Thursday 19 September 2013

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: How to Screw the System

A metal detectorist who is a frequent reader of this blog works as a jobbing gardener. He has announced he's taking a three months break from his job, in order to concentrate on his metal detecting:
Not much point paying 40% tax on my earnings when Treasure payments are tax free. I guess the Government may need to sack a few more Archaeologists just so they can find the money to pay us. Oh I do love this hobby, and the T.V.C are just so generous in their awards. 
He then suggests that I should "buy a detector as I hear Poland was once a rich Country". One of the reasons why Poland currently is not suffering the same kind of economic recession as in other parts of Europe is we have fewer freebooters who will not contribute, and simply are concerned to take and take and take. There is very little benefits fraud here, and benefits as such are much harder to obtain and less easy to abuse than in the UK. Although Poland has a reward system for reporting legitimate finds to the owner (the state), the legislation protects archaeological sites from being mined-for-profit by freebooting artefact hunters.

Whether Treasure awards should continue to be tax-free is a moot point. The people handling them, from the TVC and archaeologists investigating, conserving, publishing the find, and the those providing security for it in a museum ALL pay income tax, why should the Treasure hunter, treating it - as here - as a means of earning also not pay?


Anonymous said...

Can I hear Mr Winter, head in hands, saying "I need some space Steve"? (Yes!)


Paul Barford said...

I think many of these people are so wrapped up in themselves that they find it difficult to see how what they say comes over to others.

But this cuts to the core of the discussion, "metal detecting" is all about "self, self" and "take-take" and once again society is the loser.

Anonymous said...

"But this cuts to the core of the discussion, "metal detecting" is all about "self, self" and "take-take" and once again society is the loser."

You sure? The Cacheology Society and 10,000 artefact hunters say it's for "the expansion of mankind’s study, education, instruction, collecting, showcasing, and the preservation of caches that time and the environment rapidly and thoroughly destroy, thus erasing vital and irreplaceable historical records and artifacts of the entire world."

What's a poor ordinary person and taxpayer to think?

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