I was intrigued to see today that a Manchester Labour Council has decided to persecute those nasty citizens who refuse to follow the diktat from Glorious Leader and recycle their household waste properly. They will be issued with red (ironic) labels and then driven to gulags in Liverpool where they will undergo rigorous re-education whilst their children are sold to white slave traders in Tower Hamlets.
So, I thought I’d have a look at the Council monopolies that are enforced under threat of prison for those who refuse to pay for services they neither requested nor need. I own various properties, including a “large dilapidated Victorian Town House” (copyright Daily Mail) in deepest Essex, which due to my hard work and careful financial planning falls into the second highest category of Council Tax, just one under the largest landowner in the County. A humongous £1811.25 per year, payable in advance, or we send the thugs round to break down your door and take all your stuff. Now, being self employed and law abiding, there are no discounts available for me – I can’t sit on the sofa all day with a sick note and expect Joey Essex or someone on minimum wage to pay my bills for me, so I thought I’d have a quick look at exactly what I am being forced, by law, to finance. Interesting stuff.
Essex County Council £1196.10
Essex Police £235.80
Essex Fire Authority £110.70
Braintree District Council £268.65
Now, the fire service at £110 a year seems reasonable value – after all, I pay private fire insurance on my house and cars anyway but these guys will happily cut my mangled carcass from my car at 3am in the morning if required, so I’m happy to pay.
The Police at £235 a year (roughly £20 a month) are starting to look like not such good value as all I really need them for is to protect my property, something they have proved themselves incapable of doing on numerous occasions. Private security companies can and do offer a similar service without all the endemic corruption, nepotism and outright abuse the Police offer to us citizens. Frankly, I can buy a pistol and do the job myself, were it legal, of course.
Now it gets to be fun.
Essex County Council. Total Revenue £1.889 Billion (£1,889,000,000) of which I am forced to pay £1196.10
How do they spend that money?
Well, we have:
Public Health and Wellbeing (!) £88M
Highways and Transportation £121M
Supporting Vulnerable People £488M
Waste and Recycling £72M
Leader and Finance £53M
Families and Children £134M
Operating costs £99M
Libraries and Planning £24M
Economic Growth £7M
Braintree District Council. Budget £19.4M. My contribution? £268.65
Waste and Recycling 22% (£4.3M)
Street Cleaning 6% (£1.2M)
Leisure & Culture 25% (£4.9M)
Safety 11% (£2.2M)
Planning 5% (£1.2M)
Housing Benefits 8% (£1.6M)
Parking 4% (£o.8M)
Democracy 9% (£1.7M)
Parish Grants 4% (£0.7M)
Other 4% (£0.8M)
Now, I haven’t actually ordered any of these services. I bought my own parking space, I can happily sweep the road outside my house and don’t see why I should be taxed to provide “leisure services” to the great unwashed. I can happily arrange for my own private waste collection (yes, really, as often as I like, without being arrested for putting the bin out early, no need to recycle) and I’m damned if my taxes should go to private landlords in the form of “housing benefits” anyway, so it seems I’m being tucked up like a kipper by the Mafia at town hall. Pay up, in advance or we WILL inflict violence on you and yours – says fat Maureen on the front desk at County Hall, through gritted teeth.
Bear in mind, I’ve already paid income tax at 40% on the £1811 I’m forced to pay and this is beginning to look like a particularly violent Sopranos episode. I don’t want it, I don’t need it and if I refuse to pay it, I’ll end up in a prison cell (much like the TV licence).
I want to live in society where I am free to choose what services I purchase, what services I can perform myself and what charities I am happy to donate to, not some Soviet regime where 72% of the turnips I grow on my own land are requisitioned by the Almighty State for redistribution to loyal Politburo voters. A low tax society gives me the responsibility to work to suit my needs, not work to match the promises of Politicians. It isn’t being greedy to want to keep what you earned, it’s being greedy to demand others pay for your needs and whims. The sooner we hand financial responsibility back to the people actually generating the finances, the better.
(PS. My council tax in Old Holbornistan, a land of mystery, low taxes and freedom is £13 A YEAR and I get to own a machine gun. Details to follow, stay tuned)