And finally…pole tax?


The leader of a conservative Muslim group in Kazakhstan has proposed an innovative new way of funding healthcare - a tax on sex. Murat Telibekov of the Muslim Union of Kazakhstan detailed how the system could work in a tongue-in-cheek press release published after government officials announced a new tax on the collection of wild berries and mushrooms. Mr Telibekov detailed a system where a married Kazakh person can pay as little as 584 tenge (£1.35) for sex, but the rate for “non-traditional” acts begins at 4892 tenge (£11.30). A complex series of multipliers would also be enforced, with higher taxes for foreigners, sex lasting more than 14 minutes, and for well-endowed men. And a special “sexual police” force with the power to enter homes without prosecutorial approval would be created to prevent tax evasion. The proposals were posted on Facebook and sparked a wide variation in comments from Mr Telibekov’s Kazakh peers. They range from horror - “Allah forbid we implement this tax! Fertility will plummet!” - to satiricial: “Brilliant! We should use the tax revenue to pay for a monitoring body set up to monitor the tax!”