Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Pre-Budget Tension...

The burning question about this most leaked budget must be will it work? Will it tempt people back out into spending and borrowing and pretending like it's 1999 again?

The answer for a lot of people is probably no. Because if you have bought a house in the last five years, with a 100% plus mortgage, changed your job in the last couple of years or work part time and have little chance of a decent redundancy deal, if you are maxed out on your credit card limits or nursing big loans and only paying back interest every month, if you pay by direct debit for your energy and have just had a massive increase in payments, if you are in a part ownership housing scheme and the rent for next year is going up or being swallowed up by your property portfolio because there's now no profit in buy-to-let, if you've been offered a cut in wages to save the company, reapplying to justify your job, seeing department budgets slashed...will you really wake up today and shout 'fabulous budget, I feel so much better' and rush off shopping? I don't think a few pennies off VAT will feel like much of an incentive at all. ( National Insurance Contributions should probably have a change of name to National Debt Levy..)

Monday, 24 November 2008

Fish technology, spicy fatballs and meteor ahoy!

Engineers are beginning to find ways to harness the energy caused by votexes in sea currents. (Something fish do when they swim.)Harnessing just 0.1% of the oceans' energy would support the energy needs of 15 billion people. Hurray for engineers with green intentions and great inventions!
If you have been constantly foiled in your attempts to leave out food for the birds by big fat grey squirrels the answer could lie in a good old dusting of chilli powder in the seed mix. See this article by the RSPB for details.
Loved this clip when I saw it on the news, meteor ahoy!