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T – Charge

Drive in London and you can pay £21.50 for the privilege. That’s the effect of the new T-charge. The mayor tells us it will cost taxpayers £7m to implement. That makes no sense whatsoever.

This isn’t an isolated incident. Over the last decade we have squandered a lot of benefits that should have arisen from two sources namely improved I.T. and simplified “industrial” processes.

Opening a bank account – it takes half a day or more.

Need a criminal records check for a new job – I’m told it’s a wait of 12 weeks.

Motorway roadworks – longer than the time it took to build the road (not funny but true).

£5 of coins to the bank for a £5 note – you must pay into your account first.

Switch a bank account – take half a day of form filling plus two bits of I.D. (This goes missing in the post).

Claim a discount on council tax – 6 weeks of delay.

Transfer a pension – it’s independent advice costing hundreds before you can decide what to do

Buy a car – sit in the sales office for half a day with the paperwork…….

There’s a serious point here. Productivity has collapsed and it’s not difficult to see why.

Everything that was once straight forward is now burdensome and costly.

What’s happening is that resources are being misdirected. It’s therefore no surprise that in the last decade finance, telecoms and energy have all suffered poor productivity growth. They are after all at the forefront of regulation.

The T-charge is a small but understandable example. The money is out of your pocket – you have less to spend on the things you want. Who wins? No one.


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