Posts Tagged ‘BPS’

I found this interesting graffiti painted on the side of the BPS building in Maldonado, Uruguay, this afternoon.

We’re back in town to do spring cleaning, paint the house in Ninja-like secrecy, and mow the lawn and weed the garden, tasks which were asked for and promised but never done (it was a jungle). The list of shite to do is vast; just a couple months of neglect and everything goes to hell in Uruguay.

Anyways, I was at the garden shop getting various agents of chemical warfare to wage genocide against the fire ants who have taken over the yard, and I saw this across the street. Fitting place to paint it. Kudos to the vandal, well said.

“Your misery festers here.”

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BPS exposed

Posted: February 25, 2012 in Stupidity
Tags: , , , ,

I bitch so much about things these days that I can’t remember if I have bitched about BPS before or not. I know I did in the last post but you, dear reader, probably have no idea what BPS is. So, let me enlighten you about one of the most mentally retarded tax schemes ever to be heaped upon mankind. I can’t sleep, because I am hopped up on whatever hops you up when you have beat yourself into such severe painful physical exhaustion that all you can do is lay there and stare at the ceiling wishing you could fall asleep… which leads me into the physical labor issues, and the BPS issues. That’s my official excuse for the rambling…

(correction) BPS was written into law in 1967.

BPS stands for Banco de Provision Social, or Social Security Fund/Bank. It is a tax levied on both workers and their employers (and, in the case of the self-employed, the self). BPS goes into a pool to pay for paid vacations (why can’t they save for their own?), sick leave, pensions, and medical insurance. When one is paying a certain minimum amount to BPS, one is covered under the mid-tier medical coverage system. It’s similar to the US Social Security fund, only it is used during the working life of the worker, instead of being stored up (Newspeak for “spent”) until you are geriatric and needing the money which you will probably never get.

When one is doing construction, say, building a house, the builder of the house also pays BPS taxes based on the work provided. BPS has a big list of any given task, how long it takes the average worker to do said task, and how much the tax rate is on that activity. So for Worker A to paint Wall B, you pay amount C. Even if he does the work in 1 hour when the BPS book says he will take 3 hours, you still pay based on the 3 hours. So then there is no incentive for him to do it fast, or efficiently.

Case in point, a clever foreigner who was doing some house renovation (yes, you are forced to pay it for renovation work as well as new construction) decided he would use a machine to spray concrete stucco on the brick walls inside and out, in order to save the time it would take for a team of plaster guys to do it. In a couple of days he accomplished what would have taken weeks the “old” way. However the BPS system has no provision for such genius. He had to pay the tax based on x number of square meters of wall done up in concrete as if they had been done by hand. In order to get the occupancy permit for your finished house, BPS is the one who has to sign off on it. So they see all and know all.

Now you know why people just hire menial morons to do basic work with hand tools when they could be doing it in 1/10 the time with a machine. They get stuck paying for slow moron rates anyways, so why bother? The BPS tax system keeps Uruguay in the stone age.

It probably also has something to do with the fact that none of said machines work in this country; they break or fail, or something else bad happens to them because of some other Uruguayan governmentally-or-culturally-encouraged idiocy (see the next red-eye post for info on the fate of my lawn tools).

Now, here’s the kicker– BPS has inspectors who wander around looking for people doing their own work on buildings. If, for instance, you are painting your own house or repairing your own roof, and they catch you, they will write you up and demand you pay the BPS taxes. Based on what it would take a Uruguayan worker to accomplish it. Meaning: slow progress, a lot of wasted time, work stoppage every 5 minutes to reply to text messages, and extended breaks for bizcochos, mate, and smoking handrolled cigarettes.

Furthermore, BPS has a database of what you have on your property, so if you build a gazebo or other structure that “wasn’t there before,” then you have to pay the taxes based on what they have in their book on how much time it would have taken workers to construct it. Every time a property changes hands, BPS must make an inspection before the final stuff is signed off. If there’s new stuff, watch out! Your paperwork will be in lockdown until you pay the tax on your contraband DIY work!

It also explains why lots of buildings here are going to hell on the outside yet look quite nice on the inside.

We are neurotic every time we do something in the yard, like building massive raised garden beds which will contain the 13 tons of dirt we have been moving into them. We’re always looking over our shoulder in the fear that the BPS nazis will show up and charge us months’ worth of Uruguayo Peon tax rates for stuff we did in a few days with Gringo Rocket Science.