Ryeview – January 2007

We end up paying many times over

John Clark writes…

First published: January 2007 – Gazette & Herald

Paying twice is always bad news. Losing a ticket and having to buy a replacement hurts more than twice the cost in the first place. Now, the con merchants of the EU and the ‘market’ have found ways of getting us to pay three or four times.

Water is one of the first examples. Not long ago water belonged to all of us. It fell free from the heavens. The local water authority may have charged for collecting and delivering but the ‘profit’ stayed with those who had paid. Now we have an inferior service and we pay many times.

The government (Mrs T. and her mates) sold off the water supply industry. We now pay for water so that massive companies can make a profit – payment number one. The water is so polluted that we have to pay millions for the nitrates, phosphates and pesticides to be removed, not only from our drinking water but also from our rivers and lakes – payment number two.

Many then consider that the water we receive is ‘undrinkable’ so vast numbers of the population buy bottled water to drink – payment number three.

Water companies are pressing the regulators (also part of the plot) to allow them to increase the charges. Money to reduce leaks? Money for desalination plants; money for a national grid? Payments numbers four five and six. Not to mention disposing of the packaging in the form of empty plastic bottles.

Food is even more costly. Local food fed the UK until trade and the ‘market’ destroyed the ‘local link’ that had existed for thousands of years. We now pay for food many times over.

Britain has a cheap food policy. The price on the shelf is low. This of course is only payment number one. Payment number two is the subsidies paid by the public (£3 billion in Taxes) to the Common Agricultural Policy. Originally this was intended to ensure that the smaller farms could receive a living while, at the same time the price of food was reasonable. Just a glimpse at current payments show this is no longer the case. Many large farmers are paid subsidies in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Even more obscene is the likes of Tate & Lyle and Nestle being paid in the tens of millions. When all the payments are taken into account, food is not cheap.

The next possible place to make us pay several times is for packaging. When we buy from the supermarket we pay for the packaging. Payment number two is through our Council Tax to have it collected and processed. The latest suggestion is that people should pay for the amount of rubbish collected. Payment number three. Before this one gets off the ground, there is a better solution. All packaging should be returned to the producer. The supermarkets should pay for their own rubbish. Watch the return of the returnable milk and beer bottles. Watch the amount of useless packaging disappear. Watch some of our payments go with it.

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