Richard SiddleAnd as for the pensions hole…


Hands up all those who are confident they are going to be able to enjoy a long and prosperous retirement?


If you are like the rest of the UK workforce then planning for your pension comes about as high on your list of priorities as filling in your annual tax return.


The pension crisis is no longer just a Government concern. The buck is being passed down the line to the smallest businesses in the country.


Travel agents could soon not only have to worry about contributing to their own pensions, but to employees’ as well if Government proposals go through.


Employers and employees are going to be expected to play their part in sorting out the pensions hole we are in. With labour costs running at about half an average small business’s operating costs, the fear is that this legislation – unless handled carefully – could result in companies cutting jobs.


But as the proposals announced this week are not due to come in until 2012, it would be easy to shuffle the issue back under the proverbial tax return. This, however, would be a mistake. We all need credible tax advice we can trust and understand.  The sector needs someone to provide it.


If ABTA is looking to transform itself into a modern trade association, then this would be a good place to start.


Come on England…ish


As World Cup fever grips the nation, the travel industry finds itself in a bizarre predicament.


While our hearts and minds – at least all those outside of Scotland and Wales – hope Sven and the boys can make our World Cup dreams come true, our business brains are hoping for an early England demise, followed by a country’s mad rush to the beach.


So while Uri Geller may be telepathically trying to cure Wayne Rooney’s metatarsal by the time he has his final scan next week, there will be those in the travel business who we will be doing the opposite.


Perhaps those that are putting business before country can ease their conscience by offering Wayne and his chums some cut-price deals when they return bright and early from Germany.