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Bless!

September 9, 2014

Let’s have a quick gallop through the consultations closing today.  I haven’t actually sent in a response to any of them: I’m becoming sufficiently cynical to think there is no point in an individual responding to a consultation at all, particularly when your feedback could be summed up as “you aren’t telling me enough to let me formulate a sensible answer”.

First, let’s look at the one that closes first (5pm, as opposed to 11.45pm.  Because, reasons.)  It’s on VAT Prompt Payment Discounts: there’s a change to the way businesses have to invoice if they give prompt payment discounts.  According to the impact assessment, it’ll affect a quarter of a million businesses and add around £8 million of one-off costs and around £3.5 million of annual recurring costs to their administrative burden.  Yet all HMRC can say by way of small firms impact is “the measure will impact on all businesses that offer or receive prompt payment discounts, including small firms.”  So will it cost them more or less than large businesses?  How many of them are affected?  Have you spoken to them?  Will they be able to cope with the change?  Who knows?  I’m tempted to add – from HMRC’s point of view, it seems – who cares?

I note in passing that David Cameron believes that adding a specific question about family impact to impact assessments will mean that “Policies that fail to support family life will not be allowed to proceed.”  Just like adding a small firms impact test to impact assessments prevented policies with a disproportionate impact on small businesses from proceeding, right?  Bless!

 

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