From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.
BEFORE Britain joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1972, believing this was simply joining a free trade area, there was no such tax as Value Added Tax. Only a very few items had, the then, purchase tax added.
Value Added Tax was first applied by the UK government on April 1 1973, a date which seems to be very appropriate. VAT is essentially a European originated tax and was introduced in Britain to “harmonise” our taxes with Europe. The majority of British people, including most MPs, have never experienced a time when goods and services could be bought without budgeting for any taxes to be added; if this applied today they would be 20 per cent cheaper. Just imagine the position.
The VAT collected in the last 40 years by successive governments is, quite simply, staggering. Add to this colossal bounty the huge duties received from petrol, alcohol and tobacco sales; North Sea oil revenues; selling off the family silver of power companies, now under foreign control; the privatisation of the railways etc, and a very clear picture emerges of governments wallowing in unbelievable riches obtained from us.
With such colossal income from these sources surely Britain should expect to have superbly maintained roads; more and better hospitals; the most advanced bus and train networks; public services beyond criticism; free care homes for the elderly etc. etc.
However, this is not the case, so just what have governments done with it?
It is very obvious that such monies have not been used wisely and have been disgracefully frittered away; wasting taxpayers’ money has become an art-form; a failed NHS computer system costing up to £20bn; the identity card fiasco £10-20bn; an annual EU budget of £65bn; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan £25bn; basing troops in Germany for almost 70 years – inestimable; inefficient wind farms – still counting; £470m spent on Fire Control Centres, now abandoned but still costing huge sums to maintain; so what will MPs do next?
Well, isn’t it amazing, though not surprising, that although hundreds of thousands of essential workers have been sacked because, apparently, they cannot be afforded, the Government feels it is absolutely essential, and very affordable, to create new posts of police crime commissioners.
Now, Britain has a Home Secretary, a Home Office department, Chief Constables, Deputy Chief Constables, Assistant Chief Constables, but this is not enough – we now need police crime commissioners, another layer of bureaucracy.
The forthcoming elections for these new posts, it has been reported, will cost around £75m. Have we nothing better to do with our money? But, what happens next?
Thereafter their salaries and expenses will, no doubt, totally contradict all our views that Britain is in a depression, though we should not forget, ‘we are all in this together’. And there I was believing there was going to be a ‘bonfire’ of quangos and money was scarce, but I didn’t anticipate that ‘jobs for the boys’ would take precedence.
I have always believed that to vote is a duty and a privilege and have done so at every General Election or Local Government Election during my lifetime, but the election of police crime commissioners will prove the exception.
What an unbelievable waste of money.
From: Rodney Atkinson, Meadowfield Road, Stocksfield, Northumberland.
AFTER Parliament made its views crystal clear on the EU budget, one journalist wrote that for the European Union “confessing that you are being driven by your party and your voters is seen not as a strength but an admission of failure”. Precisely.
It was of course the French Minister Claude Cheysson who said “the great steps in the construction of Europe would not have been taken had we first had to hold a referendum” and it was that great Europhile Jacques Delors who said: “Those who take a position against Maastricht will no longer have the right to engage in politics”.
There is no doubt what kind of organisation the British people were fooled into joining and no doubt about the urgency of leaving.