Sitting this morning in one of Barnsley’s recently refurbished park play areas with a coffee and a twix I got to pondering just what I get for my council ta (which for the record is just north of £100 per month). More to the point I thought about how it stacks up against my other monthly bills.
TV and broadband costs about £50 per month, and for that I can have as much conversation and telly as I want. I can also do all sorts of interesting stuf on the Internet.
Gas costs about £100, a bit more if you include the service contract. For that I have a warm house and occasionally (and briefly) clean children. If the boiler breaks I get it fixed.
Car insurance – both cars together are about £150 per month. If one gets bent they straighten it for me. It was very poor value until about 12 months ago when I recouped about 17k of my investment…
So, what do the workshy idiots in the Council give me for my £100 per month?
- Unlimited use of large areas of well kept parkland
- Empty bins every week
- Street swept every few week
- If my house catches fire they send someone round to put it out
- They educate my children
- They exercise a degree of control over the pubs and clubs in my area
- They check that the local chippies and takeaways are ‘broadly compliant’ with health standards
- They check that the buildings being built in my area won’t fall down any time soon
- Unlimited loans of books and other media from the library
- Enforcement of parking laws to ensure the roads keep clear
And probably a few more I’ve overlooked.
So when the direct debit fires again in a few days and takes me that bit closer to skint I wont begrudge it. The system could be fairer (ability to pay shouldn’t be measured by the size of your house) but local government spending is not unreasonable.