Labour never miss a trick when it comes to imaginative new tax-raising opportunities.
A revaluation of business rates from next April is set to hit the sites of car boot sales, including pub car parks, ministers confirmed.
Barbara Follett, the Communities Minister, confirmed the plans in a written answer to shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman, saying: ''Where a property is used entirely, or on occasion, as a car boot sale site, its rateable value for the 2010 revaluation should reflect any rental enhancement attributable to that use.''
The Tories don't seem to be highlighting this in the way I would, though.
Mrs Spelman accused Gordon Brown of a ''tax assault'' on those who wanted to use car boot sales to kit out their homes during the recession.
Well, that's one way of looking at it but, where I live at least, car boot sales are almost exclusively held by voluntary organisations, local charities, or non profit-making enterprises like amateur football clubs etc.
If the land they rent for holding such events is subject to more tax to the owner, he will, unless he/she is very generous, charge more rent accordingly. The end loser then, is the fund-raiser as they will no doubt see a drop in income by either swallowing the extra cost, or by passing it on and risking the loss of stall-holders ... which amounts to the same thing.
Labour may argue that this is a 'local' tax so not their fault, but considering the government funds most of council spending via the block grant which can (and most often is) manipulated to the government's advantage, I think we know where the extra money is likely to end up. I'd be more generous in my summation of a Labour administration's intentions if they hadn't gone about being a bunch of shifty, lying, money-grabbing fuckers for the past 13 years, of course.
So, a better headline for this story could well have read "Labour Raise Taxes on Local Charities and Voluntary Organisations".
Which is the end result once you cut out all the spin.