Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A return to Thatchers Poll Tax?

Will benefit cuts have the same effects?
For anyone in their mid-thirties and over you will remember the poll tax. The tax that in many ways ended Thatchers reign as Prime Minister.

You will remember the mass refusals to pay.

You will remember the queues outside court buildings.

You will remember the riots.

Thatchers poll tax was massively unfair in many ways not least because it completely ignored the widely accepted maxim, held by the majority of the population, that those with the deepest pockets were expected to pay a larger proportion than those on the breadline.

Thatchers poll tax saw the the likes of the Duke of Westminster paying the same in tax as the poorest cleaner.

What made the system even more unfair was that everyone, irrespective of income, was expected to pay at least 20% of the tax.

The burden was simply too great for many to bear.

But now twenty years on we are moving back towards Thatchers greatest ignominy.

We have already seen the regard this Tory government, followed by the poodling LibDems, has for the poorest in our society.

We have seen the increases to VAT which massively disproportionately affects the poorest.

We have seen the cuts to top rate tax whilst 400 surestart centres have been forced to close their doors for good.

Now we ready ourselves for the harshest and most debilitating cut of them all.

Next April council tax benefit changes will come into force which means that local councils must adopt their own benefit system for the poorest residents of our districts.

At the same time the government has said they will cut their grant for benefit by 10%.

What this means is, with certain exceptions such as pensioners, the worst off are likely to see their council tax benefit cut by 20 to 25 per cent.

Next March hundreds of families here in North West Leicestershire who struggle to get by right now because of their low income are likely to receive council tax bills for hundreds of pounds or even more.

The inevitable consequence will be to cause greater poverty, to see more costly legal action being taken to try and recover debts that will never be paid and to see collection rates deteriorate.

At Cabinet tonight the Tory administration here at North West Leicestershire will start the process of determining the 'fairest' way to cut council tax benefit.

The Tory cabinet are hamstrung. I am sure they know just how badly local residents are going to be affected. How much they are going to hurt.

But the Tory cabinet are part of the self same Tory party that has devised these cruel new rules.

Once again this party of bankers, property developers and landowners have shown their chronic disregard for the hard working and low paid.

Over the coming months Labour will fight hard to protect those hard working families who will be hurt the most.

We will do our very best to highlight to the Tory administration just how badly you will be affected.


  1. When will the Tories ever learn!

  2. When will the Tories ever learn! But remember folks the LD's approved the process this time round!

  3. When will the Tories ever learn!