Friday, July 17, 2009

Tax rises and the Hissing Index

Last night's Wyman debate arranged by the ICAEW Tax Faculty was conducted in very good humour. The motion was "Assuming taxes rise which goose should be plucked first?"

One of the speakers, Trevor Evans (Ex-Director Business tax HMRC), focused on what he called the Hissing Index ("HI") which he suggested was much used in the corridors of power - Treasury and HMRC. This sounded, as intended I suspect, more like something that could have been derived from the days of 'Yes Minister'.

According to Trevor: HI is derived from the formula:
V x X x AF
V = Volume of hissing per goose (ie: how much of a fuss is made by those required to pay additional taxes)
X = Number of geese being plucked (ie: how big is the group of geese that will be subject to additional taxes)
AF = Amplification Factor (This being a factor of the number of connections that a goose or gaggle of geese have eg: in the press, media, on TV news - or simply through being on first name terms with a Treasury Minister!).

Trevor then proceeded to identify which propositions had a High HI and encouraged the audience to vote for his proposition which, he claimed, would have a low HI.

(Maybe you had to be there!)

* The title was derived from a famous Jean Baptise Colbert quote.
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