So, we’re almost back to normal. Or at least our version of normal. La Gidg is back to school full time and so this should mean that I can get all of my work in without having to burn the candle at both ends. Yeah, right *laughs hollowly.
Let’s examine again the situation in Spain. The current condition that the economy is in means that we all have to make savings and try to find ways of living on less as the government wants us to pay more taxes. This also means that we have to make sure that every hour counts. So why, please explain this to me, is the costs of my child’s care not counted as a business expense when I do my tax returns? She stays at school from 2pm until 5pm and that costs us in the region of 200€ extra a month. That includes the cost of her lunch and the playground supervisor, and then an after school activity from 4pm until 5pm. Now if I didn’t pay for that then I would have to pick her up at 2pm and then do what? Take her back to work with me? (This has happened on occasion and she is very good at sitting and colouring in, but it’s just not interesting for her, not healthy either, and certainly doesn’t look all that professional if you’re constantly in ‘take your daughter to work’ mode). So it is a business expense. If I didn’t pay for it, I wouldn’t be able to work for the 15 hours a week that it covers. This drives me mad, and has done for years. I’ve asked every single politician I have ever met why they think that this is excluded from permitted expenses, and not one has ever been able to give me a sensible response.
So whilst my taxes increase I am still not permitted to declare either my child care or a portion of my mortgage: we have a dedicated office in our house but because we don’t have a separate door to the office, it’s not permitted. Well the gloves are off, and it’s time to start making some waves. These policies are anti-business, and sexist. How can any person, especially women (who are naturally entrepreneurial) seriously try to go into business for themselves when the obvious expenses that they would incur to make a go of the business are not allowed to be declared? And on top of that you have to pay over 200€ a month to be an autonomous worker, but if you lose work you can’t claim any benefits or help. Where is the encouragement in that? Where is the motivation to try? Especially when you hear the kind of stories that I do about people exploiting their contracts with their employers, or businesses not declaring their taxes, or people not even paying autonomo because “it’s just not worth it”.
Meanwhile, a young man I know just got the sack from his employers. He wasn’t made redundant, and he didn’t resign, he got the sack. If that was the UK benefits system he wouldn’t get anything, but in Spain, no: he gets sixteen months guaranteed benefits, and is on the ‘paro’. It sickens and frustrates me. Where’s the encouragement Sr. Rajoy? Why should I continue to stress myself out trying to make my business work when you don’t seem to care? I know why, because that’s the sort of person I am. Is there anyone out there who feels the same way?