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The #VATMOSS mess: my response to Vince Cable

The VAT MOSS petition started by Issy Zinaburg has gathered force. In the last few weeks, hundreds of small business owners have come together and thanks to the efforts of a group of those people, we have had meetings at the highest level and our voices have started to be heard.

There is still a way to go, but we were feeling positive.

Then yesterday Vince Cable (Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills) to whom the petition was addressed, and whose representatives had been at these meetings, had heard and understood our position, responded publicly to the petition.

You can read that response here.

Here is the email I sent yesterday – I am making it public because I am seethingly furious that with 10 working days left before Christmas, we still have no clear guidance from HMRC. Those of us that do know about it are floundering, wondering what the hell we should do – do we close? Do we risk contravening the law by refusing to sell to the EU? Do we take a step back in time, progress and technology and revert to selling only physical products, putting our ebooks on CDs and our courses on USB sticks? (Even this last won’t be safe, as they want to roll out the changes to all products and services “soon” – potentially by 2016).

The email is long, but I believe entirely necessary. Before we started to speak up, they didn’t know we existed. So we must continue to let them know they are suffocating us – and suffocating enterprise and innovation in this country. Many of my less stubborn friends won’t bother to start a business with all this red tape in place – one of the beautiful things about the internet and automated technology was the way it enabled people to try things out.

I am very much hoping that we see a more sympathetic and better researched response from Vince and his team before the week is out.


How the EU ruined my November – and is killing microbusiness

What a month November has been.

Supermodel cat is obliging, yet frowny. #sillykittens

Starting off with an attempt at National Novel Writing Month, I had a wonderful time rediscovering my love for writing fiction (and Luna and Clover got starring roles in a story about how they became witch’s cats). Alongside that I spent some time working on Unfurling, which is beginning to take real shape, and is making me very happy.

I got a Ralph unexpectedly at the end of October…

Ralph's first crochet lesson #essexralph

… and spent a weekend wedding dress shopping with my best friend (for her, not me!). Which was glorious though I’m not allowed to share photos yet!

Completely differently but equally excitingly, on Sunday I appeared on my first live call, an interview by Vaska the Curious Cat, for Free Range Humans‘ storytelling tent. I am told I inspired people… and this is massive, as that’s all I ever really wanted to do. Show people that they too can live life their way, whatever that means to them.

There was a housewarming with wonderful friends from uni, and a christening with my closest friends at home in Essex – and the newest member of our group, baby Jessica (whose special day it was).