On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

20th July 2012 at 01:00

This week: HMRC

Sending tax as a whole to the naughty step would be a big move. After all, it does pay for some things that we at TES headquarters are largely in favour of - you know, like schools. And teachers.

But there comes a point when enough is enough. And that point is when it stops school pupils enjoying themselves on a football pitch.

It has emerged that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is considering charging VAT to companies running all-weather pitches. The danger, according to those in the know, is that the extra costs will be passed on to hundreds of thousands of young people who currently play for free.

How are we supposed to grow a generation of players to take on the Spanish if our pupils can't afford to play the beautiful game?

Olympian Jonathan Edwards and former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan have joined a campaign by The Daily Telegraph to stop the proposal. But TES can think of no finer voice of reason than former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who has called the move "absolutely disgusting".

"We're always being told how hard it is to get kids to switch off their computer games and play in the fresh air - yet this makes it a bit harder to do that," he told a newspaper.

For upsetting Harry - and making it more difficult for kids to enjoy sport - it's time for HMRC to sit it out on the naughty step.

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