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article imageOp-Ed: Will London be taxed to death?

By Alexander Baron     Nov 18, 2011 in Politics
London - Today, the 'London Evening Standard' has revealed a plan to slap yet another tax on Londoners, this time it is one that could decimate the tourist trade.
Remember that old story about killing the goose that laid the golden egg? In 1968, Anita Harris recorded a song about going on a tuppenny bus ride. At around that time, there was a three pence adult fare. That is 3d, not 3p, at a time when there were 240d to the £. Today, an off-peak travel pass for London will cost you nearly £8. Eight years ago, a congestion charge was introduced. Currently, a motorist has to pay a £10 charge for driving his own car in the city. That is without fuel, insurance, maintenance, parking fees, and fines for those who come unstuck.
Let's not talk about all the other charges and taxes everyone has to pay, like income tax and VAT, now there is a plan to levy a bed tax on hotels. One local politician told the paper: “Because tourism is so important to the Westminster economy, we want to make sure that the promotion of tourism is well-funded. The decision on Wednesday night was to air ideas from different people's portfolios. This was one of the ideas of mine. We are a long way from anything.”
If tourism is so important, the very last thing the tourist industry wants is for extra charges aimed at keeping tourists away, and indeed the hotel industry is opposed to this proposal vehemently.
All manner of taxes have been levied on us peasants down through the centuries:
there was a hearth tax first levied in the 9th Century
there was a window tax in 1696
there has been and remains income tax, value added tax (VAT), sales tax, customs duty, surtax, corporation tax, death duties - no escape even for the dead - but the big one was the tea tax. Why was this the big one? Because it led to the Boston Tea Party and eventually to the American War Of Independence, that's why.
Maybe that's what we and the world need, because all we ever hear of nowadays are more cuts, more austerity, and yet more taxes. Except for our unelected masters, of course, the banksters.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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