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Makes me sick


Val_2

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hi inceni, you will be glads to know not every one is safe from me,the likes of paul gadd i would be quite happy to see on the end of a bit of rope,as for osama bin laden,i would have to ask myself certain questions,like, is it him who is threatening my way of life,or bush, or blair,i would turn the gun on quite a few bad guys,but i dont think personaly osama is the worst
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I am somewhat confused about the “taking my work” argument. Around me one cannot get jobs done by any artisans. They have full order books for the foreseeable future. Even getting a quote out of them is nigh on impossible. When the do come round to look they try and persuade you how easy it is and that you can do it yourself. For example, a few months ago I had a roofer round to look at quite a bit of roofing work and he ended up designing me part of a new roof, listing all the materials I needed and saying he could probably supply the tiles when I had built it.

Water board warned me last year that an adapter on “my side” of the meter was about to burst open. He warned me 8 times – so I called a plumber urgently.4 months later I managed to get a plumber to come and look. He agreed it was urgent but was too busy at the moment and will do it “some time”.

Clearly having too much work is not the artisans fault. They work hard, etc. but there just are not enough of them. Firstly, how are people (here) losing such a lot of work when in my experience artisans are trying to avoid so much new work. Secondly, work on buildings needs to be done and if you cannot get artisans to do it then one can be faced with letting the job become far more substantial as things get worse (requiring more extensive repairs) whilst waiting the couple of years for an artisan or take whatever alternatives are available.

Not trying to argue that one should support people working on the black but could it be that on occasions it is the only choice left available.

I do not have experience of the admin and costs involved in running an artisan business so cannot comment from experience. However, maybe part of the solution of reducing the amount of “working on the black” is not is so much catching and punishing those but in making it easier for more people to work legally.

Ian

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Ian, I do agree with what you say. I am not going to be so smug as to say that I have never used unofficial tradesmen. After weighing up the risks/benefits - and thinking of time rather than costs - we have done so, for exactly the reasons you mention, in common with most of the poulation of France. And the French system does little or nothing to encourage tradesmen to work officially. The 'part through the books, part cash' scam is almost universal in France, with everybody involved, including maires, lawyers, tax officials etc.

However it is that very French system that is the problem. Everything is so set in stone and stuck in the mud that any attempt to update French employment law or practices meets with total resistance. Look at current events, today in particular. Meanwhile France is stuck with sky-high unemployment, rocketing social costs, few prospects for the young, and a widespread black economy. That's not anti-French, it's fact.

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There is no excuse for paying on the black - if you really want to employ somebody with no Siret and no insurance - simply pay them using the cheques especially developed for this.  The primary reason to use 'black labour' is cost - if that is the case then folks perhaps need to re-evaluate their needs.  Certainly in our area, Poitou-Charente, there is a waiting list of some 12-18 months for new work  but if you have used an artisan (such as a plumber, mason or roofer) on a regular basis then they will bend over backwards for those that support them - my personal experience is that they appear that day for emergencies especially if there are young children involved.  Examples of regular work could include the following : booking an annual service for the boiler in the summer rather than waiting for it not to start, have the chimneys swept annually (insurance requirement) if in use, have the gutters cleared every couple of years rather than waiting for the inevitable problems, electrical safety checks - budget for these as you would in the UK.  Try and use the local artisans, even if you pay slightly more than the jobber down the road, they will appreciate it - again the chap down the road is more inclined to help if he knows you haven't been using 'black' before.  We have an outstanding relationship with our artisans that has been built-up over 13 years - also I don't need to worry about the midnight knock from 'Les Flics'.  Smug - undoubtably, secure - without doubt.
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But not everyone is doing major renovations that enable relationships to be built up over a period of time and many of us do the regular maintenance such as gutter clearing ourselves. You can't have unneccessary work done just so you are friends with artisans. Many people only need to employ someone in emergency situations, rather than on a regular basis.

When we took over our house we found after a couple of days that the toilet was blocked. In the UK it would have been a job for a Dynarod type outfit. No plumber around us was interested in doing the work. After several days of using the loos in the local supermarket we would have employed the devil himself if he was able to get the loo working again. And yes, we used someone on the black who could come quickly and help us out.

PS We do have our boiler serviced regularly in the UK but I certainly don't budget for electrical safety checks on a regular basis.

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We've never had any problems with getting proper tradesmen to do small jobs or emergency work. It's the bigger, non-urgent, tasks - like refitting and rearranging a bathroom for example, where the registered artisans take forever to turn up to, and then tend to go away for a few days once started.

The suggestion about using the cheque d'emploi (which is what I think is being referred to) is a non-starter. The system was only changed to widen its scope very recently and even now does not cover building and renovation type work - not even many of the things that would come under routine maintenance. It is more for gardening, cleaning, babysitting and the like.

It's only people like hardhat that seem to be in favour of black market work. And the cheapskates of course. The rest of us know it is at best dodgy, at worst illegal, certainly unfair, and don't need to be preached to by the self-righteous. If the French system encouraged self-employment and small businesses and brought genuine competition to the marketplace then it would not be necessary, though I am sure it would still exist, just as it does in Britain and everywhere else. One might well say - as some have done - that tradesmen shouldn't cry 'unfair' at the black workers when they themselves are overstretched and cannot provide the right level of service to everybody. It's not that clear-cut. Look at all the French enterprises that fail, there are always loads in the bankruptcy notices in the local press, the favourites being building businesses and bars/restaurants. I would lay money on it being bureaucracy, employment laws, and high charges that kill these businesses rather than lack of work or black-market competition.

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will, i didnt say i was in favour of black market work,i said i can understand why people do it,in an ideal world people woudnt have to sneak about to earn a living,but its the real world we live in,not the one in your head
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Hardhat, I think we are in agreement about that. I can see why people get involved in the French black market, though as a fully paid up member of what is laughably known as the French system (i.e. the real world as it exists in France) it makes me as mad as it does Val_2 and some of the others here.
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Silly us paying our taxes and cotisations etc. Now wouldn't we be a lot better off with that extra 1500€ a month that the state gets off us one way or another, not including TVA ofcourse on the stuff we buy with what is left.

That is our real world.

 

And I should feel sorry for thieves.

 

 

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The point that we are trying to make is that we have entered into the system therefore we HAVE to pay whether we are earning or not...we have no choice and if we are loosing work to unregistered DIYers who suddenly think they are builders what future will we have, all we want to do is earn an honest wage.

Steph

www.pwb53.com

 

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Zeb, I think it is a question of degree. If someone paying taxes - in the UK, France or wherever - accepts an earned cash payment of £50, £100 or similar without declaring it, they are acting illegally but yes, most of us would do or have probably done it. What many (most?) of us would not do is run an entire life illegally on the 'black', not declaring most or all of the earnings - maybe equating to £20,000 or more over a year - thereby fraudulently qualifying for free medical care, reduced or no taxes... that is plain crooked and imo, deeply unpleasant. It's that latter degree of abuse to which most people are reacting - I think?

Even so, I don't imagine I'd ever report anyone. That - having grown up on the perception that to be an informer or a sneak is a contemptible thing - is something I can't believe I would ever do. Damn Enid Blyton. [:)]

And someone commented earlier that fully registered artisans don't work on the black... in our experience, most of our French fully-registered and insured, morally upstanding workmen have indicated they'd not be averse to a little weekend work... paid cash, of course. Gallic wink.

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[quote user="hardhat"]hi inceni, you will be glads to know not every one is safe from me,the likes of paul gadd i would be quite happy to see on the end of a bit of rope,as for osama bin laden,i would have to ask myself certain questions,like, is it him who is threatening my way of life,or bush, or blair,i would turn the gun on quite a few bad guys,but i dont think personaly osama is the worst[/quote]

So that means that it is only THIEVES whose behaviour you condone ? Until your wallet is stolen perhaps ?

BTW who is this mythical "inceni" person ?

John

not

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[quote user="catalpa"]

Zeb, I think it is a question of degree. If someone paying taxes - in the UK, France or wherever - accepts an earned cash payment of £50, £100 or similar without declaring it, they are acting illegally but yes, most of us would do or have probably done it. What many (most?) of us would not do is run an entire life illegally on the 'black', not declaring most or all of the earnings - maybe equating to £20,000 or more over a year - while fraudulently thereby qualifying for free medical care, reduced or no taxes... that is plain crooked and imo, deeply unpleasant. It's that latter degree of abuse to which most people are reacting - I think?

Even so, I don't imagine I'd ever report anyone. That - having grown up on the perception that to be an informer or a sneak is a contemptible thing - is something I can't believe I would ever do. Damn Enid Blyton. [:)]

And someone commented earlier that fully registered artisans don't work on the black... in our experience, most of our French fully-registered and insured, morally upstanding workmen have indicated they'd not be averse to a little weekend work... paid cash, of course. Gallic wink.

[/quote]

Well put. Although I'm not sure that I would want to be working seven days a week just to make sure that some little illegal person doesn't sneak in and take my job away.

I, like you, was brought up with the view that informing on someone would be contemptible but I think the problem is so large now that someone has to do something. I was told the other day by a chap from the Chambre de Commerce, who I was talking to on another issue, that recently in France (may even have been the Dordogne) 250 British people have been prosecuted for social security fraud (falsely claiming the RMI). I am pleased to see this (that they were prosecuted, not claiming) but I'm fairly sure that they weren't all uncovered solely by the efforts of the URSSAF investigators. The Frenchmans view on this was that it put the British immigrants in the same class as the north Africans and how is he supposed to differentiate between the honest ones and the others.

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Hi

I think it is a question of degree.

So only behaving a little bit dodgy is acceptable, hahaha :))

There are so many issues here !!

But really there are only two which are of any consequence to those of us who are working legally, ( whatever that means ).

The first one, is those who are working without the knowledge required to do the job anyway, and therefore endanger the home owner and themselves.

And the second, is the homeowner who employed them, who was / is not willing to pay a professional to do the job.

The cotisation and tax issues are somewhat of an irrelevance except for a number who endlessly wish to moan how much they are paying.

Don't tell us none of you work for cash, in fact if anyone dare reply to such effect, at least we will all know who not to believe in future, :))

You know this is not a new situation, in England black labour has existed for 50 years that I know, and it didnt stop some of us making a good living.

    

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I always think this "culture" of slagging off whistleblowers, sneaks, tell tales or whatever else people wish to call them is so so so odd. I guess people purpetutate the idea the informing is wrong in order to increase their chances of "getting away with it". No, I don't think that I'm perfect, I know that I'm not. But I also know that if I get caught doing something "what I didn't ought to", I usually only have one person to blame. ME! To blame other people when we get caught doing something we shouldn't, is such cowardly thing to do.

 

 

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I have not ever worked on the black.  I will in future report those that do.  I hope that makes my position clear.  I am fed up with the scrounchers, both in France and the UK, that complain about the system but never contribute to it.  TJ, if you are one of those people I hope that the authorties catch up with you.

An irate Taxpayer

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"Hi

I think it is a question of degree.

So only behaving a little bit dodgy is acceptable, hahaha :))

There are so many issues here !!

But really there are only two which are of any consequence to those of us who are working legally, ( whatever that means ).

The first one, is those who are working without the knowledge required

to do the job anyway, and therefore endanger the home owner and

themselves.

And the second, is the homeowner who employed them, who was / is not willing to pay a professional to do the job.

The cotisation and tax issues are somewhat of an irrelevance except for

a number who endlessly wish to moan how much they are paying.

Don't tell us none of you work for cash, in fact if anyone dare reply

to such effect, at least we will all know who not to believe in future,

:))

You know this is not a new situation, in England black labour has

existed for 50 years that I know, and it didnt stop some of us making a

good living.

   

Life is what "you" make it, don't let "it" make you!"

As so often on this Forum, a lot of commonsense - mostly from those who

are registered artisans and from others that are concerned residents.

Equally a lot of rubbish from those who have no understanding at all of

the complications of being English and setting up and running a legal

business in France.

The point behind this thread is not the odd person doing a bit of work

‘on the black’, but the hardcore of Brits who are running whole

businesses ‘on the black’.

As presumably they did in the UK, they use every means possible to

avoid paying any taxes or social charges in France whilst at the same

time obtaining the maximum benefits based upon their low incomes.

If you are resident and paying tax in France then your posting is very simplistic as you are subsidising these people.

I also missed from my last posting the gite developers in our area that

are employing and accommodating illegal workers from Eastern Europe.

Regards,

Bob Clarke

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/grindoux

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chezstevens wrote

I hope that the authorties catch up with you.

Think you need new glasses, did I complain about the system NO!, and I do pay my way, but what I dont do is BELLY ACHE ABOUT IT the whole time. And there will always be those that don't contribute, if you think you can change that, then go ahead!

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The point behind this thread is not the odd person doing a bit of work ‘on the black’, but the hardcore of Brits who are running whole businesses ‘on the black’.

As presumably they did in the UK, they use every means possible to avoid paying any taxes or social charges in France whilst at the same time obtaining the maximum benefits based upon their low incomes.

Sounds like you know rather alot about it? if you have any names for "this hardcore of brits" then go ahead and report them!In your business you must be closer than most to these people!

 If you are resident and paying tax in France then your posting is very simplistic as you are subsidising these people.

I am, and while not condoning those who avoid there responsibilities, I dont worry too much about it, have enough to worry about thanks! , and we have always subsidised the bottom layers of our society, so its nothing new !

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's good, isn't it!  [:)]

I am SO glad I'm not doing that major renovation thing, it's clearly full of enormous pitfalls, moral as well as practical.  Who'd have thunk it?

Can't blame people for dealing in cash for small jobs.  Cleaning an old lady's windows at the weekend, looking after old people to give their families some respite care, it's going on all the time, everywhere you look. 

So to whoever asked, yes it is a matter of degree.  No way would I report these people.  Aren't we really only talking about the big-time earners whose intent is (apparently) dishonest?   Dishonest to the client, that is, not just to the government.

 

 

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Posts that infringed the forum Code of Conduct have been edited and others referring to them have been removed from this thread as they no longer made sense.

Please be aware that with this software it is often impossible to remove just one post, so other posts may have been affected too.Please accept our apologies if your post was innocent but has disappeared

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