Who gives a damn about small businesses?

Somewhat off topic for the blog, but an angry rant is needed, I feel. The background – I work from home, but I have a PO Box for my address, as I’d rather not tell people exactly where I live unless they actually need to know. And not so long ago, that used to be a pretty cost-effective option….

Competitiveness and regulation are brilliant, apparently. It’s what enables the regulator to tell Royal Mail that some of its services cost more to provide than they’re charging, and this isn’t fair on the private companies that want to come in and wreck the postal system. And so Royal Mail has to put their prices up, lest the greedy shareholders of other companies get upset.

And that means that my PO Box, which used to cost £60.15 in 2009, then £62.85 in 2010, went up to £95 last year (a mere 51% increase), and this year’s bill for exactly the same service – a shelf in the local sorting office, to which I walk and collect the mail – is £170. That’s a charming “we’re all in it together” rise of 78%.

And yes, I could cancel it, and then I could spend hours contacting everyone who might have my address for business, and money on reprinting business cards, and hope that I can tell everyone a new address in the 30 days between receiving an invoice and having to pay it.

When I rang to check the bill wasn’t an error, they told me it’ll probably go up again in April – because clearly it’s not nearly expensive enough – and it’s very probably going to become subject to VAT too.

Because, when it comes to looking after business in this country, it seems that it’s only the big ones that government cares about, and helping them shit on essential services to cream off profits.

The little guys, clearly, are just here to get milked.

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