Grumpy Old Man – ITV’s “Daybreak”

Lazy, lazy, lazy – ITV’s “Daybreak” programme, bullshit editing, poor reporting and news presenters who don’t even listen to their own program content.

So thats a bad start to the day/year then.

Tomorrow VAT is increased to 20%, today is a bank holiday and therefore a slow news day, so what better half excuse do you need to big up a news story that hardly any of us would notice if it wasn’t for the fact that some old dozy bint on TV has been banging on about it for the last two hours ?

Presented in a “SHOCK!” “HORROR!” style we are shown a huge video presentation to demonstrate vividly that tomorrows VAT increase will mean that something that costs £10 today will cost £10.24 tomorrow, I could hardly contain myself and it took all of my self restraint to prevent me from dashing out of the house in my jim-jams and rushing to Asda to buy something for £10 that I wouldn’t be able to buy for £10 tomorrow.

But it got worse.

Suppose I wanted to buy something for £100 today but put it off until tomorrow, ok, so I don’t want to buy anything for £100 at the moment but lets just suppose I do, I can’t quite believe the facts as presented but apparently tomorrow that item will cost me a shade over £2 extra – its ruined my Christmas I tell you, and if that weren’t enough they tell me that if I was thinking of buying a brand new £20,000 car today then tomorrow it would cost me over £400 more, where will this end, won’t somebody think of the children ?

So they wheel out “The Expert” and he is at pains to point out that actually the VAT increase won’t really affect that many purchases from your weekly shop – most foodstuff is exempt, childrens clothing is exempt, and domestic gas and electricity is VAT exempt – but the presenters don’t want to hear this sort of stuff, they’ve spent the last hour whipping the audience up into a frenzy of depression (if such a thing is possible), why, the VAT increase is surely the end of the world they cry, don’t forget that petrol went up by 0.75 of one pence per litre at the weekend and the VAT increase will add another 20p to your £10 a week petrol bill surely – well not unless you always just put £10 worth in the tank and drive a bit more carefully, no it won’t.

“The Expert” has done his sums and taking into account all sorts of permutations he has calculated that “the average family” will be looking at increases of around £150 a year because of the VAT increase, I could save that amount just by not buying chocolate biscuits for a month.

Thats not good enough though, not for the “Daybreak” crew, for they are not about to stop whipping the dead donkey of their “its the end of the world as we know it” presentation style – their half hourly news bulletin is on straight after “The Expert” and the young dozy bint who reads it straight off the autocue announces as the headline that tomorrows VAT increase will add £450 to “the average family’s” household bills, they’ve been announcing this as FACT all morning and they are not about to change that headline now just because “The Expert” has told them that they are wrong by a factor of three.

Worse still they do all this to a background video close up of someone checking their gas bill, you can clearly see its a gas bill on the screen because it says “Gas Bill” at the bottom – there is no VAT on domestic gas supplies, indeed you can clearly see on the on-screen bill that there is no VAT addition but  some dumbfook editor has asked their library for a video backdrop and not bothered to even check it before screening to make sure that its relevant to the news report, they may as well have run a video backdrop of Laurel and Hardy for then we would have had something to compare – Laurel and Hardy vs their production skills.

Truth is the VAT increase will pass by hardly noticed by the vast majority of people – as a example we were looking for a small TV set for the kitchen just before christmas, Asda were the cheapest for a 15″ flatscreen TV, exactly £100 including VAT. I’m not so dozy as the dozy old bint on “Daybreak” to think that tomorrow Asda will mark up that price to £102.50 because that price for that TV is a marketing price, its not the actual price that that particular TV should sell for, Asda are not stupid, they employ lots of marketing people who have advised them that a small TV such as the one I was looking at should retail for £100 and that they really need a £100 TV set on their shelves, and yes, they were selling like hot cakes just before christmas, and yes they will still sell well tomorrow and they will still be £100 because Asda need a £100 set on their shelf.

And thats how retail works, on many items the retail price is either what the retailer thinks they can get away compared to their rivals, or what the marketeers say the shelf price should be and those rules will not change overnight – where they will change is in the middle of those ranges, so when you’re buying a 32″ flatscreen TV you’ll find a choice of ten or twenty models ranging in prices that differ by up to £100, there is such a confusion of types and prices on the market that no-one will notice when the shelf price is marked up by the extra 2.5% – the trick is to find the brand and model that defines that tier of the market, the £100 starter TV, the £300 medium sized TV and so on – those benchmarks will not move and its only the brand snobs that will pay the VAT increases.

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