Friday, 16 November 2007

Bin Tax to be trialed in five Councils - What a load of rubbish

The go ahead to trial bin tax has been given for five ENGLISH councils. The top recycling households will get an annual discount of up to £50, while planet destroyers (that's a normal family to you and me) could be charged up to £50. It sounds like a excellent incentive to recycle doesn't it? but is it? Already there have been worries expressed over the likely increase in fly tipping. The cost of clearing up fly tipping and prosecuting those responsible is already massive and it looks like it will only get larger. Who will pay? I'll give you one guess.

Then you have to consider the cost of setting up any charging scheme. That has been estimated at £700,000 per council. Who will pay? I bet you can guess. Shadow local government secretary Eric Pickles said "bin taxes" would lead to "a surge in fly-tipping and back garden burning. To add insult to injury, the cost of fitting Bin Brother microchips and computer databases, new wheelie bins, complex bills and chasing non-payers, will far outweigh any savings. Bin taxes are so expensive to introduce that taxes on families will have to rise as result, through higher council tax bills. Everyone will lose out, whether you recycle or not."

This could be seen as a tax on families because they are the ones who are generating the most waste (it's a matter of numbers). Also this will be another tax on the working members of our society. Will those who do not pay council tax pay for any extra waste they produce? I doubt it very much. So I think we can safely say that if you are working and married (or cohabiting) with kids then this is a tax aimed at you.

There is so much that could be done before resorting to taxing us into submission. Manufacturers could be forced to improve the way they package their produce, we could go back to using milk bottles, we could ban plastic bags in supermarkets, we could improve recycling facilities, we could better educate the population on what can and can't be recycled, if packaging is labelled as recyclable, it must be easily recyclable (a lot of items aren't), more energy from waste facilities need to be built (in accordance with the Kyoto protocol). The ways to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill are numerous and increasing our tax bill should be seen as a last resort. But of course taxing us is a no-brainer.

No comments: