Re: Nothing new
"Fire services are part of the state, why on earth should the government be given services for free?"
Because there is a world of difference between Fire services and politicians.
Fire Services are part of the state and 'the state' gets "its" money from THE TAXPAYERS, but unlike the Tax Office or Immigration Services, Fire services - like the other emergency services - SAVE LIVES. Why on earth would anyone think that, just maybe, they need more money than is raised by taxes?
I don't recall any firefighter ever saying "Oh no Mr Politician, you've given us too much money. We have enough personnel and kit, we don't need more." Given my druthers, the only things they would ever need to do is rescue cats from trees or lounge around the office and make calendars to keep (some) people happy, but unfortunately they have to keep putting their own lives on the line to help others. Some people might not be able to see a difference between that and refuse collections or road repairs but the difference is there...