Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Smoke, Mirrors and corridor meetings

Ah, the EU. Those caring chaps who like to do things for the disabled like ensure that bridges over rivers can't be built and extensions cost a fortune by insisting that all new buildings are fully accessible for disabled people. Because they care. They love them, more than they love their own mothers.

Except they don't, as this little story demonstrates:

The EU, which has the power to set import duties for all member states, intends to impose a 10 per cent import tax on the scooters, despite the fact that equipment for disabled people is exempt from tax.

Charities for the disabled say that the extra cost of buying the scooters will have an immediate impact on the number they can afford, meaning thousands of people each year could be denied a vital means of independence.

And of course because it's the EU the person from HMRC who will attend the meeting today and the next few days in Brussels as the British representative of the nomenclature committee will only be one vote out of 27.

These scooters are usually imported from America, so you can see why the EU hates them. The countries who import them will vote against the measures but the government have some other deal they will not make public which means that they can't negotiate on this one.

They can fund bank bail outs and subsidising the inefficient car industry which in recent years they have tried to run into the ground by charging sky high prices on petrol and blocking up the roads with the 'death phase' on traffic light phases but we - one of the largest trading nations in the world - don't have our own trade policy and can't stick two fingers up to this rule as the Americans sensibly did.

But then the Americans do a lot more for people like injured veterans than this country does.

So what can be done?

Well, it's in the hands of Euro politicians now.

Godfrey Bloom, the Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, has written the the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, urging him to vote against the tax change and seek support from other member states.

He said: "Quite why HM Revenue and Customs feels the need to discriminate against disabled people and the charities who support them is beyond me."

May I suggest if you don't like this evil ruling that you write to your MP and MEP asking for them to do something. Not that there's anything MPs can do except ask Darling to grow a fucking backbone or call for a referendum on our membership but the MEPs do have a vague chance of amending this legislation.

1 comment:

James Higham said...

Must be addressed, Trix. Trouble is, too many other mindboggling things are also happening. There's a queue.