Criminals on TV

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Steve Firth, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    raisethe wrote:
    > On 31 Aug, 19:01, Matt B <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>> Should the extra added to rail fares for peek-time travel be put into

    >> the same pot?

    >
    > To the extent that the fare includes taxation, yes it should.


    Why tax road congestion but not train congestion? It is all caused by
    the same thing - lack of appropriate investment by the government.

    > To the
    > extent that it is paying the train company for the service provided,
    > no it shouldn't.


    Eh?

    >>>>> The government are required to generate tax in a fair way.
    >>>> Exactly, based on ability to pay. Not based on choice of transport mode.
    >>> Generating tax in a fair way does not mean it has to be based solely
    >>> on the ability to pay.

    >> It does.

    >
    > It doesn't. To take a neutral example; the single occupancy discount
    > on Council Tax


    Council tax isn't fair either. It's not based on ability to pay, but on
    the value your house would have been back in 1980-something.

    > has its rationale on the fact that a single occupant of
    > a house will on average use fewer Council Services that a multi-
    > occupant household.


    How is it fair then, that 2 occupants pay the same as 10?

    > This is fair, but has nothing to do with the
    > householders ability to pay.


    No, it isn't fair - it is a political ruse to give an illusion of fairness.

    >>> It can be based on other things, such as
    >>> polution, congestion, depletion of finite resources etc.

    >> It can be, but they are /unfair/ taxes. The fair way to control those
    >> things is by rationing,

    >
    > Agreed, and the best way to ration is by price, via taxation.


    That's not what I mean by rationing. I mean allocating equal amounts to
    each individual, regardless of ability to pay.

    >> The country's smog problem
    >> wasn't solved by allowing the rich to emit as much smoke as they liked,
    >> so long as they paid tax on it. It was solved by banning smoky fuel.

    >
    > We are not talking about banning fossil fuels, only restricting their
    > use.


    So have an annual allowance per person then. You can use it to heat
    your house, have a bicycle made, run a car, run your air conditioning,
    or whatever. What could be fairer?

    > Similarly with congestion.


    No. That's caused by lack of supply, not by the necessity to cut-back
    on usage. Those affected, by being caught in congestion, should be
    compensated, they are on the trains and on the planes.

    >> Tewksbury didn't solve their recent drinking water shortage problem by
    >> allowing only those who could afford it to have it, the army distributed
    >> it equally amongst the population.

    >
    > A different scenario, as it was a catastrophe. Not relevant here.


    No, there was a need to share a limited resource - it is an identical
    scenario - spun differently.

    >> Remember that the equation has two sides. On the one side are the costs
    >> to society, such as those of maintaining the roads, etc. On the other
    >> side are the benefits to society, such as tax revenue and the huge
    >> revenues from motoring fines, personal mobility, flexible public
    >> transport & transport of goods, employment in vehicle manufacture,
    >> maintenance and servicing (petrol stations etc.), export duties on
    >> exported vehicles, the cost of replacing motor vehicle use with whatever
    >> would replace it, etc.

    >
    >> Remember too that the cost of congestion is
    >> borne, not /caused/ by motorists

    >
    > Incorrect. It is caused by motorists,


    Do patients cause a shortage of beds? Do train passengers cause
    carriages to be overcrowded in the rush-hour?

    > and borne by both motorists and
    > non motorists.


    So non-motorists should pay congestion charge too?

    > - and so is a benefit to society as
    >> they don't have to provide the system necessary to eliminate it. Also
    >> the health costs and compensation costs caused by liable motorists are
    >> paid from motor insurance, giving the additional benefit of 1000s of
    >> jobs in the insurance, health, and repair businesses. Don't forget the
    >> jobs created for countless 1000s of bureaucrats and administrators in
    >> maintaining the vehicle and driver registers, and in dealing with car
    >> parks, MOTs, tax and fine collection, police, magistrates, etc.

    >
    > The benefits of motoring are not in dispute here.


    They would be expensive to replace.

    > All I say is that fuel taxes should be raised to such a level that
    > consumption is reduced to a level deemed acceptable given the limited
    > resources and the polution caused by its use,


    And all I say is that that isn't a fair way to ration a resource in
    short supply. It means the poor have to sacrifice their use of it,
    whilst the rich are unaffected.

    > and congestion charges
    > should be implemented and increased to the rate necessary to pretty
    > much eliminate that congestion.


    And I say that that unfairly discriminates against the poor too. Not
    only that, but it encourages the supplier to restrict the supply
    further. The incentives should be to ease congestion, not to increase
    it. Targets should be set, and penalties paid, by those not satisfying
    the reasonable demand for a decent and uncongested road network.

    --
    Matt B
     


  2. Ekul Namsob

    Ekul Namsob Guest

    Adrian <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ekul Namsob ([email protected]) gurgled happily,
    > sounding much like they were saying :
    >
    > >> ...Then there's the utterly priceless
    > >> "Generating tax in a fair way does not mean it has to be based solely
    > >> on the ability to pay."

    >
    > > Without wishing to defend raisethe's other points, may I ask what you
    > > find so odd about the last example?

    >
    > Give me one example of a tax which is fair whilst simultaneously being
    > prohibitively expensive.


    Did you not see the word 'solely' in raisethe's statement? What taxes do
    you consider to be fair?

    Cheers,
    Luke

    --
    Red Rose Ramblings, the diary of an Essex boy in
    exile in Lancashire <http://www.shrimper.org.uk>
     
  3. Marc Brett

    Marc Brett Guest

    On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 20:46:33 +0100, Matt B
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Yes - it would be difficult to conceive a less efficient tax, other than
    >the London CC, perhaps.


    You've fallen into the same trap as the US Ambassador, who refuses to
    pay £1 million in congestion charges and fines, because he sees fit to
    interpret UK law any damn way he pleases. It's not a tax, it's a toll,
    much like a bridge toll or motorway toll. US diplomats benefit from the
    reduced congestion, just like everyone else.

    So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.
     
  4. Marc Brett

    Marc Brett Guest

    On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 11:57:29 -0700, raisethe <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >All I say is that fuel taxes should be raised to such a level that
    >consumption is reduced to a level deemed acceptable given the limited
    >resources and the polution caused by its use, and congestion charges
    >should be implemented and increased to the rate necessary to pretty
    >much eliminate that congestion.


    While I agree with the sentiment, it's an unachievable goal. Motorists
    are very inflexible -- increasing the cost of motoring leads to
    motorists spending more to run their precious cars but cutting back on
    other things.
     
  5. JNugent

    JNugent Guest

    Marc Brett wrote:
    > On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 20:46:33 +0100, Matt B
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Yes - it would be difficult to conceive a less efficient tax, other than
    >>the London CC, perhaps.


    > You've fallen into the same trap as the US Ambassador, who refuses to
    > pay £1 million in "congestion"


    tax ...

    > ...and illegal fines for not complying with that tax, because he sees fit to
    > interpret UK law any damn way


    ....that international treaties on diplomatic immunity say it should be
    interpreted.

    > It's not a tax, it's a toll,
    > much like a bridge toll or motorway toll. US diplomats benefit from the
    > reduced congestion, just like everyone else.


    <yawn>

    > So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.


    Even though it is an obvious (and crude) tax?
     
  6. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    Marc Brett wrote:
    > On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 20:46:33 +0100, Matt B
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Yes - it would be difficult to conceive a less efficient tax, other than
    >> the London CC, perhaps.

    >
    > You've fallen into the same trap as the US Ambassador, who refuses to
    > pay £1 million in congestion charges and fines, because he sees fit to
    > interpret UK law any damn way he pleases.


    No, because diplomats don't have to pay taxes such as the CC.

    > It's not a tax, it's a toll,


    A toll is also a tax, so either way it's the same.

    > much like a bridge toll or motorway toll.


    Yes, they're taxes too, but it certainly isn't like (most of) them either.

    Traditionally, tolls were scrapped once the debts of the bridge, tunnel,
    or road were paid, and there was enough money in the kitty to maintain
    the structure in the future. That principle was recently
    comprehensively thrown out of the window for the Dartford crossing
    "toll". The government decided to continue it, although its statutory
    period was coming to an end, and the debts were paid - as a congestion
    charge.

    As for the London CC, not only is it /not/ a congestion charge (it isn't
    solely based on the potential of a vehicle to cause congestion), but it
    isn't a conventional toll either. It is a pure road /tax/, albeit
    politically targeted at certain user classes, similar to VED.

    > US diplomats benefit from the
    > reduced congestion, just like everyone else.


    Yes. But as they are immune from UK taxes they don't have to pay CC.

    > So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.


    There is no more accurate word for it.

    --
    Matt B
     
  7. NM

    NM Guest

    Marc Brett wrote:
    > On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 20:46:33 +0100, Matt B
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Yes - it would be difficult to conceive a less efficient tax, other than
    >> the London CC, perhaps.

    >
    > You've fallen into the same trap as the US Ambassador, who refuses to
    > pay £1 million in congestion charges and fines, because he sees fit to
    > interpret UK law any damn way he pleases. It's not a tax, it's a toll,
    > much like a bridge toll or motorway toll. US diplomats benefit from the
    > reduced congestion, just like everyone else.
    >
    > So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.
    >

    what reduced congestion is that?
     
  8. Clive.

    Clive. Guest

    In message <[email protected]>,
    raisethe <[email protected]> writes
    >The government are required to generate tax in a fair way.
    >No right minded person can dispute that.

    What is a "right minded person"? One that agrees with you? Or
    perhaps someone who can think for themselves.
    --
    Clive.
     
  9. Steve Firth

    Steve Firth Guest

    NM <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Marc Brett wrote:
    > > On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 20:46:33 +0100, Matt B
    > > <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > >> Yes - it would be difficult to conceive a less efficient tax, other than
    > >> the London CC, perhaps.

    > >
    > > You've fallen into the same trap as the US Ambassador, who refuses to
    > > pay £1 million in congestion charges and fines, because he sees fit to
    > > interpret UK law any damn way he pleases. It's not a tax, it's a toll,
    > > much like a bridge toll or motorway toll. US diplomats benefit from the
    > > reduced congestion, just like everyone else.
    > >
    > > So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.
    > >

    > what reduced congestion is that?


    It's umm reducing the congestion caused by the congestion charge, or
    something.
     
  10. Marc Brett

    Marc Brett Guest

    On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 23:35:24 +0100, JNugent
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.

    >
    >Even though it is an obvious (and crude) tax?


    So why do the US embassies in Oslo and Singapore gladly pay similar
    congestion charges?

    Other London embassies, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan,
    Sweden, Netherlands, Iran, Israel, Syria, Finland and Spain, do pay the
    CC, even though they are covered by the same diplomatic immunity to
    taxation.

    France, Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, Belarus and Russia all gladly paid
    the CC until the westward expansion enveloped their own embassies. Now,
    all of a sudden, it's a "tax" in their eyes and they feel it's ok to
    flout UK law.

    The UK government and the GLA both assert it is not a tax.

    On what basis do you disagree with that assertion?
     
  11. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    Marc Brett wrote:
    > On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 23:35:24 +0100, JNugent
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>> So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.

    >> Even though it is an obvious (and crude) tax?

    >
    > So why do the US embassies in Oslo and Singapore gladly pay similar
    > congestion charges?


    Could it be that they are true tolls, raising money to build and
    maintain the roads - unlike the blatant CC tax?

    > Other London embassies, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan,
    > Sweden, Netherlands, Iran, Israel, Syria, Finland and Spain, do pay the
    > CC, even though they are covered by the same diplomatic immunity to
    > taxation.


    Perhaps it doesn't affect them too much, and they aren't prepared to
    take the moral stance.

    > France, Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, Belarus and Russia all gladly paid
    > the CC until the westward expansion enveloped their own embassies. Now,
    > all of a sudden, it's a "tax" in their eyes and they feel it's ok to
    > flout UK law.


    Now they are more directly affected they have had to review their
    position, and upon further investigation now realise too, what the
    Americans always knew - it /is/ a tax.

    > The UK government and the GLA both assert it is not a tax.


    Surprise surprise. They would, wouldn't they, in a desperate attempt to
    give it credibility.

    > On what basis do you disagree with that assertion?


    ?

    --
    Matt B
     
  12. JNugent

    JNugent Guest

    Marc Brett wrote:

    > JNugent <[email protected]> wrote:


    >>>So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.


    >>Even though it is an obvious (and crude) tax?


    > So why do the US embassies in Oslo and Singapore gladly pay similar
    > congestion charges?


    I have heard that suggestion before, though I have seen no evidence of
    it. In any event, "similar" does not mean "the same". Real tolls (such
    as those on American turnpikes or on British estuarial crossings) are
    in a different category and diplomats are not exempt from paying them.
    The London "congestion" tax (which, as it evolves, is being revealed
    more and more as a spite tax) is not a toll. It is especially not a
    toll merely because the government and its miserable misanthrope
    supporters say it is one.

    > Other London embassies, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan,
    > Sweden, Netherlands, Iran, Israel, Syria, Finland and Spain, do pay the
    > CC, even though they are covered by the same diplomatic immunity to
    > taxation.


    They clearly take a different view (for reasons of their own, which
    might be no more than the fact that they simply budget for it in order
    to avoid conflict. What does Nigeria do? That's be an interesting one,
    wouldn't it?

    > France, Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, Belarus and Russia all gladly paid
    > the CC until the westward expansion enveloped their own embassies. Now,
    > all of a sudden, it's a "tax" in their eyes and they feel it's ok to
    > flout UK law.


    Perhaps - just perhaps - they took a pragmatic view when they didn't
    need to enter the "congestion" tax zone all that much, but now cannot
    ignore the effect of the tax on them and their nationals who work for
    them.

    > The UK government and the GLA both assert it is not a tax.


    Ah... thank you.

    The UK government does not (because they cannot) define international
    treaties post-hoc. Neither are they (and especially not the GLA)
    authorities on the meaning of English words. A tax is a tax whether
    the UK government deigns to admit it or not.

    If Loony Ken is peeved by the American insistence on not having to pay
    taxes to him, let him sue them for the money before the appropriate
    international arbiter of such things.

    > On what basis do you disagree with that assertion?


    On what basis do I (and others) decline to accept the authority of the
    Labour Party to define the meaning of English words in everyday usage?

    Dear me - how unreasonable of us!

    You are speaking of the body that assured us about WMD that could be
    launched at us in 45 minutes. For shame - neither body (especially the
    persons at their respective pinnacles) would recognise truth if they
    saw it or dream of speaking it unless it were totally convenient.
     
  13. Marc Brett

    Marc Brett Guest

    On Sat, 01 Sep 2007 09:32:36 +0100, JNugent
    <[email protected]> wrote:


    >On what basis do I (and others) decline to accept the authority of the
    >Labour Party to define the meaning of English words in everyday usage?


    A bit rich coming from someone who disputes the OED definition of "fine"
    and thinks "finite" is esoteric scientific jargon. Now you take it upon
    yourself to redefine the word "tax" to align with your prejudice.
     
  14. Marc Brett

    Marc Brett Guest

    On Sat, 01 Sep 2007 09:21:36 +0100, Matt B
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Marc Brett wrote:
    >> On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 23:35:24 +0100, JNugent
    >> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >>>> So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.
    >>> Even though it is an obvious (and crude) tax?

    >>
    >> So why do the US embassies in Oslo and Singapore gladly pay similar
    >> congestion charges?

    >
    >Could it be that they are true tolls, raising money to build and
    >maintain the roads - unlike the blatant CC tax?


    That may be argued for Oslo which uses some of the money to fund road
    construction and public transportation, but certainly not Singapore
    which is aimed purely at curbing vehicle use.

    >> Other London embassies, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan,
    >> Sweden, Netherlands, Iran, Israel, Syria, Finland and Spain, do pay the
    >> CC, even though they are covered by the same diplomatic immunity to
    >> taxation.

    >
    >Perhaps it doesn't affect them too much, and they aren't prepared to
    >take the moral stance.


    Perhaps they recognise its legitimacy.

    >> France, Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, Belarus and Russia all gladly paid
    >> the CC until the westward expansion enveloped their own embassies. Now,
    >> all of a sudden, it's a "tax" in their eyes and they feel it's ok to
    >> flout UK law.

    >
    >Now they are more directly affected they have had to review their
    >position, and upon further investigation now realise too, what the
    >Americans always knew - it /is/ a tax..


    Perhaps they just want to save money, and are exploiting a grey area of
    the law.

    >> The UK government and the GLA both assert it is not a tax.

    >
    >Surprise surprise. They would, wouldn't they, in a desperate attempt to
    >give it credibility.


    Desperate attempt? They make the laws, and define what is and isn't a
    tax. That's not desperation -- that's their job!

    >> On what basis do you disagree with that assertion?

    >
    >?


    Figures.
     
  15. Brimstone

    Brimstone Guest

    JNugent wrote:
    > For shame - neither body (especially the
    > persons at their respective pinnacles) would recognise truth if they
    > saw it or dream of speaking it unless it were totally convenient.


    Plaudits indeed from an acknowledged master of the art.
     
  16. JNugent

    JNugent Guest

    Marc Brett wrote:

    > JNugent <[email protected]> wrote:


    >>On what basis do I (and others) decline to accept the authority of the
    >>Labour Party to define the meaning of English words in everyday usage?


    > A bit rich coming from someone who disputes the OED definition of "fine"


    It was a cyclist's definition of what someone else might or might not
    have meant by the term "fine weather", actually.

    But don't ever let the truth get in the way of your usual rants, eh?

    > and thinks "finite" is esoteric scientific jargon.


    When used as a scientific term of art.

    But don't ever let the truth get in the way of your usual rants, eh?

    [Go on - look up "term or art".]

    > Now you take it upon yourself to redefine the word "tax" to align
    > with your prejudice.


    It means what it always meant. It is not up to Golden Brown or Loony
    Ken to redefine the English language. And neither it is up to you.
     
  17. Matt B

    Matt B Guest

    Marc Brett wrote:
    > On Sat, 01 Sep 2007 09:21:36 +0100, Matt B
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> Marc Brett wrote:
    >>> On Fri, 31 Aug 2007 23:35:24 +0100, JNugent
    >>> <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>> So whether it's efficient or not, don't call it a tax.
    >>>> Even though it is an obvious (and crude) tax?
    >>> So why do the US embassies in Oslo and Singapore gladly pay similar
    >>> congestion charges?

    >> Could it be that they are true tolls, raising money to build and
    >> maintain the roads - unlike the blatant CC tax?

    >
    > That may be argued for Oslo which uses some of the money to fund road
    > construction and public transportation,


    A toll then.

    > but certainly not Singapore
    > which is aimed purely at curbing vehicle use.


    Ah, "aimed purely at", an honourable CC then, that could explain it.

    >>> Other London embassies, including the United Arab Emirates, Japan,
    >>> Sweden, Netherlands, Iran, Israel, Syria, Finland and Spain, do pay the
    >>> CC, even though they are covered by the same diplomatic immunity to
    >>> taxation.

    >> Perhaps it doesn't affect them too much, and they aren't prepared to
    >> take the moral stance.

    >
    > Perhaps they recognise its legitimacy.


    Do think that is very likely?

    >>> France, Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, Belarus and Russia all gladly paid
    >>> the CC until the westward expansion enveloped their own embassies. Now,
    >>> all of a sudden, it's a "tax" in their eyes and they feel it's ok to
    >>> flout UK law.

    >> Now they are more directly affected they have had to review their
    >> position, and upon further investigation now realise too, what the
    >> Americans always knew - it /is/ a tax..

    >
    > Perhaps they just want to save money, and are exploiting a grey area of
    > the law.


    Good luck to them.

    >>> The UK government and the GLA both assert it is not a tax.

    >> Surprise surprise. They would, wouldn't they, in a desperate attempt to
    >> give it credibility.

    >
    > Desperate attempt? They make the laws,


    Yes, unfortunately.

    > and define what is and isn't a
    > tax.


    No, they can't change the meanings of words - just to give a tax
    credibility - especially when it is patently devoid of any.

    > That's not desperation -- that's their job!


    Their job is to look after us - not rip us off.

    --
    Matt B
     
  18. Brimstone

    Brimstone Guest

    Matt B wrote:
    > Marc Brett wrote:


    >> That's not desperation -- that's their job!

    >
    > Their job is to look after us - not rip us off.


    Surely that depends on who one considers is being ripped off?
     
  19. Marc Brett

    Marc Brett Guest

    On Sat, 01 Sep 2007 10:39:32 +0100, JNugent
    <[email protected]> wrote:


    >[Go on - look up "term or art".]


    Waste of time. Your private definition is the only one you'll accept.
     
  20. Brimstone

    Brimstone Guest

    JNugent wrote:
    > When used as a scientific term of art.
    >
    > [Go on - look up "term or art".]


    Is this "term of art" or is it "term or art"?
     
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