Back in 1696 the then Bank of England was facing financial strain. To rectify the situation, King William III instituted a Window Tax. Under the new tax, each house would pay tax based on the number of windows that it had. In theory this tax was well conceived. It was easy to assess (counting the number of windows is straight forward enough) and the rich would have bigger houses and therefore pay more. In practice, the tax was extremely unpopular as it was considered to be a tax on “light and air”. Taxation of access to facilities that have always been (and should be) free is most likely to upset the populace. The term “Daylight Robbery” is considered to have arisen in part as a reference to this tax. As with many unpopular taxes an avoidance scheme for the daylight robbery tax flourished and the scars can still be seen in modern day England. Read More

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