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Of course there is no such thing as global warming, it’s not warm in Florida at the moment is it?

I suppose it does make sense that President Trump isn’t weekending at Mar-a- Lago at the moment, think what would happen to his hair.  He’s hunkered down at Camp David with the US Cabinet “monitoring” Irma and advising people to keep out of her way.


Do you think he ever has a thought that “well, maybe that Paris agreement could be worth sticking with”?

It would appear I have been disturbing the internet peace for close to 12 years?  I suppose that explains to me why I feel just a little tied to it and by it.  That’s quite a long time!








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Lost in France


The views expressed here are those of the writer and not of Steve.


priority a droiteI knew it existed and I knew other people had been caught out but today was the first time I had experienced it myself.  I was driving through a local village and a car pulled out from a side road right in front of me.  I was flabbergasted and started to gesticulate as only an English person impersonating a French person can.  The driver drove slowly past and shouted over to me gleefully, ‘Priorité à la droite.

What the hell stupid rule is this?  Why does it exist?  And more to the point why was there no sign when arriving at the side road that this was a possibility?

It supposedly isn’t for use in major towns but just small villages and rural areas.  Does that mean Carcassonne is not classed as a major town?  I suppose not, as my friend was in the backseat of a car that ran into another in Carcassonne because of that rule.  It supposed not to be used on major roads and definitely not on roundabouts either, but then I don’t suppose driving on the main road and round a roundabout heading to the airport at Salvaza doesn’t count.

The sign I thought meant cross-roads coming up actually means that the road to the right has priority over you driving on the main road.  A sign which I thought was for one road crossing a smaller road means that the right on the road coming into the main road doesn’t have priority.  The yellow diamond with a white border means there is no priority to the right on the road ahead.  If the road ahead does have priority to the right then the yellow diamond has a black line through it.  Dotted white lines at the side of the road means that no one can cross them, a bit like a give way sign but with less obvious. 

I checked and priority to the right without a stop or a give way sign is still being taught in driving schools.  What came in with the horse and cart, should have disappeared with them too.







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Like many in France, I took time off this month, and to while away the time, caught up on some industry articles. One such article was written by Old Mutual International that presented the results of a small survey it can conducted amongst ex-pats regarding what they believed were the rules around domicility.


It asked the respondents six questions, and the answers were sufficiently enlightening that I thought I’d share them with you.


1. British expats mistakenly believe they are no longer UK domiciled
Everyone has a domicile of origin, acquired at birth. For UK nationals, it’s possible to acquire a new domicile (a domicile of choice) by settling in a new country with the intention of living there permanently. However, it is not always guaranteed that one can lose one’s UK domiciled status and acquire a new one, as there are no fixed rules (as you would expect from HMRC) as to what is required.

Living in another country for a long time, although an important factor does not prove a new domicile has been acquired. Among the many conditions that HMRC list, it states that all links with the UK must be severed and they must have no intention of returning to the UK.

Research* shows 74% of UK expats who consider themselves no longer UK domiciled still hold assets in the UK, and 81% have not ruled out returning to the UK in the future. This means HMRC is likely to still consider them to be deemed UK domiciled.

2. British expats mistakenly believe they are only liable to UK inheritance tax (IHT) on their UK assets

As most British expats will still be deemed UK domiciled on death, it is important to understand that their worldwide assets will become subject to UK IHT. A common misconception is that just UK assets are caught. This lack of knowledge could have a profound impact on beneficiaries.

Before probate can be granted, the probate fee and any inheritance tax due on an estate must be paid. With UK IHT currently set at 40%, there could be a significant bill for beneficiaries to pay before they can access their inheritance. Setting up a life insurance policy could help ensure beneficiaries have access to cash to pay the required fees. Advisers setting up policies specifically for this purpose must ensure they place the policy in trust to enable funds to be paid out instantly without the need for probate.

Research* shows a staggering 82% of UK expats do not realise that both their UK and world-wide assets could be subject to UK IHT.

3. British expats mistakenly believe they are no longer subject to UK taxes when they leave the UK

All income and gains generated from UK assets or property continue to be subject to UK taxes. Some expats seem to think that just because they no longer live in the UK they don’t need to declare their income or capital gains from savings and investments or property held in the UK. By not declaring the correct taxes people can find they end up being investigated by HMRC, and the sanctions for non-disclosure are getting tougher.

Research* shows 11% of UK expats with UK property did not know that UK income tax may need to be paid if their property is rented out, and 27% were unaware that Capital Gains Tax may need to be paid if the property is sold.


4. British expats mistakenly believe that their spouse can sign documents on their behalf should anything happen to them

The misconception that a spouse or child or a professional will be able to manage their affairs should they become mentally incapacitated is leading people to think they don’t need a Power of Attorney (POA) in place. This could result in families being left in a vulnerable position as their loved ones will not automatically be able to step in and act on their behalf. Instead, there will be a delay whilst they apply to the Court of Protection to obtain the necessary authority. This extra complication is all avoidable by completing a lasting POA form and registering it with the Court of Protection.

Research* shows 44% of UK expats wrongly believe their spouse will be able to sign on their behalf should they become mentally incapacitated.

5. British expats unsure if their will is automatically recognised in the country they have moved to
It is wrong to assume a will or POA document is automatically recognised in the country in which they move to. Often overseas law is driven by where the person is habitually resident, and the laws of that country will apply. Therefore, people may require a UK will and POA for their UK assets and a separate one covering their assets in the country they live. The wills also need to acknowledge each other so as not to supersede each other.

Research* shows 50% of UK expats do not know if a will or POA is legally recognised in the country they have moved to.


If you feel you could be affected by this, or have personal or financial circumstances that you feel may benefit from a financial planning review, please contact me direct on the number below. You can also contact me by email at or call our office in Limoux to make an appointment. Alternatively, I conduct a drop-in clinic most Fridays (holidays excepting), when you can pop in to speak to me.

Our office telephone number is 04 68 31 14 10.


Le Tour de Finance, Domaine Gayda, 6th October 2017


This year’s event is now fully subscribed and we are unable to accept any more places. If you were wanting to attend, but hadn’t got round to booking, then all is not lost. It’s possible to make a personal appointment to see me in our Limoux office. Please ring either the office or me directly on my mobile.


I look forward to seeing you soon.


Derek Winsland
Chartered Financial Planner
Mobile: 0771 71 95 52


meteo ciel3


If you are caring for someone with dementia, then you may want to go along to a new English speaking support group based in the Limoux area. The group is being organised by Vicky McLean, a former nurse and Social Services Care Manager with many years’ experience in caring for people with dementia She was also a specialist trainer for care staff working with people with dementia and has previously run a successful and well attended relatives support group. If you want to meet other carers like yourself, to offer mutual support, and get informed advice on some of the more challenging aspects of caring for someone affected by dementia then do go along to their first meeting being held upstairs at the Bar Commerce, Place de la République, Limoux at 3pm on 20th September. If you want more information or advice you can contact Vicky on 0626 80 72 06

 csf walk




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How could Brexit affect you and your finances?
By Thomas Marron
06 14 24 61 29


Brexit negotiations are underway, though there is still a long way to go. There are still questions about how the relationship between the UK and EU will evolve and affect British expatriates in France. Reassuringly, both sides have confirmed that securing reciprocal rights for citizens is a priority.


Britain’s initial proposal for citizens’ rights included offering a “settled status” to EU nationals who have lived in the UK for five years. This would allow them the same access as UK citizens to healthcare, education, pensions and other benefits – provided the same was offered to Britons within the EU. The UK government said it would protect existing pension and healthcare provision for UK nationals in EU countries.




Taxation is a local matter. Double taxation treaties are negotiated between two counties, independently of the EU, so there should be no change to how British expatriates resident in France are taxed.


However, if the UK leaves the European Economic Area (EEA) and no equivalent arrangements are set up, some UK assets may be taxed differently. In France, once UK life assurance policies become non-EU assets they will no longer qualify for beneficial tax treatment given to EU assurance-vie and capital redemption bonds. That means no fixed rates and no tax credit. Seek advice if this may affect you.



The UK pledged to continue annual increases to expatriates’ state pensions. Brexit should not affect accessing or transferring private pension funds either. However, the UK’s new ‘overseas transfer charge’ may indicate things to come. Since 9th March 2017, certain transfers to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) attract 25% taxation.


Currently, this does not affect transfers to approved QROPS based within the EEA. However, Brexit offers the Treasury more scope to introduce more ‘exit taxes’ on overseas transfers or to make it harder to cash-in ‘defined benefit’ pensions. Consider acting now under today’s rules, but take personalised, regulated advice to ensure a suitable approach for you.




Brexit could potentially bring periods of uncertainty for the UK economy. Review your portfolio to check if you are overexposed to UK assets or any other one area. An adviser can help you improve diversification over countries, asset classes, companies, sectors and currencies to reduce risk in a way that suits your circumstances.


You should also consider the currency you hold your investments in. Keeping everything in Sterling brings extra risk as you are so dependent on exchange rates. With the fortunes of the pound and the euro so tied up with Brexit developments, it is a good idea to reconsider the best currency mix for you, and look for flexibility where possible.


Keep your finances in shape

Regardless of Brexit, your circumstances and objectives can change over time, so you should regularly review your financial planning. Now has never been a better time to talk to a locally-based financial adviser and establish the best way to structure your finances and help prepare for Brexit.


Potential French tax reforms under Macron


President Emmanuel Macron promised various tax reforms during his electoral campaign earlier this year. If they all go ahead, there will be substantial changes to how investment income is taxed.


He said his key aim was to encourage people to save more by simplifying taxation on financial income.


Flat tax on investment income


Under the flat tax proposal, investment income would become liable to one fixed rate of 30%, regardless of the amount earned. This 30% would include both the income tax and the social charges.


From information released back in April, it is possible that this new flat rate will apply to people investing over €150,000. Savers in low-income brackets will keep the option for progressive income tax rates.


Wealth tax


Currently, you are liable to wealth tax if you are resident in France on 1st January and your household taxable wealth amounts to over €1,300,000. It is based on worldwide assets. The first €800,000 is exempt from this tax.


M. Macron’s plan is to reform this tax, so that it will only apply to real estate assets, so savings and investments would be exempt.


No confirmation as yet


This is based on the promises made by M. Macron during his electoral campaign, so the end result may be different. Even if he wants to go ahead as planned, it needs to be approved by parliament first, and he may have to adjust the proposals in the process.


Any reduction on tax on investment assets will be very welcome. However, although the current system has high headline rates of tax, with specialist advice and careful planning you can often significantly reduce taxation on investment assets. And with or without these reforms, strategic tax planning in France remains as important as ever.


Both Brexit and Macron’s tax reforms are key subjects at the Blevins Franks seminars.


The Blevins Franks Autumn Seminar


Brexit, Macron, Healthcare, Pensions, Inheritance Planning, Tax, Markets, Timing…
What to consider in moving to, staying in or leaving France.


PLAISANCE-DU-TOUCH (Toulouse) Monday 2 October

CANET-EN-ROUSSILLON (Perpignan) Tuesday 3 October

BÉZIERS Wednesday 4 October


Book your seminar place here


Statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices; tax rates, scope and reliefs may be subject to change. Any taxation information has been summarised and put forward for consideration purposes only and should not be construed as personalised tax advice; an individual should always request personalised advice in relation to their specific circumstances. Blevins Franks accepts no liability for any loss resulting from any action or inaction or omission as a result of reading this information, which is general in nature and not specific to your circumstances.


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readers write


I recently read in the Telegraph that a 5 year old boy found a python in his w.c. His mother, after some telephone calls, found a man in a pet shop who caught it.  Now the question, to whom would you call in a similar circumstance in France? And, what reply would you expect from, Il y a un python dans mon wc. I feel that the exploits of the quill of my aunt would be over shadowed.

Regards, Alan... Aude  

As the summer silly season comes to an end it’s time for us to take up the cudgels again to ensure that there is a sensible result to the Brexit mess the UK is saddled with.

When I say a sensible result, I mean one that’s in the best interests of the UK and its people.

The government’s “strategy” for Brexit isn’t working. Those things people told us would be easy are proving, unsurprisingly, to be very difficult. The rest of the world, including the EU, isn’t beating a path to the UK’s door saying, “What do you want us to do?”

The interests of ordinary people, their rights, hopes and ambitions, have again been lost in the political in-fighting and esoteric arguments about “global influence” and “taking back control”.

So far the UK’s global influence seems mightily diminished, and taking back control seems to involve the government demanding that it be allowed to do whatever it likes without any form of parliamentary oversight – the so-called “Henry VIII powers”.

These are dark days for the UK. The rolling back of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, combined with the “Henry VIII powers” the government is demanding, risk turning the UK into an elected dictatorship.

It’s no exaggeration to say that our rights, enshrined in Magna Carta (1215), the Bill of Rights (1688) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights (2009) are all at risk – unless we do something about reversing the slide towards an authoritarian government.

The People’s Challenge was started to prevent Theresa May & Co using Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50, which was a similar affront to parliamentary democracy. We can’t let this next attempt go unchallenged.

To this end we, the people behind The People’s Challenge, have re-started our “What is Best for the UK” campaign, and we need your help to raise funds to sustain it.

There has already been a stunning response to our fund raising campaign and thank you to those who have already contributed and/or have spread the word.

Whether you can make a financial contribution or help with sharing and promoting what we are doing, your help will be very much appreciated.


Grahame Pigney

Some vide greniers and foires!

Please check before setting off

They also have a sister site where you can giveaway stuff or find stuff others are giving

Its all recycling - you know it makes sense!

If there are two in the same town on the same day, it could be a duplicate on the site or a second event

Black = Aude - Brown = Ariege


Samedi 16 Septembre

Carcassonne  Salon vintage

Coursan  Vide grenier

Pamiers  Vide grenier

Dimanche 17 Septembre

Baraigne  Vide grenier et vide dressing

Canet  Vide grenier de l’Armateur

Carcassonne  Vide grenier Espace Jean Cau

Carcassonne  Salon vintage

Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante

Caves  Vide grenier

Cenne-Monestiès  Vide grenier, vide maison

Cépie  Vide grenier d’automne

Coursan  Vide grenier association célian

Coursan  Vide grenier

Donazac  Vide grenier

Espéraza  Grand vide grenier de la St Michel

Homps  Vide grenier des vieux crampons

La Pomarède  Vide grenier

Magrie  Vide grenier

Marseillette  Vide grenier

Montolieu  Vide grenier

Narbonne  Vide grenier

Palaja  Vide grenier

Port-la-Nouvelle  Vide grenier

Saint-Marcel sur Aude  Vide grenier du Sporting Club

Villemoustaussou  Vide grenier

Dalou  Vide poussette vide dressing

Pamiers  Vide grenier brocante

Prat-Bonrepaux  Bourse aux Armes et Militaria

Rieux-de-Pelleport  Vide grenier

Saint-Girons  Les puces du champ de mars


Samedi 23 Septembre

Coursan  Vide grenier

Loupia  Vide grenier

Foix  Vide grenier brocante

Dimanche 24 Septembre

Bellegarde-du-Razès  Vide grenier

Carcassonne  Vide grenier géant des amis de l’usc xv

Carcassonne  Vide grenier brocante

Coursan  Vide grenier du CIT

Coursan  Vide grenier

Cuxac-d’Aude  Foire autumnal

Gaja-et-Villedieu  Vide grenier

Gruissan  Vide grenier

Limoux  Vide grenier des vendanges

Narbonne  Vide grenier

Saint-Pierre-la-Mer  Vide grenier

Camon  Vide grenier

Les Bordes-sur-Arize  Vide grenier brocante

Pamiers  Vide grenier brocante

Sautel  Fête de la Transhumance

Varilhes  Vide dressing









malko article els summer

What's On 



SATYRICON 2 October Metronum Toulouse

BETH DITTO 3 October Bikini Toulouse

ANGUS & JULIA STONE  20 oct Zenith Toulouse

ROYAL BLOOD 21 Oct Zenith Toulouse


KODALINE 17 Nov Bikini Toulouse


TRUST 21 Nov Bikini Toulouse

JAMIROQUAI 22 Nov Zenith Toulouse

LONDON GRAMMAR 5 Dec Zenith Toulouse

MOSCOW CIRCUS ON ICE 20 Dec Zinga Zanga Beziers

INDOCHINE 9 March Zenith Toulouse

BODYGAURD 9/10 June Zenith Toulouse

TOTO 26 March Zenith Toulouse





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interesting to watch