What about the ‘PITA’ problem?

This is the way it works. I’m in a hurry to the meeting. I find a parking place. I have to get out of the car, walk a hundred meters up the street to find the pay machine.

I have to have remembered to have to have brought the right change. Then I have to guess how long I’m going to be at the meeting.

I naturally guess long because I don’t want to chance a clamp. So I put in euro after euro while in my heart knowing that I’m not going to get the use of it.

Then I trail back to the car to stick the sticker in the window. Then I head on to my meeting passing out the pay machine on the way.

This, to put it mildly, is a Pain In The Arse – or PITA for short.

The problem here is not a chance difficulty. It is a fundamental case of those who administer suiting themselves while not giving a damn about those being administered.

This is a problem that is going to get worse because of two ideologies which have taken root over the past few years.

The first is the ‘polluter pays’ concept and the second is the right-wing idea that everything must be allocated a cost at source.

Therefore, we must pay for the bin service. Then we must pay for water. Then we must stop at tolls to pay for roads. And so on.

Let’s not wait around. Let’s get to the extremes.

There’s a lamppost outside my house which casts some light that I find useful. Should I not have to pay for this light? Come to think of it, why should I have to pay for the lamps that I’m not making use of? Should every lamppost have a slot machine so that those of us passing by can throw in a cent?

Do you get my drift?

If every last thing in life has to be paid for directly, life becomes a PITA, a real big PITA.

Obviously, when the City Council were coming up with the pay machine scheme to replace parking meters they only considered their own costs. They didn’t think of me walking up and down the street when I could be doing something useful. Oh no, just so long as it was easier for them to collect the money.

I like the ‘polluter pays’ principle. It’s a fine principle.

But collective provision can still work. Why can’t I pay for my water through my taxes? Why can’t car tax not be simply added on to the fuel cost?

Human stress must have some value. Does life have to be a complete PITA?

Parking robbery

While we are on the subject of Dublin’s on-street parking system, I’m mystified as to how can the present system can be justified in consumer law.

If I pay for 4 euro of parking, for example, and only use 3 euro, why am I not entitled to a refund? What about the requirement to show a set price?

Then, when I move my car, the City Council can sell the parking time that I bought to someone else.

And we accept this?

What do they take us for?

Baa. Baa. Baaaa. Baaaaaaaaaaa