LETTERS From J. Gibbons, Ryde:
I AM currently engaged on the sad but necessary business of executorship.
The process casts an interesting light on the abilities of those who devise the rules by which we have to live.
Four examples are:
1. Probate is not granted until any inheritance tax is paid.
Without probate, one cannot access the assets which give rise to the tax and from which the tax ought to be paid.
You don’t believe it? Believe it!
2. One branch of government ordains upholstered furniture cannot be sold unless it has fire retardant labels and so sends masses of goods to the landfill sites so condemned by another.
3. Similarly, electrical goods must be tested before sale, but many would not realise enough to pay for the test, thus sending another river of goods to the tips.
4. Perhaps the saddest of all, and something which will be familiar to most of your readers; in the deceased’s house there were bowls full of 'copper’ coins which even the collectors at the carnivals would prefer not to be given.
The equivalent coins in my youth would have bought a newspaper (yours, perhaps) and now they are fit only for ballast.
Our government, which on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays wants us to spend to keep up the GDP (the only measure they know about) and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays want us to provide for our old age while removing any incentive for us to do so (on Sundays they rest), persist in inflationary measures which have failed for more than a decade in Japan.
Wouldn’t it be good if would-be MPs had to prove they had done something else successfully and pass an intelligence test?
We don’t need geniuses, just people capable of realising their decisions might have results they did not envisage.