Such was the case this weekend, when a new client approached me with an unusual problem. Mr MacNeil, as I will call him to maintain his anonymity, was being forced by his employers to stop receiving a tax-free sum of £300 per month in housing subsidy, and having to accept a tax-free £1,450 per month instead. He was at his wits end, unable to balance his budget and facing a continuing life of taypayer funded luxury.
"Angus", I said, "Get a fucking grip and stop acting like a completely sanctimonious arsehole."
"You choices are:
- Pay for your own property in the same way as everyone else has to, or
- Find a new flat; get £1,450pm in subsidy; rent out your old flat for £2,000+ pm; and you are still quids in, or
- Put your money where you mouth is, and sell your flat, and give the profit to the Treasury."
"The flat you own was almost totally fitted at the taxpayers expense, and the fitting of any flat you move to will be paid for too. Although perhaps not quite so generously."
Another case solved.
"By the way", I asked, "Did you see the report that 25% of the population of the Western Isles live in poverty?"
"No", he replied, "I was too busy submitting my expenses claims to worry about something as minor as that."