03 April, 2013

Just deserts

A footballer - they're certainly in the news - called Carlos Tevez, who plays for Manchester City, has been convicted of driving a car while banned and without insurance. Mr Tevez is Argentinian and apparently here under an assumed name: he was born Carlos Martinez. For my part I'd have deported him, which would at least have pleased half of Manchester, but he was given 250 hours community service and a fine of...wait for it...£1,000. Martinez apparently earns £200,000 a week.

I know the idea is that the law should be equal to everyone, but it would be fairer if punishment were equal in its effect: this represents, assuming he does a 40 hour week, 12 minutes' work, the equivalent of  a fine of around £1.20 to someone on the minimum wage. More to the point, if someone on the minimum wage were fined £1,000 it would be the equivalent for Mr Martinez-Tevez of £830,000.

They do this in Switzerland - last year someone was fined £230,000 for speeding - and I think we should do it here.

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