Rip-Off Britain Blog Search


We welcome your comments for inclusion on this blog. Please send comments by email to: RipOffBlog@Transpact.com

Click on the links below to expand and read the blog entries:

Huge tax on Income, Tiny tax on Property

Wednesday, 29th February 2012

We pay massive tax for our labour.

20% income tax, plus 12% national insurance, gives a total tax rate of 32% for those who are not higher rate tax payers.

But that is not the real tax rate. Because the employer is paying much more tax as employer's national insurance for every pound you earn (over a minimum threshold). So for every £100 that an employer pays for employing a basic rate taxpayer over the minimum threshold, the employee takes home only £59.75 - the rest is taken by the Government as tax !

If the employer spends £100 more on pay, the employee doesn't take the £100 but takes only £59.75.

Jobs, the pillar of our society, are hugely taxed. Workers pay hard for the society we live in.

How about home owners ? Are they equally stretched ?

Not at all. A property owner who rents out their property pays no property tax at all, and only has to pay a share of their rent as income tax.
A property owner who retains possession of their property pays only council tax, which for owners of expensive properties is only a tiny fraction of the property's worth.

We need to get more people into work. We need to raise money to pay off the enormous debts this generation has for no reason left the country with. A sensible and equitable way to do so would be to reduce employment tax to encourage and facilitate job creation, and to compensate by greatly raising property taxes (for owners, but not for renters).


Non-Sibling Bone Marrow Transplants

Monday, 30th January 2012

This blog entry is a plea for information. It may highlight an area of important life-saving medicine. Or it may highlight an area of waste of charitable and tax-payers' money. We wish to discover which.

One of our employees has twice donated his bone marrow for those needing an urgent transplant.
After the second operation in 2007, he was asked to use his experiences to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust charity, which has income of around £30 million each year for its life-saving efforts. Being a particularly mathematical bod, he asked for information that would help him to demonstrate to people who he approached that life was being saved by non-sibling bone marrow donations.

The original information provided to him seemed on his analysis to demonstrate that non-sibling bone marrow transplants had no significant overall benefit ! He is statistical and scientific, but not medical, and could well have been mistaken. So he asked for further information demonstrating the life-saving nature of non-sibling bone marrow donations. But after months of trying, he was unable to easily find such evidence.

Then in July 2010, a Government funded and directed report seemed to finally answer all the questions, and provide the required proof.

The UK Stem Cell Strategic Forum (UKSCSF) describes itself as follows:
'In January 2010 NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) was asked by the Department of Health to lead a review of stem cell transplantation in the UK, and to advise on future options to meet the needs of patients requiring stem cell transplants.
To conduct the review an expert panel was set up of over forty leading scientists, clinicians, economists, patient representatives and international experts from organisations including Anthony Nolan. The resulting report, which was published by the Minister for Public Health in December 2010, sets out a strategy to save 200 patient lives each year. Measures recommended include increasing UK cord blood donations, and improving the performance of UK-based stem cell registries.'


The UKSCSF produced the 'UK Stem Cell Strategic Forum Report - The Future of Unrelated Donor Stem Cell Transplantation in the UK' (UKSCSFR), and this official report demonstrates that non-sibling bone marrow transplant is clearly a lifesaving and valuable technique, and even estimates the number of lives saved (around 200 each year).

Or does it ?

The UKSCSFR contains not just the main report with the above message, but also a more lengthy appendix, which details the evidence which allowed the report to be drawn up.
Tucked away in the appendix on page 21 is the calculation where the 200 lives a year saved is derived.

The calculation assumes that those without transplant have a 0% probability of survival !
The calculation assumes that those with non-sibling transplant have a 60% probability of survival !
But are these assumptions correct ?
If not, the headline figure of 200 lives saved has been produced erroneously.

The UKSCSFR annex itself contains medical research that demonstrates its own claims, used so prominently in its main report. But does this research substantiate the UKSCSFR's conclusions, or does it indicate they are erroneous ?

Page 47 of the USCSFR annex shows a table presenting data from important recent studies (and from which the UKSCSFR apparently drew its conclusions). According to the Bergstrom (2008) study shown, the 5 year survival rate of AML sufferers who are unfortunate enough not obtain a transplant seems to be 30%. Note this is far from the 0% used in the main report calculation.
Further, according to Bergstrom (2008), the 5 year survival rate of AML sufferers who are fortunate enough to obtain a transplant seems to be 45%. This is also far from the 60% used in the main report calculation.
But these Bergstrom (2008) figures seem to be for sibling and non-sibling transplants. If so, once sibling transplants are stripped out, the 5 year survival rate will be found to be lower.

How much lower ? The Howard et al (2005) study, shown in the same table, may provide the answer.
Here 5 year survival rates for over 20 year olds is shown as somewhere between 36% and 25%.
This corresponds with the 30% figure for non-sibling bone marrow transplant found elsewhere by our employee.
So the USCSFR report may demonstrate (if there are no mistake in the analysis above [and there may be]) that non-sibling bone marrow transplants do not increase the 5-year survivability rate of those who undertake the procedure. If correct, whether a transplant is conducted or not, the 5-year survivability rate remains around 30% !!!

Does the UKSCSFR therefore demonstrates that non-sibling bone marrow transplant is of no overall benefit or efficacy in a significant number of cases ?
Is the main UKSCSFR report, which seems to state exactly the opposite, based on strong and statistically demonstrable foundations ?
Our employee has been attempting to obtain evidence from the medical and associated professions for some time to prove the benefit of non-sibling bone marrow donations (he presumes it must exist, as otherwise the medical professionals would not be carrying out such transplants), but has been met with silence. Medical data cannot lie or be silenced.

So we appeal to you, our readers, to provide the missing data or correct the faulty analysis above, to demonstrate that non-sibling bone marrow transplant has overall benefit.
The Anthony Nolan Trust charity reports an annual income of around £30 million each year on its own, and there is a significant amount of further money introduced into the sector each year by the NHS and others.

Please, can we ask someone with knowledge of the this sector to provide us with the evidence that non-sibling bone marrow transplants overall save lives. We will let you know when we receive it.


Rip-off Light bulbs ?

Friday, 30th December 2011


When you can't trust accountants - who can you trust ?

Wednesday, 30th November 2011


Not for Profit Companies - Tax Avoidance ?

Monday, 31st October 2011


UK Telecom Rip-Off - Ofcom and the art of doing nothing

Wednesday, 28th September 2011


Little old ladies and Large Families

Wednesday, 31st August 2011


The Price of University ?

Thursday, 28th July 2011


Credit & Debit Cards - Ripped-Off Retailers

Tuesday, 28th June, 2011


Landline to Mobile Calls - Rip-Off Phone Charges

Thursday, 26th May, 2011


The Scandal of Access to your Credit Rating

Wednesday, 27th April, 2011


Buying a used Car - Who owns it to sell !?!

Monday, 27th March, 2011


Why your car insurance costs so much more...

Monday, 22st February, 2011


0845 / 0870 Phone Numbers Revisited Again

Thursday, 20th January, 2011


Energy Rip-Off: Industry 1 - Consumers 1 !

Tuesday, 20th December, 2010


Energy Ombudsman: Industry 1 - Consumers 0 !

Thursday, 18th November, 2010


The Cost of Credit ?

Friday, 15th October, 2010


Free NHS Parking - Don't renege on promise

Wednesday, 15th September, 2010


The Return of Manipulated Hospital Waiting Lists ?

Monday, 2nd August, 2010


The price of Eggs ! Supermarket Pricing part II

Tuesday, 6th July, 2010


Credit Card Pricing

Monday, 7th June, 2010


0845 / 0870 Phone Numbers - Part ii

Thursday, 13th May, 2010


Supermarket Fruit Pricing

Thursday, 19th April, 2010


0845 / 0870 Phone Numbers

Monday, 15th April, 2010