innocent_lex: (can I shoot it now?)
In every discussion about the recession and who's affected by it, there are always some people who say "No, I'm not affected! I manage my spending and don't buy things on credit I can't afford unlike those irresponsible people who brought the repossession of their house on themselves. *I* live within my means.". Oy.

Some people are very lucky because so far they've managed to keep their jobs and their income, and might even be managing to save. I count myself among those people (though like most people in that situation I'm still worried as more and more jobs go - you can never count yourself safe). Other people are very unlucky and have lost their jobs after having to deal with rising prices and rising taxes for years, and haven't had the opportunity to save for a rainy day. And other people are smug gits. Thankfully the smug gits are the minority. Sadly the unlucky people are an ever growing number.
innocent_lex: (not again)
The people involved in financial markets around the world seem to be the most stressed out, panicky, trigger-happy bunch of people on the planet. That's just wonderful. Banks are toppling like dominoes, the markets are plunging, and nobody is able to control it because everyone's just panicking. Stop it! For everyone's sake, get a bloody grip!

In other news, I did a lot of ironing this evening. This is a twice-yearly event, and I'll be able to wear flat clothes for a couple of weeks until I go back to my usual 'it'll only get wrinkled on the train anyway' way of approaching the world.
innocent_lex: (can I shoot it now?)
It's a fucking disaster.

That's all.

Hmmm

Jul. 25th, 2008 05:07 pm
innocent_lex: (Default)
Filled up with petrol yesterday and the price was down 4p a litre from the last time. This is good, although it's still ridiculously expensive. I'm cautious about it, though, as I still have no idea why it went so damn high in the first place.

In other news... it's the weekend! I'm very tired. And warm. It was about 88F in the living room this morning and over 100F in the conservatory. Obviously it's not that hot outside.
innocent_lex: (Is he serious?)
There have been tax changes announced on cars here in our fair land. Our most illustrious leader has decided that people must pay more tax on their cars for the... well, I'm actually not entirely sure what for. There's talk of this taxing more polluting cars, but it doesn't appear to be the case. There seems to be some relation between tax and cars with bigger engines, but that sounds silly because how efficient a car is certainly isn't solely related to the size of its engine (a 1l micra may have 30mpg while a 2l diesel estate might have 50mpg). This tax is not just on new cars, but on any car registered from 2001 onwards, so if you made a sound buying decision in 2001 about your car and how fuel efficient it is, what insurance class it would be in, against how big you needed it to be to carry your family / goods, you are now being taxed irrespective of any of that sound thinking.

What's confusing me the most, though, is this all appears to have been put in place based on two things:
1) this tax is about being 'green' so cars which are deemed 'not green' will be taxed more, to encourage owners to buy a new 'greener' car
2) people have ten grand sitting around just waiting to spend on a new car

On 2, from a purely financial perspective if I decide to get rid of my current car (bought in 1999) and buy a new car that is deemed 'green' by this demented government, I will need to spend at least ten grand. Actually, as I've been investigating this recently I know I'd need to spend at least 14 grand. I don't have 14 grand to spend on a car. That brings that to a halt. But how is me spending thousands of pounds on a car going to offset the extra £300 I might otherwise be paying a year in tax? It would take me 46 years to recover the money I spent on a new car. I'd be... well, let's just say I'd be 46 years older, and that's a ridiculous payback time. Even allowing for the fact that I might (and I say might, my current car is pretty efficient) get a better mpg thereby saving myself some money in the vast taxes levied on petrol, that payback time might be (and let's get into outright fantasyland here) halved. Still, I'm not even going to consider a 23 year payback time - what a pointless waste that would be.

And let's not even get into the current financial crisis and how this ridiculous tax hike will just hit everyone even harder, most especially the people the Labour party have always claimed to represent, i.e. those in lower income families.

Back to point 1 - the government seem to think this equation is valid:

spent resources + some very small difference in emissions
[has a higher environmental cost than]
new resources expended creating a brand new car + environmental cost of disposing of old car - some very small difference in emissions

When the government can show me the science they've had done by experts to clearly demonstrate that the energy cost, materials cost, resource cost and pollution / emissions cost of obtaining all of the resources to build that new car, actually building the new car, and shipping it to me, plus the energy and environmental costs of getting rid of my current car are considerably lower than the very small difference in emissions that might (and it is a might - my car is efficient) result from me changing my car, then they can start this conversation from an intelligent base and they might have a cat's chance in hell of engaging the British public. Because right now the British public think the government are morons.

After all this comment, though, we all know this is just a money-making scheme. It has nothing to do with the environment at all. Brown has raised taxes on everything that moves and most things that sit still in this country. The sooner he and his party are out of power the better.

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