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Bonkers Blog April 2016

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29 April (Part 1) - A licence to print money

More information has come in about Bexley Council’s tattoo and sunbed tax from several new correspondents. Thank you all.

It would appear that the £800 Licence Fee is for the first year only and it falls to £650 in subsequent years. Without any official documentation I can only assume that this is true.

There are conflicting reports about the £45 Registration Fee. I have been told it covers everyone employed although some reports are to the contrary. I’d guess that the latter were provided by businesses with only one employee which, being unaffected by the distinction, interpreted things differently to larger businesses.

Because the Registration Fee replaces an earlier licencing system it will come into force gradually, catching new employees from 1st July 2016. It must act as a disincentive to business expansion plans and some have suggested it could drive trade underground.

It is clear enough that there must have been several presentations to traders and some reports have spoken of it being held in the Council Chamber, chaired by Councillors with up to 100 people present. Nobody appears to have noted the name of the Councillors said to be at the meeting. Perhaps this list of faces will jog someone’s memory.

Some spoke of the Council’s “know it all” attitude and of speaking down to business people who knew far more about their industry than any Councillor possibly could.

One thing that most of those who have been in contact are in agreement upon is that the scheme is a simple money making exercise.

I have scoured the list of charges proposed for 2016 and discovered nothing like this new proposal. Various activities are subject to Licence Fees but none are anything like as expensive as that for nail decorators and aroma therapists.

Presumably the full truth will come out eventually, but maybe not quickly. Secrecy is Bexley Council’s preferred way.


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