We are all familiar with VAT as a tax on our spending. The model is simple: the more we spend, the more VAT we pay.
What is clear is that emerging factors have combined to expose big business and its place in society to increasingly intense and critical scrutiny. A very selective list might include the banking crisis and corporate tax scandals, the shrinking state, climate change and other environmental impacts, and the inequities and injustices in value chains, so horribly highlighted at the Dhaka garment factory.
We will have to face the fact that the world is changing rapidly and the way we produce, transmit and consume energy must keep pace and become more customer focused.
Australia is likely to become the first country to legally require cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging. The legislation enforces a standardised olive-green packaging with gruesome images and health warnings.