Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Silly Taxes!

On a day when the UK government have performed what is an increasingly familiar u-turn regarding the laughable 'pasty tax'. 

The idea was to levy 20% VAT on hot pasties but the difficulty was going to be with bakers shops that produce their own version of the portable food parcel. There is vat on hot food sales and the government wanted to draw the humble pasty under that umbrella. Trouble is if a baker produces their own pasties and puts them on display ready for sale then if they are still warm when purchased they should be taxed. However, if the pasty has gone cold before it is bought then vat is not applicable. How on earth is that to be policed!!!!
I decided to look at daft taxes from history.

1. During the Middle Ages, European governments placed a tax on soap. Medieval Europe soap taxIt remained in effect for a very long time. Great Britain didn’t repeal its soap tax until 1835.

2. Playing cards were taxed as early as the 16th century, but in 1710, the English 
England playing card taxgovernment dramatically raised taxes on playing cards and dice. This led to widespread forgeries of playing cards to avoid paying taxes. The tax was not removed until 1960.

3. In the 1700’s, England placed a tax on bricks. Builders soon realized that they could use bigger bricks (and thus fewer bricks) to pay less tax. Soon after, the government caught on and placed a larger tax on bigger bricks. Brick taxes were finally repealed in 1850. 

4. England introduced a tax on hats in 1784. To avoid the tax, hat-makers stopped calling their creations "hats", leading to a tax on any headgear by 1804. The tax was repealed in 1811.

5. Salt was a very popular thing to tax because consuming it is necessary to humans. The 
Salt taxBritish placed a tax on salt, and the salt tax gained worldwide attention when Ghandi staged nonviolent protests against it.