Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Waste Charge Is a Stealth Tax

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Waste Charge Is a Stealth Tax

Article excerpt

I HAVE this morning received notification from North Tyneside Council that from March 2013 I must pay pounds 20 a year if I want to continue to have my garden rubbish collected and disposed of.

According to their letter "this service is not used by everyone across the borough and over the years people have told us that they do not wish to contribute towards a service they do not use".

I think that is fair comment, however, at least a couple of issues arise from this statement.

We are all already paying for this service within our council tax, so in effect the people not using the service will continue to pay for it.

If the council is really concerned about those people then they ought to reduce their council tax by pounds 20 a year - i.e. the value they put on the service.

This move could also set a precedent for other services some of us don't use and would like to opt out of.

Let's be silly for a moment - I don't use Wallsend Park for example - how much of my council tax goes towards the upkeep? Perhaps the council should introduce an entry fee for those people who do use it.

Similarly, I have not used the library since my school days - surely some of the council tax we currently pay goes towards that service - should the council charge an entry fee? I'm sure there are people who will be able to think up dozens of examples of similar services they would like to opt out of.

This smacks to me as another example of a stealth tax - someone's had another bright idea to rip the public off - just like cinema booking fees, mortgage and loan arrangement fees etc, etc.

Public services should be just that - they are there for the good of the people and we all pay for them through our council tax, regardless of whether or not we use them.

The council cannot just single out one service and use it as an excuse to raise revenue - which one will they target next? …

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