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A Classless society?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 8 Jan 2013 22:50

Maggie. I never mentioned tax evasion, I said tax avoidance can become illegal. It is a fine line.

The low paid tend to have similar personalities to the high paid. And I am low paid but I certainly like to avoid tax. I spend a lot on shares, life assurance, pension - and all monies are stopped before tax is applied.

A lot of low paid workers now do a second job for cash in hand. Lot of small businesses are happy not to put jobs through the books and not have to pay VAT on that job.

The Government does seem to be on the tail of the high earners. But I feel sure there is a lot to be collected from the fairly low earners too.

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 8 Jan 2013 22:55

John, anything can become illegal - strangely tax avoidence isn't. It's as fine a line as the government want to make it - and they don't.

A cash in hand job is rarely on a par with millionaires who take from society but refuse to pay for the priviledge, preferring to hold an offshore account!!!

Many small businesses don't earn enough to pay VAT.

The Government are NOT on the tail of the high earners, or they would be chasing their own tails.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 8 Jan 2013 23:34

Good points, Maggie. But I challenge two things you have said.

1. I think fraud and theft are the same whether it is 10p or £10million. A shoplifter with a 50p bar of chocolate has committed no less a crime than someone with a Plasma TV. Theft is theft. Fraud is fraud.
2. Very many small businesses are paying VAT. Some even register voluntarily because it makes their business look more impressive when pitching to clients.
And if we know they are knocking VAT off their price, does not that make the company and the customer fraudsters who have thieved off the Exchequer?

Not sure about my last point, but - if right - a lot of us are due a spell at HM's pleasure :-(

maggiewinchester

maggiewinchester Report 8 Jan 2013 23:45

John,
1) Fraud and theft are indeed similar, but the amount they cost the country is very different, Were the MP's putting in excessive claims innocent, or the same as someone from a council estate working for cash?
2)Small businesses who register voluntarily to pay VAT are fools unto themselves. This doesn't make those who don't pay as their income isn't enough criminals.

Who are knocking VAT off their price? Those who register when they don't need to, or those who don't earn enough to pay? VAT is paid by the purchaser, not the seller.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 8 Jan 2013 23:59

Maggie. I am getting a bit confused. Late and need to keep my little mind simple.

Whatever a trader's income, if registered for VAT s/he must charge it and pass it back to Exchequer.

A customer can decide who to buy a product or service from. If it a low turnover business and trader not registered, no VAT is applied to the price.

But if trader is registered, the price is, say, £500 plus VAT = £600.

If a VAT Trader fails to charge VAT and puts job through without paperwork, he is breaking the law, I believe. And, if the customer is proven to know he is a VAT trader, the customer is aiding him in that crime.

That is my reading - having been a VAT registered trader for 6 horrible years. The type of work I was doing, all clients were corporate and expected to be charged VAT - so never a problem.

Annx

Annx Report 9 Jan 2013 00:26

No Maggie, they aren't fools. A small trader can benefit from being registered for VAT voluntarily. The services or goods they sell may be zero rated for VAT, so VAT isn't added, but they can claim back the VAT they pay themselves on the goods and services they purchase. In other words HMRC give them a refund. That is why my dad became VAT registered.

eRRolSheep

eRRolSheep Report 9 Jan 2013 01:02

Sadly, class has come to be interpreted incorrectly. It has absolutely nothing to do with money - you cannot buy decent breeding

When companies "knock VAT off" they aren't really - they are just giving a discount but say that because it is something tangible we can understand

AnnCardiff

AnnCardiff Report 9 Jan 2013 03:08

too right - you cannot buy class - I feel I have class, although I am working class and do not have money to speak of

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 9 Jan 2013 10:24

There was a Scottish student at University in 60's. Son of a laird. But probabaly the poorest student I knew. He had a very large and cold room in a house half way between Menai Bridge and Beaumaris and used to walk in to Upper Bangor each day for lectures.

He had something like beans on toast or egg on toast for his "dinner". But he would dress up always, put on his academic gown and follow his dinner with a glass of port always. We thought he had class.

In Wales, class is quite different, I think. In olden days, it was respectable vs not respectable. Usually based on whether you were chapel or tafarn (pub). Today we look up to rugby players, singers, poets, writers, teachers. Anyone who suggests they are better because of money, education, size of house etc is soon ignored and they often complain how unfriendly their unworthy Welsh neighbours are.

Muffyxx

Muffyxx Report 9 Jan 2013 11:05

I really hadn't given it a thought...I don't think *class* is as relevant now as it was in years gone by.

LaGooner

LaGooner Report 9 Jan 2013 11:25

I am just me, I never pretend to be anything else. My old Dad's words were if people cannot accept you for you they ain't worth knowing. :-D.

Mersey

Mersey Report 9 Jan 2013 11:34

Here Here LG :-D :-D

Paula+

Paula+ Report 9 Jan 2013 11:46

AnnC I agree with you,you cannot buy class when I worked full time one of my male colleagues introduced me to someone as "The Duchess" I was so surprised at this and later asked him why,., he said that he thought I had "Class. I had never even thought about how people percieved me. All of my colleagues and students continue to call me Duchess, I think(hope) it is a term of endearment. I also think that people who talk about how much they are worth, name drop, and try to be above themselves in my opinion show little "Class" . ;-)

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 9 Jan 2013 12:13

Paula. Important to accept these nicknames in right spirit. Take Duchess as a compliment.

I had a friend at College in Walsall who lived in a place called Little Arse-ton. Somewhere near Sutton Coalfield (a big mining area and definitley very working class). But Little Arse-ton was very posh. And that was when I first realised I was an inferior species :-( :-( :-(

We lived in a beautiful Staffordshire village called Leamore at the time in a fairytale castle - but even that was not good enough for the people of Little Arse-ton ;-)

Paula+

Paula+ Report 9 Jan 2013 12:42

@ John I am smiling at the Little Ars'ton reference, I am not too far away from there. Some are very very nice and decent hardworking people. Some are so far up their own bums you can not see the soles of their shoes, but I take them all in my stride. My Mother had several members of her family living in Leamore. There seemed to be lots of sweet shops and I can remember "The Four Crosses" pub, and I was sad to see that I has now been demolished.

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 9 Jan 2013 12:49

Paula. If you know Leamore, you can confirm what a beautiful little rural village it was. And how very privileged I was to live in leafy Hollemeadow Avenue (no 80). I believe today the house is signposted from J10 as the youthful home of Coco, BA (Hons) Bangor and most classy man of his generation :-D ;-)

Paula+

Paula+ Report 9 Jan 2013 12:57

@ John I had a friend who lived in Hollow meadow Avenue . Her name was Anne and for the life of me I can not recall her maiden name. I think she worked in the Insurance Brokers in Bloxwich for a long time.

It is still a pretty avenue the trees are still lovely, some of the houses are past their best, but seem to fit in well.

I am just off to my Keep-fit class, and will try to remember Anne's last name. :-S

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 9 Jan 2013 13:49

Paula :-D Was she the girl with red hair who had 4 children in her teens by different fathers? Was it her mum who had verukas and always used to take her stockings of so that we could see them? Ask he if she remembers the Sheldricks. 27 year old mother, 72 year old father. Seven children. All with what we would now call mild learning difficulties.

I could write a book about Hollemeadow Avenue. My favourite was one chap who had never passed an O level. But was bright, very well spoken and very presentable and had read a Psychology book. He landed a job at Birmingham University as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology with a raft of pretend quals. Took them 6 months to rumble him.

I think your friend was probably from the more refined end of the street;-)

Merlin

Merlin Report 9 Jan 2013 13:58

I,m Classless,I mix with anyone no matter who,I I think they,re getting too cocky I,m not afraid to tell them no matter who.Everyone who works for a living is Working Class What ever they do, and as for Tax Avoidance being just for the well heeled,Have a look at the "Black Economy" they do a pretty good job of it.**M**.

Paula+

Paula+ Report 9 Jan 2013 16:16

@John. I don't think the girl you describe was my friend, Anne married around the same time as me (1967) Her husband was an electrician and eventually had his own electrical contracing business in the Walsall/Bloxwich area. They had no children. I know her married name, but prefer not to post it on here.