I have always shared with you my latest ideas to make our fortune. But now I know they have not worked as well as I had hoped. If they had, I would not be writing this and you would not be reading it; we would all be in the south of France in our villas.

However, here is a really great idea for those of you successful enough to pay tax at the 40% rate. True, that does not include me, but I live in hope of joining you one day. Our politicians have shown us how to reduce the tax burden to 25% by fiddling expenses, so we can do the same.

Whereas they put their wives, mistresses and children on the payroll, all we have to do is put our pets on the company. I am putting Joey, our pet canary, on a £30,000 salary; if the tax man queries it, I shall explain that he sings loud and fast, so our bakers work faster and are happy.

This way, we can keep adding pets to the payroll endlessly and pay the 25% rate, rather than the 40% you rich bakers now pay. After all, a pound saved is as good as a pound made.

== a use for politicians ==

How wonderful that we have found a use for politicians at last. They appear to get away with everything. For example, there is the £250 they claim without receipts every month; that is a lot of money and surely, if it is good enough for them, why not for us?

After all, we are all more honest than our politicians, although that is not saying a lot. We could get the National Association of Master Bakers (NA) to judge what is right and wrong with our fiddles, as our politicians feel they have a right to be their own judge and jury and I would rather trust the NA.

I am discussing these ideas with my accountant, although it is very difficult to get a definitive answer from him, as every time we get in deep discussion, the guard says visiting time is over.

Mind you, I am considering taking my business to one of the blue chip accountancy firms, as I am told they have a lot of powerful contacts and, if you go to prison for tax evasion, they can get you a job in the library.

== recession looms ==

Back to bakery, because if I don’t, Sylvia will never print this. It certainly looks as if we are in a recession, as our like-for-like sales figures are barely breaking even with last year. I can always find reasons for this and, if short of excuses, one can always blame the weather.

While I often blame the government, with its crazy laws, for making life nearly impossible for us, the wealth-creating portion of the economy, deep down, we all know our salvation lies in our own hands.

The thing to remember is to keep our nerve and not go down the road of low prices. When times get tough, that is always the first thought of amateurs and it is always wrong; all that happens is they sell a little more for less profit. n