Don’t let the government into your bank accounts

The government is trying to give HMRC the power to access our bank accounts without recourse to anyone!

I know how often mistakes are made by HMRC and how difficult and how long it can take to correct their errors. My own Institute has said

To let HMRC take the money from bank accounts and argue later is not appropriate in a democratic society.

Please click on the link below to sign an e-petition to help prevent these proposals becoming law.

UKIP and small (micro) businesses – their views

My Tweet to Nigel Farage didn’t produce a reply, so I decided to take the bull by the horns and try and find the answer myself.

Rather surprisingly entering ” UKIP micobusinesses” into Google only produced a handful of results, two of which were links to my blog!

However, there was one from Margot Parker, a UKIP MEP, titled

UKIP is the party of real business

I have to admit I did expect a little more

The answer to Kendal’s traffic problems isn’t more money

The Westmorland Gazette kindly published a letter I sent them a couple of weeks ago about Kendal’s traffic problems

 When will Cumbria County Council realise that spending more taxpayers’ money will not improve Kendal’s roads?

Enforcing the law in respect of parking and loading/unloading will free up the town more than new roads, cycle tracks and improved bus services (Gazette, September 25, “£6.8m plan to free up roads”)


UKIP and small (micro) businesses

With all the excitement (?) of the party conferences I may have missed what UKIP have said about this, so I thought I’d send Nigel Farage a tweet.


I’ll let you know what he says.

Cumbria Tourism – 90% hot air 10% the bleedin’ obvious

Last week the Westmorland Gazette published an interview with Ian Stephens of Cumbria Tourism under the title

Lake District tourism industry needs to continually improve and invest

Because a great deal of our clients rely on tourism I felt it was important I should read the article to see what advice Cumbria Tourism was offering Cumbrian businesses.

Finding it was difficult!

The final two paragraphs (less than 10% of the article) said

We need to keep our share of that [a globally-competitive market place] otherwise we will lose out to other areas.

Cumbria is not lagging behind necessarily, it’s still got a fantastic, profound and diverse visitor offer but it needs to continue to improve and invest to keep pace.

Unfortunately the other 90% words concentrated on how wonderful Cumbria Tourism is!

Even worse, however, is the fact that Cumbria Tourism offers no advice on how to “continually improve and invest”.

Words are cheap Mr Stephens. Cumbrian businesses don’t need to be told what to do they need to be shown how to do it.

Are you and Cumbria Tourism up to the task?




David Cameron and tax

I’ve read a great deal about David Cameron’s tax “giveaway”, most of it has been highly critical, and to be honest I do wonder how George Osborne will find £7bn to pay for it but I can’t help feeling that Cameron has the right idea.

One of his supporters is Christian May, head of communications at the Institute of Directors, who in an article on CITYA.M. sums up the speech in one sentence:

Rewarding those who do the right thing.

Our future prosperity depends on people who do the “right thing”, i.e. work hard, pay their taxes, save and support themselves. It doesn’t mean that we ignore those in society who can’t do this but not encouraging the “doers” will not solve our problems.

It’s time to take pride in ourselves and our country.



A tax specialist’s view of the party conference season.

We’re now more than half way through the political conferences and I can’t think of a better way of summing them up than this tweet by Giles Mooney.

Google tax – yet more rhetoric from the politicians?

Yesterday, the new, slim George Osborne, announced his new “Google tax”, an attempt to crackdown on the double Irish arrangement – a tax avoidance strategy that multinational corporations use to lower their corporate tax liability first used by Apple.

I have my doubts as to how effective this will be. Politicians of all parties have too cosy an arrangement with multinationals who promise job creation in exchange for “sweetheart deals” with the tax authorities.

Perhaps we do need the European Union after all.

New broom sweeps crap under the carpet

The above headline isn’t what you’d expect to read in a blog about business and tax but it’s yet another another example of our two tier tax system.

This time it about Pearson, the publishers of the Financial Times.

Not to mention HSBC.

New rates for National Minimum Wage from 1 October 2104

The Government’s new rates for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) start on Wednesday 1 October 2014.

Don’t forget to update your wage details – the penalties for failing to pay the correct rates are eye-watering.

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