Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'd be prepared to pay more tax for this...

Whilst I think there is far, far too much waste in public spending and that the money can be better spent on more efficient and higher quality services, as shown by some councils (A Tale Of Two Councils - or Why I Wish I Had Hammersmith & Fulham Council), I also have limited faith in Labour to achieve this. So until the next election the choice is between higher taxes and serious lapses in what's needed. That's the honest truth - expecting Gordon Brown to discover efficiency after nearly ten years is like expecting Ruth Kelly to be a true believer in equality.

Nowhere is this deficit in provision clearer than in the current crisis of limited prison numbers. Even paedophiles are being kept out of jails because of it. (BBC News: Full jails change child porn term) This is simply unacceptable.

If in the short term I have to pay an extra penny or two in income tax or another 2 1/2 % VAT to finance new prison places (and specifically this - I don't want it flooding into the general pot to be wasted in traditional Gordon Brown style) then that's a price worth paying until we can get a government that will sort out the finances properly. Dogma about low taxation doesn't do diddly squat in a situation such as we have now.

But let's be honest - New Labour doesn't work that way. It sees any increase in tax as an opportunity for waste, for pointless jobs, for new administrators to set targets and massage the figures to meet them. Meanwhile it's the public who are at risk.


Adele said...

But; do we need to send as many people to prison as we do currently?

Anonymous said...

I tried to respond to your question on the UKC alumni page, but there was a glitch, so I'll respond here.

I was a student at UKC in the sixties. I think what the Wikipedia author may have in mind is an incident in ~1967 that made certain officers of the SU nationally famous. They argued that the university should provide free contraceptive pills to women in order to put them on an equal footing as men. There were other issues, but this put them in the national newspapers. Women's liberation was underway and contraceptive pills were controversial. So the idea that unmarried women should be on them - far less get them free at the state's expense - was scandalous.

Derek Sears

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