Unduly Harsh

Overheard while visiting the shops in St Albans today: “It makes you fink what the sort of fing there is.”

It’s wrong isn’t it? It’s wrong on so many levels. Among other things it says, subtext, that this woman has had no conceivable benefit from an education yet here she is living in St Albans where house prices are 180k for a two bedroom flat and moving rapidly into the 250-300k bracket for a house. How does she make enough money to afford this while using so little brain? Where am I going wrong?

Hertfordshire County Council sent me a newspaper today. Once I’d finished weeping with joy at their considerateness in keeping me informed about how they’re spending my money by spending more of my money, I glanced at it. “Most people we surveyed,” it baldly stated, “would be happy to pay more local taxes to maintain services.” So they’re putting local taxes up. By at least 15 percent.

The question I have to ask myself is why? Why does it cost the council an extra 15 percent to provide the same services as last year?

Yes, the *same* services. They were clear–“in order to maintain services at the present level we would have to increase council tax by more than 15 percent.” When inflation is around two percent and salary increases are at the same level, why does it cost the local authority such a staggeringly large amount more than it costs everyone else?

“As we went to press we had news of the Government’s provisional funding which left Hertfordshire with one of the lowest grant increases of any county,” wrote the author of this monkeybusiness. Yes, they are getting a massive grant from central government. And it’s being increased. But not increased enough for the wanton wastage which HCC has got in mind.

As the woman said, “It makes you fink what the sort of fing there is.”

I had to buy two large bars of chocolate just to maintain my equilibrium.