March 07, 2010

Compare and contrast

Two stories from the UK's Telegraph...

First, with my emphasis, Shoppers could face VAT on food:

The feasibility of introducing the food tax is being raised informally between civil servants, industry bodies and retail insiders.

So politically-sensitive is the move that all the talks are occurring "under the radar", according to retail industry insiders.

Basic supermarket groceries are currently immune from VAT, along with books, newspapers and children's clothes.

However a VAT levy on food of between three and five per cent would raise billions of pounds in tax and help reduce Government borrowings, which are expected to hit £180 billion this year.

So, they're trying to keep this quiet, huh? I wonder why they'd do something like that.

Oh, wait...

MPs demand right to travel first class:

They say they need the perk in order to be able to work during journeys to and from Parliament. One MP even said he needed a first class seat because of his height.

Their pleas are included in nearly 50 submissions made by MPs to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the body charged with drawing up a new system of allowances to replace the discredited expenses system.

Documents published by the organisation show that many MPs also resent proposals by its chairman, Sir Ian Kennedy to:

* Ban them from employing relatives

* Scrap the payment of a 'Golden Goodbye' when they lose their seat

* Limit the amount they spend on running their office.

I'm not against the last thing there, though I admit that I'm not familiar as to whether or not this involves public funds.

Anyway, one Conservative MP (and the Conservatives over there seem to be just as fucked-up as the Labour Party pols) named Anne Widdecombe, had the following to say:

"If I travel first class, I can plug in my computer, not a facility that is universally available in second class. I can therefore work throughout the journey.

"The 'at seat' service means that I do not have to interrupt the work to go and queue in the train's buffet bar.

"Second class being more of a thoroughfare, interruption and engagement in conversation is a great deal more frequent."

Oh, heaven forbid that you'd have to actually have to talk to someone from the hoi polloi while you're waiting to use your computer! And, I'm absolutely sure that you're using that first class intertubes access to exclusively conduct government business. Yeah.

I'm not sure which way the influence is running, but it sure seems like there's a cross-Atlantic current between our douchebags in DC and theirs in London.

Fuck 'em all.

Posted by: Sean M. at 03:31 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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