Our dear chancellor has decided to reduce VAT from 17.5% to 15%. This means that every business in the land has to reconfigure their billing systems, check the dates of their invoices rather carefully, and (in many cases) reprint lots of documentation to change their advertised prices.
In exchange, they’ll will benefit from the wild shopping spree that can be expected when things costing £99 drop to a bargain £97! The queues of people in sleeping bags outside the department stores, waiting for opening time on Monday morning, will make all the changes worthwhile, and no doubt we will still be rejoicing in a year’s time, when we have to change everything back again.
Actually, that’s probably when the shopping crowds will turn out: the day before the prices go back up again, 13 months from now, in the post-Christmas sales at the end of 2009. I’m not convinced that’s when it’ll be most needed! In the meantime, the lost taxes will supposedly come to something like £12.5bn. Just the thing for a country plunging into debt. I rather suspect this is all really just a ploy to find useful consulting work for all those newly-redundant bank staff.
Still, I’m certainly no expert, and perhaps it’ll all work out in ways I don’t quite grasp. It does seem like a lot of bother to me, though.
We just need to make sure we don’t come up with any other schemes for throwing money away, like, say, hosting the Olympics. Now that would be really silly.