The Dealer is considering changing profession.

Now, there is no need for panic; considering all that is on the menu for now.

And, to be honest, The Dealer is constantly considering things.

In fact, the Irish Farmers Journal’s most renowned scribe has much in common with Billy Connolly, who once admitted that strange things kept him awake at night – like how snow-plough drivers got to work.

The Dealer’s latest ponderings were prompted by an examination of the flat-rate tax allowances or expenses that are available to various professions. Are the Revenue’s figures indicative of the relative value which society – or the taxman at least – places in one’s labours, The Dealer could not help thinking.

And, unfortunately, labourers with pens are not too far up the pecking order as far as the taxman is concerned.

Your common journalist or reporter was allocated flat-rate expenses of just €381; a long way off the €695 that could be claimed by doctors and consultants, or the €671 that can be claimed by agricultural advisers employed by Teagasc.

However, the real tasty expenses were confined to members of RTÉ’s National Symphony Orchestra and their colleagues in the National Concert Orchestra. They could claim back €1,276 each year.

The mother was right – I should never have given up the old squeeze box.