Tuesday, 19 January 2010

When In Government And Short Of Cash, Charge The Same Tax Twice

You know we're in a financial fix when government advocates taxing us twice for the same service.

People who buy chewing gum, cigarettes or fast food should be made to pay extra to clean up Britain's growing litter problem**, according to an influential committee of MPs.

Michael Jack, the Chairman of the EFRA Committee, said people must become more responsible for what they throw away.

"What we are advising is that if you are going to make a mess then you should make a contribution to clearing it up afterwards," he said

Because, every night, little elves scamper into civic offices, up and down the country, and deposit funds into council coffers to pay for street cleansing. Apparently.

Or could it be that, whether we wish to or not, we already pay a hefty wedge called council tax, an element of which pays for keeping the streets clean? Of course we fucking do, yet still a significant number of self-righteous dullards will nod in enthusiastic agreement as the state thrusts its thieving claws deep into our pockets yet again.

For something we have been funding since Queen Victoria was on the throne, and still do.

Meanwhile, how many street cleaners would £4.8m pay for?

The crackdown will also see the appointment of the city's first full-time tobacco control officer who will be based in the council's trading standards section. [It] follows a decision by the Department of Health to award Hull £200,000 to develop initiatives to reduce smoking.

The city was one of 24 areas across the country to receive funding after being identified as having one of the highest smoking rates per head of population.

You want your bins picked up without fuss? The streets cleaned? The roads gritted when necessary? The schools kept open?

Don't be so damn stupid. These are optional extras now.

Whatever gave you the idea that your council tax pays for anything else but diversity officers, GLBT support groups, roving tobacco controllers, translators, parking wardens, nutriton advisers and recycling compliance inspectors?

Councils aren't made of money, you know. They can't pay for sweeping the roads and keep their pet PC projects. Something's got to give, so cough up the dosh ... again.

** Growing problem? This is linguistic bollocks too. Streets, and buildings, have never been cleaner.


Friday Night Smoke said...

Arrrgh this kind of thing pisses me off bigtime- theres always someone damanding that we be 'made to pay' for something that we already pay for.
Various cretins are now proposing that 'some kind of tax' be levied on cars, to pay for fixing all the potholes caused by the recent cold weather...
After all, its not as though motorists collectively pay fuel and road taxes totalling SIX TIMES the road budget is it.... oh wait.

Jim Baxter said...

You forgot diversity facilitation (enforcement) officers.

OK, I made them up. Or did I?

Anonymous said...

Who are the MPs on the EFRA committee?
This document
gives the following list:

Mr Michael Jack (Conservative, Fylde) (Chairman)
Mr Geoffrey Cox (Conservative, Torridge & West Devon)
Mr David Drew (Labour, Stroud)
Mr James Gray (Conservative, North Wiltshire)
Patrick Hall (Labour, Bedford)
Lynne Jones (Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak)
David Lepper (Labour, Brighton Pavilion)
Miss Anne McIntosh (Conservative, Vale of York)
Dan Rogerson (Liberal Democrat, North Cornwall)
Sir Peter Soulsby (Labour, Leicester South)
Dr Gavin Strang (Labour, Edinburgh East)
David Taylor (Labour, North West Leicestershire)
Paddy Tipping (Labour, Sherwood)
Mr Roger Williams (Liberal Democrat, Brecon & Radnorshire)

I though it might be interesting to see how they voted on the smoking ban so here's what I found:

Of these 14 MPs, Geoffrey Cox and Anne McIntosh voted against the full ban. James Gray seems to have abstained. All of the others voted for a full ban in both pubs and clubs.


Anonymous said...

The EFRA URL appears truncated so I'll try again:

Anonymous said...

One last try:

Anonymous said...

It's what they did in San Francisco, California, USA. They needed more money to pay for unnecessary but profitable to government workers overtime labour for pet PC projects like three recycling collection trucks per week city wide and similar diversity/global-warming/smoke-police/garbage-police/etc. campaigns and so claimed cig ends were littering the streets using a rigged-study, then forced a local tax (illegal in the US but when it comes to anti-tobacco measures being unconstitutional or illegal never stops city of San Francisco from imposing it anyway) on tobacco products (what little of it's legal to sell since retailing has been banned in some instances and licenses removed in others - or legal to smoke since it's been banned outdoors with hefty fines and this year is being banned furthermore outdoors) - and that's how they rob people of more money whilst making their lives and personal choices even less in the process. At the rate they're going they may as well just chain everyone up at home and do nothing but forbid freedom of anything whilst sucking tax money out of everyone left and right. US has this problem too and it's called San Francisco, the place from where fake-liberal-progressives have assumed total dictatorial control and with the assistance of other Marxists such as self-acclaimed Marxist Nancy Pelosi, are more than eager to spread this way throughout the US via federal government next. And here everyone just thought it was smoking bans and "SHS Harm" and "saving the children" and doing "what's good" and "won't affect me" and "won't happen here". Welcome to the Brave New World of tomorrow, here today in some places.

Sam Duncan said...

“three recycling collection trucks per week”

Are they electric? 'Cos that's a lot of trucks. The vehicle that comes to collect our recycling bins, and sits at the end of the road for 20 minutes every Monday morning with its engine running (thus breaking the law here in the People's Republic of Jockland) is a clapped-out old Leyland-DAF flatbed. So much for “saving the planet”.

And if you're Glasgow Council, you Provide the Quality Service of sweeping the streets by spending wodges of council-tax payers' cash on a fleet of petrol-driven ride-on hoovers that leave a trail of fag-ends and crisp packets behind them wherever they go. Money spent, box ticked, job done.

Jim Baxter said...

'a fleet of petrol-driven ride-on hoovers that leave a trail of fag-ends and crisp packets behind them'

That's true - and throw loose tar chippings in your face, as happened to me on Glassford St. today. That'll teach us to drop fag ends and loose tar chippings (we inhale all other chips) as will the fifty pound fine if the Gestapo catch you at it. Not that you've already paid any tax of course.

Baskets won't even see the funny side if you put your shoes under their circular brushes for a polish.

John Pickworth said...

Tony's link (above) made good:

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Anonymous said...

Three recycling trucks a week? I've still got bottles and paper from Xmas waiting to be collected! Fucking Christmas! Because of course an inch of snow (and the fortnight off that all public workers get for Xmas) means that I haven't had a collection in 6 weeks, and won't get my next till next week. Of course if it happens to snow then who knows what will happen. Thieving cunts.

John Pickworth said...

I used to refer to this Government and their numerous agencies as the Co-Operative Removals LTD*

I think I might reprise the term considering it seems to be their primary business these days.

* Some may spot the very apt movie connection?

Anonymous said...

Sam Duncan said...
“three recycling collection trucks per week”

Are they electric? 'Cos that's a lot of trucks.

-- They're not electric but the old-fashioned petrol guzzling huge garbage trucks and they run three times a week, including on holidays (2x labour pay cost days).

One run is garbage, one run is recyclable plastics, metals and glass and then they added a third run just for table scraps (potato peels) - and it was right after adding the third run that they did a false-study to claim cig-ends were the major source of all litter and costing too much to clean up and instituted the illegal tax, calling it a "fee" to circumvent the letter of the law.

(They also deputized Garbage Police with power to issue citations for anything sorted out of place, up to $1,000 fines, same as you have over there.)

I personally guess it was to pay for this third run which probably increased the garbage pickup budget by a good 50% (2 days + 1 day = 50% more) in order to reach their ideological goal (Soviet style 5-Year Plan) of showing off compost bins in local parks beneath their no-outdoor-smoking signs with a $500 fine - in order to demonstrate to the local communist-marxist majority that politically-correct ideology has triumphed over common-sense, not doing the things cities are supposed to do and instead instituting expensive social engineering projects for the benefit of the international communist party or whoever's engineering these kinds of Rob Peter to Pay Paul schemes in the dull-smokeless-secret-backrooms where one-party, the Party of Greed, False Ideology and Stupidity, politicans gather.

Remember, the motto out here was always for years, "Think Globally But Act Locally" - and that's just what the west coast of US has evolved into - international leftist ideology trumps common sense, budgeting or tolerance for liberties - and with Pelosi in US Congress she will bring her self-avowed marxist zealotry to the US at large.

I hope US citizens are ready to pony up with their pocket-book and hand over some liberties in the process, because it's what they will be getting the same as what's apparently been happening in UK already as well as parts of US, like in California.

However the third run to pick up potato peels, including on holidays which are twice the labour cost, are by old-fashioned gasoline trucks - and bear in mind, it's hauling up and down steep hills which means lower gears and more fuel wasted.

Carl Minns said...

Be a little fair Dick. The quote about Hull seems a little out of context to the article (which I largely agree with)As a Port City the council's trading standards team does have a role to play in tackling underage sales and smuggling. This is what this new member of staff will be dealing with.

Rest assured no new taxes (oh dear unfortunate phrase) in Hull reagarding cleaning - we have frozen our council tax this year :-)
Never did wish you a happy new year too

Uncle Marvo said...

People who spit chewing gum on to pavements should be shot.

People who throw McDonald boxes anywhere will probably die soon anyway.

People who drop fag-ends are probably only trying to avoid a huge fire caused by throwing them in to a bin full of paper and other flammable material. They would probably use ashtrays if there were any.

And finally, people who drink should be penalised because it is entirely possible that they will then urinate in the street.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Yeah, thanks all, forgot to mention the fines councils are wielding to 'combat' (everything's a war against something, isn't it?) littering.

Carl, I had a feeling you may comment. ;-) I know you're one of the good guys, the article was just to illustrate how government insist there is no money to pay for street cleaning so we need another tax, yet they lob it around willy nilly at their pet projects. If they spent £4.8m on clearing litter, we'd all be behind them, but they choose social control policies instead.

And there's a simple solution to beat tobacco smuggling - cut taxes on tobacco to bring prices in line with Belgium and France. That simple. Government created the problem, and are now having to pay to sort it out ... but of course it's all OUR fault, apparently. Who knew?

Spartan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Furor Teutonicus said...

"What we are advising is that if you are going to make a mess then you should make a contribution to clearing it up afterwards," he said

M.Ps and other politicians should be VERY careful what they wish for.

If that were applied to the present Polit beurau, then....:-)

Spartan said...

Just what is this Tobacco Control Officer supposed to do Carl Minns?

ls he going to co-ordinate the searching of rubbish to fnd empty packets of cigarettes to come up with a completely farcical and totally arbitrary set of statistics on illegal cigarettes?

Given Hull is a major port with ferries to Europe, would you not expect evidence of a large number of totally legal cigarettes purchased from the EU?

Added to this are the airports around Hull .... Leeds, Doncaster, Humberside etc from which budget airlines fly. Virtually all smokers take advantage of the low prices in the EU compared to UK.

And remember that there is no limit whatsoever for bringing cigaretes back for personal use.

We don't have Tobacco Control Officers at airports and ports ... we have Customs and Excise .... not forgetting the Police as well. Both of which have powers to deal with smuggling. What powers will your Tobacco Officer have?

As for underage smokers, l presume your Tobacco Officer will be sending out people who are 18 but look younger to test sales of tobacco from shopkeepers to see if they are challenged on proof of age? Do you really expect this to have any impact on underage smokers? Seeing Trading Standards already do this it would seem that our Tobacco Officer doesn't really have a role.

Unless, of course, he'll be going through the wheelybins to find evidence of imported cigarettes???

Now that l would believe. All in all, this role of Tobacco Officer is little more than PR ... at a cost of what, £35K-£40K pa?

Maybe Mr Carl Minns, Leader of Hull City Council, you should spend that money on services like rubbish collecting that your residents of Hull are continually complaining about???

BTS said...

Whenever I turn around there's never anybody there.

And yet I can't shake this nasty feeling that there's an mp sidling up behind me an excessively large and amusingly shaped marrow with the intention of commiting some unmentionable upon my person..

Dick Puddlecote said...

I've met your MP, BTS, and I shall quiz him on his marrow collection if it helps. ;-)

BTS said...

You could ask him to change his aftershave while you're at it..