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Gipping Valley -
Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS)

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Some Questions Answered

How do I price my services?

It is entirely up to you. It can be based on an average wage, market forces or be subject to negotiation. Because LETS systems give equal value to all skills a suggested rate of 5 Talents per hour is a good marker. However, this may not suit everyone. If in doubt, ask one of the members for advice.

Do I still need cash?

LETS can be used with cash, for example to cover the cost of materials where these are not obtained through the LETS system.

What about tax?

Most people trade in a mixture of things e.g. gardening, repairs, childcare etc. These are regarded as social favours by the Tax Office and are not taxable. If you trade regularly in your normal occupation then this will be liable to tax in the normal way. Many people incorporate a proportion of Sterling into their rates to cover this. So, if you are a plumber and install someone's heating for part sterling and part LETS the whole amount is taxable. If you then mow a neighbours lawn whether for LETS or cash it is not.

Will using LETS affect my DSS Benefits?

In general, work on the LETSystem should be declared to the DSS or Benefit Office. If you are unemployed you should make it clear that you are still actively seeking work and make arrangements with your LETS customers to be able to take up a job offer.

Regarding LETS earnings the DSS regional offices have wide discretionary powers. While some treat LETS money as earnings to be deducted from benefits (after the disregard), others may not.

Do I need to earn before I can spend?

No, every account holder starts with a zero balance. Someone must spend for anyone else to earn.

Are there limits to my spending?

No spending limits are applied by a LETSystem.. No-one has the right to say what commitments a person may or may not have. Everyones trading account is open to all so there is encouragement to help people out of debt by using their skills.