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Email tax will fix UK deficit, says union boss Bob Crow

What are you doing to combat the UK's deficit? Nothing, that's what! But union boss Bob Crow has a plan...

What are you doing to combat the UK's deficit? Nothing -- you're sat around all day, sending emails like you haven't got a care in the world. That's according to strikemaster-general Bob Crow, but don't worry: Bob has a plan. An email tax!

Yes, Bob Crow, general secretary of the train-workers' Rail, Maritime and Transport union, wants a 1p tax on every email. The email tax would "get rid of all the crap you get sent". We're not sure if he means spam, or forwarded pictures of cats wearing ties.

Brother Bob outlined his cunning plan in an interview on Channel 4's late-night satirefest 10 O'Clock Live, but he wasn't being funny. Coincidentally, neither was Jimmy Carr.

Crow -- who last year suggested a 1p tax on every text message -- also blames the bankers for our current mess, and suggests scrapping Trident, which we agree with. But he fails to elaborate on how an email tax would be collected. A coin slot next to the Send key, perhaps? Email stamps?

Details aside, we think Crow might just be on to something -- in fact, the 1p per email plan doesn't go far enough! We suggest a tiered pricing plan: spammers will be taxed £100 for every recipient, although that might be a bit tough to collect, as many of them need our help to access the funds waiting in their accounts.

Forwarded virus warnings that actually contain viruses will be charged £10 to teach middle-aged family members not to be so stupid. Hogwash-filled press releases will be charged £5 per recipient, although the entire cost must be met by any publication that actually reports the tosh in question. Anyone hitting Reply All to a message will be charged £1, but will get a 50 per cent discount if the embarrassing results are really, really funny.

All other emails will be charged at 1p per word, encouraging senders to keep messages concise. The charge for emails sent from your phone explaining that you're going to be late because the trains are on strike has yet to be worked out.

What technology would you tax? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook wall; all comments will be charged at 7p per word plus VAT.