Tax… need this be taxing?

A week after the Scottish elections we are no further forward to a government (just as well Westminster is looking after us! Even if they are all pre-occupied with Tony going). There have been spats over the Presiding Officer, no-one wants to give up a seat in such a close situation, and then the parties have all been pulling back from any kind of coalition. So it looks like Alex is going on his tod, with the occasional help from the couple of greens.

What this brings into play is the fact that it is going to be difficult for any government to be progressive with their own agenda. This is going to come to the fore with the promised SNP local tax changes.

Whilst I know there are issues with the Council Tax, I must say that I am 100% against a local income tax, and that affected my voting patterns at the election.

I would hope that the SNP now see that almost half of the country (those voting Labour or Tory) were voting for parties that were not going to introduce this local tax and, upon reading further into the SNP proposals, leave a hole in the local authorities purses. This hole is almost 1/5th of the combined local authories budget. So I think it is fair to say that 3% is not very realistic.

I would like to think that easier, less expensive changes can be made to the Council Tax.

  1. More bands, I prescribe to the line of thought that says if you can buy a £1 million house then you can afford to pay more Council Tax. The same goes with cars and road tax; more expensive, uneconomical cars….. if you have got one you can pay more road tax.
  2. Pensioners should just pay a nationally set flat rate, these people have spent a life time supporting the country and the ‘system’. So they should all get equal benefit. This would remove the postcode lottery of services versus tax levels.
  3. Discounts. Better publicised discounts. Let people know what they are entitled to and tell them how to get it!

These tweaks to a system that works will be cheaper that wrestling with councils over a nationally set level, the tax man on how this will be collected and managed (esp if we are going for independence!) and the potential brain drain of well paid families who will loose out considerably on a local tax solution.

Oh Scotland……

What must the rest of the UK, probably Europe and maybe even ex-pats in the ‘colonies’ be thinking.

Scots canny even read how to vote!

The aftermath of the Scottish Parliamentary and Local Council elections have made a mockery of the population! The voting syste, while different on the two ballot papers, was easy if you read the instructions on the paper and on the polling booth. Why are there up to 100,000 votes that are not being counted because the intention of the voter could not be established.

I suspect over the next few days we will be awash with stories over the electronic system, but in essence it did the job, all these discounted votes were view by people if the system couldn’t make out the intention. We will also hear that the two votes should not have been held on the same day. That would have simply lead to an even more dismal turn out for the council election!

It defies me why people can’t read the instructions. There was enough publicity about the changes, even if people didn’t know the exact detail they should have known there was a change and to read properly.

I suppose, in a way, it harks back to that old test example. The test is handed out and everyone is told to read all the questions through before starting. How many people charge on ahead, answer everything until they get to the last question that say only answer question 1?

Anyway, we are where we are, with a population needing some damn good education reforms to in-still some intelligence, maybe better NHS glasses to read the next ballot paper with and definitely not independence!