20 Mar 2017

Bring back the Poll Tax

My Council Tax bill arrived today, with the expected hyper-inflationary increase. I now have to work for 13 hours at £8 an hour every month, just too keep the Council and assorted hangers-on happy.

This led me to ponder the unfairness of the existing system, which sees single occupancy households bearing a disproportionate share of the Council Tax burden, despite the 25% discount that single people get. If there are three or more adults, households don't pay any extra, despite the extra demand for public services that is created by that household.

I can't help thinking that the much hated Poll Tax, introduced by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government in 1990, was actually a much fairer system, as everybody of working age in the household was required to contribute towards local Government funding. Larger households, with three or more adults, thus paid more than they do now and property values were irrelevant...

It is a great pity that John Major bottled it when he took over in 1992, and replaced the Poll Tax with the ill-considered and unfair system of local authority funding that we have now.

It would have been much better to have persevered with the Poll Tax, perhaps giving Local Authorities a lot more funding from Central Government, in order to soften the blow to the households that were hardest hit.

Can we try it again please, but do it right this time...?

As a first step, which doesn't require a complete upheaval of the existing system, perhaps we could add 25% to the Council Tax for every extra adult in the household, where there are more than two...?