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Boho or hobo?

Mar 25, 2010, 06:59 AM
Authors : Richard
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Post date : Mar 25, 2010, 06:59 AM

While making a cup of tea this morning, Phil was quizzing me on the Budget. He noted that the largest tax increase – 10% over the rate of inflation – seemed to have been reserved for cider drinkers.

He seemed to think that this was distinctly unfair and described it as a ‘hobo tax’. Yes, you know, those guys in the park swigging from a can in a brown paper bag – or maybe no bag if you’re not in an alcohol control area – it’s just to keep the voices away (or so I understand).

Anyway; there’s a novel idea I thought to myself, perhaps the government have adopted a new approach to ‘churning’. That’s churning as in recycling tax and benefit monies rather than churning as in what your stomach does after an afternoon spent drinking cider in the park.

‘Churning’ for those new to the subject – tax or cider-drinking, you take your pick – is when the government takes tax, but then pays a state benefit back to the same taxpayer; child tax credits for those on incomes of £50,000 a year being a case in point.

I suppose that could be described as a ‘boho tax’. You know those people, trendy, young hippies – think Grace Slick or Sienna Miller depending on your age – one or two kids on their hip or in a sling. They’re probably driving something like a VW Beetle convertible, but thinking they’ll need a 4x4 once the kids get older.

Basically, their tax payments are recycled to them as child tax benefit.

In the same way that ‘hobo’ is ‘boho’ back to front, the hobo tax is the boho tax in reverse.

Your hobo isn’t so trendy – think Tom Waits or Pete Doherty on a bad day, depending on your age. If he’s got a sling, it’s probably cos he’s fallen over and broke his arm – and you wouldn’t want your kids anywhere near him.

He – your hobo, not Tom Waits or Pete Doherty as far as I am aware – is in receipt of state benefits, but this is recycled as tax back to the state when he buys his 4x4.

Of course, his 4x4 isn’t something that guzzles fuel, but a four-pack of something cidery that he guzzles as fuel. And it’s probably got an alcohol content of something in excess of 4% abv.

Hobo or boho; it’s pretty much the same thing as far as tax is concerned.

Boo hoo for hoboes?

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