Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Going downhill rapidly

Usually the toughest decision I have to make in the new year is St Anton or Val d’Isere, but this year I’ve quite rightly been asked to join so many different parts of the government’s new push to suck up to entrepreneurs I’ve decided to say pretty much yes to everything.

I’ve copied down the list of various things I’m going to be sorting out. George Osborne, the MP for Alderley, taps me up for tips on what to do; there’s the Greater Manchester Chamber thingy, where we complain about gypsy camps and traffic; I was asked to join something called the Small Business Group, but was so offended that anyone thought I would ever even think “small” that I told them where to stick it.

But the biggie is the Entrepreneurs’ Forum with James Caan from Dragon’s Den (good lad, by the way) and that old bloke who looks like he could do with a rocket up his backside, Vinny Cable. It’s a chance for me to point out where they need to cut back the layers upon layers of red tape that the socialists tied us all up in. Health and safety? Why? Employee rights? Why? Discrimination Act – there wasn’t even a grant to put in wheelchair ramps, so where’s the incentive?

I’ve also jumped on this thing called a Fraud Forum. At first it was good way to second-guess what some of the more enterprising scammers are up to, but basically it gives you the nod on what the financial plod are chasing up, which has proved to be a good source of new business ideas.

I’ve heard there’s a VAT scheme that allows individuals to use their disability status to buy vehicles VAT free. At first I thought it looked like a bit of tawdry sticker trading – to be honest I wouldn’t have a blue badge just to park outside San Carlo, I’m not that desperate.

But once you buy the motors and then flog them to a company you set up in Belgium or Amsterdam, or somewhere, you can bring them back, claim the VAT and everyone’s a winner. No-one even needs to know they’ve been modified, you probably just put a bit of board behind the seat or something. The details can come later.

No doubt they’re going to ask my opinion on the Irish bailout. I’ll be honest, I think it’s probably not the best use of our tax, but an Irish government bond with a 9 per cent yield is a pretty good investment if you’ve got a cheeky half mill to invest. I sounded out some of the IMF boys over a round at the K Club and the time to get in is now. To be sure.

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