Just a thought about the conservatory tax

You know, this idea that, well, you cannot replace your boiler until 15 civil servants have given you permission to do so?

Err, no, fuck \’em.

Hang the lot of them.

11 comments on “Just a thought about the conservatory tax

  1. Quite.

    Imagine some old lady freezing in her home because some idiot bureaucrat hasn’t got round to giving her permission to warm her home.

    This’ll never fly unless the government really is on a mission to piss off the few remaining supporters it has left.

  2. Actually, the old lady will freeze because they will tell her she can’t replace the broken boiler unless she also does a pile of other useless work which she can’t afford, and she won’t borrow money because she comes from a generation that just doesn’t, so she will live with the broken boiler from then on.

    I suppose she can always boil a kettle to fill her hot water bottle.

    That’s how life used to be, and how it will be again it seems.

  3. I remain to be convinced that the EU Directive will enable such officious nonsense.

    Replacing a boiler doesn’t need planning permission or building regs to inspect it. A modestly sized conservatory or extension doesn’t generally need planning permission provided you aren’t in a conservation area, don’t live in a listed building and it is under a particular % of your original ground floor space. They would have to unpick permitted development rights in order to foist this on to us to such an extent.(But I wouldn’t put it past them.)

  4. What is happening here politically?
    There seems to have been a massive Conservative leadership lurch into authoritarianism since the budget (minimum alcohol price, secret trials, internet snooping, the daftness mentioned above, no doubt others I have forgotten).
    Is this just an accident of timing, or is there something going on? Has the poorly received budget panicked the party into some bizarre attempt to appeal to some ‘Tory core ‘ of borderline fascists? Or is this just politicians cheerfully ignoring everything they said in the election campaign as usual?
    Any ideas?

  5. The question is, how will they know?
    You don’t need to consult the council about most of these alterations. You can convert your own loft into a spare room and not even tell the prodnoses. Buy a loft ladder, some floor panels, whatever insulation you want, and install your own Velux double-glazed window. Voila.

    Same for replacing your existing windows with new ones. And your doors, and your central heating boiler. How do they propose to police this nonsense? They would have to impose statutory reporting duties on the tradesmen, and the DIY materials suppliers for heavens sake. And as a direct result, there would be far more customers for the no-questions-asked black economy.

    It is astonishing that a supposedly Conservative led administration is even considering this.

  6. @Monty: ‘The question is, how will they know?’:

    Simple, as I discovered last night. I went to buy a new flat screen tv to use a monitor for my PC. Go to the checkout, and the checkout girl says

    ‘Sorry, can’t sell you this unless you fill out a TV licensing form.

    But I’m not going to use it as a TV, just a monitor.

    Sorry , its the law, we can’t sell you a TV unless you fill in the form.’

    So I filled in my name , and an old address (I’m very forgetful, I sometime forget where I live these days) and went merrily on my way.

    That’ll be what its like at B&Q, or your local builders merchant soon enough.

  7. Jim, 10 years ago I used to work in ASDA in a shady part of Glasgow. I was the clown who had to ask people to fill in the TV licensing form.

    The usual response was “Mr M Mouse, Disneyland, Paris” or something similar. If you are going to put the wrong address on you may as well stick on the name of someone you dislike.

  8. @Alex

    When the party in power starts behaving out-of-character I find it is worth looking to the EU. Gareth has already mentioned that this proposal has the spectre of the EU behind it. I am also aware of minimum alcohol pricing, internet snooping and train lines to Birmingham having EU dimensions.

  9. @Paul Coombes, no, actually, minimum alcohol pricing does NOT have EU dimensions – or to be accurate, it does, and the EU doesn’t allow it.

    Similar things have been tried in (iirc) Holland and they’ve been struck down by the European Courts.

    Minimum alcohol pricing is a home-grown lunacy which will, in time, be removed by the EU.

    The Scotch Whisky Assocation have recently made it quite clear that they’ll be raising the case that will do it.

    On all the others, you’re quite right. You could have mentioned rail privatisation, the destruction of the rural Post Office network, and a few other things too.

    Can we leave yet?

  10. In relation to this,

    here seems to have been a massive Conservative leadership lurch into authoritarianism since the budget (minimum alcohol price, secret trials, internet snooping, the daftness mentioned above, no doubt others I have forgotten).

    … and where the ideas originate from (e.g. is it EU?), sometimes it can be hard to unpick.

    As I recall, UK internet snooping is a longstanding Home Office project; in 2005 Charles Clarke, then Home Secretary, promoted it to the EU Council of Ministers and then there was an EU Directive data retention directive.

    But it has been coming up time and again for years, even before Clarke. Who is to blame? At one point Germans were blaming the USA’s Business Software Alliance lobbyists. Other people have (reasonably) blamed demands from the US government under Bush Jr, the FBI, Belgium and Sweden and Denmark have all pushed for it, and it has actually been the EU Commission (among others) that has said at one time and another, “hang on, this is probably illegal and unnecessary and costly and counterproductive”. It is member states that have been supporting this for what must be at least a decade now, not just the EU apparatus or bits of it.

    What the EU allows for or facilitates is ‘policy laundering’; these unwelcome ideas often come from individual member states and they are put to the important bits of EU apparatus and from there they come back down to the member states and our governments say, “well there’s nothing we can do about it, it’s an EU directive”. A domestic government will do it this way because it will otherwise struggle to get it through the domestic legislature. And this just isn’t right – it’s anti-democratic.

  11. @Gareth, you didn’t read it properly.

    They are planning to change things so that replacing a boiler DOES need Building Regs approval, and that will not be forthcoming unless you cross their chums’ palms with silver in lots of other ways.

    Only then will you get your warrant and your completion.

    And if you’re wondering “how will they know” – you’ll find out when you go to buy the boiler. (a) you won’t be allowed to buy it becuase you’re not an “accredited person” and (b) when your accredited person does buy it on your behalf, he’ll have to fill in a load of forms which tell them where it’s being installed, and that you do have the aforementioned building warrant. On pain of losing his liveliehood.

    So it’s all perfectly well organised. You will comply – or go without.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.