Sunday 12 November 2006

Nappies, rhymes and trampolines

The Burt Commission has suggested that Council Taxes in Scotland be replaced by a 1% annual levy on the value of one's house. This proposal hasn't exactly been appreciated by the tax-consuming class now that we're in the run-up to an election. And a few journalists have been asking some rather obvious questions.

In the Sunday Times Jenny Hjul writes:

It is not a solution to the tax problem that they should be reviewing, it is the problem itself.

Why do the councils need so much more money?

Every local newspaper carries evidence of local job creation schemes: just how many development workers, environmental wardens, “height awareness” officers, real nappy instructors, “professional assistants (trees)”, or “ walking co-ordinators” does Scotland need?

Most taxpayers would gladly forego the services of all of these in exchange for a cut in council taxes

Ah, but lots of voters don't pay any taxes.

Rather more robustly, we get Gerald Warner in Scotland on Sunday:

Where does the money go? On politically correct nonsense, is the answer. Clackmannanshire raised council tax by 4.9% this year. It now spends just 97p per meal in care homes, down from £1.05 last year. Yet the council is creating a post of "writer in residence" with a salary of £31,000. Last year it was looking for a "nappy officer" to crusade against disposable nappies.
It's no better up north:
Aberdeenshire council recently spent £35,000 employing two "nursery rhyme promoters"; two months ago it hired a "trampoline officer"
And as for the numpties themselves:
The latest proposal is to award Scottish councillors basic salaries of £15,452, rising to between £30,905 and £51,608 for council leaders.
Send them up chimneys, I say.

All very sensible stuff from the two writers, but there's always dear old Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald who's very keen on a property tax. Those opposed are guilty of "greed". By the way Iain, Sir Peter Burt isn't "the former head of the Royal Bank of Scotland"; he's the former Governor of the Bank of Scotland. We persons of greed know the difference.

Not to worry, Mr Macwhirter wins this year's prize for deep political understanding:

And what if prices fall? Well, then people would pay less – obviously.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

I seem to recall a rather vigorous discussion some months back on the topic of "no representation without taxation"... 

14 November 2006, 12:47:18 GMT
– Like – Reply

Andrew Duffin
Dream on Steve, there are now seven million people in the UK who depend on the state for their liveliehoods. 
They are turkeys who are not about to vote for Christmas.

13 November 2006, 13:00:08 GMT
– Like – Reply

Steve Hill
I couldn't agree more. 
As I argued across a dinner table one evening recently, I do believe that we have too much government. Most of which costs us lots of money, for seemingly very little return. 
The trouble is, for as long as we are "governed" by politicians, we cannot escape from ever increasing taxes and incometance. Furthermore, we have lukewarm government, that should be spewed from our mouths. They are neither hot nor cold - they do not have any challenging policies. 
A nice hot policy I'd vote for would be a mass reduction in politicians and civil servants. Run these places like a business and make them more efficient rather than just talking about it!

12 November 2006, 20:36:48 GMT