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 2 weeks
Street swept every week or so
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.