Friday, 13 March 2009

Just What We Need Right Now (2 & 3)

Tax wouldn't be so taxing if we didn't have to look on, head in hands, as Brown and his incompetents waste it in increasingly imaginitive ways.

My quarterly tax demand for profits I haven't yet earned, arrived yesterday. One short phone call to HMRC later (20 minutes is almost lightning quick), I think I had halved it as they went looking for the £13,000 payment that they have somehow lost. They tend to do that a lot. Childish, I know, but the comment "Is Gordon spending it quicker than you can allocate it?" just seemed to involuntarily spill from my lips before being asked to list all the details of the BACS payment that is sloshing around somewhere in their inefficient system.

Running a business under a Labour administration is nothing short of a living hell. The increase in franchising is perfectly understandable (I know of two friends who have thrown their arms in the air and taken that option instead so as to avoid employing staff, holding stock and running vehicles), it's just that it's not an option for me.

Having spent over 50% of my time in the past 2 years scrambling through bureaucracy and red tape involving the CRB and paper pushers at the DVLA and VOSA, it was with no small amount of dismay that I read the EU ruling on staff holiday entitlement for the long-term sick in January.

This isn't Government money, or EU money we are talking about. All of these rules tell businesses how much of their own profits they should pay. Government like spending other people's money, it seems.

The EU have now done it again. This lot really do live in a fluffy land filled with cuckoos and cuddly bears, don't they?

As Britain slides into depression, the EU insists on TREBLING maternity pay

Women will be entitled to full pay for the first 18 weeks of maternity leave under radical EU plans. The dramatic extension of existing rights would more than triple the amount currently received by new mothers in Britain.

the European Commission spokesman has said: 'Given that the mortgage, the rent, the cost of food continues when people are on maternity leave - and there are also the cost increases from having a baby - it makes sense from our point of view.'

I'm sure it does, in your wibbly-wobbly idealistic world where businesses are festooned with infinite reserves of cash ... like the EU. In the real world, though, businesses have finite resources, and prospective parents should be weighing up if they can afford to have a child before doing the ugly-bumping, not just popping a sprog out and expecting someone else to pay for it.

The simple fact is that businesses are never awash with cash, it is always a balancing exercise, as Woolies found out recently after decades of trading. An economist will tell you that even small tweaks will result in business losses, never mind a potentially huge hit such as this legislation presents.

Now then, remember this from Harriet the harridan?

Ms Harman pledged: "We cannot and will not allow women to become the victims of this recession."

Well, I cannot think, for the life of me, of any possible measure that will ensure women lose their jobs quicker than men in a recession, than this, can you?

Give them their due, though, at least Labour are standing up to the EU on this issue, not that it will make much difference.

Details of the new maternity pay plan were spelled out by Business Minister Pat McFadden, who said the UK was fighting to block it. The Government faces an uphill battle, however, because most other EU countries support the idea and Britain does not have a veto on it. Ministers are trying to negotiate an opt-out to reduce the salary entitlement.

I can envisage hard-pressed firms up and down the UK tearing up the CVs of females under 35 when recruiting, and having one eye on gender when assessing necessary redundancies. You can refuse as much as you like Harriet, but when push comes to shove, businesses make what they consider to be the most efficient savings (you may want to look that word up), and legislation such as this puts women right in the firing line (pun unintended).

Better get rid of the potential child-bearers quickly though, as Alistair Darling is closing off that escape valve.

Darling to set minimum redundancy payment in fresh blow to struggling businesses

Companies could be saddled with extra costs under Government plans to offer workers a guaranteed payment when they lose their jobs, it has emerged. Ministers are looking at a scheme to impose a legal minimum on how much employers have to hand over to employees who are dismissed.

They are desperate to fend off growing demands from unions and Labour MPs for a massive increase in the levels of redundancy pay required by law. The move has raised alarm bells among business leaders who fear it could cripple companies with additional costs just when they are trying to survive the recession. Gordon Brown is under intense pressure from a coalition of unions and 146 Labour MPs who want him to honour a manifesto commitment to improve payments to laid-off workers.

It's a manifesto commitment, Gordon. Just discard it like Labour usually do, what's the problem?

It all adds up to Labour, and sociopathic EU fruit-loops, completely misunderstanding the daily problems faced by businesses big and small. But why should they understand? They aren't faced with any quandary other than where to spend the unfettered budgets that we are forced to provide for them (once they find where they have put the money, that is).

Call me naive, but in a 'global' recession, I'd have thought these dolts would have been cutting back on the idealistic excesses, rather than ladelling it on heavily like Jacqui Smith on the chilli sauce.


Mark Wadsworth said...


banned said...

I have only been made redundant once, by a small company that was shafted by the VATman in 1985.
There were no funds but I was compensated by the state for statutory redundancy pay , outstanding expenses, holiday pay accrued and I got to keep the car all of which surprised me at the time and which I considered fair, even generous.

WTF they feel people need more now I do not know, vote hoovering ?

Curmudgeon said...

Ah yes, brilliant. How to

(a) seriously disadvantage younger women in the jobs market, and
(b) bring forward loads of redundancies.

Putting two and two together to make four unfortunately seems to be beyond them.