A newsagent, requesting anonymity both for himself and for his books, has nonetheless written to his MP and his federation to complain about the inequities of the Gas (Street Works - Compensation of Small Businesses) Regulations 1996.
The letter spells out how unfair a high-turnover, low-margin CTN's compensation is compared with a low-turnover, high-margin service industry (hairdressing, for example).
Recent gas pipe works outside his shop were meant to last for seven days but took 28, resulting in a reduction of annual business profits calculated at more than £1,500.
His claim met all the compensation criteria, excepting one. The loss of profit did not exceed 2.5% of his annual turnover.
When he worked out the real sums it turned out that the loss represented a significant reduction of net earnings - 17%. But that's not how the National Grid works, so he got zero compensation.
His figures are very clear, even to me, an absolute klutz at sums. Government really shouldn't lump all small businesses together based on such shaky criteria as turnover or sales area when it comes to making up their regulations. Jewellery stores and CTNs bear very little relationship to each other.
Here's an interesting current statistic for you. Did you know that just 7% of Labour MPs have any experience in business? So is it any wonder that some of the red tape seems designed for somewhere other than the real world?

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