Bunhill: Tax suggestions

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TO Colonel Walter K Polehill of Okehampton, Devon, a bottle of fizz for his excellent proposal for a nuisance tax. We're offering champagne for the best tax ideas that help poor Ken Clarke balance his budget and discourage irritants.

Col Polehill says the answer is a PVC window tax. 'It might do something to halt the architectural vandalism taking place throughout the land - to loud cheers from conservationists - while creating employment for carpenters, reviving the sash cord industry and restoring traditional skills.

'Mr Clarke can justifiably claim that this is nothing new. The last window tax was in force for 150 years and was only abolished in 1851.

'Above all, like gambling tax, it would be immensely popular with everyone who didn't have to pay it. It can't fail.'

With about pounds 500m of PVC windows sold each year, a 20 per cent surcharge on every new window would raise pounds 100m. Something for the Chancellor to ponder.