Blog DOB: 22 Aug, 2006
Name: Mark O'Connor
Me in the Antarctic
Really Annoying Sh##
This is my blog where I can dump all the sh## that really annoys me. It stays here, I can get on and enjoy myself. It's like therapy, and you can join too for free. Just add yourself as a blogger and get rid of all your sh##.
I just tried to make a bank payment from my account using internet banking, only to receive a message, after I had put in all the details, that if I wanted to make the payment online I would have to call. I would have to call between 8am-7pm Monday to Friday? How is this an online payment if I actually have to call the bank to have it processed?
Of course, they also suggest other payment methods are available such as cheque (Doh!), debit or credit card. As if consumers are able to accept debit or credit cards! Grrrr.
The rate of corporation tax for small companies is set to increase by 3% while the rate for large companies is set to decrease by 2% under the Chancellors 2007 Budget.
Gordon Brown explains the increase in the small company tax rate as a deterrent to tax motivated incorporation. This is where a person incorporates a company and provides a contract for services to another company, rather than being employed directly by them. This enables the "employee" to pay themselves dividends rather than salary and thereby avoid having to pay national insurance.
However, the practice is legislated against since 2000 when the government introduced IR35 so that this budget increase is just simply bad news for genuine small companies taking on board the personal risk of running their own company. Rather than encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit this is another disincentive to leave paid employment and start a business. The little profit you make will be cut by another 3% while larger companies can continue to grow and put small companies out of business.
Already little companies face undue delays in registering for VAT making them uncompetitive as their costs are higher by the amount of VAT they can't reclaim. Now another 3% is set to be cut from their earnings. It would seem as if the Government would prefer if there was just one large company in which we were all employees.
A new Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor arrive in Munchkinland.
"A younger man can go for a drink with a senior man and talk about his career. But a younger woman, if she asks a man for a drink for the same purpose, we know what happens"
Cherie Blair addressing the Global Banking Alliance for Women World Summit in Glasgow during the week.
Gordon Brown, with his trademark sense of humour, introducing his 2007 budget
A working Mum trying to start her own business by night with an investment of sweat capital has received a fairly typical response from HMRC. A response which doesn't quite meet the aspirations of Tony Blair who has been quoted to say "The public ... should receive, high quality service from the Government".
The entrepreneurial Mum incorporated and registered voluntarily for VAT last year. Within a couple of months of registration Customs decide to deregister her VAT number as they were concerned about risks of VAT fraud from mobile phone and computer chip traders, even though the Mum is starting a translation service and a consultancy for ISO accreditation.
She wrote to HMRC on the 12th December to advise them she needed to retain the number. She received a response from HMRC in the first week of March. In this response the Customs Officer from Staines says "I have just received a letter from you dated 12th December. This letter was logged into our mail system on the 23rd February, 2007. Although in this letter you ask me to consider not deregistering your company for VAT I am afraid that the deregistration process was concluded on the 12th December.....I cannot understand the recent arrival of your letter. "
No advise is given to the Mum about how she should now account for any transactions which have occurred since the 12th December. Does she now embarrassingly return to clients and issue them with a VAT only credit note with the explanation she has been deregistered (this will be great for repeat business) - or does she just keep the VAT? No indication is given in the letter as to why her letter wasn't logged on to the system until the end of February, almost three months later, or whether it's going to be investigated to understand if the system is flawed and cannot therefore by its nature deliver a "high quality service".
Isn't it nice to see small business being supported by the Government!
So how many died since the Iraq war? One estimate is over 600,000.
Ken Livingston gets ready for another day at the office.
On the same day Gordon Brown calls on all homes to be greener he signs approval for his new plans to relocate Number 10 to a tree.
What if there was no budget left for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics?....
I did a double take at the zoo. Fortunately I had a camera as this Gorilla looks remarkably like someone, I couldn't figure it out at first, I kept questioning "could it be? It looks very like him, but surely not! What on earth would he be doing in the zoo?"
What if these were being made in the future and they kept sending them back?
Rather than taking responsibility for a botched up negotiation, Virgin Media, who sucked up Telewest and NTL, are broadcasting a message on Sky One in which they blame Sky for the channel being unavailable. "Thanks to Sky", they say, "the Sky One channel is no longer available. They've picked up their ball and gone home. Foul play? We think so."
The viewer is then invited to visit their website, virginmedia.com/fairplay, in which they ask a clearly biased question "What do you think of Sky withdrawing its non-premium channels like Sky One, Sky News and Sky Sports News from Virgin Media's TV service?".
Here's another question. Isn't it about time that Virgin stopped acting like a teenager and grew up? I can hardly believe reading a comment on one message board where someone says "well done for standing up to the big guys".
Are you serious? The Virgin Group employs over 35,000 people in 200 companies worldwide and has a turnover in excess of over £4billion. They're hardly the little guy or the underdog they like to portray themselves as - if you think otherwise you've been seduced by the Marketeers. This is big business.
Virgin claims to put consumers first, well, what about all the viewers who are now paying the same price for a reduced service? I would say this is really annoying shit dot com.
You've got to pick a pocket or two
Tesco are set to issue hard hats and high visibility jackets to shoppers who visit their stores after 9pm. At this time the stores are effectively transformed into workplaces rather than customer friendly supermarkets.
The stores remain open to grab late night shoppers even though the aisles are cluttered with cages and access is blocked to the majority of the shelves. Shoppers have been seen to get footholds in the cages to reach items like bottled water which are now beyond access.
The cages are being rolled out of stockrooms, pushed from behind by one person with limited visibility of shoppers who might be dithering or just plain confused in the aisles. However, stores profitability is up as the stores can lock up earlier thereby reducing overheads like staff costs.
..... Okay so I made the headline up, partly, everything is true other than the hard hats and high visibility jackets, but I am beginning to think I should bring my own. This trend seems to be another example of Tesco putting margin first, customer second.
"Is road pricing the right answer? I'm not saying it is - I'm saying lets look at it", responded Tony Blair to the 1.8million people who signed a petition on the number 10 Downing Street website opposing plans to introduce a mileage based road tax.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror Mr Blair is also quoted to say "I don't think this is an issue you railroad through against massive public objection.... I wouldn't personally .... engage in that type of Kamikaze politics."
So that will be unlike the Iraq war?