pathetic advice from Boat Safety Scheme

sarabande

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I'm all in favour of teaching people of the dangers of CO on board, but the article

http://www.mby.com/news/boatowners-warned-portable-stoves-47487

by the Boat Safety Scheme is badly written and presented, and misses an opportunity to get across the real facts and risks behind portable stoves.



They sound as if they are afraid of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but ...

"Our vision and values...

In recognising that it is not possible to eliminate all safety risks, the BSS is employed to help minimise them in a way that balances the responsibilities of the Navigation Authorities and the responsibilities of individual boat owners."




Oh yes, for the financial year 2012, on an income of £469,450.04, they have a cash reserve of £127,904.20

Sounds as if they have been taking lessons from a certain charity.


One cannot however charge them with being over-rich in staff. 5 persons fully employed, and a huge governance process

http://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/about-us/governing-the-bss/

What is the real cost of this organisation ?


Edited on Giblets proof reading :)
 
Last edited:

sarabande

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over- enthusiasm, sorry, I've been working with fire extinguishers for a couple of days. Edited, thanks.
 

stranded

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I'm all in favour of teaching people of the dangers of CO on board, but the article

http://www.mby.com/news/boatowners-warned-portable-stoves-47487

by the Boat Safety Scheme is badly written and presented, and misses an opportunity to get across the real facts and risks behind portable stoves.



They sound as if they are afraid of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but ...

"Our vision and values...

In recognising that it is not possible to eliminate all safety risks, the BSS is employed to help minimise them in a way that balances the responsibilities of the Navigation Authorities and the responsibilities of individual boat owners."




Oh yes, for the financial year 2012, on an income of £469,450.04, they have a cash reserve of £127,904.20

Sounds as if they have been taking lessons from a certain charity.


One cannot however charge them with being over-rich in staff. 5 persons fully employed, and a huge governance process

http://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/about-us/governing-the-bss/

What is the real cost of this organisation ?


Edited on Giblets proof reading :)

Not getting your complaint - seems OK - simple message for simple people simply put.
 

VicS

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I'm all in favour of teaching people of the dangers of CO on board, but the article

http://www.mby.com/news/boatowners-warned-portable-stoves-47487

by the Boat Safety Scheme is badly written and presented, and misses an opportunity to get across the real facts and risks behind portable stoves.


But that article was written by Chris Jefferies, News Editor of MBY and the linked article is by Nick Burnham, a former yacht broker who has written for both Motor Boats Monthly and Motor Boat & Yachting

The BSS in conjunction with Hants(??) trading standards published a safety bulletin on portable canister power stoves several years ago. More recently ( this year) they reported on the "incident" mentioned by Chris Jefferies, which was actually in a tent at the marina

I have not found the source of your quote
 

rob2

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Must admit I find such "simplified" articles annoying, too. The risk of mobile stoves is mainly centred around the changing of the gas bottle - otherwise if suitably sited and secure they are no more prone to explosions or CO poisoning than any other fixture. We all receive so many warnings every day and I always ask why. The most annoying response is "It's the law..." usually patently untrue.

Rob.
 

Tranona

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I'm all in favour of teaching people of the dangers of CO on board, but the article

http://www.mby.com/news/boatowners-warned-portable-stoves-47487

by the Boat Safety Scheme is badly written and presented, and misses an opportunity to get across the real facts and risks behind portable stoves.



They sound as if they are afraid of telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but ...

"Our vision and values...

In recognising that it is not possible to eliminate all safety risks, the BSS is employed to help minimise them in a way that balances the responsibilities of the Navigation Authorities and the responsibilities of individual boat owners."




Oh yes, for the financial year 2012, on an income of £469,450.04, they have a cash reserve of £127,904.20

Sounds as if they have been taking lessons from a certain charity.


One cannot however charge them with being over-rich in staff. 5 persons fully employed, and a huge governance process

http://www.boatsafetyscheme.org/about-us/governing-the-bss/

What is the real cost of this organisation ?


Edited on Giblets proof reading :)

Cannot see what point(s) you are trying to make. As said, the news report does not come from the BSS.

Suggest you read a bit more about how the BSS operates. It is not a charity in the sense of getting donations from the public to carry out good works - it gains its income from charges to users. It has charitable status as part of the CRT so is subject to auditing requirements from the Charity Commission. It is not unusual to have a cash reserve as a buffer, and it is larger than normal in the year in question because of an unplanned increase in income. The plan for the following year shows a substantial reduction in the annual surplus and therefore the reserve.

What do you mean by the "real" cost - you have a breakdown of the costs in the financial summary. Expressed in £s - so seem pretty real to me.
 

JumbleDuck

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It is not a charity in the sense of getting donations from the public to carry out good works - it gains its income from charges to users.

There is a significant and increasingly recognized issues with service companies operating as (masquerading as) charities. Many large charities aren't remotely charities in the traditional RNLI, Wellcome Trust or Distressed Gentlefolks Aid Association sense; they are contractors to social service and other government departments operating wholly as commercial bodies and with management salaries to boot but without the tiresome oversight of shareholders.
 

Tranona

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There is a significant and increasingly recognized issues with service companies operating as (masquerading as) charities. Many large charities aren't remotely charities in the traditional RNLI, Wellcome Trust or Distressed Gentlefolks Aid Association sense; they are contractors to social service and other government departments operating wholly as commercial bodies and with management salaries to boot but without the tiresome oversight of shareholders.

There is nothing new about this. charitable Trust status is well established and there is oversight from the Charity Commissioners. Vast areas of economic activity in our society are not subject to "tiresome oversight of shareholders".

Think you have trouble with the word - as in many cases the everyday meaning gets lost when words are used as labels to define particular activities or as in this case organisations. Just because they do not conform to your perception of what a charity ought to be does not mean to say that they are doing anything proper. They are run within the constraints of their legal status. Parliament decides this as in so many other areas in our society.
 

JumbleDuck

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There is nothing new about this. charitable Trust status is well established and there is oversight from the Charity Commissioners. Vast areas of economic activity in our society are not subject to "tiresome oversight of shareholders".

Think you have trouble with the word - as in many cases the everyday meaning gets lost when words are used as labels to define particular activities or as in this case organisations. Just because they do not conform to your perception of what a charity ought to be does not mean to say that they are doing anything proper. They are run within the constraints of their legal status. Parliament decides this as in so many other areas in our society.

Nope, it's not just me. From personal care agencies (why should some be able to escape VAT by registering as charities) to private schools, you can hardly have missed the debate about the proper nature of charities. That is not to say that those exploiting the current laxity are doing anything wrong, of course.
 

Tranona

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Nope, it's not just me. From personal care agencies (why should some be able to escape VAT by registering as charities) to private schools, you can hardly have missed the debate about the proper nature of charities. That is not to say that those exploiting the current laxity are doing anything wrong, of course.

You can question the status of all sorts of organisations, but they are the way they are because of a deliberate act by parliament, and there are always people who do not agree with parliament's decisions. If you were listening to the chancellor today you will have heard about proposals to make significant changes to the well established status of one particular group - so nothing is forever.

There is no such thing as a "proper" charity. It is a social construct and therefore can only be defined by the society that uses the term. It is therefore construed differently in different contexts or indeed by different people. So, your understanding of what is "proper" may be quite different from mine. The way we get round that is to have a legal definition and if organisations shows it meet that definition then it is a charity whether you think it is proper or not. so if the debate is about whether an organisation should be a charity or not, it is about the legal definition, not about whether it is "proper".

While you may well object to particular groups gaining what you might see as financial advantage as a result of their legal status, this does not necessarily apply to all organisations with charitable status. The main reason for this status is to allow a non profit making organisation (and there are many, not least all of our universities) to operate in a structured legal framework of financial accountability. This does not prevent them operating in a commercial manner and earning profits, but these have to be applied to the purpose for which they were established. If such organisations gain any tax advantage it is because parliament has decided that they should because of the nature of their activities. As demonstrated today in parliament, what it gives it can also take away.

Perhaps a pity that the word charity is attached to the status, but that is because it was a variation of the original charity legal framework, setting much more constrained boundaries on scope of operations and tax benefits for particular types of organisations and activities. Maybe a different label would help differentiate better and stop people getting confused.
 

JumbleDuck

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You can question the status of all sorts of organisations, but they are the way they are because of a deliberate act by parliament

Only in the case of organisations with a statutory basis, like the RNLI. In other cases it is up to the founders/managers/trustees to apply if they decide whether the hoops one has to jump through as a charity are worth it. In the case of the educational trust I founded, and to which I donate much of my spare (sic) time, we have decided not to become a charity, although we are without doubt eligible, partly because the administrative burden is considerable (we'd have to be an English charity as well as a Scottish one) but mainly because I/we do not believe that the service we provide is morally suitable for charitable status. We charge, you see, and although our charges are low for the sector, they are still significant.

There is no such thing as a "proper" charity. It is a social construct and therefore can only be defined by the society that uses the term.

As so often, we are in complete agreement. That is precisely my point. The current debate is about whether a category set up to encourage the rich to support the poor is proper (sic) for public sector contractors, many of which pay and treat their front line staff appallingly badly while richly rewarding their management, or for educational establishments which typically charge 50% more than national median wage for a year's fees.

Back to the point ... should a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of CaRT be eligible for charitable status? I think many people would say not.
 

Tranona

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Back to the point ... should a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of CaRT be eligible for charitable status? I think many people would say not.
It is not a free standing business but an operating arm of the CRT. Doubt its status has any impact on its costs. Presumably it charges VAT on its services, National Insurance for its employees, business rates on its premises and its employees pay tax on their earnings. As it does not make a profit it does not pay corporation tax. So no tax advantages due to its status and if it was required to make a "profit" (for whom?) it would have to increase its charges and the tax burden would fall on its customers - rich and poor alike.

On the general issue of tax breaks, I am sure your yacht club, just like mine does not charge VAT on certain of its activities because they fall into the category of "sporting". This is as a result of the RYA successfully getting a ruling that HMRC had wrongly interpreted the law on VAT. Clubs got massive rebates at the time. Is it right that I, able to afford to buy boat for £100k (though not rich!) do not pay VAT for my berth and lifts etc? or that members of the Royal Yacht Squadron are also eligible for the same tax breaks?

You can make a case for or against all forms of tax breaks, subsidies etc and as we have seen these vary over time as political pressures influence government policy. Just gets messy if you introduce words like charity (as distinct from charitable acts) into the discussion because its clear that not all charitable activities in the general meaning of the term qualify for tax breaks, nor that tax breaks are (or even should be) limited to acts that are charitable.
 

JumbleDuck

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On the general issue of tax breaks, I am sure your yacht club, just like mine does not charge VAT on certain of its activities because they fall into the category of "sporting". This is as a result of the RYA successfully getting a ruling that HMRC had wrongly interpreted the law on VAT. Clubs got massive rebates at the time. Is it right that I, able to afford to buy boat for £100k (though not rich!) do not pay VAT for my berth and lifts etc? or that members of the Royal Yacht Squadron are also eligible for the same tax breaks?

My ... what? Actually, the gliding club I was a member of for many years got a huge VAT refund (enough to buy a rather nice two-seater glider) as a result of the ruling that services provided by clubs to their members were not liable for VAT. Luckily for us our accounts showed what launches and what aircraft hire charges had been paid by members and which by visitors. I believe that the rules subsequently changed (or, if you like, the loophole was closed) and that all such services are now VAT liable again. I could well be wrong, though, as I am not, thank goodness, an accountant.

If the ruling still applies, it seems fine that members' organisations should not have to charge VAT on the costs involved in mutual assistance. Charging when supplying services to outsiders is fine by me, otherwise any two people could constitute their business as a "club" and avoid VAT.
 

Tranona

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If the ruling still applies, it seems fine that members' organisations should not have to charge VAT on the costs involved in mutual assistance. Charging when supplying services to outsiders is fine by me, otherwise any two people could constitute their business as a "club" and avoid VAT.

It is not the mutuality of the service, but its nature that determines whether VAT is charged or not. Most our club services are provided by paid staff rather than members. It is the services that directly related to the sport of sailing that are exempt. So all the social side pays taxes, duty and VAT. The accounts system is programmed to discriminate to satisfy HMRC.

Presumably your gliding club activities do not fall into the correct category to be exempt - I don't know, but would not be difficult to find out.

Does not alter the fact that subsidies, tax breaks etc are often emotive subjects and positions driven by values, rather than being rational and objective. This is particularly the case where there is a transfer of wealth from one section of society to another, whether through the actions of individuals (as in the pure definition of charity) or by state diktat. We pay our politicians to make those decisions for us in the case of the latter - but being imperfect as both individuals and collectively they can't satisfy everybody.
 

JumbleDuck

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It is not the mutuality of the service, but its nature that determines whether VAT is charged or not. Most our club services are provided by paid staff rather than members. It is the services that directly related to the sport of sailing that are exempt. So all the social side pays taxes, duty and VAT. The accounts system is programmed to discriminate to satisfy HMRC.

Presumably your gliding club activities do not fall into the correct category to be exempt - I don't know, but would not be difficult to find out.

The defining issue with gliding clubs was whether the services were being provided to members, in which case they were VAT exempt, or to visitors, in which case they weren't. Whether winch drivers, instructors, cleaners and so on were paid or not didn't come in to it. That's the sort of mutuality I meant - if a group of people want to come together to share the costs of a sport it seems fair that they don't have to charge each other VAT. I did recently check the VAT guidelines for sporting clubs, but wouldn't advise anyone to trust what I think I read there.

Does not alter the fact that subsidies, tax breaks etc are often emotive subjects and positions driven by values, rather than being rational and objective.

Of course, and that is how it should be. If we let some people off paying taxes on the basis of the socially beneficial nature of their work, the decision to do so has to be value-based. At the moment it's a complete mess: PGL is a company but has competitors charging the same price for the same thing which are charities. Some care homes are commercial, some are charitable, many are both. The Charity Commission itself has said that it thinks there is a problem, and is encouraging other structures, like Community Interest Companies (iirc) for many activities.
 
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