Ballot papers

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
Kilkis
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Kilkis » Sat May 20, 2017 11:10 am

I did see an interview with the person who actually wrote Article 50. I can't remember his name but I think he is a member of the House of Lords. He stated categorically that Article 50 was all about settling the bill. That is why it was included in the treaty.

There is a logical way that the bill could be calculated that is open and transparent. The amount the UK pays into the EU budget is known as a percentage of the whole budget very accurately. After deducting the administrative cost of running the EU, the EU spends its net budget through a variety of programmes. The biggest is the Common Agricultural Policy whereby farmers receive subsidies in accordance with a set of CAP rules. There are then a variety of other programmes that, for example, might help development of deprived regions, help develop better infrastructure, help to fund research and development etc. Each programme will span a number of years, have a set of aims and a set of rules that people/organisations must follow in order to qualify for funding. Projects are approved throughout the duration of the programme until all funds allocated for that programme are committed. Finally there is a commitment to pay pensions of EU staff, many of whom are UK citizens. So calculating the bill should be straightforward:

    1 The UK should pay its share of the administrative bill up to the day of exit.
    2 The UK should pay its share of CAP and receive subsidies from CAP up to the day of exit or possibly some other date that better reflects when subsidies are paid. For example if the EU accepts applications for subsidies in the autumn and makes payments by the end of January then the UK could agree to pay the CAP portion of the budget up to the end of January following the day of exit and farmers receive the full subsidies for that year.
    3 The UK should pay its full share of all projects actually approved up to the day of invoking Article 50 even though some of those projects might go beyond the day of exit. Similarly UK Projects already approved up to the day of invoking Article 50 should receive their funding to the end of those projects even if it is beyond the day of exit. I suggest using the day of Article 50 rather than the day of exit for this calculation because of the risk that applications for project funding from the UK might receive less than favourable treatment after Article 50 was triggered.
    4 The UK should pay an actuarially determined amount to cover its commitment to future pension payments up to the day of exit. Private and occupational pension funds do this calculation as a matter of routine for their annual reports so there is a well defined process.
    5 An actuarially determined amount representing the share of EU assets that the UK has contributed to acquiring should be deducted from the above.

All the information for items 1 to 3 is available from the EU accounts. Items 4 and 5 can be determined by an international accountancy firm. It's possible there are items I haven't considered but they can be included in the calculation using the same logic. All those numbers should be accessible to the government so it could perform the calculation now and say what it believes the bill should be. At the moment various people seem to be waving their fingers in the air and spouting an arbitrary number.

Warwick

PS I think you mean billion not million Brian or is your membership name disguising that you are really Diane Abbot?

bobscott
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby bobscott » Sat May 20, 2017 3:28 pm

Phild wrote:How many people actually vote on the basis of the manifestos, I wonder?

I'd be very surprised if it wasn't people's entrenched opinions and 'personality' favourites that decided which way people vote.

I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but I'm the pessimistic sort... :-)


I think you are right Phild. Anyway, who believes manifestos anyway? Like Mrs. May's bargaining stance - she is not pushing policy, just an unrealistic wish list. Can't trust any of the b****rs. In some ways I am even relieved to have lost the right to vote in the UK thanks to living here for 20 years. I would hate my grandkids to look at me and say 'it's all YOUR fault, Granddad'!!
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Kilkis » Sat May 20, 2017 3:54 pm

With older people I would guess that they are still influenced by what their favourite newspaper tells them and, indeed, the choice of that will be influenced by their entrenched ideas. With younger people, I am not sure what influences them. I guess it is social media but what form that influence takes I have no idea. I agree that nobody reads the manifestos but each newspaper will tell its readers roughly what is in each manifesto slanted to suit that paper's editorial stance.

I think there is strong anecdotal evidence in some areas of the country to suggest that a significant number of Labour voters defected to UKIP at the last election and they are now going over to Conservative rather than returning to Labour. If true it is an interesting phenomenon. I doubt if many of them would have defected directly from Labour to Conservative?

Warwick

filippos
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby filippos » Sat May 20, 2017 5:45 pm

Kilkis wrote:.............
All the information for items 1 to 3 is available from the EU accounts.
Would those be the same accounts that haven't been approved by auditors?

margarita
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby margarita » Sat May 20, 2017 5:55 pm

bobscott wrote: I would hate my grandkids to look at me and say 'it's all YOUR fault, Granddad'!!


Judging by what I read in the UK press we 'oldies' are responsible for everything that is wrong in the UK whether we voted for it or not.

margarita

Kilkis
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Kilkis » Sat May 20, 2017 8:26 pm

filippos wrote:...Would those be the same accounts that haven't been approved by auditors?


Again that is misinformation disseminated by the anti-EU press. According to fullfact the auditors have reported that the EU accounts are "fair and accurate" since 2007. Prior to 2007 they reported them as "not entirely satisfactory". The change was largely due to a change in the reporting rules. As an example the European Court of Auditors reported that "The EU’s accounts in 2015 present, in all material respects, a true and fair view of the EU’s financial results for the year … We were therefore able to give a clean opinion on the reliability of the accounts (‘signed off’)”. You can read the full audit here if you are interested.

It is true that in all years since 1995 that the auditors found material errors on the expenditure side typically at a level of 3.8 %. Anything above 2 % is considered material. To sign off the accounts but also report material errors is a normal accounting practise. There is no real evidence that these errors represent corruption, although a small part of it may. They mostly mean that payments for projects did not fully follow the rules. Perhaps a project was awarded without going through a full competitive bidding process. Perhaps a payment was made on a project for actual work done but that work was not within the scope of the rules for that project. Perhaps there were administrative errors etc. I believe that the errors in the administrative budget were below 2 % so were not regarded as material. The material errors only affected payments to projects much of which is administered by the government of the receiving country. The problems often lie in the complexity of the project rules and the reporting procedures.

Since the method of calculation I was advocating would be based on money allocated to projects the calculation would not be affected by the sort of errors encountered. In any case the calculation is only partly dependent on such projects so even if the errors did impact, the resulting error would be less than 3.8 %. If we could get an objective estimate of the bill owed that was accurate to a couple of percent that would be a major step forward from the wild figures that are being bandied about now.

Warwick

Brian
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Brian » Sat May 20, 2017 10:31 pm

Of course I meant billions Warwick.
Yeah, Diane Abbot's maths aren't the best. Very poor form for a potential senior Minister. I see Gove made similar mistakes but escape the wrath of the sycophant newspapers/propaganda sheets.
BTW Warwick , your analysis of the the entire Brexit debacle is excellent and very informative.
The latest news/rumour on 'open airways and air space' is chilling, if not disastrous for the UK . Apparently no european country has to access British airspace to reach a foreign destination whereas the UK has too enter many european jurisdictions to get too most of their destinations. Guess who holds the cards on this one issue alone? My source didn't even mention surface cargo accessibility.

Kilkis
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Kilkis » Sat May 20, 2017 11:34 pm

I wouldn't see access to EU airspace as a serious issue, Brian. Every country in the world, outside the EU, that flies to EU destinations has to access EU airspace. Many will also fly across EU airspace even when they are not flying to EU destinations. For example Turkish civil aircraft frequently fly across Greek airspace with no problems despite the somewhat less than cordial relations between Greece and Turkey.

Warwick

PS I wouldn't guarantee that my analysis of Brexit will prove correct. It is based on the rules and politicians are notorious for using fudges to get round rules when it suits them.

Kilkis
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Kilkis » Mon May 22, 2017 1:12 am

There was an interesting letter from Varoufakis to Theresa May in the Evening Standard recently.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Maud » Tue May 23, 2017 5:26 pm

Re voters being influenced by the newspapers they read, there was an interesting interview on the Today programme on Radio 4 a week ago. John Humphries was speaking to a statistician, (can't remember his name), about how people will vote in the coming election. The chap said that only about 7 million people would have been listening to the Today Programme that morning. They are the people who are interested in what is happening in the world. Most people are more interested in music and 'celebrity' topics. When it comes to voting they will not be as well informed as voters who take an interest in current world affairs....and will vote as told by their choice of newspaper!

Nobody was trying to say that everything you hear on 'Today' is accurate, just that you have a better grasp of world affairs if you take an interest in them.....and take a balance view from different, reliable, sources.

Phild
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Phild » Wed May 24, 2017 6:44 am

Going back to the original topic, our ballot papers arrived yesterday, and will be going back today - suitably marked in favour of the 'least worst' party, as usual.
:(
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Phil
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paul g
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby paul g » Thu May 25, 2017 9:00 am

your lucky to have an Official Monster Raving Looney Party candidate standing, there's not many about

Kilkis
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Kilkis » Thu May 25, 2017 9:17 am

Oh I don't know, Paul. Plenty of them look like monster raving loonies to me even if they don't claim the allegiance.

Warwick

Phild
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Phild » Thu May 25, 2017 9:43 am

...as one of the last remaining unregulated 'professions', politics does attract its share of the sociopathic and other derangement tendencies, I'm sure.

As for the Monster Raving Loony party, I've had a look at their manifesto, and somehow it just doesn't look credible. (and I bet it hasn't been costed properly, either...)

:shock:
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Phil

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Jeffstclair
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Re: Ballot papers

Postby Jeffstclair » Fri May 26, 2017 10:00 am

My ballot papers arrived yesterday , took them into our local post office / kafenion this morning ....fingers crossed that they don't sit there to long ....


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