector spending cuts in sixty years, which is exactly what Darling was
promising had Labour remained in office.

It's difficult to imagine a change of government making the slightest
difference on the economy because we are way to far gone for the
luxury of ideological differences, it's all comes down to mathematics
that simply won't go away.

Protesting against the cuts, as the unions did last weekend, is rather
like protesting against all that rain we had in the summer.

The difficulty for Labour is no better exemplified than by the way Ed
Milliband rails against tax cuts for millionaires all whilst refusing
to commit to reversing those cuts if returned to office.

Labour doesn't have any credible alternative which is why if Plan A is
seen to be working the electorate will have zero reason to turn to
Labour at the next election.
Bruce
2012-10-23 15:39:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Post by Bruce
I say 'almost' because whoever wins the 2015 election will inherit an
economy that will be in a significantly worse condition than it was in
2010, all thanks to the unlovable George Osborne.
It's all very fine to claim that Osborne's plan A is failing but where
is plan B?
I have yet to hear of any proposal for a plan B that's stands
scrutiny.
The IMF have been shouting Plan B at Osborne for the last 12-18
months. He knows what they are telling him, he just isn't listening.

Osborne's policies have taken far more out of Britain's GDP than he
said they would; the IMF estimates 2.5 times more. The IMF have been
specific with their figures. They come remarkably close to Alistair
Darling's plans if Labour had won in 2010, plans which Ed Balls at
first rejected and now endorses.

The problem with Osborne is that his sole guiding light appears to be
the book Macro-Economics for Dummies. His degree in Modern History
from Oxford is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

So Britain's economic policy is being determined by Tory dogma
instead. Their aim is to reduce the size of the state so it takes
less than 40% of GDP. The Tories don't care in the least that it
hurts the sick, old and vulnerable because their rich friends (and
donors) have never had it so good.
ian batten
2012-10-23 17:31:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bruce
So Britain's economic policy is being determined by Tory dogma
instead.  Their aim is to reduce the size of the state so it takes
less than 40% of GDP.  The Tories don't care in the least that it
hurts the sick, old and vulnerable because their rich friends (and
donors) have never had it so good.
Lib Dem voters don't care either, which is the tragedy for people who
claim to be of the left. Clegg's too busy pissing about with policies
nobody outside the wonkerati has heard of, never mind cares about
("Lords Reform" resonates with about as many people as "Electoral
Reform") to do anything other than go along with anything that Gideon
proposes. And as ever, people held to be behemoths in waiting turn
out to have feet of clay, so Vince Cable, David Laws and Danny
Alexander follow Frank Field, Clare Short and Frank Dobson into the
box marked "made a lot of noise out of office, did absolutely nothing
of note when in office".

ian
Bruce
2012-10-23 18:01:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by ian batten
Post by Bruce
So Britain's economic policy is being determined by Tory dogma
instead.  Their aim is to reduce the size of the state so it takes
less than 40% of GDP.  The Tories don't care in the least that it
hurts the sick, old and vulnerable because their rich friends (and
donors) have never had it so good.
Lib Dem voters don't care either, which is the tragedy for people who
claim to be of the left. Clegg's too busy pissing about with policies
nobody outside the wonkerati has heard of, never mind cares about
("Lords Reform" resonates with about as many people as "Electoral
Reform") to do anything other than go along with anything that Gideon
proposes. And as ever, people held to be behemoths in waiting turn
out to have feet of clay, so Vince Cable, David Laws and Danny
Alexander follow Frank Field, Clare Short and Frank Dobson into the
box marked "made a lot of noise out of office, did absolutely nothing
of note when in office".
I would agree with most of that but not the first bit. When I talked
about the Tories not caring I meant Tory politicians, not Tory voters.
The same appears to be true of LibDem politicians, who are so anxious
to exercise power that they will turn a blind eye to anything the
Tories get up to.

Where I disagree is your statement that LibDem voters don't care. The
latest opinion polls would suggest that approximately two thirds of
LibDem voters care, because they have deserted the party since 2010
election.
David D S
2012-10-25 14:27:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Post by Bruce
I say 'almost' because whoever wins the 2015 election
will inherit an economy that will be in a significantly
worse condition than it was in 2010, all thanks to the
unlovable George Osborne.
It's all very fine to claim that Osborne's plan A is
failing but where is plan B?
I have yet to hear of any proposal for a plan B that's
stands scrutiny.
Least of all from an opposition that is struggling (and
failing) to distinguish itself from the coalition by
anything more than the width of fag paper.
Under Osborne, we are, or are about to, experience the
worst public sector spending cuts in sixty years, which
is exactly what Darling was promising had Labour remained
in office.
It's difficult to imagine a change of government making
the slightest difference on the economy because we are
way to far gone for the luxury of ideological
differences, it's all comes down to mathematics that
simply won't go away.
Protesting against the cuts, as the unions did last
weekend, is rather like protesting against all that rain
we had in the summer.
The difficulty for Labour is no better exemplified than
by the way Ed Milliband rails against tax cuts for
millionaires all whilst refusing to commit to reversing
those cuts if returned to office.
Labour doesn't have any credible alternative which is why
if Plan A is seen to be working the electorate will have
zero reason to turn to Labour at the next election.
http://tinyurl.com/9sxzewg
--
David D S: UK and PR China. (Native BrEng speaker)
Use Reply-To header for email. This email address will be
valid for at least 2 weeks from 2012/10/25 22:27:05
Bruce
2012-10-25 16:50:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by David D S
Post by allantracy
Post by Bruce
I say 'almost' because whoever wins the 2015 election
will inherit an economy that will be in a significantly
worse condition than it was in 2010, all thanks to the
unlovable George Osborne.
It's all very fine to claim that Osborne's plan A is
failing but where is plan B?
I have yet to hear of any proposal for a plan B that's
stands scrutiny.
Least of all from an opposition that is struggling (and
failing) to distinguish itself from the coalition by
anything more than the width of fag paper.
Under Osborne, we are, or are about to, experience the
worst public sector spending cuts in sixty years, which
is exactly what Darling was promising had Labour remained
in office.
It's difficult to imagine a change of government making
the slightest difference on the economy because we are
way to far gone for the luxury of ideological
differences, it's all comes down to mathematics that
simply won't go away.
Protesting against the cuts, as the unions did last
weekend, is rather like protesting against all that rain
we had in the summer.
The difficulty for Labour is no better exemplified than
by the way Ed Milliband rails against tax cuts for
millionaires all whilst refusing to commit to reversing
those cuts if returned to office.
Labour doesn't have any credible alternative which is why
if Plan A is seen to be working the electorate will have
zero reason to turn to Labour at the next election.
http://tinyurl.com/9sxzewg
No doubt Mr Tracey will summarily dismiss that excellent article on
the basis it can only have been written by someone who reads The
Guardian or, worse, has written for that newspaper.
Bevan Price
2012-10-21 19:22:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by allantracy
Post by D7666
Funny you wrote that as I think something like that too, he sort of
resembles an evil version Rick Mayall's Alan B'Stard - who did in one
series make such a visit IIRC.
You know what I find so utterly baffling.
The way that so many can find so much that is evil within the ranks of
the Tories yet remain totally oblivious to the crimes against our
people inflicted by Brown, Balls and co.
Even to the point of finding it totally reasonable that Ed Miiband
should join an anti-austerity march today protesting against a deficit
that he caused.
Then let's all listen in vain for a joke, just one joke, at the BBC
about Gordon Brown.
Surely, the worst, most idiotic, PM ever inflicted upon us is worth
one joke.
,
But no, it's Osborne or Cameron that get to be the figures of fun in a
way that has the most of the rest of us shaking our heads in utter
disbelief.
The party in Government (right or left) has almost always been a major
target of comedians, satirists, etc. Or maybe you are too young to
remember humour about "pound in your pocket" Wilson.

At times, this "humour" acts as a counterbalance to a written media that
mainly supports & often seems willing to lick the boots one of the
ruling parties.

Bevan
Stephen Farrow
2012-10-20 23:23:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Real Doctor
Chancellor George Osborne did travel in first class on a standard class
ticket today, Virgin Trains told ITV News.
Am I alone in thinking that Osborne looks like a nineteenth century
novel's idea of dissolute cad? I find it hard to believe that he does
not drink to excess, frequent opium dens in the Limehouse and visit
brothels in Paris for regular spankings.
Actually, he seems to bear (sorry) an odd resemblance to Bungle from
'Rainbow'.

--

Stephen
MB
2012-10-21 15:17:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stephen Farrow
Post by The Real Doctor
Chancellor George Osborne did travel in first class on a standard class
ticket today, Virgin Trains told ITV News.
Am I alone in thinking that Osborne looks like a nineteenth century
novel's idea of dissolute cad? I find it hard to believe that he does
not drink to excess, frequent opium dens in the Limehouse and visit
brothels in Paris for regular spankings.
Actually, he seems to bear (sorry) an odd resemblance to Bungle from
'Rainbow'.
--
Stephen
As opposed to Milliband who is hard to distinguish from Wallace?
TBirdFrank
2012-10-25 15:23:20 UTC
Permalink
Business Rates are set centrally by the National Government based on quinquennial rental valuations, the last one being April 2008, when the bubble was if anything on, or at best only just off the peak of the bubble.

Hence current business rates are well out of kilter with values at 2012 which are such that you literally cannot give high street properties away.

As to the situations when businesses fail, receivers and administrators can "disclaim" the leases with no further responsibility or obligation to landlords who must then should these ongoing overheads, thus taking a double whammy, from revenue, to unexpected and growing overheads in one step.

The system is broken and insensitive to change.

For high streets to ever flourish again the whole system including the failure to recognise the intervention of home commerce and the internet on retailing is long overdue reform.

Back on topic

Is it 100% confirmed that Gideon's aides did try to avoid paying the correct fare? That appears to the initial report and if so it should be shouted from the rooftops - obnoxious little scumbag that he is!
Roland Perry
2012-10-25 17:00:23 UTC
Permalink
In message <ea4e0444-cb1e-4f0a-8607-***@googlegroups.com>, at
08:23:20 on Thu, 25 Oct 2012, TBirdFrank
Post by TBirdFrank
Is it 100% confirmed that Gideon's aides did try to avoid paying the
correct fare?
I was at a meeting today where it was claimed, seriously, that he got
away without paying the correct fare. Such is the distorted lens of the
blogosphere.
--
Roland Perry
Arthur Figgis
2012-10-25 17:45:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roland Perry
08:23:20 on Thu, 25 Oct 2012, TBirdFrank
Post by TBirdFrank
Is it 100% confirmed that Gideon's aides did try to avoid paying the
correct fare?
I was at a meeting today where it was claimed, seriously, that he got
away without paying the correct fare. Such is the distorted lens of the
blogosphere.
And why are people obsessed with using what has been his middle name
since he was a child? Is it meant to sound posh or something? Or make
people think he is going to force a copy of the bible onto them?

At least Boris uses a middle name as a first name himself.
--
Arthur Figgis Surrey, UK
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