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Purr-fect solution

Nov 2, 2009, 10:37 AM
Authors : Rufus
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Post date : Nov 2, 2009, 10:37 AM

We are now in the tax silly season.

The forthcoming pre-Budget report, combined with an approaching election in a country just emerging from near financial meltdown, has everyone and his dog coming up with revenue-slashing or tax-raising suggestions.

Being my own dog, I started to think that I might have something useful to add to the debate. I propose that there should be a tax on cats.

Not only that, I think there should also be a tax on cat food, catnip, cat baskets, wind-up mice, flea collars with little bells on, scratching posts, catapults, catamarans, catggrrrr ... (Ed: we had to throw a bucket of cold water over Rufus at this point, so we missed the rest of his list.)

Now you may think that this suggestion is as off the wall as a Tobin tax or raising VAT to 20% , but I think I have good reasons to believe that this just might be a runner.

Rather late in the day I know, but I have just found out that the First Cat of the Treasury, or Sybil as Alistair Darling’s black and white moggy was more popularly known, died in July after a short illness.

She’d moved to Number 11 from the Chancellor’s Scottish home but had apparently ‘failed to settle’ there. At the time of her death, she was living at the London home of friends of the Chancellor.

Reports that she was claiming the Scottish house as her main residence are unconfirmed and I am waiting to hear from the Telegraph in this regard.

My sources tell me that Gordon Brown has long been in favour of such cat-related tax measures, but that Alistair Darling had been fighting the proposals.

However, since the death of Sybil, the Chancellor’s opposition has apparently been weakening. The fact that there are no reports of the Chancellor having acquired a new cat  could, I think, be indicative of New Labour thinking here.

Taxation says...

These are valid suggestions given that the next government will need to raise substantial sums of money.

Practitioners must take these proposals into account and should send a letter to all clients asking whether they currently own a cat and suggesting that if they do intend to purchase any cat-related goods this should be done before the next Budget.

The purchase of cats should be avoided at all costs until we have more details of the parties’ election manifestos and should definitely be postponed until after the pre-Budget report.

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