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Topic: Progressive or Regressive Taxation?
Posted by: Andrew OSullivan
Date/Time: 11/03/15 16:31:00

Any pretence that this is not a form of taxation has long been abandoned so it is probably worth serious consideration where the main financial burden falls.

We have moved over the last few decades to a tax collection system in which those on lower incomes will tend to pay a higher proportion of their income with 'sin' taxes like those on alcohol and cigarettes rising.

Hounslow Council would no doubt argue that fining the hell out of Chiswick High Road is a progressive tax because people who drive generally have more money and people in Chiswick generally have more money. I'm sure they are delighted to see people peddle stereotypical views of Chiswick on this forum because it validates this policy.

However. their assumptions may be flawed. As Francis says and most people's experience will bear out, you tend to get parking tickets in areas you are not familiar with so  a high proportion of people fined on Chiswick High Road won't be locals.

Also there is no strong correlation between car ownership and wealth. According to National Statistics the Chiswick wards have the lowest proportion of car ownership in the borough despite also having some of the lowest proportion of deprivation. The people in the area on the highest incomes usually have jobs in which they travel into the City and the West End by public transport. People who have to use a motor vehicle either to get to work or as part of their job tend not to be the highest paid. Talk to anyone in the building trade for instance and they will tell you that a meaningful proportion of their annual profits are eaten up by parking tickets.

The system is also stacked against people with limited literacy or for whom English is a second language. Try and imagine what it would be like if you were trying to park abroad where they had parking arrangements of similar complexity to those in Chiswick written in a language you had a limited understanding of.

Also consider the appeal system. Hounslow habitually declines initial appeals no matter what there merits are. This forces people to resort to the appeal system which structurally favours the professional classes who are able to use the system to their advantage. Once again the tendency will be for PCNs to raise more money from the less well off.

At the end of the day it is a flat rate tax. The Polish builder in his Transit gets a fine that will constitute more than half the income that day. The hedge fund manager in his Porsche Cayenne gets a fine that will probably be about the same as he paid for lunch.

My view is that taxation through PCN is a highly regressive form of taxation. You may disagree and I'd be interested to hear counter-arguments but what can't be denied that we have over the last few years moved to form of revenue raising without any meaningful study of who actually ends up making the biggest contribution. Please don't try and justify the current situation by saying that if you can't pay the fine don't do the crime because everybody tries to avoid getting penalised. The system is structured so that those least able to pay are the ones that tend to get penalised more.


Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 09:07:00 Paul Brown
   Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 11:54:00 Francis Rowe
   Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 12:12:00 Adrian Irving
      Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 12:19:00 Francis Rowe
         Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 12:30:00 Adrian Irving
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 12:39:00 Francis Rowe
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 12:52:00 Adrian Irving
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 13:14:00 Adrian Irving
                     Progressive or Regressive Taxation?11/03/15 16:31:00 Andrew OSullivan
                        Re:Progressive or Regressive Taxation?11/03/15 16:59:00 Andy Pease
                           Re:Re:Progressive or Regressive Taxation?11/03/15 21:27:00 Marie Power
                        Re:Progressive or Regressive Taxation?11/03/15 17:27:00 Adrian Irving
                           Re:Re:Progressive or Regressive Taxation?11/03/15 17:35:00 Felicity Caborn
                              Re:Re:Re:Progressive or Regressive Taxation?11/03/15 17:38:00 Francis Rowe
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Progressive or Regressive Taxation?12/03/15 08:18:00 Felicity Caborn
                           Re:Re:Progressive or Regressive Taxation?11/03/15 17:37:00 Adrian Irving
            Re:Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 12:47:00 Andy Pease
   Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 13:08:00 Thomas Barry
      Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 17:36:00 Jenn Irvine
         Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 17:40:00 Nigel Brooks
         Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 17:46:00 Francis Rowe
         Re:Re:Re:Chiswick High Road Fines Top One Million Pounds In A Year11/03/15 19:33:00 Thomas Barry
   Tips on avoiding fines11/03/15 19:35:00 Thomas Barry
      Re:Tips on avoiding fines11/03/15 19:47:00 Andrew OSullivan
         Re:Re:Tips on avoiding fines11/03/15 20:02:00 Nigel Brooks
         Re:Re:Tips on avoiding fines11/03/15 20:13:00 Adrian Irving
            Re:Re:Re:Tips on avoiding fines12/03/15 11:14:00 Paul Pryce

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