Our local Conservative administration has been shouting about their pride at being a tax cutting regime. Yes, you too will benefit from the 20p a week cut to your council tax. What will you spend yours on? I have big plans for mine. I will save it up for a month and then I'm going to get myself a bag of salt and vinegar crisps. With the 10p change I am going to send Richard Cornelius, leader of the council, a "Thank You" text. I personally believe that if someone performs an act of kindness, however small, you should thank them, even if the generosity is being made with our own money.
Of course this morning, a few people in Barnet will be waking up with very different feelings towards the Council. Let me explain why. Last night myself and my good Lady took our two doggies for a rather nice walkies. The destination was the Adam & Eve pub on the Ridgeway, Mill Hill. Just outside the pub, there is a short section of single yellow line. It runs until midnight. If you are not familiar with the area, you might miss the rather inconveniently placed sign, telling you what the hours are. Every night when I go to the pub, I see a few cars parked on this particular yellow line. As with last night, when I leave, having had a pleasant drink, the cars invariably have a ticket. You see this little stretch of yellow line is a nice little earner for Barnet Council. There is no earthly reason for the Yellow line to be active at 9pm on a Saturday night, other than to rake in the cash. In short, it is one of a whole set of rather odd parking restrictions, designed solely to mug the poor, unsuspecting motorist, who doesn't know the quirks of Barnets parking schemes. The fact that these little stretches are enforced with a zeal that Joseph Stalin's secret police would be proud of demonstrates just how much of a scam these are. The biggest of these scams is the matchday exclusion zone, sorry CPZ, that covers much of Mill Hill. This operates from 1pm till 6pm, even though the rugby lasts 80 minutes and all of the spectators will be in the ground by 3pm. It was quite clear that a half hour scheme from 3.30 - 4.30 would do the trick. The council responded by saying match times change. The answer was simple, make the half hour reflect the start time. It was said that Saracens would meet the cost of setting the scheme up, so electronic signs could easily have been installed. But no, you see the Council earns a fortune from parking fines. Every fine pays for hundreds of people to have a 20p tax cut for a week. So last night, the three poor victims of the Council muggers, had paid for everyone else in the pub to have a 20p tax cut for a couple of weeks. Is this fair? I happen to think that it is disgusting how the Barnet Motorist has been used as a cash cow. The High Court agreed with me and declared the Council's CPZ hike illegal.
There are a whole swathe of other stealth tax hikes in Barnet. Since the Tories took over, we've seen huge hikes in the cost of burials for dead babies. I cannot think of a sicker tax, but the council simply couldn't give a ****. They have even handed over the management of cemetaries to Capita, with a specific mandate to "make a profit". Apparently they want to make my visit to see my dead Mum & Dad a "better experience".
The truth is that this immoral and worthless tax cut is being paid for by the victims of these stealth taxes. Enjoy your free bag of crisps courtesy of Mr Cornelius in April.