Taking Stock - September 22, 2014

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Everyone’s been talking about it, you can’t turn on the television without seeing it on the news.

It’s the story of the week.

Yes, while north of Hadrian’s Wall they’ve been having some vote or other, down here we’re all preparing to bid farewell to the tax disc.

OK, so maybe it’s just me?

And, in truth I only really know about it because I 
recently had to apply for one.

I was most surprised when what arrived through the letter box (I’m too busy for Post Office opening hours) wasn’t the usual pristine, ready perforated, Government issue paperwork.

Instead it looked like something I’d knocked up on a laser printer or a colour photocopier, attached to a rather half-hearted letter of apology.

The reason, well the tax disc, from next week, will be no more.

As with any change, the usual doom mongers have been doing the rounds
 (although I’m surprised they’ve had the time with all the warnings of economic meltdown, Braveheart revivals and Scotland falling off the edge of the world).

They claim we’ll lose out on millions of pounds of tax revenue every year as a result of the switch to digital.

They claim the online application process will discriminate against the elderly – something I refute given that anyone who can’t use a web browser probably shouldn’t be trusted at the wheel of a ton or more of metal. Quite frankly, it’s nonsense. I’ve got a TV licence, but nobody has ever seen it – I haven’t, it’s somewhere in my e-mail inbox.

It’s the same with my insurance certificates, electricity bill, shopping list and social life – they’re all pretty much web-based these days.

The police can tell, without looking in your window, if your car is taxed, insured and MOT’d.

It’s probably a good job in my case because, well, I haven’t done the best job with my cut-out and keep farewell car tax notice.

I honestly intended it to be a circle but that quickly went out of the window, partly 
because the only scissors in my house belong to a three-year-old. But everyone loves a lopsided hexagon, right…

Besides, it’s only got to last the week.