I've just watched a classic piece of linguistic doublethink by Ruth Kelly on Channel 4. Apparently, "taxpayers" will pay for part of the spending on the railways whilst "farepayers" will pay for the other part.
So, given that VAT is paid on passenger transports in a vehicle, ship or aircraft designed or adapted to carry more than 10 people (including the driver), does this mean Ruth Kelly has just scrapped VAT on rail tickets?
If the Government will insist on claiming a definitional difference between a taxpayer and a farepayer when it comes to funding the railways. it suggests - does it not - that fares are to be tax-free which must mean no more VAT right?
Wishful thinking huh? But I use the trains all the time so you can't blame me. Apparently, according to Kelly, we'd all be happy to pay high fares if we just had a seat.
Update: It would appears when I researched quickly that I misread something regarding VAT, in that VAT is actually zero-rated on vehicles designed for not less than 10 people (as opposed to be applied on vehicle for more than 10), my bad.
There still remains of course the point that farepayers are seen as different to taxpayers which is nonsense. Most people using the trains will be paying tax and paying for th trains that way, and will then be paying a second tax hit to pay for the trains through the fare.
Basically, it sounds like a separation, but really it's just saying we're paying for it all, and, because there is sod all competition if you need to use the train there's little choice we have..