Christmas Present From Australia

Jan Leeming

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Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

CHRISTMAS PRESENT FROM AUSTRALIA

Date: 31st December 2012

My beloved son sent me a Christmas present which has just arrived.  Not only did he pay 40 Australian Dollars to post and register it but I had to pay another £20.98 this morning in order to be able to collect my parcel.  Why!  The value was over £15 and therefore was subject to UK Vat as well as an £8 handling fee to the Post Office!  Had the gift  been worth over £135 it would have been subject to Import Tax. 

I don't get it at all.  If I'd been on a visit to Australia and bought some gifts, up to a certain value I could have brought them into the country quite legitimately without paying anything.  So my son paid Australian Vat on the gift (a beautiful metal cheetah) and a large amount to post it.  Then I have to pay Vat and a handling fee.  Together these costs came to a little under the price of the gift.  No wonder people don't send gifts, letters and cards to the extent we used to do in the past.  Why can't they have a moratorium over the Christmas period to allow families to send small gifts to one another without incurring all the extra expense.

The same thing happened when I wished to buy a ring with the Cross of Lorraine and the only site I could find was in the USA.  Again I had to pay VAT.  Had I been on a trip and purchased the ring, I could have brought it into the UK quite legitimately because it was only worth around £100.

And much as I love sending and receiving Christmas cards, I will think seriously next Christmas as to whether I send or not - the price of second class postage is now far more than the cost of the card.  I rather feel that Royal Mail is shooting itself in the foot.

And to add insult to injury our local post office at Walmer  is closing down in February - they closed the other one on the Strand about three years ago.  And then they have the cheek to spend money on forms inviting you to have your say!  It is a fait accompli and one might as well save one's breath to cool one's porridge as the saying goes.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.