Top 5 Stealth Taxes


Written by Kieron Monks
01 Monday 01st June 2009


Obesity tax

This year in New York, hub of the world's fattest nation, Governor Paterson introduced a scheme to put an 18 percent tax on sugary sodas. The initiative was shot down in defensive hysteria and the nation continued to gorge and worry about money. But while no-one likes being told what to consume, the $1 billion that would have been raised each year might have been put to good use - not to mention the health befits of giving junk food the same frowned-upon status as cigarettes. Meanwhile Ryanair are poised to introduce fees for passengers who cannot be contained by just one seat, a plan that three in five customers endorse. 1/3 of Brits are officially fatties and getting fatter. If you fancy a more positive move, Obama's team has suggested tax credits for healthy living, but the end result would be the same.

Second home tax

Introducing higher council taxes on second homes might seem confused coming from the same bandits who made a killing off them, but that doesn't stop it being a good idea. Council tax increased by almost 50 percent for second home owners in 2004 and there are plans to go higher still. Such a move would back up the budget message; if you're rich, pay more tax. This may and should be supplemented by higher absentee tax for homes unoccupied 6-8 months of the year. At a time when homelessness and repossessions are increasing, it's hard to justify owning empty houses for the sake of it.

Obesity: everywhere

Didnt vote tax

One from the supernaturally unpopular Geoff Hoon, who in 2005 suggested that voting be made compulsory. This is already the case in Australia among other places, and while Hoon's system may have occupied murky moral waters by effectively buying people's votes, it is a worrying trend that half of the country have started ignoring general elections. It's not easy to support any of our would-be leaders, but such alienation may come at a cost. The BNP are poised to claim six seats at the Euro elections, based on an anticipated 30 percent voter turnout. If that doesn't bother you, maybe three pounds of extra tax might.

Hoon: rarely right

Disorder tax

Upper Street, central Nottingham, King's Heath - in some areas you're a lot more likely to walk into a knuckle sandwich or slip on someone's regurgitated breakfast. So why not get those responsible to make a contribution? Attempts to curb Britain's reputation for brain-free boozing led to the designation of ‘disorder zones' where trouble was more likely. The plan is to charge bar managers a fee for extra security so that they are less inclined to turn people into animals then wash their hands and leave them to roam the streets and menace old biddies. The power exists, but no council has so far taken up the option.

Too many pissheads

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