Wednesday, 26 November 2008

What a choice

On Sunday night I have a choice: spend a relaxing evening at home with a glass or two of a mellow red while catching up with a few tv programmes I've recorded - or go down to my business and spend the whole night re-calculating my prices and re-ticketing thousands of individual items, so that the Government can save the economy by allowing my customers to spend £5.18 instead of £5.29 on a bottle of vitamins. And I reckon it will take more than just one night to do the job.

The Government expects me to do this because, from December 1st, I have to charge VAT at 15% instead of 17.5%. If I don't get it all done overnight, the instructions from Mr Geoff Lloyd, the VAT Director, tell me my employees who operate the tills must calculate the new price manually. The instructions are helpful: they must take the existing retail price and multiply that by 7 and divide the result by 47. The new answer must then be subtracted from the retail price. They must then add 15% to the new price. And that assumes that they know which items are sold with VAT at 17.5%, which have VAT at 5% and which have no VAT.

Well, that's alright then. I'm sure my customers won't mind waiting in ever-growing queues while we carry out these manual calculations so that GB can save the economy.

10 comments:

cllr. m burton said...

And here was I thinking businesses would just swallow up the 2.5% saving whilst us ‘customers’ still foot their holidays on our visas. It might be a hassle to businesses but if all of you out there don’t pass on the saving; we’re ALL going to go down the swaney... only there’ll be no compassion for the greedy ones...

Anonymous said...

Is Cllr M Burton an anagram of deluded moron by any chance? May be its not his fault, I mean he does hanging out with Pieman Wallis and obviously believes the spin.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

Mark, the point is why should businesses like Mike's have to put through so many hoops and bureaucracic red tape in order to satisfy the gauiliters (forgive me if I spelt it wrongly) of the Revenue and Customs?

Surely the burden of red tape should be lifted from the shoulders of businesses to enable them to get on and do what they do best or in the present dark times to enable them to survive.

I would rather have had a reduction in my income tax than the reduction in VAT. That may have tempted me to spend a bit more.

At the back of my mind is VAT will be going up again in 12 months time, my Council Tax will increase in April, my NI contributions will also increase as will my income tax to God knows what to pay for this fiasco where your Party Mark has taken its eye off the ball and mismanaged the economy. Flipancy is not a virtue.


and remember Mike and all other businesses will have to adjust their prices again in 12 months time.

Anonymous said...

Blimey Nick Wallis has had a lot of nicknames from Staggers to Moonface and now Pieman.

Why Pieman?

miketually said...

I really wanted to buy myself a new bike but at £750 it was too much money. Now that it's only going to be £735 I'll rush straight out and buy it tomorrow!

I'll pay for it with the money I save by buying 6700 bottles of vitamins from Mike's shop.

Of course, I'll have to sell it again once the taxes rise again as I'll have less money than I do now.

Except I can't afford to go out and spend, spend, spend now because that lovely Mr Brown gave me a below inflation pay rise this year in an effort to stop public sector workers spending too much money. How thoughtful of him.

Anonymous said...

Because a pieman is someone who eats a lot of pies and as a result of this over indulgence carries a few extra ponds (put not so politely a fat b**tard).

Aeres said...

Surely nobody really expects the cut to be passed on in the form of cheaper prices for everyday purchases? The pound shop would have to be renamed the 98p shop!

Slightly more practical would be presumably for you to keep prices at the same level, take in the extra profit and for you to spend it on something else which will flow into the economy (like a pay increase for your staff for instance).

I'm surprised at the stance given by HMR&C - surely in a free market you can charge what you want as long as they get the correct cut at the end of it?

Norfolk Blogger said...

The government also think the idea of a 2.5% sale is one that is attractive to customers.

Whenever has any shop advertised a 2.5% sale ? Exactly, never, because 2.5% is a waste of time and no incentive at all.

Mike Barker said...

One of the biggest laughs on tonight's HIGNFY came when Harriet Harman's crusade to save prostitutes was the subject under discussion.

Not only, said this week's Chair, will our working girls have to cope with telling their clients whether or not they have a pimp, but they now also have to work out new prices based on 15% rather than 17.5% VAT.

Kevin Anthoney said...

Love the convoluted calculation. Multiplying the retail price by 46 and dividing the answer by 47 is a simpler way of doing it.