There’s an Irish song with a line that says “tear your curtains down, for sunshine is like gold”. Certainly, in a country with nearly perpetual cloud-cover, sunshine is highly valued. We’ve noticed that people here appreciate sunny days more than anyone. But we recently found out that in the past, sunshine was like gold in another way: it was taxed. The government collected taxes from homeowners based on how much sunlight could come in to their houses.


Do you see how small the windows are in this old cottage? They didn’t build them that way because they had to. They build them that way to avoid paying extra taxes. Evidently, this is where the phrase “daylight robbery” came from, because people were robbed of being able to let daylight into their houses. We’re certainly glad that tax was repealed!