Taxing Empty Containers

OK my bankrupt and poverty stricken English compatiots. As you may know Billothewisp is no fan of taxation. But today he has obviously had a little too much sun (or cider, or both) and he wishes to suggest a shiny new tax to help out our financially deprived exchequer.

While I can see some of our control freakery ruling classes jumping up and down in excitement on the possibility of stiffing the average Joe Bloggs for a bit more of his hard earned dosh, they may not like it so much after they have read what it is.

There are, of course, brethren who will despair at the mere thought of yet another tax. They can give me a good kicking later. The cider will ensure I don't feel a thing. But I digress, back to Taxing containers.

One of the main avenues ruthless globalists are using to stiff our economy is via the use of sweat shop labour in poor foreign countries. In these countries their ruling elites or "Great, Good and Extremely Well Fed" get ever richer while the slaves employees get paid a pittance. But the goods produced by these globalists are priced too highly or are inappropriate for local population.

We end up in the bizarre situation where our own people are on the dole because no business can compete with the sweat shops. But in the countries involved in this sweat shop labour there is a shortage of economical goods for the local population. This because the fat cats can make much more money out of shipping it to the UK than they can by doing the right thing and supporting their own people.

This abuse is made even worse due to the containerisation revolution that has taken place in the shipping industry. As an example, it is considerably cheaper to ship a television to the UK from China than it is to ship that same television 100 miles up the motorway from the port to the supply depot.

We need to level the playing field. One way of doing this would be to place an tax on each container coming into the country full and leaving empty. This would also help our exporters by inducing a market where shippers actually competed to fill their containers. At the moment most cannot be bothered. If a container leaves the country full of goods then the tax would be neutral for the shipper. If a container comes in empty (unheard of) no tax is paid and VAT is waived if it leaves full. At the moment most containers come in full and then simply ship fresh air out of our ports.

There are approximately 5.5 million TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit) deep sea (i.e. non European) container traffic movements a year. If you assume that 4.5 million of those are shipping air back to their point of origin and you charged a £500 tax per empty deep sea container leaving the country, you would bring in £2.25 Billion. It would also incentivise shippers to get UK goods shipped out cheaply.

Just an idea. Now let the kicking start.

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