Sun, wind and tax

In the old fairytale the wind and sun wagered which of them might get the man's cloak off.  The wind blew with all his might, but the man fastened his cloak more tightly around him, so it stayed on despite the wind's full fury.  Then the sun came out and the man took his cloak off.

In the modern version the Treasury turned on its full force.  It employed extra civil servants to collect the extra taxes it thought were due.  It imposed new penalties and threatened retrospective laws to make taxpayers conform to its will.  But despite its fury, taxpayers clung tight to their accountants and lawyers, and moved assets and income offshore, and the Treasury was unable to part them from the extra resources it sought to remove.  Then the Chancellor came out and introduced simpler and lower taxes, and people paid them because it was no longer worth the trouble of avoiding them.

Well, I did say it was a fairytale.