Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Poll Tax returns to the canals.

Here we are, enjoying our cruise and life has slowed down its pace, we are loving every moment. A slow chug along the River Don as we make our way to who knows where. Life was proceeding all calm and serene, then we heard on the radio today that the new government is toying with the old Thatcher idea of bringing back the poll tax.

It is twenty one years since Thatcher’s Tory government tried to impose the Poll Tax. Officially termed the Community Charge, the Poll Tax amounted to a flat rate tax that individuals had to pay to their Local Councils regardless of their income. In an effort to bring the Cameron  Big Society one step closer, it has been announced that council tax is to go through a re-evaluation process for each house and this will also apply to every live-aboard boat in the UK administered for boaters under the new Inland Waterways charity.

All current house and boat values will be reassessed and one of the main criteria for the assessment will be the quality of the area in which you live or have a mooring. How this move back to the poll tax will square with the big society I am not altogether sure. Will they will charge us more if we live or moor in a nice area and charge us less if we live or moor in a rough area. Your guess is as good as mine about how the quality will be assessed. I suppose it will have something to do with the crime figures and the numbers of families living on state benefits.

Just down the road from where we are moored at the moment, there is a huge house. It would seem that there is an extended English, Greek and German family living in it. The owner "Vinegar Liz" is a grumpy old woman who always wears a head scarf. She also has a large pack of irritable noisy dogs which have been allowed to run free in her garden. To the best of my knowledge her car isn't taxed or insured and doesn't even have a number plate, but the local police do nothing. I know she lives on state benefits and she has never held down a real job. Yet they seem to be able to afford to spend months away on holiday every year.

Her bad-tempered husband known as "Phil the Greek" is notorious for his racist comments. A local Asian shopkeeper blamed him for arranging the murder of his son and his son's girl-friend, but still nothing has been proved.

All their kids have broken marriages except the youngest, who everyone thought was gay anyway. Two grandsons are meant to be in the armed forces but are always out partying in nightclubs although one has recently married and may quieten down. It is suspected that they may not have the same father. To be honest the family are totally dysfunctional and out of control. I feel sorry for the families living near Buckingham Palace, maybe they can get a poll tax rebate.


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