Trigger warning: repeatedly banging head into desk
I received this letter in the post, unsolicited, from the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills. It’s about #VATMOSS.
I completely respect the writer, who (despite being an MP!) is highly keyed up on online and internet issues, and I know she is just dealing with a question that has landed in her lap. We’ve all been there, left to clean up a mess our boss created.
That said, have you ever signed up to take a course and instead of learning, you’re sitting there thinking “hold on, I could be teaching this myself?”
That is how everyone involved in the #EUVAT debate feels about the responses they have received from the politicians and legislators they have contacted about it. Instead of getting meaningful input on the issues at hand, we are getting school pupil explanations of what the law is and how it works…which we already knew anyway, and was why we wrote in the first place.
There is no point in asking them to delve any further because they do as the public sector does – they shrug and say it’s not their problem.
And this is why the lobbying work of the EU VAT Action group is so important. The students really are way ahead of the professors, and they’re not going to take “it’s not our problem” as an answer.
For now, this letter can be considered official BIS government guidance on VATMOSS as of January 2015.
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About the author
Heather Burns is a digital law specialist in Glasgow, Scotland. She researches, writes, publishes, consults, and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies which affect the crafts of web design and development. She has been designing and developing web sites since 1997 and has been a professional web site designer since 2007. She holds a postgraduate certification in internet law and policy from the University of Strathclyde. Learn about hiring Heather to write, speak, or consult.