Sunday, October 14, 2007

Be thankful I don't take it all

'Cause I'm the taxman

(if you drive a car, car;) - I’ll tax the street;
(if you try to sit, sit;) - I’ll tax your seat;
(if you get too cold, cold;) - I’ll tax the heat;
(if you take a walk, walk;) - I'll tax your feet.

Now it needs updating:

Confidential orders to council tax snoopers, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, say 'friendly' pubs with quiz nights, football teams or dartboards will be forced to pay higher business rates, which will pay for Labour's public-spending programme.

The plan, which could lead to big tax rises for bars deemed 'popular', was last night condemned by the Tories, who claimed it could lead to landlords cancelling quizzes and other social events.

....The pub-quiz tax is disclosed in guidance notes drawn up by the Government-run Valuation Office Agency, which is carrying out a review of every business in the land using a 60-page instruction booklet entitled the Non-Domestic Rating Referencing Manual.

The agency is carrying out a similar survey of all UK homes using a £13million computer database run by secretive American contractors.

Guidance on how to set the rates for a pub tells inspectors to take into account a number of factors: 'Note any TV (including satellite) facility, quiz nights, pool, darts or football teams in leagues. Does the pub appear friendly and popular?'

In addition, pool and darts 'facilities' must be logged along with 'beer gardens, children's play areas and bowling greens'.

The inspectors must obtain price lists of beers, wines and spirits and assess the type of pub, such as 'standard local, village pub [or] student venue', suggesting pleasant locals will have to pay more than scruffier student bars.

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