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Geeks penalised by Budget

Stealth tax on computer enthusiasts

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We warned that the finer points of the Budget may bring a few nasty shocks to people (like IR35 did last year), but we didn't expect such a grotesquely focussed attack on those that will make the e-revolution a reality in Britain.

Yes, we're talking about geeks. While consultants, experts and analysts fart on about computer and networking and leverage and "spaces" and then tuck wads of tenners in their pants, it's the geeks that will actually make it possible.

And the government repays them with a malevolent stealth tax.

Yes, from July this year - for the first time - the full weight of VAT will be placed on spectacles, adding about £10 to every pair. Leader of the "Opposition", William Hague, flagged it up as a tax on eyesight but it's worse than that - it's a tax on the IT industry.

Estimates already point to a shortfall of two-and-a-half million IT workers in the next few years. This crazy tax on the poorly sighted may cause young computer enthusiasts to shun their computer screens in preference to less optically damaging pasttimes like playing sport or talking to people face-to-face.

These young saviours should not be allowed to have a life - we need them, damn you, Gordon! And just think of the knock-on effects on the spot cream market. Boots shares will plummet and drag down the FTSE100 with it.

A new mindset among teenagers will develop - computer games will be relegated in preference to football, social skills will wipe out technical skills. We'll be left in a technological backwater with nothing but healthy, emotionally rounded citizens.

This error needs to be corrected immediately. The VAT must remain the same - because no one likes speccy twats* and they should be made to suffer financially as well as socially - but an exemption form should be provided. Anyone that can demonstrate adequate computer skills should receive free eyesight tests, reduced-cost glasses and as much pizza as they can scoff. ®

* Some of our readers have been offended by the term 'speccy twats'. Here's what they've said.

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