Tax the bin or bin the tax?

If Labour want to finish themselves off, they should press on with the Bin Tax. It will be the ultimate parody of their style of government. It means probing into the messy detail of every family’s life, literally rummaging through their garbage to find out what they are up to. It will require cameras or spies on the bins to watch what is going in. It will doubtless require CCTV on high, to see who is putting things in the bins, to stop people using the defence that they didn’t put the offending items into the bins themselves.

There will need to be a new army of bin enforcers, to go alongside the speed and parking police. They will be able to create new criminal offences, levy far more fines, and even send some more people to jail if they refuse the fines or offend too often. It will be intrusive, bureaucratic, expensive, vexatious and penal.

If the Conservatives are really lucky, the Prime Minister will dither before bringing in the Bin Tax. It will then be implemented in trial places, only for a Labour rebellion to build up against the whole idea!

It is so difficult writing parody these days, when the government set out to parody themselves so comprehensively. Could someone buy them a mirror so they can see just how it looks to the rest of us?

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9 Comments

  1. Posted May 6, 2008 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Ah yes,

    CCTV, the modern answer to all criminal activity!

  2. Posted May 6, 2008 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    The former Chancellor is trapped and humiliated in his own web. Attempts to extract himself are embarrassing to watch, and to even have mentioned the rubbish bin in the new re-launch is grotesquely amusing – simply because the association of rubbish bins with Gordon Brown is so appropriate.
    New forms of political suicide develope as we watch. If the ingenuity thus exercised was applied in a positive way the PM would be somewhat more popular than he is. And how badly he desires to be adored, respected and admired – however much he believed that he could forever make fools of those whose affection he seeks.
    But this is stealth exposed, evasion painfully pinned down, and intense pride and unrealistic ambition dreadfully, horribly scorned.
    Those heady days of the early premiership are long gone.
    However, much o this is merely the comic element of a tragedy that envelopes us all. The incompetent we witness has been in charge of of the country's finances for more than a decade. There is so much to be done in the mere undoing of the mess that has been generated. Cameron's platform needs to be no more than that: dismantle the awful results of the catastrophic and hallucinatory visions of Gordon Brown.

  3. Posted May 6, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    One good reform our Liberals brought in when they had control of our council was that the recyclables and food waste were to be collected once a week, and the residue once a fortnight. This still stands, and although houses in multi-occupation don't always comply, most families now do, and there is no need for fines or spying. Why don't all councils do it this way? People soon get into the habit of reducing their rubbish in volume by sorting it – putting out the paper, cardboard, rags, clothes, shoes, batteries, tins, glass, foil, and food waste, once a week, just to get rid of it as soon as possible. There is then very little left for the fortnightly landfill collection, and not a lot to complain about compared with the real trials of living in falling-apart urban Britain.

  4. Posted May 6, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Funny how Boris has exactly the same policies as Red Ken for tackling crime, designed by people far smarter than you politicians, to oppress the innocent.

    Its taken me less than a week to confirm what i suspected.

    Would the conservatives really be any better. Where are the brains, like you, that are needed to reign in the executive.

  5. Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Somewhere in the USA they just said to put all the stuff for recycling in the same bin & said that it would be sorted out . The result recycling rose by 70% !

    My point is that you cannot blame people for too much rubbish when the stupid retailers talk a good game about being ‘ eco-friendly ‘ while over packaging to an obscene extent . If we want less stuff going to landfil why can’t the shops stop this childish nanny state over protective agenda and just axe the over packaging ? Then we would have less to recycle and that must make sense in a nation running out of landfil space , surely ? What is the sense of having two corn of the cob wrapped in plastic for either a person who only needs one or three and objects to us wasting food while much of the world starves ? Surely the freemarket ought to mean less packaging of fruit & veg as we customers decide how many oranges etc that we want rather than stores deciding the amounts for us ? Thank goodness for local markets where we can decide for ourselves more or less ! We could waste less food if we could buy the amount that suited us which is turn would mean less packaging as well as it would be sold loose in a sensible world….

    Now that M&S & The National Trust are charging for plastic bags let us hope that it works and that good causes get more money and the number of bags starts falling . Seeing those outside peoples front doors full of rubbish is an unpleasant form of litter and people ought to recall The Daily Mail’s highly successful campaign on the damage to the environment ( i.e. marine life dying & the countryside being spoiled ) and knock this silly habbit on the head . The shopping got from A to B in my grandparents day without 13 billion bags a year being issued in a country that you can fit into Texas three times over . You have to credit Alistar Darling with the sense to see that enough was enough and that this needed stopping . Killing off the free plastic bag will not save the planet by itself but if it means less rubbish going to landfill then long term these bin taxes will be less necessary so that recycling rates can rise . I would not mind a bin tax & a congestion charge and a plastic bag charge to be set & collected locally if it ensured a corresponding cut in the Council Tax . Polluters paying is all well & good just as long as taxes do not rise as a result . Taxes are far too high and the Tories will not win the business vote and save our economy by pledging 3p off of corporate tax taking the UK rate down to double the rate in Eire. A Labour rate of 28p on corporate profits & a Tory rate of 25p – no wonder the Lib Dems say both the main parties are the same ! 3p will not lead to Eire style dynamism . Business is right – you would get more money for HM Treasury from a 20% single rate of corporate tax as productivity would rise & avoidence would fall owing to lower & fewer rates .

  6. Posted May 6, 2008 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    So retailers should package their fruit & veg less so we can choose what we want and thus waste less food and have less packaging to chuck out meaning that we do not need a bin tax to boost recycling . By cutting down on packaging business saves money . Sainsbury’s , ASDA , Morrisons , Tesco , M&S , Waitrose , Co-Op – what are you waiting for ? This would deal with food going to waste which Peter Ainsworth recently drew attention to . How on earth can we waste food when so many starve and why have so much packaging going to landfill when we are running out of landfill space in the UK ? Under Labour common sense ain’t to common….

  7. Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Is it time to take waste collection and disposal out of local – that is central – government control. Can we not treat it just like the other utilities of gas; electricity; water and telecoms?

    The real price of the system would soon become apparent and lead to innovation in the sort of products the citizens want. From the "put-it-all-in-one-bin-and-sort-it-for-me", five star service, down to "I-will-sort-everything-for-a-rock-bottom-price".

    A natural price for the landfill charge would appear quite quickly, I think, probably on a similar basis to Carbon trading.

  8. Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Somewhere in the USA they just said to put all the stuff for recycling in the same bin & said that it would be sorted out . The result recycling rose by 70% !

    My point is that you cannot blame people for too much rubbish when the stupid retailers talk a good game about being ' eco-friendly ' while over packaging to an obscene extent . If we want less stuff going to landfil why can't the shops stop this childish nanny state over protective agenda and just axe the over packaging ? Then we would have less to recycle and that must make sense in a nation running out of landfil space , surely ? What is the sense of having two corn of the cob wrapped in plastic for either a person who only needs one or three and objects to us wasting food while much of the world starves ? Surely the freemarket ought to mean less packaging of fruit & veg as we customers decide how many oranges etc that we want rather than stores deciding the amounts for us ? Thank goodness for local markets where we can decide for ourselves more or less ! We could waste less food if we could buy the amount that suited us which is turn would mean less packaging as well as it would be sold loose in a sensible world….

    Now that M&S & The National Trust are charging for plastic bags let us hope that it works and that good causes get more money and the number of bags starts falling . Seeing those outside peoples front doors full of rubbish is an unpleasant form of litter and people ought to recall The Daily Mail's highly successful campaign on the damage to the environment ( i.e. marine life dying & the countryside being spoiled ) and knock this silly habbit on the head . The shopping got from A to B in my grandparents day without 13 billion bags a year being issued in a country that you can fit into Texas three times over . You have to credit Alistar Darling with the sense to see that enough was enough and that this needed stopping . Killing off the free plastic bag will not save the planet by itself but if it means less rubbish going to landfill then long term these bin taxes will be less necessary so that recycling rates can rise . I would not mind a bin tax & a congestion charge and a plastic bag charge to be set & collected locally if it ensured a corresponding cut in the Council Tax . Polluters paying is all well & good just as long as taxes do not rise as a result . Taxes are far too high and the Tories will not win the business vote and save our economy by pledging 3p off of corporate tax taking the UK rate down to double the rate in Eire. A Labour rate of 28p on corporate profits & a Tory rate of 25p – no wonder the Lib Dems say both the main parties are the same ! 3p will not lead to Eire style dynamism . Business is right – you would get more money for HM Treasury from a 20% single rate of corporate tax as productivity would rise & avoidence would fall owing to lower & fewer rates .

  9. Posted May 6, 2008 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    So retailers should package their fruit & veg less so we can choose what we want and thus waste less food and have less packaging to chuck out meaning that we do not need a bin tax to boost recycling . By cutting down on packaging business saves money . Sainsbury's , ASDA , Morrisons , Tesco , M&S , Waitrose , Co-Op – what are you waiting for ? This would deal with food going to waste which Peter Ainsworth recently drew attention to . How on earth can we waste food when so many starve and why have so much packaging going to landfill when we are running out of landfill space in the UK ? Under Labour common sense ain't to common….

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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