I am often asked how I intend to reduce my contribution to the National Debt, and whether it would be a good idea to send Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea) to George Osborne. The latter would do no good, as he’d either fry the blighters in butter with a touch of garlic, a squeeze of black pepper and enjoy them for breakfast; either that, or it’d cause a massive reduction in Sherwood Forest.
But as for reducing the National Debt, or at least MY National Debt… VAT will soon be going up to 20%. That’s a lot. It has the potential to calculate a fifth of the cost of everything you purchase of value, and add it on. That means you will only be afford 80% of what you would have been able to afford if we had proper prices. However, there are creative ways around this. VAT is not levied on the following:
• books, newspapers and magazines
• young children's clothing and footwear
• special exempt items - for example equipment for disabled people
Young children’s clothing and footwear are cheaper. But they only fit smaller people. You have a choice, then, of buying not VATable food, and getting bigger or (and not many people realise this) of not buying any of it, getting smaller and therefore being able to get into cheaper, smaller clothes which were intended for children. Mind you, given the rise in childhood obesity you may not even need to watch your diet.
Of course, VAT is not levied on second-hand goods – particularly helpful if you’re buying gloves – and goods that you nick in the first place are even cheaper! I’ve tried this with clothes, pinching them from the washing lines of my next-door-neighbours. However, I’m only 24, and the neighbours on one side are 126 and the neighbours on the other are nudists. I’ve found that the 126-year-old apparel options have been in and out of fashion approximately 37 times, so it’s just a matter of time before I dare to leave the house wearing their togs.
There are many ways, therefore, of reducing your expenditure yet minimising the effects of looking like a total loser. Just follow this blog to find ways of maintaining your status as cheapskate whilst building up a reputation as a hilarious and highly successful cartoonist!