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Prepare to put another hole in your belt

Author : Suzanne Gill

Whilst not wishing to be a harbinger of doom, it is certainly looking likely that, whoever wins the election this week, we will all soon be tightening our belts even further. A period of austerity is certain as the new Government starts the difficult task of reducing the country’s huge budget deficit.

Prepare to put another hole in your belt

There are rumours of an expected VAT rise to 19% - in the run up to the election neither the Conservatives or Labour ruled out a VAT increase – so this is a distinct possibility, as it offers an efficient way of collecting revenues quickly and easily.

Another rumour currently circulating is that HM Revenue & Customs may start to target tradesmen for undeclared tax in a further bid to boost the coffers. A disclosure plan for medical professionals was introduced earlier this year, and it is believed that a similar plan may also come into force for those working in trades. These disclosure plans, known as Tax Health Plans, invite people to come forward and make a voluntary disclosure if their tax affairs are wrong, in return for a discounted penalty.

I am sure that our future Government will soon have many other plans in place to claw back more money. So, be warned, make sure your affairs are in order as we still all have a tough time ahead of us.

Dear Suzanne,

I have read your comments regarding  the anticipated forthcoming Tax increases etc. and would like to give you my own suggestions having been connected with UK Industries for most of my life and to which I consider any incoming Government should give serious consideration

Like most people I have watched and listened to the pronouncements of many of the Parties and frankly consider that none of them has put their finger on the main problem facing the Country and one which has been a form of creeping paralysis over the past 40 or 50 years, namely the demise of the No.1 Income Producer - Manufacturing Industry. The ideas that this Country can survive and prosper from Service Industries and Banking has turned out to be utter rubbish !

Frankly, the only person who I heard talking real sense was J Harvey Jones when being interviewed for a BBC morning News programme. He stated that in his opinion everyone was talking about Education, Social and Health Services, Whitehall, MOD and of course Taxation etc., in other words what they were intending to spend or take, but no one had mentioned how Income was to be earned?

The key must surely now be to rejuvenate our Manufacturing Industries wherever possible and to cut the costs and restrictions that such Enterprises have had imposed upon them in ever increasing amounts over many years .  If taxation continues to escalate, as I have just this week noticed with Motor Road Tax, then any hope of this being successful will be doomed.

I well remember as a ten year old Schoolboy in the late 1940's seeing a large Wall Poster depicting a muscular man with rolled up sleeves and holding a large open ended spanner and the words underneath simply stating  'Export or Die'.  Surely such a sentiment could not be more appropriate at the present time. Obviously situations are somewhat different today, but instead of the continual closure of factories, which I know about only too regularly from the number of auction notices received, we must start-up new and re-open previously closed factories and of course get on our bikes  out there to sell the products.

This Country used to be called the' Workshop of the World'.  What a very poor imitation of that situation we are in today and as one who tries to sell mostly in Overseas Markets, one is frequently presented with surprise by foreign business Contacts as to how far this Country has sunk in their manufacturing capabilities. This is something that successive Governments must take a very large share of the blame and perhaps the new Guys could'nt do worse than to examine situations over the past 50-60 years and to ask themselves - 'What went Right and What went Wrong'?

I hope you may find these comments to be interesting and constructive reading.


John Sharples

Hartsdale Developments Ltd.

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