Posts tagged ‘Government’

Too taxing for me

I didn’t pay much attention to the news earlier this week from the HM Revenue and Customs. Yet again 1.2 million people had been found to have under paid their taxes. But approx 6 million would be receiving refunds of around £400. This is the second consecutive year that our HMRC has made these announcements. Last year Prodigal was a recipient of a refund having left full time work to go to University mid way through the 2009 tax year.

Having heard that this year there was to be a repeat my only thought was that knowing my luck I would be one of those who would receive the demand for more tax. I didn’t give it any further thought as I was still exhausted after my busy last few weeks.

The previous week had been extremely mentally tiring for me. My senior colleague was on a week ‘s annual leave which meant that I would be covering for him which is always very tiring for me. I find myself doing tasks that I only really perform in his absence. They are not difficult tasks however because I only do them a few times a year it takes me a while to get my bearings. Most of this extra work involves dealing with an external agency who think we have nothing else to do but pander to their demands……. as if!!

But this time things were going to be harder still as our line manager (I think that is the usual term these days) would only be in the office on and off as her husband had become seriously ill. She managed to come into the office for a few hours on Monday and Tuesday mornings but then the awful news came, her husband who she absolutely dotes on has lung cancer. Of course I am terribly sorry that he has this and I can only wish that it wasn’t so. He is still a relatively young man (mid 50s) never smoked and hardly drinks, lives for his daily sessions at the gym yet here he is seriously ill, without the promise of a future he deserves.

This meant that now I was having to cover for our boss too. I was having to take decisions that I would not normally have to make without having anyone more senior to turn to for confirmation. I was given a big quote to put together at very short notice which has the potential to bring in a lot of business…… pressure there then.(Apparently the customer liked my quote but only time will tell how much. Added to this the two of us who were left holding the fort suddenly found that our volume of work increased unexpectedly. We worked through our lunch breaks all week in an effort to keep up with the workload.

So by the time I drove to Eastbourne on Friday evening I was glad to get away. But that wasn’t the end for me. Mid afternoon a customer had called wanting a Rep to visit (his area Rep had retired in June with as yet no replacement). The temporary solution being that my boss would call on the customers who needed to see someone. But for the foreseeable future she is not going to be able to do this. As the customer in question was only a short  drive from where I was staying I agreed to visit him. This was a first for me. I have visited customers in a semi formal situation before but this would be to take a purchase order. I arrived at 10am and left at 12.20 with a 4 page order which I was very pleased with. (my boss was very grateful to me for doing this for her.)

I enjoyed the challenges of last week even though it was tiring. I have now volunteered to go out once a week for the next few weeks visiting customers. It will be a good experience for me and good to meet some of the people who I already deal with on the phone. I am not making life any easier for myself but I don’t see this as a negative.

I am one of those lucky  …..ok so it isn’t really luck……people to receive a tax refund. Apparently I over paid my tax in year 2005 -2006 and again in 2006 – 2007 and yet again in 2007 – 2008. Very silly of me really as I could have done with that money during those difficult early years after I divorced the other parent. Talk about timing, just when I really needed it the money came even if it will be next Friday before I can access it. It seems to me that whenever I am in desperate need of help it comes along at just the right time even without me asking for it.

I can only say that no matter how bad things get for me there is always a silver lining or a light at the end of the tunnel which ever you prefer.

October 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm 5 comments

Who is to blame

A week ago all the talk was the financial situation in USA, in Greece, Spain and Italy, now I believe there are signs that France could also be in trouble. All of Europe is at risk.We have not heard much about any of this since last weekend though. The reason being that the topic on everyone’s lips not just here but across the globe has been the riots in London and then spreading to other cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and to a lesser degree a few other places.

Why have these riots been such a big topic for everyone? Could it be the random nature of the outbreaks, the mindless violence or the fact that the majority of those involved are under the age of 18.

There has been much discussion about how to stop these youngsters. There has been much discussion about who is to blame for all this violence. I have heard time and time again that the parents are to blame for not controlling their children. I have seen many interviews where parents and social workers alike blame the government.

The excuses for the violence range from, not having anything to do, they want to show the rich that they can do as they like or that they have nothing to lose.

Watching news reports on tv, in papers, or on the radio or internet it would be easy to believe that all young people are capable of this mindless violence that we have seen for a week. Commenter’s from across the globe can be forgiven for thinking that the violence has spread right across this country of ours.

But the reality is that as great a number as it is that have been involved, this violence has been carried out by a minute fraction of our young people. Don’t get me wrong I do not in any way excuse what has happened, I am as outraged as the next person.

To a degree I believe that the parents are to blame, yes parents should be controlling their children, not by keeping them under house arrest but by giving them a sense of respect not only for other people and property but for themselves too.

I have long believed that there is an unacceptably large section of our society that does not have the skills to teach their children right from wrong simply because they have no perception of it themselves. For this I blame the Government, by this I don’t refer to our current Government alone but successive Governments for the last 20 to 30 years maybe more.

As many of us who were growing up in the sixties and fifties let alone the decades prior to that can testify we were brought up with discipline and a respect for others. But in recent decades the Government has bowed to the PC brigade, the Human Rights Groups. The right to teach respect and discipline has been removed. What we have been seeing this past week is a result of the breakdown of this in our society.

But having said this I now want to point out that it is still possible for children to learn right from wrong. This week 1600 young people have been arrested for taking part in the violence or looting. But at the same time there have been thousands if not millions of young people who are disgusted with their peers.

At this time when the violent youths are being filmed creating havoc across some of our cities. We should also be heralding those young people who have helped to clean up the carnage. We should be applauding the young people who have rejected the calls to join in with creating riots across other towns and cities. In this new age of social media, face book and twitter (apparently) have been rife with messages inciting riots. But from what I understand  many youngsters have been forwarding this information to the police.

My own sons have witnessed calls to start riots in our local cities. It is interesting to learn that many young people have been discussing the riots with their friends. They are discussing respect, right and wrong. They are coming to their own conclusions about the riots and what has caused them. They are deciding among themselves that this behaviour of the few is unacceptable. We should be proud of the majority of our young people.

The youths involved in these riots do NOT reflect the majority of young people in our society.

August 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm 2 comments


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