Andronicos' Satirical Parliamentary Budget Speech Introduction (The Robin Hood Initiative)

If you linked to this page from an external source, it is advisable to get the background information relating to a non profit, patented invention to harvest late payment surcharges on commercial transactions. It has the code name of 'The Robin Hood System' for obvious reasons. Alternatively read the Robin Hood FAQs first.

Unless you have a British sense of humour, know how Parliament behaves (The House of Commons) and understand the UK tax system - this satirical speech will make no sense whatsoever. I apologise in advance to our American cousins who may find the contents rather confusing and "all Greek to US".

The enclosed satirical speech is for reference purposes only and obviously not intended to be serious. The Robin Hood claims have been exaggerated for impact. This version was originally written in 1999 taking into account the political party currently in power in Britain. The reader should jump to page 3 for the Robin Hood parts.

(Please read my irreverent Parliamentary glossary if you are from the colonies).

The Author


Madam Deputy Speaker, in exactly 2000 hours Britain will be on the stroke of midnight for the new millennium. This budget speech will go down in history as unique in many ways, the first two being -

  • Instead of an old dirty red/brown leather case, I've brought my speech on a portable Y2K compliant PC. This is a symbolic gesture to show this Government's commitment to new technology.
  • A similar speech is being broadcast live in the United States as I speak.

When North Sea oil was discovered in the 70's our great nation won the equivalent of a lucky lottery ticket. The taxes and duty from this fortunate find has amounted to over ________ billion pounds in the last _____ years.

What I will describe in the next few minutes is another source of revenue which could result, within 5 years, to the abolishment of personal income tax as we know it.

[Stunned silence, long pause.]

Today this Government will announce a special millennium celebration to the British people which will start on 1st January 2001, the date the real millennium begins.


  • Inheritance tax will be abolished.
  • TV licences will be abolished.
  • Capital Gains tax will be abolished.
  • Duty on everything else (petrol, car tax, booze) will be frozen, with the exception of tobacco products.
  • Duty on Keo Cypriot beer and Lagavulin 16 year old Scotch Whisky will be abolished from midnight tonight.
[Scottish MPs cry "Here! Here!"]
  • No national insurance will be payable on earnings below £5000 per year for employees or employers. Employers NI will be reduced to 10%.
  • Earnings between £5,001 and £20,000 will result in employee NI payments of a fixed 5%.
  • Income tax allowance will increase to £10,000 per person (or £15,000 per married couple). There will be two tax bands, the lowest in the developed world:
  • 20% for the first £20,000 of taxable income and 29% thereafter.
  • Half the working population in Britain will not pay any income tax.
[Stunned silence, long pause]
  • The first £20,000 of VAT registered small businesses profits will be tax free, and taxed at 20% for the next £200,000 of profits with a top band of 29% thereafter.
  • To help small business cashflow the due date for monthly PAYE payments will be moved 12 days back: from the 19th to the 1st.
  • All small businesses that export more than 12% of their services will receive an additional export allowance of £12,000 per year.
  • Red tape and bureaucracy for small businesses will be reduced in the following way, bla bla.
  • Because Britain will have the lowest tax rate in the developed world, many foreign businesses will relocate to Britain, which will create many new jobs.


  • All personal tax deductable expenses (other than for business purposes) will be abolished, including mortgage subsidy.
  • Cigarettes will go up 12p. PER cigarette that is, not per packet.
  • VAT will go up to 20%, which is still one of the lowest rates in the European Union.
[Opposition shout "disgraceful". MPs with corporate tobacco connections start to whimper]


The Exchequer will lose ____ billion overall in revenue due to the aforementioned millennium celebration. How will the Government make the shortfall? Well not from Public Sector borrowing!

[More stunned silence. The opposition parties scream "humbug" from the benches]


The Exchequer will make additional savings from the following:

  • The Inland Revenue and the VAT collection part of the HM Customs & Excise will merge into a new entity called "HM Inland Revenue and VAT". Due to new technology, which I will explain about in a few minutes, the reduction in the amount of tax payers and the simplification of the tax system, there will be substantial job cuts. Nevertheless, some HMIRV staff will be offered very generous voluntary redundancy packages. Others will be offered positions in a new international organisation code named "Robin Hood", which I will also describe later. Most jobs in the Inland Revenue's Legal department will disappear through organic wastage but they will be offered new jobs as bailiffs. Of course, all HMIRV staff that remain will receive bumper pay rises. Net savings to the Exchequer _________.
  • The duty collection and customs border policing responsibility of HM Customs & Excise will be moved to a new Government department cunningly called HM Duty & Customs.
  • Further savings will be made by investing in overall new technology, specifically the internet.
  • Less unemployment benefits will be paid out, as more people have an incentive to get a job due to the low tax rates.

The Exchequer will earn additional revenue from the following sources -

  • VAT increase:
£ ___________B
  • Duty increase:
£ ___________M
  • Many new jobs created will result in additional tax revenue:
£ ___________B
  • Due to the low tax rates, it is more likely that people who have moonlighted, or businesses that use cash payments to illegally underpay taxes or VAT will now comply. A 90 day amnesty will be in force for those that do. Total:
£ ___________M
[At this point in the proceedings, several Labour party whips come into action for no reason whatsoever other than for a bit of celebration and frivolity. The Deputy Speaker grimaces sternly. Due to this, they are returned unused, in their individual metal studded leather pouches.]

I mentioned the term "new technology" several times so far in this speech. I also referred to the North Sea oil taxes and duties as a lottery ticket. Today this Government wishes to announce a new lottery ticket this nation will share with the United States of America, which has been acquired and won that will bring in billions in revenue, indeed by 2006 personal taxes as we know them could disappear in Britain.

[Stunned silence]

This lottery ticket is in the form of a new tax underpinned by new technology using the internet, a patented product and a jointly developed system in conjunction with the American Government, (M, replace IBM with someone else as I would rather eat my own toes than do another pan European deal with these guys ever again.) EDS and Microsoft.

Madam Deputy Speaker, effective at midnight on January 1, 2001 a new form of taxation, a Robin Hood type of taxation taking from the rich and giving to the poor will be born.

Effective from that day, the Exchequer, through the VAT system, will collect and keep half of any late payment surcharges in the United Kingdom. The rates will be punitive.

  • For any UK public company or any other entity with a net balance sheet of > £1,440,000 the rate will be a punitive 4% of any valid invoice paid late for the first month and 2% per month thereafter. The Exchequer will keep half.
  • For any VAT registered business that has a prior balance sheet net worth of more than £144,000 the rate will be 2% and 1% respectively. The Exchequer will keep half.
  • For any other entity (with the exception of private individuals) this will be 1% and ½% respectively. The Exchequer will keep half.
[Screams & shouts in the house. Conservatives throw things at the Chancellor]

I would like to give a warning to all wealthy UK organisations that have sat on invoices and earned interest by not paying valid invoices on time intentionally. Your time is up. With this biblical eye for an eye, you have 12 months to change your working practices. A new law will make it mandatory to specify in audited accounts how much a public company has had to pay in late payment surcharges. It will be up to shareholders of public companies to question their Board of Directors or remove them from office. Additionally, the Board of Directors of a business will be subject to civil proceedings if they attempt to bypass the system contractually. It will be seen as an evasion of income tax. If an organisation normally expects its customers to contractually pay within 30 days, why should it expect 90 day payment terms with its suppliers?


[MPs with connections to retail stores, car manufacturers, supermarket chains and IBM, leave the Chamber and begin to make frantic phone calls.]


For UK companies, through the VAT system it is estimated revenues from this to the Government will be £ ________ billion net, during 2001.


[The Shadow Chancellor grabs the ceremonial mace, the symbol of absolute power and throws it angrily at the front bench. The Secretary of State's guide dog heroically catches it in mid air and puts it back where the Secretary of State directs: in his clutching hands.]

The late payment surcharges that the Government will collect on behalf of UK VAT registered businesses, it will repay half back through the VAT system upon actual collection, or if the beneficiary prefers can be distributed to up to 144 registered charities of the beneficiaries choice automatically.


[All Liberal Democrat MPs say a mantra, in one loud Gregorian style chant, "We would spend it all on education, on education, on education"]

Surcharges paid will not be tax deductible. Surcharges collected will not be taxed.

Madam Deputy Speaker, the British people have traditionally been magnanimous when it comes to charity. The Government estimates donations will increase by £ ______B. I would like to point out one of the reasons it will be possible to make a charitable donation through this new technology, is in due respect to certain faiths, such as Islam which state that interest payments owed to someone may be collected and given to charity if the debtor is wealthy. Another reason is that this system will be popular while at the same time subsidising worthy causes.

This new system will collect surcharges and allow a business to give to charity through the VAT system in one of three permutations:

  • The business can give all the surcharge due to it to charity;
  • Or a percentage of the surcharge;
  • Or using the system divide the spoils between 1 and 144 charitable organisations of their choice. Every registered UK charity will be on the system with a brief description of what its objectives are, to make it possible for a business to choose. The system will also show what percentage the charity keeps in admin fees. This was a polite warning to inefficient charities - get your act together next year.

I will now describe the new patented technology to make this work in practice, which has been named "The Robin Hood Surcharge Scheme", yet causes the minimum impact to small businesses.

There are two types of business in the UK, those that are registered for VAT and those that are not. The Robin Hood system will not apply to businesses that are not VAT registered. They will continue as now manually receiving and sending invoices using the postal system.

For businesses that are VAT registered, they will on the whole continue as now manually sending invoices to non VAT registered businesses, export customers and to members of the public using the postal system.

If, though, a VAT registered business invoices another VAT registered business in the UK, they will have to by law use the Robin Hood System.

For those businesses that have a PC, or mainframe computer system, have access to the internet and use one of several software packages that store purchase and sales invoices (for example EDI, Sage, etc) the impact will be minimal. The vendors will provide interfaces to the Robin Hood System.

But what about small businesses that don't have the hardware, software or access to the internet? A Government subsidised PC scanner will enable a twelve year old child to use the system and enable Britain to have the largest internet business population in Europe.

Nevertheless, although this Government is committed to new technology and recommends email and Ecommerce be used by every business, it is not for any government to force small businesses that are VAT registered into investing or using new technology.

To avoid logistics problems for such businesses, the Government will, through the major accountancy bodies, create a licensing system to enable individuals with basic education and Robin Hood proficiency, be the equivalent of data entry and collection facilitators on behalf of businesses that do not want to use the system directly ....

[Opposition shouts, "Poppycock, bureaucracy"]

Let me finish. The Robin Hood system will be so easy to use, so quick to use, the Government's research has shown twelve invoices can be entered on the system for less than £1 in labour costs.

Furthermore, businesses that get paid immediately for certain invoices by credit card or cash will not need to individually enter each transaction, but for VAT monitoring purposes will type in and mark as paid one record every three months on the Robin Hood System.

The total cost of using Robin Hood in terms of labour costs via licensed Robin Hood data entry and collection facilitators will be less than £500 per annum for a typical small business, which is by far compensated by the benefits including the small business tax cuts I mentioned earlier.

Let me explain the benefits to businesses that offer credit terms to UK VAT registered customers -

  • Onsite VAT and Inland Revenue audits will be minimised and reduced. Technology will allow this to be done remotely.
  • The Robin Hood system will automatically send reminders one week before the due date and further reminders 12 and 36 days after the due date.
  • Postage and administration costs will therefore be saved.
  • The Robin Hood system will automatically inform a business how much it is owed in late payment surcharges which it can deduct from its next VAT payment cheque or assign via the VAT system to charity.
  • The Robin Hood system will automatically inform a business the total of how much it owes in late payment surcharges which will be added on its next VAT payment.
  • At any point in the process, an invoice can be marked as paid by a customer, supplier, their agents or the suppliers' bankers.

There will be other benefits:

  • Businesses will be able to advertise job vacancies, what they do, what they sell.
  • An optional online credit check of a business's net worth and size will be available on demand.
  • Phase 2 of the Robin Hood System will enable businesses to find partners for financial backing, growth and business development.
  • Bla, bla, etc.

Robin Hood will be the catalyst for all of these benefits. The future will be today. Madam Deputy Speaker, this is the Government of innovation, not bureaucracy.

The Government will earn revenue from the Robin Hood System in the following ways:

  • Less tax fraud:
£_________ B
  • It will receive a 36p royalty for each invoice sent to UK companies:
£_________ B
  • It will receive half the surcharges in the UK of late payments:
£_________  B
  • It will receive and share with the United States Government a royalty from foreign governments (or users such as state, county or city) that participate in this system. These royalties will include 36¢ for each invoice raised outside of Britain and the United States:
$_________ B
  • A small percentage of royalties each foreign Government and user will collect in equivalent tax surcharges:
€, £, $_________ B
The Exchequer will also receive a royalty from every business that wishes to point to its website from the Robin Hood System. Microsoft [M, remove IBM from the speech] and the Government have entered into a partnership to exploit the internet and make most British and American companies' internet users by the year 2003. The revenue from this to the Exchequer will be: £_________ B
The Exchequer will also receive licensing fees from credit rating bureaus, who will have the world's most accurate statistical information given to them of the payment habits of most UK companies. The revenue from this to the Exchequer will be: £_________ M

A portion of the royalties collected outside of Britain and the USA will go to eliminate poverty in third world countries and provide additional funding to the United Nations for world peace and security. Indeed, my right honourable very close friend, "Tony the Prime Minister" will be making a joint speech in conjunction with the leaders of the G20 nations on how, by the year 2012, Global Poverty will be eradicated, war eliminated from the face of the Earth and the Sahara desert turned into a giant food growing region of the world. This task will be partly funded by the Robin Hood Initiative and partly by the assistance of the 200,000 or so people around the world who call the shots.


[Stunned silence. MPs with connections to the arms trade start to whimper]
[MPs with connections to the tobacco industry and the arms trade start to sob uncontrollably]


Let me continue with how the Robin Hood System will be implemented.

Phase 1 of the Robin Hood System will be in 3 currencies: pound sterling, Euros and US Dollars, for UK and American businesses only. The system will be protected from viruses, be secure, user friendly and confidential. The 144 most common types of invoices will be on the system. By typing the customer VAT number half the invoice will be filled in automatically.

Phase 2 will be multi-currency depending on which other foreign government participates in the scheme and pay royalties. Additionally a wealth of Ecommerce tools will be integrated by then.

Madam Deputy Speaker, neither the American or British Governments will pay to have this system developed. (M: IBM will pay for the whole thing by the time my TV documentation is broadcast about their working practices).

As an incentive to VAT registered businesses that employ less than 144 people, this Government would like to announce the following real lottery.

For the aforementioned small businesses that are "Robin Hood Ready" by 19 September 2001 who volunteer to take part in a system test trial for 3 months, will be entered in the Robin Hood lottery. On December 31 2001 one hundred VAT numbers will be selected at random by computer, the winning companies will receive £144,000 tax free.


[Opposition MPs shout, "Open a bleedin' Casino that accepts Euros, you pillock!"]
[The Speaker of the house reprimands them for using the 'E' word]


Corporate insolvency has always been a concern to this Government. My colleague from the Department of Trade and Industry will be making some emergency announcements relating to changes to the 2000 Insolvency Act in the next few days, but the highlights pertaining to Robin Hood are as follows:

A company that becomes temporarily insolvent will be given one more chance, this chance will be because of Robin Hood. If a company wishes to enter into an arrangement with its creditors, it will do so by being able to assign a percentage of its receivables via the Robin Hood System in such a way that the creditors get guaranteed payment. This will be done in secret to avoid customers finding out and going elsewhere for business. The Inland Revenue executive Enforcement Office will be asked to implement this system for debts owed by businesses for taxes and VAT.

A by-product of this new Robin Hood scheme relates to how small businesses get funding from banks and invoice discounting institutions.

Stop and listen to me .......


I interrupt this live broadcast with information about an important key by-product of the Robin Hood Initiative. Even if the system caused most companies to pay on time, the benefits described in the next paragraph could revolutionise "bank" borrowing for SMEs. Billions of pounds would be made available by way of secure lending, to create new businesses and new jobs.


My name is Andronicos and I love the number 12


[The Chancellor wonders where the voice came from, but carries on]


It is not this Government's intention to interfere with lending decisions but it is this Government's intention to provide a simple catalyst to help small businesses borrow money for cashflow and growth. Invoice discounters, factoring organisations and banks will be more prone to lend against actual invoices they can see. It will be a contractual matter between a customer and these financial institutions to allow the lending institution access to their customer's online Robin Hood data, or to assign the invoices as security. Banking working practices will change with a new type of solid, easy to monitor Debenture security, to enable various loan facilities to be available.

It is quite feasible that within 5 years the Exchequer will reduce personal income tax in Britain to zero from the above royalties.


[Stunned silence, pause for impact]


It is quite feasible that within 5 years the Exchequer will reduce personal income tax in Britain to zero from the above royalties.


[Stunned silence, long pause for huge impact]


It is quite feasible that within 5 years the Exchequer will reduce personal income tax in Britain to zero from the above royalties.


[Stunned silence, very long pause for humungus impact]


The Robin Hood System should not be seen as "big brother". It is more of a "mother". At 0800 am tomorrow morning there will be a freephone number manned by 1212 support staff who will answer any questions relating to this budget speech. Dial 1-800 ROBIN HOOD. The staff will be available from 8am - 8pm, Monday to Saturday, for the next 12 weeks or you can download an online demonstration of Robin Hood.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I mentioned 3 reasons at the start of the budget speech why this speech will go down in history as unique. There is a 4th reason - it was the longest budget speech in history. It will go down in history as the millennium cashflow and job creation budget.

And... one day on a far away planet, a planet certain members of this house probably come from anyway...


[Shrieks of laughter followed by a sudden silence when 12 prominent members of Parliament disappear into thin air]


As I was saying Madam Deputy Speaker, one day on a far away planet, colonized by humans, our descendants will remember this budget as a turning point in human history.

I commend it to the House.

I commend it to the European Central bank.


[The Chancellor sniggers. (Insert your witty comment here)]


I commend it to the World.

I commend it to the Galaxy.


[Riot begins in Parliament]


[The chairman of the CBI resigns in disgust]

[144 Fat Cat directors spontaneously combust]

[The opposition leader makes a beeline for the wool sack, with the intent of removal, but once again the Secretary of State's guide dog intervenes with an obedient, yet failed attempt to bite him on the leg. Both return to their allotted places and stare menacingly at each other knowing the budget speech is now over and a new era for UK and American tax payers, and the world in general is about begin.]



"The Andronicos first and last theorem on economics" states:


"Automatically levying, harvesting and enforcing a late payment surcharge on electronic invoices will act as a trigger to substantially increase the quality of floating security available to lenders, which in turn will create liquidity to SMEs, create jobs, increase wealth and provide for a new species of corporate taxation that will subsidise the taxation payable by individuals, whilst at the same time benefiting charities and NGOs."

The above satirical speech was written for reference purposes only and not intended to be serious. The Robin Hood claims were obviously exaggerated for impact. This version was originally written in 1999 taking into account the political party currently in power in Britain.

(Please read the irreverent Parliamentary glossary if certain expressions used within the speech above caused confusion or you are from America.)

What Does Andronicos Want Out Of This?

Nothing financially. As the inventor of the patent, he would like a percentage of the monies to be spent on some global scheme, for example turning the Sahara desert into a huge food-growing region, or something else as grand, which could become a catalyst for global peace and the eradication of absolute poverty.

If the G20 countries together could average 5 billion pounds each by collecting lots of these little surcharges, 100 billion pounds per year could fund the interest payments on a trillion pound mega project to benefit the whole Human race and be a catalyst to world peace.

At the end of the day, would you care if a few pounds were automatically taken from your corporate cash flow for good causes, if you had been tardy in paying a supplier?



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Refer to

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