Saturday, January 12, 2008

One quarter of the income tax I paid this year went to bail out Northern Rock... I want to know when we are going to get our money back

It's been my first full week back at work this week and the first that I have felt fully back to normal after a bout of flue over Christmas. So many people I have spoken to say they have felt wiped out for a couple of weeks by it.

My day job this week has been focused on managing some changes to emails that gets sent out to tell my clients customers that their bills are ready to view on line. All quite simple you would have thought! Not so, my client keeps changing his mind at the last moment and as this is part of a huge commercial system it has to be carefully tested and planned in with dozens of other changes happening at the same time.

Another project involves transfer of personal information and you will be glad to know that it will all be encrpted and secure before transfer. Just as well after I have been quoted in the media this week as saying the government needs to adopt the same best practices followed by the IT industry. None of this is difficult, it just needs a degree of respect for the data concerned, something I feel has been lacking by our government departments.

I was disappointed this week that Gordon Brown has announced a whole set of Nuclear Power Stations to be built. I notice that these will be built at current sites and these are all based in areas of low population. That must say something.

Now the arguments for Nuclear Power include, low carbon footprint, less reliance on foreign power and that in 60 years the industry must have moved on and be more safe and efficient.

All valid arguments, though my two concerns are that it is massively expensive, surely we could spend the same money on the Severn Barrage we have been talking about for the past 30 years, or invest in kick starting a new British Industry in state of the art renewable energy.

The other issue is that the cost of cleaning up radioactive waste currently held in Britain stands at £56billion, that's almost the same as we have put into Northern Rock.

Incidentally Gordon Brown may have no choice but consider Vince Cables calls to nationalise Northern Rock. The British Tax payer has poured £57 Billion into the bank and I for one want to know when I am going to get my money back. To put this into context, I worked out the other day that this is about £2000 each, 1/4 of the income tax paid by the average tax payer last year!

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