…anymore than a speeding ticket is a ‘driving tax’:
Children as young as one in Hampshire will be fined for overdue library books in a controversial move, branded a “reading tax” by critics.
This ‘tax’ doesn’t apply if you return your books on time, does it? Would that all tax could be so easily circumvented!
Currently children’s books can be returned late without any financial penaltiesbut fines which were dropped in 2005 to encourage use of libraries are to be reintroduced.Under the new system, youngsters who return books after the four-week loan period will be fined 5p per day for each overdue item up to a maximum 40p per book.
Select committee councillors at Hampshire even went further than officers suggested, extending the penalty to library users under five despite a recommendation they be excluded.
Not that the children themselves will be paying it. It’ll be their parents. And why shouldn’t they?
… Desmond Clarke, a national library campaigner, said the local authority should be doing everything it can to encourage reading among children.He said: “This is just a backdoor way to raise more money. I think it is very sad that the council is imposing fines for overdue children’s books.
“All the evidence is that children who read a lot do better in school and are more successful in life.”
All the evidence is that children who learn personal responsibility, and that actions have consequences, do a lot better in life too. We’re seeing some of the results of failing to teach that for the last 25-30 years, aren’t we?
… Councillor Keith House, leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition group on the county council, said: “Charging late fees for children is a reading tax.
This all covers up the more amazing fact that the county has lost 30,000 books in recent years.
“The council should concentrate on tracking down these rather than discouraging children reading.”
Just where do you think most of those 30,000 ‘lost’ books actually are, you idiot? Could it be they are residing somewhere in the homes of those who up to now have suffered no penalty whatsoever for not returning them?