LETTER: Nice little earner for government?

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Unlike your columnist in McGinley’s Mutterings I had no option but to purchase a carrier bag to transport my shopping home.

The issued bright orange bag was five times sturdier than the one I was familiar with, you know the old ones I mean, the ones that biodegraded before you arrived home with your shopping.

So surely this sturdy bag will take five time longer to biodegrade. Not much help to the environment methinks. Once home, I glanced at my receipt and couldn’t help but notice the asterisk against my 5p bag for life charge. This asterisk denotes the item is subject to VAT.

Having checked the gov.uk website (I do realise I should get a life), I quote ‘This is not a tax and the money from the charge does not go to the government’.

If this is the case why are we being charged VAT? The amount of VAT on 5p is minimal - nothing for an individual to be concerned with. Add this up on the ‘7.6 billion single use carrier bags given by to customers by major supermarkets’ it’s still not a great sum, it will not clear our national debt, but believe you me an amount I wouldn’t mind in my back pocket.

Another point - I use my carrier bags, not to discard and ‘visible litter our towns, park and countryside’ but to put my non-recyclable rubbish in. Now I will need to buy heavier, longer to biodegrade, refuse bags - no win for the landfill but as these will be subject to VAT another little bit more for HMRC coffers.

Call me cynical but is this really for the benefit of our environment or is it a nice little earner for those in power?

ALISON GODDARD

Queensway, Horsham

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