The problem of wrecking yourself to the point where you are chair bound is that you get progressively bored as time goes and are more thrown back on cerebral problems. Yesterday it was taxation. I was thinking about the cost of fuel, and that the far-reaching effects of the swingeing changing in price for fuel can have right across the board. It is the government who puts on a tax levee on petrol and diesel oil, commensurate with the cost. It suddenly dawned on me, that I had forgotten over all these years, that when commerce purchases something, upon which there is a tax, that tax is passed on to the consumer as part of the overheads. If one thinks of all the processes involved in producing a product the number of times that the raw materials, the packaging and the product itself, are transported, and the fuel costs alone involved, there is a constant dribble of tax being added to the final overheads of the product.
Hence, when we purchase a product for which the cost includes it and all the other taxes which are involved, including VAT, the amount of tax that we are actually paying is incredible. I’m not saying that the Exchequer doesn’t necessarily need this amount of money, what I don’t understand is why there are so many government departments involved in getting it in different taxes, when what it boils down to it is that the individual is footing the bill blindfold. I suppose there is a good reason, other than keeping us in the dark, but as this is a gut reaction, rather than educated knowledge, I nonetheless do think of all the printing that has to go on, all the leaflets that are sent out informing of changes in tax levels, postage, changes in legislation, the problems for the individual with so many offices to deal with, and so on for so many different taxes, when the whole lot could be done very simply, probably a lot cheaper.