I’m beginning to worry about my state of mind in that in the space of 2 months I am in agreement with Cameron and Hunt in their stance of not simply taking in refugees willy-nilly as the Germans have done and in delaying a report on a sugar tax, if publishing at all. I have already stated my view on the former and will proceed to expand on the latter.
I think the UK has lost it way in many areas of life. We have become far too influenced by American thinking and in so doing doubt our own common sense. The idea of taxing every single area of human life is an absurdity that will do us no good in the long term and I believe stems from a lack of security in our thinking as well as a desire to be in control of the uncontrollable, i.e. life itself which is beset by many problems and scenarios.
America is still a very young continent and, as such, has no real identity but feels threatened by everyone else’s, even where there is no threat. As such it tries to control and reduce every other country to its own level in order for it to feel superior. Any parent will understand the above analogy as, particularly with teenagers who hang around together will form their own “language” between them that they alone understand. Adults are ridiculed because they don’t understand that language and are unable to share it. However by default teenagers feel they are invincible and don’t need to be told anything by adults and it is only later on they realise the folly of their ways. The biggest mistake any adult can make is to emulate teenagers, the adults look ridiculous and embarrassing at the same time. Not a good look.
While there are those people who like sugar far too much and supermarkets with their ready meals pamper to those tastes too often, it would be a shame to simply slap another tax on them for the sake of it. This is just lazy thinking.
However, a closer look at items that are subject to VAT would show those busy-bodies protest too much as they are already subject to VAT. Chocolate buttons, chocolate flakes, wholly or partially covered chocolate biscuits, chocolate decorated gingerbread men (unless the chocolate used amounts to no more than a couple of dots for eyes), ice cream wafers partly covered in chocolate (chocolate oysters). Chocolate and, it seems anything covered in chocolate, is subject to VAT. Sweetsk pastilles, gums, lollipops, candy floss, sherbert, marshmallow, fondants and similar confectionary, compressed fruit bars, sweetened popcorn, crystalised, sugared or chocolate covered ginger. Even slimmers’ meal replacement bars in biscuit form wholly or partly covered in chocolate. Fruit cordials, squashes and carbonated drinks are all subject to standard VAT, among others. We are taxed to the hilt.
Of all the really important things going on in life at the present time, the most insane thing is there is now a 5p tax on plastic bags, a road tax, a tax on hot meals in restaurants, ice creams and similar frozen products, alcoholic beverages, snacks (incl crisps, salted nuts), Council tax, road tax, smoking, devices for quitting smoking i.e. patches & gum), a tax for watching television (called the licence fee), the national lottery (another stealth tax as although it isn’t obligatory to pay it, the proceeds are used to fund projects previously under the domain of government.
We previously joked that after all the taxes paid throughout the year, we actually had one third of our income to ourselves to do with as we pleased. It seems that is no longer the case, practically 95% of our income is used to paying taxes of one sort or another. At this rate why do we bother to get out of bed anymore? What is government doing for us in return?
I have said in previous blogs that government, the royal family and other assorted privileged people seem to treat the money we pay as taxes as their own, to do with as they wish. I think its high time we not only got value for money, but that we get something in return for our hard earned efforts such as decent social housing, good education for our children and young people, higher salaries for our public servants (and by that I mean the people actually doing the hard work at the lower end of the payscales, not those occupying senior management positions who have done very well for themselves), decent living standards, and most importantly proper accountability of MPs to the same standard they ask of the rest of us and that we pay one standard tax to cover everything rather than the creeping taxation of every facet of human life. I would say that if there is a standard tax of 40% for those earning more than £45,000, but that nobody earning less than £15,000 pays any tax (without losing any pension benefits) I enough to cover most aspects of life and leave people with a decent amount of money for their own needs. Standard tax should apply to those earning less than £45,000.