Taxpayers are charged twice

Letters
Letters

From: Graham Kendall

Broad Oak Close

A group of worthy Eastbourne councillors are seated at a great oak table, discussing the rise in the community charge, more colloquially known as the poll tax.

‘The amount that we can raise the charge is capped by central government,’ says one, ‘but that will simply not give us enough money. What can we do?’

After much deliberation, one bright spark puts his/her hand up. ‘Why not charge for some of the services we provide separately? That would not be seen as in increase in the charge.’

‘But we can’t do that,’ says another, ‘people already pay for all services provided by the council through the community charge. We would be asking them to pay twice!’

‘People won’t realise what we are doing,’ continues the first, ‘and the Government can’t admonish us for increasing the charge higher than the cap!’

‘OK, let’s try it and see what happens. What shall we charge separately for that is already paid for under the charge?’

‘How about “brown bin collection”? Charge another £50 or so per year and make it voluntary, then it can’t be seen as an increase in the overall charge!’

‘Brilliant!’ they all cry, ‘and, maybe next year we will think of other services that can be separately charged for, on a voluntary basis of course!’