On 19 Jun 2009 at 2:31pm Interested Trader wrote:
I'm wondering about the Lewes Pound now it's coming to the end of it's first run:
Are we going to see accounts from this local financial experiment?
Now that there will be a 5% charge for changing Lewes Pound to Stirling, what do businesses think of the scheme?
What "good local causes" will that 5% tax benefit and who/how are the recipients chosen?
This is a repost of the previous thread as there were problems with access
On 19 Jun 2009 at 2:48pm THEINTREPIDFOX wrote:
That's new to me. I accept Lewes pounds and give massive discounts if paid with it to support and encourage the local economy. If the 5% tax is true I will stop accepting it and stop my discounts which are far in excess of 5%.
On 19 Jun 2009 at 3:09pm Ed Can Do wrote:
If Transition Town Lewes were a company or a charity then their accounts would be freely available in the public domain. A quick check on Companies House says they aren't a company and their website makes no reference to a charity number so I'd imagine it's run as a partnership, meaning that no, you won't get to see any accounts. Theoretically there wouldn't be much to see anyway though as they claim to all be volunteers and besides the printing costs and the cost of their website, I doubt they have much in the way of costs and they wouldn't have had any income from the scheme apart from selling the notes on eBay.
What this also means however is that there's not really any way to guage the success of the scheme. Unless shop keepers have been keeping a diligent record of how many Lewes Pounds they've accepted and given in change, any claims as to the circulation of the notes will be pure speculation and heresay. They'll know how many they've had back at the end of the scheme but one suspects it won't be many. This should mean that the scheme was an abject failure as all teh money has left the local economy but I'm sure they'll spin it into a massive success and Oliver Dudok van Heel will get to sell a few more copies of his book and get to be on Meridian Tonight again.
Rather than give any money to TTL for using Lewes Pounds, I'd suggest that local traders might want to give the money to an actual registered charity who are legislatively bound to put the money to a proper use. I'm not saying that TTL are in this as some kind of scam, just that a "Collective" of well minded individuals is a terrible, terrible business model and the capacity for muck ups is much higher than by pursuing more structured means.
On 19 Jun 2009 at 3:21pm Rozzer wrote:
Hopefully someone from TTL will come on here and explain a few things to us.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 11:03am Pinky wrote:
This may help:
* Should you chose to exchange your Lewes Pounds for Sterling, a five pence (5p) donation to the Fund will apply from each Lewes Pound redeemed.
* The money that goes into the Live Lewes Fund will only be used to fund local projects. It will not be used to fund the Lewes Pound initiative.
The above comes from the lewes pound website - a pretty good starting point should information about the project be wanted.
On 20 Jun 2009 at 12:08pm Interested Trader wrote:
Yes, but that doesn't answer the question of what are the "local projects" and who decides which projects are worthy of support?
Also will I, as a business, get a receipt for my compulsory donation so I can claim tax back, or am I left out of pocket?
On 20 Jun 2009 at 12:43pm Hey Nonnie Mouse wrote:
What really are you on about? The idea of the Lewes pound is to encourage people to spend in Lewes, therefore, ergo, they are notgoing to encourage you to change it back to squids are they people. Think about it. You are supposed to spend it in lewes, that's how it works!!!!!!!!!!!!Of course they will be discouraging people from taking their Lewes pounds no matter how they were earned and cashing them in for sterling.
It's not rocket science is it?
On 20 Jun 2009 at 1:59pm Cynic wrote:
Can I just get straight - hopefully without an arrogant response from HNN - if I have a Lewes pound and want to change it for sterling I'll only get 95 pence? Is that right?
On 20 Jun 2009 at 2:29pm Hay Nonnie Mouse wrote:
Did you mean HNM?
On 20 Jun 2009 at 9:47pm Cynic wrote:
Did you mean HEy or HAy?
On 21 Jun 2009 at 10:11am Interested Trader wrote:
HNM, I would doubt that many traders in the town can purchase goods or services that they require in Lewes Pounds. Harveys, for example, would have great trouble buying Kentish hops with the Lewes Pounds. I'm sure Ed Can Do will correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think it was legal to pay wages in Lewes pounds either.
What, at the end of the day, is a trader meant to do with the new £20 denomination, as that will very rarely be able to be given in change, which is the way these notes realistically remain in constant circulation.
On 21 Jun 2009 at 7:13pm Tax Payer wrote:
chief problem at the moment being that they can't be used for much longer - after August so must be "changed back" to Sterling
On 22 Jun 2009 at 11:09am Ed Can Do wrote:
Technically you can pay wages in any currency you want but you have to agree it in writing with your staff first and you can't force them to sign it.
Again, I'm sure that TTL have their hearts in the right place but the fact that they aren't an actual registered charity or even a limited company makes the whole thing a lot less transparent than it ought to be. Whilst the idea of asking people to pay 5p to change a Lewes pound back into a proper pound is a way of keeping the pounds in Lewes, it's a crap way of keeping them in circulation. It would make far more sense to me to charge Joe Public that 5p to encourage them to spend the money in Lewes shops but to allow the traders (Who I believe all donate money to the running of the scheme already) to change them back free of charge, thereby getting the notes back into circulation quicker and avoiding the problems they had at launch that nearly the entire currency was off the streets within weeks.
TTL have mighty fine ideas but they don't back it up with any business sense that has the slightest grounding in commercial reality. Whilst Lewes is a lovely, middle class town open to ideas like this, people also need to actually earn a living and in the current economic climate especially, you can't put people over a barrel like this. If I ran a business in Lewes and someone wanted to extract 5% of the money I'd taken in to give to "local causes" but hadn't told me what those local causes were, or in fact given me any way of ensuring that was really where the money was going, I'd drop out of the scheme without a second thought (And give my money to any one of the several deserving and more importantly, registered charities in town).