Taxes

I noticed this year that on the HMRC personal tax portal they give you a breakdown of how your tax is spent on various services.

This is offered as raw data but also a pretty graph.

Tax breakdown from HMRC 2018-2019
Tax breakdown from HMRC 2018-2019

They also provide the data for the past 4 years, so I thought it would be interesting to track some of these categories to see how government spending has changed from 2016 to 2019.

how spending has changed 2016-2019
Spending Changes over 2016-2019

The graph line shows it best but in actual fact the changes in percentage are very small. The biggest changes are in Welfare (down) and Business & Industry (up).

If you do a personal tax return, this data is available in the online HMRC tax portal. Sign in, then select Self Assessment and then select ‘find out how your tax is spent’.

REXIT

I’m moving my personal stuff (and email) from wickham.uk to wickham.uk. Alan coined the expression “Rexit” which I think sums this up pretty well!

wickham.uk will remain active for a while, but the European Commission has said that holders of .eu domains will have to provide EU contact details after Brexit. So you have been warned!

Foyles

By Tom Morris - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33726491
Foyles new shop entrance

News today that Foyles has been sold to Waterstones. Christina Foyle would be turning in her grave!

Asked who had been the most boring literary lunch guest, she always told the story of Sir Walter Gilbey, director of the gin-making company. ”He spoke for one and a half hours,” she said. ”A man in front of my father fell asleep so he hit the chap with the toastmaster’s gavel. The man said: ‘Hit me again. I can still hear him.’ ”

 

Waterrow Village Hall

The village hall at Waterrow was extended and modernised in 2008-2009. This was made possible by a donation by my late father of land around the hall from his field, part of Trowell Farm.

The committee of the village hall recently invited us to unveil a plaque in recognition of this generous donation.

I was asked to say a few words – here they are:

It’s a great honour to be here today and to see this plaque being commissioned.

I know my father would have been deeply embarrassed and I think I am too. As I remember it, you asked, and my father was only too happy to accommodate a request that he saw as benefiting everyone.

My earliest memories of the hall is when the annual village fete was held here in the 1970s. There were all the tradional village fete events like lucky dip, tea and cakes here in the hall, and the infamous race up to the top of the hill, which was guaranteed to separate the men from the boys!

Always the village hall was the reason these and similar events were held where they were, and it’s wonderful to see how it has now been refurbished and expanded into the modern facility it is today.

So thank you for inviting us here today, on behalf of all the Wickhams, thank you!

 

My Dad

My Dad passed away on 10 November 2017 after a short illness. He had been coping with slowing increasing dementia for several years.

His funeral was at Chipstable church on 20th November, and I’m adding a few bits of memorabia from the service and the wake.

David Wickham Order of Service

As always at these events you find out things you never knew about the person who’s passed away.

Mum and Dad in 1971

It was great to hear the stories from people who came and read the letters from those who could not make it.

Eulogy by my brother James: Eulogy

Additional comments by Peter Parsons: Peter Parsons Eulogy

Women at the top

Women now lead almost all the political parties in the UK.

There were no women in the Labour leadership election this month. This was won decisively by “bloke’s bloke”, Jeremy Corbyn.

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour

To be fair to Labour, they have consistently had around 100 female MPs for since 1997.

women-in-uk-politics

BREXIT Thoughts

This is why I’ve decided to vote Leave.

I’ve always been pro-Europe. However I think the majority in the UK are not, and the half-in, half-out approach we have now is the problem.

As I don’t think the UK would get fully engaged with the EU and stand as an equal to the major players there, I have now come to the view that Britian would be better off out of the EU. This is sad, as we will undoubtedly miss out on future opportunities. The toe-dipping, special exemptions and policy opt-outs mean we will never be taken seriously in the EU decision making process and our influence to bring about change in the way the EU is governed is tiny.

 

I don’t believe the in the long term we’ll be much worse off economically. I believe we’ll be worse off as a society if we close our borders and I hope this will not happen. There’s always the option of rejoining. We’ll still be part of Europe.