Wednesday, 5th January, 2010.

And now . . . politics!

The upping of VAT – which both parties in the ConDem alliance said they would never introduce – happened yesterday.   It will put prices up everywhere, whether the goods purchased are VAT-able or not.

That’s because the cost of petrol and diesel has gone up, so the knock-on effect will mean it’ll cost more to deliver the goods to the shops.

We were told over the weekend that there would be an increased trade for shops on Monday, because shoppers would spend their cash before the price-increases hit.

Rosie and I went into Aberystwyth on Monday.   That was in no way a “panic-buying spree” – we’d seen that there was something we needed on special offer on that day only.   We were there pretty early in the morning:  most shoppers round here don’t start moving until 11 a.m., so we take advantage of there being fewer people bumping into us as we shop.

We noticed that only a couple of locally owned shops were open.   But all the chain-store branches were.   It’s a question of overheads and loss-leaders, of course.

So that would mean that the VAT increase, having been scheduled for the day after a Bank Holiday, benefited the big boys – and may add to the number of small, empty shops in dear old Aber.

It couldn’t be – could it? – that the date of the VAT increase was selected to help those big boys?   Perish the thought!   We must trust our ConDem government – dash it all, chaps, we are British!

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