Sunday, 8 July 2012

Rip Off Britain part 94.....

Why should the motorist, who already pays more indirect taxation on driving for a smaller re-investment in transport than anyone else in Europe (not to forget the other indirect taxes such as council tax, water rates, TV licence, housing stamp duty, licences for functions, driving tests and licences, passports, licences for scaffolding, licences to operate a cherry-picker, licences to drive a taxi, business rates, planning permission, corporation tax, licences to sell alcohol/cigarettes, death duty [on already-taxed income], birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licences] etc etc etc), have to fork out further for the privilege of parking outside their own home (reminder: a home they already pay council tax on)?

It will come to the stage where shopkeepers and store managers will lose so many customers that they will either retreat to the relative safety of their local out-of- town shopping centre or retire to the relatively tax-free haven that is the car boot sale, and town centres will simply die.

I appreciate that many town centres can at times become completely gridlocked due to the number of vehicles, but this is at peak times when city executives insist on driving their car, with only themselves as passenger, into town. I make sure that my visits to town are at off-peak times, and I certainly object to paying over the odds for parking when I do go shopping that itself already includes 20% VAT that I cannot avoid. But the public transport infrastructure is simply not available to cater conveniently for my, and others', needs.

A round trip to town in my car, with a 2 hour stay, takes just under 3 hours. By bus it would take almost 5 hours, and leave me 'schlepping' all over the place from inward to outward bound bus stops which are miles from each other (and in the wrong direction to the centre for shopping).

But it's like everything else in this Kingdom. A complete rip-off.

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