Taxes, cuts, tolls and spin
06 January 2011
by Scunny Independent News
When the bank's collapsed, you and I, the British tax payer bailed them out to the tune of ï¿½22,000 per person.
Now having had 18 months to recover, these greedy bankers have gone on to pay them selves massive bonuses while refusing to make loans available to small businesses and home owners as per the agreement made with the previous government when the tax payer's money was committed to them.
The result of this is that the "Austerity Measures" are now starting to bite and affecting us all. I'm getting sick of hearing how excessive spending in the public sector has lead to a massive budget deficit while we see Banks making profits from our bail out cash yet we have to stomach massive increases in our cost of living.
This has been brought home very clearly this week when we have seen an increase in VAT at an all time high. The problem with VAT however is that its a tax which affects every one at the point at which they pay for their goods and services. Some would argue that this is "fair" as every one then contributes the same amount, regardless of income. However, consider the thousands of families who are on a low income in the North Lincolnshire region, is it really fair that they pay the same amount of tax as those in society who are on a higher wage?
Not only is the VAT increase being used by the government to increase their income revenues by some ï¿½13Bn, but some stores are also using it as an excuse to increase the prices of some of their goods. For example, in a well know local supermarket, a bottle of soda water was 42 pence prior to the VAT increase, now its 50 pence. How can supermarket's justify an 8pence increase overnight (16% increase in real terms) when the vat on the product has only risen by 2.5%? Another case of rip off Britain and massaging of the facts!
When you combine the increase in VAT with the increase in fuel duty then you realise just how much this affects our region. North Lincolnshire is "isolated" in some ways and people living here do rely heavily on personal transport. Considering the proposed increase in the bridge tolls to ï¿½3.00 then a trip out to Hull can become very expensive. This will also heavily affect commuters adding ï¿½3.00 per week to a weekly commute to Hull in bridge tolls alone.
All we ever get from the government is "spin" telling us that the deficit is due to excessive public spending and mismanagement by the previous government. I don't agree; as I've said before, I think that a lot of the austerity measures being introduced are ideological and will do more damage than good. However spin and misinformation seems to be paramount at the moment.
Take for example a rumour circulating at the moment locally about the Baths Hall development.
Yesterday I received a tip off from a member of VisitScunthorpe.Com saying that the there was a news blackout from the council and that the Baths Hall was going to cost in the region of ï¿½40,000 per week to service loans taken out by the council to manage the running of the venue.
Investigations into this matter have found that there is no blackout on news from the council, and that the loan for the baths hall was something which was budgeted for in the initial plan, but was never taken up. It would turn out that through their own savings on the project the loan has not been needed, and that money can now be reallocated elsewhere.
But as I said earlier in the article, people are now feeling the pinch, travel costs have steeply increased and retailer's are clearly making the most of the government's unfair VAT increase to increase their prices and revenues accordingly. As always we would be interested in hearing reader's views and experiences along with any information they may have about how cuts and taxation are affecting the economy locally.
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