Monday, June 14, 2010

Enfin Clean

OMG my house looks SOOO clean!!! I've finally decided that housework and me don't mix. We don't mix on a week day, we don't mix on a Saturday morning. We especially don't mix when the alternative is vastly reduced taxes, a clean house and a cleaner in work.

The deal is that instead of paying a woman on the black which is fine for the payer but the cleaner gets no insurance and doesn't pay into any sort of social regime, you pay a reasonable price and half of it is deducted from your taxes. Everyone's a winner except the fisc's coffers and I'm not too bothered about filling them.

The cleaner is a fully employed member of a company, gets all the social advantages, and becomes an active member of the economy (so the gov gets lots back in VAT), and the client gets a clean house and pays less tax. Who could resist?

So there are all sorts of 'services' companies springing up offering cleaning, DIY, meals, childcare and so on; jobs that before were usually paid in cash, and have now entered the system. I'm amazed that the government has come up with a scheme where everyone is happy. How often does that happen?

I came home today after a blitz on my home - two cleaners for 4 hours. They did an amazing job because, while my house isn't big, it was in need of a good clean and tidy. What's more, one of them is coming back again on Thursday and then again for 4hrs a week thereafter (2x2).

I'll no longer be in a furious temper on Saturday mornings because I'm having to clean, or super clean because I've got people coming for dinner. Oh the joy of not having to do the housework! I'd quite forgotten how blissful it is to come home to a house someone else has cleaned.

I'm going to have to buy a new hoover though. My present one, my old faithful, has been with me since 1995. It was a wedding present and is a UK model upright. The cleaner would prefer something less unwieldy (her words, well, in French), so I thought I might get a mini Dyson or the cheaper equivalent (having seen the price!). When I suggested to my TWDB that I keep the hoover because you never know, and one of the boys might find it useful, he guffawed and said they'd be far too embarrassed to use it!

Actually, by that time you probably wouldn't be able to buy the bags for it, so that would be that. Embarrassed. Huh!


  1. I've been considering the same for months, but haven't done it yet. It's not as straightforward as it might seem when you live in a small, rural community.

    The last time I came home to a house cleaned by someone else was when I was still living with my parents, oh, 30 years ago.

  2. Even deducting from the tax bill, it's still quite a price to pay...and it doesn't help the poor buggers who don't pay tax so can't deduct.

  3. PG - do they have the same system in Spain?

    Fly - it works out at about 9.30€ per hour after tax has been taken off. When I had a woman on the black so time ago and not for long, I think she charged me 10€/hour.

    If you don't pay taxes I agree there's no point. I think in that case you're better off with a cleaner/gardener on the black.

  4. Yay for clean houses! I think this system is great but as Fly says, no good if you don't earn enough to pay tax. As I do pay tax and do work full time its a godsend to me as it means I can get to the supermarkets on a saturday quickly and then enjoy the rest of my weekend without worrying too much about housework.

    Its a very inventive system in France!

  5. I wish! No, it's all on the black here, immigrant labour, etc etc. Hence enormous internal conflict and failure to do anything about it.

  6. Piglet - I work full time too and I've absolutely had enough, especially as I have writing work to do in the evenings. I do my shopping in peace on a Wednesday afternoon. Merci RTT!

    PG - that sounds a recipe for disaster.

  7. RTT! That would be a dream word for me :)

  8. It's one of the many joys of being a humble employee. The banks love you too. :)

  9. This is one of the drawbacks to having given up my job to move to France. I now have to keep the house clean - and the houses in France seem to get so dusty - I suppose it is having no carpets and the dust bunnies just love the corners of the tiles.

    Well done on boosting the people in employment statistics with your unselfish attitude of paying someone to do clean (lucky lucky you)

  10. Thank you, FF, one has to do what one can to help keep others in employment...

    If I had a rich husband who suggested I give up work, I'd ask if I was to become the house cleaner cos if the answer was Yes, I'd say no ta, I'll keep working and have a cleaner.
    Yep, I hate it THAT much. :)


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