Thursday, 20 January 2011

"There is no such thing as a good tax" - Winston Churchill

Fair enough - there will always be some who view tax, per se, as an evil, I for one realise that taxation (with representation) pays for all the social good a developed society offers (health, policing, education, care for the elderly etc) and as such is a "necessary evil". I partake of the benefits so should contribute my fair share for the costs thereof.

However, what Churchill also went on to say was “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”  Had he been around today his words would have fallen on deaf ears.

What the Coalitionistas (HMG) and their predecessors have done is to target alcohol, more specifically beer, as the cash-cow that will sustain their other policies. The great democratic drink, beer, that has been a part of this country's heritage and culture  (drunk when the water was too foul to consume and now as part of a developed social structure) and its brewers and drinkers have been continually abused by rapacious chancellors.

We now pay more than nine times the amount of duty than France and Germany for the "privilege" of supping our national tipple and contribute an estimated 40% of all duty collected within the EU - a staggering £3.1 billion.

When will this Tory led administration take heed of one of its greatest figures and realise that the common man and woman in this country who enjoy a few beers are fed up with being the ones to pay for their other priorities, such as protecting their political allies and financial backers from paying their fair share of tax ( to wit, off shore status and the ridiculous minimum pricing they propose for alcohol) or benefitting from the largesse of the tax purse with bail-outs to corrupt banking institutions?

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them ..." it would appear that this was good enough for Winnie but not the proletariat ... nuff said!

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