Gareth from the Office: Pay for your own mistakes

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WHEN will people realise? A tattoo is for life.

People who get them should be sure that is what they want because once it is on you it is very hard to get off again.

That being said if you do make the decision to get one and you want it taken off then you should have to pay for it yourself. That’s surely a given, isn’t it?

So why is the cash strapped NHS forking out hundreds of thousands of pounds on removing people’s unwanted artwork – £203,499 in the last four years to be exact.

The removal of an unwanted tattoo should not be a matter for the NHS – the money should surely be spent on more pressing issues.

Rather than getting rid of staff they should be telling people to literally pay for their mistakes.

But why do people get tattoos in the first place? Because someone else has one, because they look cool? Or to mark something special in their lives?

To be honest if it’s one of the first two then you’re stupid, end of.

Don’t get me wrong you want them to look nice, but they should be personal to the person who is getting it.

I have three, so far. The first I got seven years ago and is my surname in Arabic on the inside of my left arm. As a man my surname will never change and it is something I am proud of.

The second is on my back and depicts a medal that my grandad won playing semi professional football in 1952. Again something I am proud of and won by my hero.

The third and most recent tattoo is the Ellis family motto on my right forearm, and in keeping with the first one I don’t need to describe why it’s important.

But I thought about each one long and hard before I got them – it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision for me to get one.

People are too quick nowadays to get something permanently etched on their body without thinking about how it will look when they get older or the perception it will receive from people and potential employers.

My three are in areas that I can cover with a long sleeved shirt so I’m not fussed but not everyone’s are.

In the future I may get more, I may not. I think the next thing I get would be an important date, maybe the birth of a child, their name or something similar.

One thing is for sure – if I make the choice to have one I will be the one who pays for it to be removed if it is wrong.

Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the mistakes of people getting tattoos they don’t want.