Why should the poor pay more?
WHAT’S ANNOYING HIM THIS WEEK?
HANDS up all those people who feel desperately in need of a high speed railway line? No? Me neither. New, better, uncrowded carriages for existing tracks, yes. But unfortunately that isn’t on the table.
No, as an election is looming pretty much anything shiny and glossy and presented in Powerpoint will be used to divert your attention from the coalition falling apart.
The so-called HS3 line to “connect the north” – well, Leeds and Manchester – will cost £175 million per MILE to build and shave a not-thatimpressive 20 minutes off a rail journey between those two cities. Whoop-de-doo, eh? The total cost of HS3 is currently only estimated at £7 billion, but as with anything paid for with other people’s money – namely our taxes – that figure will undoubtedly rise.
It won’t be built by this government – or the next in any case – and has all the hallmarks of a box-ticking exercise designed to hopefully excite us Northerners as we point at planes and chew on a piece of straw.
No indication has been given on proposed ticket prices, of course. But you can guarantee one thing – they won’t be CHEAPER than they are now. Nothing ever is. The other day I went to tax my car online, and was pleased to see you can now pay via monthly direct debit – instead of six or 12 months in advance.
Pleased, until I noticed that opting for monthly payments means I would have to pay an extra £9 a year to keep the car on the road. Why?
My bank pays it into the DVLA’s account, with no processing required.
Literally ZERO cost to the DVLA – and they don’t even have to send a tax disc out in the post anymore, either.
But still they charge you MORE.
Which means those who can afford to pay 12 months’ road tax in one go – people with the cash in the bank, frankly – pay LESS.
So that nine quid being paid by me, and I’m damned sure MY heartfelt thoughts go out to the Prime Minister after his frightening ordeal in Leeds on Monday.
If you didn’t see it, David Cameron was collided into by an innocent jogger who was promptly LEAPT UPON by the PM’s personal security detail.
Be strong, Dave. It’s not every day you bump into a normal man in the street. many others, is essentially an extra tax – an extra fine, even – for not having money on tap. Nice eh? Just like with pre-pay energy meters and payday loans, the poor always pay more. For everything.
The £7bn+ being touted for the entirely unnecessary HS3 could be used to help eradicate these small but significant taxes on the less well off.
But it won’t be – because successive governments of ALL shades will ALWAYS be more arsed about the money to be made by the people who will build and operate HS3 than they ever are about the people who will have to pay for it.