Many of the newspapers today are reporting on HMRC's latest wheeze to crack down on all those who work. (Times article here)
Basically, Good Fairy Gordo has decided that any use of electronic equipment for more than 20% of the time should incur a tax charge for use. Otherwise those directed organisations that actually employ people are accused of handing out tax free gifts.
This notion is so ridiculous I can't actually belief that I read this and that it comes from a credible source. It makes the Sion Simon video look well thought-through with high production values.
Let's start with some basic questions:
How many companies are keen on giving their staff loads of free gifts?
Why would they want them to have PDA's if not to send personal emails and do calendar entries for dinner parties?
How easy to make staff keep records of this behaviour?
It is total rubbish. Except that I would hazard a guess that this is the sort of behaviour found in public sector workers who are given blackberries and PDA's.
Not only is this guaranteed to alienate the city audience, all of whom have such devices, of which Gordo so craves the attention (as does Jack Dromey for different reasons...), but also introduces a whole new layer of potential restrictions on people's freedom.
For how easy will it be now for companies not only to ban all personal communication at work but also to then quote tax evasion to use this to deprive people of jobs. It would be an extension of the hoary old 'expenses investigations' to get rid of unwanted staff without redundancy.
Surely though, this is so daft as to never see the light of day. One can only hope...