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The Town Crier has announced the Sheriff of Nottingham’s dastardly plans to levy yet more taxes on an already-oppressed people. The heist will see apprenticeship taxes rise from the already 300 silver coins a year, to around 700, and potentially finishing as high as 1500. The taxes have already been labelled the ‘yeoman taxes’ as it seeks to stop tradesfolk getting financially comfortable before they have a chance.

“This is scandalous,” said one Freemason apprentice from the Ye Fairly-Olde Trip. “I’ve already had to get huge loans from the Goldsmith to see me this far. Anymore and I’ll be right in his pocket.”

Many apprentices grumble that the cost of accommodation in Nottingham is already the highest in the country, outside Londinium. As part of the hike, the Crier bellowed out the Sheriff’s personal agreement with the Goldsmith to lend the apprentices the huge sums of money they’ll need – with the Goldsmith’s usual interest on top, of course. The Sheriff claims that the tax increases are needed to cover the rising cost of training new apprentices, but it is rumoured the funds will be used to enlarge Nottingham Castle, fill the Sheriff’s coffers, and to build several luxurious palaces in the Far East.

Many apprentices are hoping that Robin Hood and his band of Green Liberal Democrats will intervene to save them from ruin; however they are still fighting an uphill battle. Said Robin Hood, from his secret hideout in Maid Marion Way, “If we scrapped the ludicrous International Trebuchet Programme we could afford free apprenticeships for everybody.”

Unfortunately it appears that the Sheriff has the full-backing of the corrupt Prince Gordon – who usurped King Blair’s power after he became embroiled in the calamitous Crusades. Nevertheless, even if King Blair does return – crowned as the new Holy Roman Emperor – it is unlikely he’d prevent the tax rises from following through.

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