BUNHILL: A heavy-duty Budget, please, and bring back the window tax

I know you are bored of thinking up new taxes, so here, as part of Bunhill's Budget Briefing, are some old ones. Why reinvent the wheel, I say? (Not that I know anyone who has reinvented the wheel - it would be quite an achievement, wouldn't it?).

Here are my proposals for the Chancellor, which I expect him to implement:

q Danegeld. Simple, we paid lots of Geld to the Danes in Anglo-Saxon times for no good reason. They must pay it back. The original rate was two shillings on every hide of land. My son suggests a big box of Lego from every visiting Dane. I agree.

q The Saladin tithe was, as you know, levied from 1188 to pay for the Crusades. It was a tax on movables, including Crusaders I suppose. I propose adapting it to become the Salad Tithe: I have never seen the point of lettuce and the like. A Super Salad Tithe should be levied on radicchio, rocket and other foreign modernities.

q Arbitrary tax. Naughty old Edward III drove a coach and horses through De Tallagio non Concedendo, the well-known statute of 1297, by imposing arbitrary taxes. These are an excellent idea, because you have no idea how much tax you are going to pay. It would be like the National Lottery in reverse, with all the media hype that goes with it. "Jackpot hits mother of 10: Must pay pounds 5.3m by Christmas!" (Actually the Treasury already makes an arbitrary tax on the Post Office - did you know it has to pay whatever the mandarins tell it to, without the option?)

q Hidage, scutage and tallage. Self-explanatory really. I suggest the Chancellor just announces them, and sees what happens.

q Tonnage and poundage. As above, only heavier.

q Poll tax. Why hasn't anyone thought of reintroducing this before?

q Window tax. Should now be a UPVC window tax, with a Criss-Cross tax for people who install criss-cross or Tudor-style windows (come to think of it, a prison sentence might be more appropriate here).

q Hearth money. Used to be paid by people with hearths. Should now be paid to people with hearths (like me).

Adding this lot up, I would have thought it would be easy for the Chancellor to abolish income tax altogether. Although he doesn't actually have to abolish it - if he doesn't ask Parliament to renew it, it lapses anyway. Good, eh?

A FINAL (probably) instalment of new management titles, this time with a foreign accent.

Maguy Higgs of Birmingham has been busy delving into the history books. She has found "Comment encourager les autres", by Napoleon (who got the idea from Voltaire, one assumes).

Meanwhile, Chris Sladen of Ealing tells me not to forget the classics: "A la recherche des ventes perdues" (Proust), "The management in the iron mask" (Alexandre Dumas) and Anthony Powell's "A dance to the management of time".

Mr Sladen also draws my attention to that early Welsh volume, "The Managogion", not forgetting a more recent work on nepotism, "The Management from Uncle".

Returning service

I have discovered a new office game called Voicemail Pingpong, and these are the rules. First, you ring someone; their voicemail system answers, and you leave a message. They then ring you back; your system answers and they leave a message. And so on. The first person to leave 21 messages is the winner.

I find it quite easy to score half a dozen points before either I or my colocutor (I just made that word up) is caught out and answers the phone in person.

There are some offices, I gather, where they have strange creatures called secretaries, whose sole aim is to spoil a good game of Voicemail Pingpong. Voicemail is a boon to productivity and good communications, as well as the source of a future Olympic sport: these 'secretaries' should be downsized immediately.

Did you know there is a company called Linotype-Hell? Thought not.

You will be less surprised to find that a quite extraordinary number of companies have the word 'solutions' in their names - all, for some reason, seem to have something to do with computers.

I list a few of them here for the same reason that Wandsworth Council names people who allow their dogs to pee on the pavements. I hope you will shun them: Innovative Software Solutions, Innovative Data Solutions, Global Videoconferencing Solutions, Integrated Computer Solutions, Sub Zero Data Solutions, Deepwater Interactive Solutions, Ultimate Solutions, Aubergine Solutions.

I wonder what the solution to an aubergine is? Something to do with putting it into a colander and pouring salt over it, I imagine.

Upwardly mobile

I knew that mountain bikes were very a la mode. I just didn't know quite how a la mode. I am grateful to the magazine Men's Journal for the intelligence that you can now buy Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Jaguar mountain bikes. And if you buy a Jeep Cherokee, you'll get a Jeep Cherokee mountain bike thrown in as an extra.

But the one thing, I imagine, you must never do with the blessed things is ride them - the labels might get muddy.

Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style

ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Audit Manager Central Functions

To £85,000 + banking benefits: Saxton Leigh: You will be expected to carry out...

Credit Risk Audit Manager

Up to £90,000 + benefits: Saxton Leigh: Credit Risk Audit Manager required to ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week