Tax Me If You Can!

Posted on: 17/03/2011

This week, Grumpy Granny speaks her mind on the planned petrol tax rise, and suggests that George Osbourne takes a pointer or two from his saintly namesake...


Most people hate being taxed.

It is often painted as an issue of personal freedom: "it is my money and they take it away from me in taxes" but, in reality, it is about greed. Everybody wants to keep more of their money so they can spend more on themselves - or on their children, the small replicas of themselves they have created.

Selfishness appears to be a basic human trait. It surely must be so because every time a human being is genuinely generous, there are murmurs of amazement from observers along the lines of "Well I never! Who would have believed it!” So we really cannot rely on the generosity of individuals to provide a safety net in our society. That net needs to be provided by Government, funded by taxes.

So, I have set the scene. I support taxation if it genuinely helps to sort out inequalities in our society. To hell with the greedy!

And yet...indirect taxation in the UK is now reaching such levels that even I am beginning to question whether enough is enough. Value Added Tax now stands at 20%, a record high. Tax on alcohol and tobacco is also at all-time record levels, leaving noticeably less cash jingling in our pockets. And then there is fuel tax. The media talk up the potential impact on fuel prices of the political upheavals in the Middle East but the stark reality is that it is politicians within our own borders who are really to blame.

The latest shock to the wallet on fuel is that a taxation-induced increase may put 5p on a litre of petrol from 1st April. That amounts to around a 4% increase, at a time when unemployment is rocketing and those in work are seeing minimal improvements in their pay packets.

I only use my little car to get me around locally, trips over a couple of miles and the like. Even so, I have noticed the impact and my purse strings are growing ever-tighter. I can only imagine how people who need to use their cars a lot are now feeling the pinch. Let's be honest, there is only so much the man (or woman) in the street can take-and that tipping point has already been reached or exceeded.

It is now time for the present British Government (the one elected by no one in particular but selected by itself) to call a halt. Let's see the Chancellor of the Exchequer transformed from Mr "We Are In Dire Straits" to Gorgeous George! It can be done - all that is needed is a cancellation of the fuel price increase on 1st April.

Another George - St George - once slayed a Fire-Breathing Dragon. Our present day George can become a Saint if he puts the planned fuel tax increase to the sword. If he doesn’t, he might as well fall on his own sword, because no armour ever made will protect him from the justifiable anger of the British electorate.

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