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Thread: The REAL benefits cheats.

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    The REAL benefits cheats.

    Rarely a day goes by when we don't hear the chinless wonders of the Tory Party threatening the poorest in our society, and implying that those on benefits are 'cheats'.

    HERE ARE THE REAL CHEATS.

    Queen tried to use state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace

    Queen tried to use state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace - Home News, UK - The Independent



    Ministers were asked if money earmarked for schools, hospitals and low-income families could be used to meet soaring fuel bills



    The Queen asked ministers for a poverty handout to help heat her palaces but was rebuffed because they feared it would be a public relations disaster, documents disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.

    Royal aides were told that the 60m worth of energy-saving grants were aimed at families on low incomes and if the money was given to Buckingham Palace instead of housing associations or hospitals it could lead to "adverse publicity" for the Queen and the Government.

    Aides complained to ministers in 2004 that the Queen's gas and electricity bills, which had increased by 50 per cent that year, stood at more than 1m a year and had become "untenable".

    The Royal Household also complained that the 15m government grant to maintain the Queen's palaces was inadequate.
    In search of more money-saving schemes, the Queen's deputy treasurer wrote to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ask whether the Royal Household would be eligible for a grant to replace four combined heat and power (CHP) units at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

    He asked: "Community Energy can fund up to 40 per cent of the capital costs of implementing a community heating scheme... Since we are already grant-in-aid funded [the Queen receives 15m a year for the upkeep of her palaces] we would like to know whether the Household [would] be able to benefit from these grants. I look forward to your comments."

    Under this scheme administered by the Environment department, schools, hospitals, councils and housing associations have been awarded 60m for heating programmes which benefit people on low incomes.

    Taxpayers already contribute 38m to pay for the Royal Family. Yet some of the buildings which would have benefited from the energy grant were occupied by minor royals living in grace and favour accommodation on the royal estates. Surprisingly the Government offered no resistance to the proposed application and cleared the way for the Queen to take advantage of the handout.
    But by August 2004 the documents show that Whitehall officials had changed their minds and poured cold water on the whole idea. In an email sent to the Palace it was diplomatically explained that the funds were aimed at people on "low incomes".
    The official wrote: "I think this is where the Community Energy Funding is directed and ties in with most allocations going to community heating schemes run by local authorities, housing associations, universities etc. I also feel a bit uneasy about the probable adverse press coverage if the Palace were given a grant at the expense of say a hospital. Sorry this doesn't sound more positive."
    The Palace had more joy when it sought permission to find a more affordable contractor to supply the Queen with her gas and oil. Documents show that the Royal Household's gas bill had risen from 319,000 in 2002 to 526,000 in 2006. Electricity had increased by an even bigger margin, jumping from 249,000 to 513,000 over the same period.
    In an email to the DCMS, palace officials wrote in September 2005: "As mentioned [in our telephone conversation today], the commercial market position for utilities has become untenable with price rises of over 50 per cent when we went out to tender last year ... The position is that all our contracts for gas and electricity will mature on 30 September 2006. I do not want to go out to tender next year and find the prices have risen significantly again but, given the recent position of energy markets, I suspect that they will."
    In its proposal the Palace suggested a move towards a wholesale contract under a single tender with Inenco which also serves the gas and electricity needs of the Prison Service and Channel 4.
    But ministers were concerned that by using a single tender, rather than going to the open market place, the Palace might be in breach of EU contracting rules which govern deals worth more than 306,753. The issue centred on whether the Royal Household was a "public sector contracting authority" for the purpose of the EU regulations.
    Preliminary advice from the Treasury was that the Royal Household was a public body but the Palace argued that it wasn't.
    The Whitehall memo concludes: "If they [the Royal Household] are convinced of their view, and since we have no definitive advice to the contrary, then they can proceed."
    The switch was finally approved by DCMS officials who noted that the new contract will "undercut" traditional fuel companies by 6-8 per cent. If they had thought of it two years earlier, they could have saved 144,000.
    Last year thermal imaging technology, used to identify and measure energy waste, showed heat pouring through the closed curtained windows, the roof and cracks in the walls. A team of energy surveyors labelled the Palace "shocking and appalling", the biggest "central heating radiator" in the capital and gave it a score of 0 out of 10. St James's Palace was in 12th place in the survey of 170 buildings with a score of only five out of 10.

    </EM>

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    How greedy can people be?!

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    I strongly suspect this arose simply because the facilities management team that looks after the Royal Household realised they met whatever the criteria there were for government assistance for certain state-owned buildings and an automatic application resulted. I would think it highly unlikely that the Queen herself 'asked ministers' for, or even knew about, a handout as the referred article suggests! The rest has been the usual media hype.
    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant only an intellectual could ignore it - Thomas Sowell

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midas View Post
    I strongly suspect this arose simply because the facilities management team that looks after the Royal Household realised they met whatever the criteria there were for government assistance for certain state-owned buildings and an automatic application resulted. I would think it highly unlikely that the Queen herself 'asked ministers' for, or even knew about, a handout as the referred article suggests! The rest has been the usual media hype.
    On the contrary, for all the stick, much deserved, that the media take, were it not for them, and the FOIA, then this sort of thing would slip under the radar, and since it is of public interest, then I don't think it should be permitted to do that.

    Furthermore, I don't think anyone really imagined the 'Queen' to be sat on her throne, bunch of application forms on her lap, but even if this sort of practice is pursued by employed flunkies (whose wages we pay), for her benefit, then it is two fingers up to the British people, at a time when we are all being told to tighten our belt, and live as meagre a life as possible.

    Let us not forget that the Queen is not wealthy due to her individual brilliance (at anything), she is the biggest welfare claimant in the country, and let us not forget that the entire Monarchy are unelected and out of touch with society, something which is at odds with a modern democracy, imo.

    A few miles from her 'Palace', lonely men bed down for the night, out in the open.

    I watched a documentary that showed something close to 25% of all the homeless in London are former British troops. One used to drive a tank, in Iraq. When he left, he found it hard to get his mind around what he had seen, over there. Without a proper after care structure in place, he drifted to the streets, and many like him.

    I find it stomach turning that a man who pledged his allegiance to the 'Queen' be living like that, while her, and the MANY minor Royals, be living a life of shameful and unearned wealth.

    JN

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Napier View Post
    On the contrary, for all the stick, much deserved, that the media take, were it not for them, and the FOIA, then this sort of thing would slip under the radar, and since it is of public interest, then I don't think it should be permitted to do that.
    Don't get me wrong Jack, I'm not saying that what happened was right, far from it, I was just pointing out a likely explanation. I agree it's in the public interest, but what I do find less than desirable is the way in which far too many stories like this are reported with an emotive and very one-sided point of view as in this case, seemingly designed to whip up an anti-monarchic feeling. It's not the applicant who was at fault here regardless of who they were, it's the way in which the relevent rules and regulations permit properties like Buckingham Palace to apply for grants, and that's where media attention should point.

    Furthermore, I don't think anyone really imagined the 'Queen' to be sat on her throne, bunch of application forms on her lap, but even if this sort of practice is pursued by employed flunkies (whose wages we pay), for her benefit, then it is two fingers up to the British people, at a time when we are all being told to tighten our belt, and live as meagre a life as possible.

    Let us not forget that the Queen is not wealthy due to her individual brilliance (at anything), she is the biggest welfare claimant in the country, and let us not forget that the entire Monarchy are unelected and out of touch with society, something which is at odds with a modern democracy, imo.
    As a strong supporter of the monarchy I have a suspicion we're going to disagree on this one, but that's a topic for elsewhere.

    A few miles from her 'Palace', lonely men bed down for the night, out in the open.

    I watched a documentary that showed something close to 25% of all the homeless in London are former British troops. One used to drive a tank, in Iraq. When he left, he found it hard to get his mind around what he had seen, over there. Without a proper after care structure in place, he drifted to the streets, and many like him.

    I find it stomach turning that a man who pledged his allegiance to the 'Queen' be living like that, while her, and the MANY minor Royals, be living a life of shameful and unearned wealth.

    JN
    This is a different issue again, and whilst I'll certainly agree that the armed forces would appear not to have sufficient facilities in place to properly retrain and reorientate many of the people who leave their service to go back into civilian life, resulting in a significant percentage of them with either mental health. employment or housing issues (although I suspect that not many of the so-called homeless really don't have any home they could go to), it's not really relevant. Again I'm not dismissing the matter as not important, just that it's diverting attention from the real issue here, which is simply that the regulations which determine government grants for the facilities in state owned buildings need looking at again.
    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant only an intellectual could ignore it - Thomas Sowell

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    I don't quite know the specifics, but doesn't Buckingham Palace fall under Crown Property, and thereby is classed as a pseudo public building, and the Government funds public buildings? Irrelevant of her residency of the Palace, as the article states, there were issues with the legalities surrounding the contracts, meaning it's quite possible that the Queen could not pay privately for the heating of Buckingham Palace anyway.

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midas View Post
    As a strong supporter of the monarchy I have a suspicion we're going to disagree on this one, but that's a topic for elsewhere..
    Are you?

    Oh.

    I guess we probably are going to, then.

    Still.

    You cannot disagree that the Monarchy are unelected, can you?

    Do you really and truly think that they are in touch with your average person, in society?

    Do you really think the Queen can relate to and OAP, living in an inner city housing scheme, on a meagre pension?

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Napier View Post
    Are you?

    Oh.

    I guess we probably are going to, then.

    Still.

    You cannot disagree that the Monarchy are unelected, can you?

    Do you really and truly think that they are in touch with your average person, in society?

    Do you really think the Queen can relate to and OAP, living in an inner city housing scheme, on a meagre pension?
    You're right, they are unelected and they probably are out of touch with at least the detail about everyday life in society, however why does that matter? They're just figureheads of longstanding tradition and no longer have any effective power to control anything within the country, so as long as they don't interfere with political life and don't cost the country an inordinate amount - and in relation to the benefit to the country as a whole they bring, they certainly don't - I see no harm in them whatsoever, very much the opposite. In fact I'd hazard a guess that proportionately the monarchy has more supporters from people in the lower income sectors of society than it does from elsewhere.
    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant only an intellectual could ignore it - Thomas Sowell

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Napier View Post
    Are you?

    Oh.

    I guess we probably are going to, then.

    Still.

    You cannot disagree that the Monarchy are unelected, can you?

    Do you really and truly think that they are in touch with your average person, in society?

    Do you really think the Queen can relate to and OAP, living in an inner city housing scheme, on a meagre pension?
    Good point J.N. Then again, has'nt her highness really dumped OUR country handing us and it over to the EU, when she signed the 'Lisbon Treaty'? Or are we plebs not to know anything about that deal?

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    Re: The REAL benefits cheats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midas View Post
    You're right, they are unelected and they probably are out of touch with at least the detail about everyday life in society, however why does that matter? .
    It matters plenty.

    It matters because the very people who they are out of touch with, and unelected by, are the very same people who, not by choice (for I cannot recall a public referendum on this matter, can you, not a poll, a full scale referendum), fund their disgustingly wealthy lifestyle.

    The fact that they are unelected also matters, it is out of date to have an unelected Monarchy operating in what is meant to be a 'democracy', you can see the contradiction there, I am sure.

    JN

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