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We had some friends to supper last night and were discussing good value. I was shouted down for saying that Council Tax and the TV licence were examples of this. I was unable to persuade the others. What do you think?
Spend just one day not using the facilities provided by your Council Tax. Imagine the cost of providing it all for yourself or going without.
I was having a similar brief debate about taxes in general yesterday. Particularly inheritance tax.
If you add up income Tax, NI, inheritance TAX, VAT, I suspect you actually get a minimal amount of cash for your money :)
I came to the same conclusion though.... imagine having to hire your share of the police force, NHS, Schools, Waste Disposal, Building Regulations, Transport (Roads) etc. etc.
neither, there is never owt on TV interesting anymore andmycouncil could do a lot more for the money, they even admitted it.
A relative of mine is for ever complaining about such taxes and says that she get`s nothing from the system as she works full time etc. I have to remind her that she has had three children and all the benefits that go with having children, health service, education, child benefit, then both she and her husband have been in hospital recently, how much would that have cost her? National+local government services are never going to be as good as we would lie them to be, but people never like paying for such things.
The thing that I find annoying is the constant price increases of service providers for essential items like gas, water and electricity. My local waterboard have been 'forced' to return certain funds to their customers, and it would appear as though they are still under investigation for other irregularities.
As for council's, it seems as though you have an annual increase for community charges, yet the services provided seems to decrease. My local council have taken on many prestiges 'for the publics interest' ventures, all usually end up with a substantial overspend, with the public still wondering how and why the decisions were agreed in the first place.
One particular concern for many people in my area, is refuse collection. Seems to get very poor, with the threat that you could be fined up to £5000 under the Environmental Act 1990, if you leave a bin liner bag containing household rubbish beside the wheelie bin on collection days, due to the wheelie bin being full. All items have to be in the wheelie bin, other wise the collector's will not remove it, and just abandon it in the road. Previously our wheelie bin's were of a decent capacity, but the council in their wisdom, decided to replace the bins for those of a much smaller capacity. But of course,the council have pointed out, that any excess rubbish can be moved via an arrangement and extra cost. Invite for bringing back the plague, or some other unwanted problem for the general public?.
Value for money. Not when you see it wasted, and the biggest offenders are the people who suppose to have your interest at heart!.
Yes spuds I agree with a lot of what you say, but we must remember that utility's like gas, electricity, water, telephone etc. have been denationalised for several years now, and so are just part of the commercial system some would call it capitalism. It is value for money for the taxpayer that we want, and the way most local and national government is run we are not getting it. As for the people who estimate the price of local and national government new projects, they all too often get it hopelessly wrong with things ending up costing much more than the original estimate. What makes it worse is that they more often than not get away with it.
The Tv licence is good value but the Council Tax is not. Each year it goes up, more than inflation and more than you see an increase in your wages. Each year you get less for your money and each year your council spends money on things which the general public are not in favour of or at least everyone I have ever spoken to.
Take the refuse collection as an example. The Council decided to push forward with recycling, now that is fair enough but its the way its been done. Every household in Angus now has a grey bin for normal rubbish, a green bin for things like plant refuse( regardless of whether you have a garden or not ) and a large plastic box for taking away your cans and empty glass and plastic bottles. The box gets emptied every week although a lot of them have been blown away by the wind and have had to be searched for by the owners, some have been run over, a lot have lost their lids. Basically they aren't designed for use in a country that gets any sort of winds. Pure genius on the part of whoever in the council decided to use these.
The big bins are emptied alternate weeks. Green bin one week, grey bin the following week. When its green bin week theres perhaps 2 bins out for my entire street and they are perhaps a quarter full if that. When its grey bin week all the bins are out and most are overloaded, you can't get the lids down they are so full and I know several people that have had to make trips down to the skip because their home bin can't cope. Also this year we have been infested with flies, really bad, no one has ever seen the like and its been in all the local papers. The council scratched its head saying they have no explanation its a freak event. It couldn't possibly be anything to do with the refuse having to sit for a fortnight before being picked up now could it? No of course not silly of me the council had this all planned. So for my council tax, the refuse part, I get a box emptied once a week if it doesn't get blown away and a grey bin emptied once a fortnight. I've never used the green bin as I haven't got a garden and neither do any of the other 3 flats in my block and they have green bins too.
So I'm sorry Apron, I do think the TV License is good value but the above is just an example of the incompetance I think local councils show with regards to the spending of council tax. We pay more and get less and I can only see it getting worse as time goes on.
Totally-braindead's on the iniquity of the recycling arrangements in his area.
Why on earth could not the Nations Councils have worked out a unified system of Bin Colours and nature of the items to be put in each bin, before they rolled out this ludicrous piecemeal system, I don't know?
The only time we ever see a policeman in our area, is when he flies over in his helicopter. The local police station closes about 17.00 hrs. I say about because I went there once and it was shut at 1650 hrs. So maybe it closes at 16.30 hrs. who knows? They are also talking about closing the local fire station. I'm looking forward to a rebate in my next annual rates bill!!! I don't pay a licence fee for TV as I am old enough to forget to watch it nowadays. ..Bingalau..
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