Wednesday, March 1

Please can we spend our own money ?

Last week there was much ado about the threat to close upwards of ten thousand rural post offices in Britain; causing much distress to their customers and the hard pressed small business community in our glorious countryside.

The fate of the post offices centred on the annual £150 million subsidy to keep the post offices open. The Scotsman boldly stated: "EU's £150m lifeline will save rural post offices from closure".
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Most newspaper readers will think that the EU has actually coughed up with some money but scrutiny of the story reveals the sad truth. The "EU lifeline" is nothing more than approval given by the EU commission to our own government, so that it can spend our money on the post office subsidy.
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Before British ministers could expend our own money on a vital social service, they had to go grovelling to Brussels in order to convince the commission that the subsidy did not amount to "unfair state aid".
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Amazingly the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in a News Release (PR/2006/24 on 24 Feburary) '' applauds the rural post offices decision'' and welcomed the decision by the European Commission to permit the Government’s £300 million (!) support package for rural post offices.''
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This is how we are now governed, without effective opposition and compliant support from those that should know (and understand) better.
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1 comment:

Kelly said...

I used to think that our system of paying our taxes and petitioning our own government for funds on a state level, here in the states, was a difficult process to follow at times. But to have to go hat in hand and ask that your own tax dollars be allowed to be spent on your own services seems, even to me, not a very good system.

Just out of curiosity, what would have occurred if the EU, for what ever arbitrary reason, should have decided that you could NOT have used your own money to save your own postal system? Did the government have an alternative plan? Would the mails have still been delivered or would they just be even now gathering dust until the next meeting of the EU?

And what about the next crises? First bras, then mail, what is next? milk?