On the rather popular subject of bank charges, Kevin Jones emailed from Shotton Lane Stores in Deeside, Clwyd: "To add insult to injury, my bank (HSBC) sent me a typical 'new customer only deal' you know the type, full of free this and that for the next 18 months. The type of account it is promoting is called 'Business Direct', which says it has 'All the essential banking services a smaller business needs'. Retailers need to be aware it also has the line 'If you rarely use cash', because they charge 2% for paying in.

"Obviously, this type of account is useless for a small retail business. Maybe you could consider warning retailers about it?" Consider it done.

Kevin concludes: "Clearly, we need to do our own money laundering these days. One way to reduce charges is to ensure that all income tax, PAYE and VAT are paid with cash using a bank giro paying in slip. The VAT office will even supply them if you ask.

"If the government can be obliging by allowing us to pay by cash, why can't our other wholesalers do the same? They need to appreciate that the world has changed. Direct debits are expensive!"