I was a newly elected Liberal Alliance councillor back in 1986 when the Thatcher government began consulting over the introduction of the poll tax.Conservative members didn't want it phased in over 10 years: they wanted it at once. You could see the pound signs in their eyes as they calculated how much they and their neighbours would save.
As a dutiful Liberal – it was party policy even then – I moved an amendment calling on my council to support a local income tax in its reply to the consultation. After it was voted down, one of the county ladies on the Tory benches came over and asked: "Do you realise why the rates are unpopular? It's because you can't hire a sharp accountant to get you out of them, the way you can with income tax."
She was right, and I have had a soft spot for property taxes ever since.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Comment is Free: Vince Cable and local income tax
I have a piece on the Guardian's Comment is Free site about the rumours that Vince Cable is not too keen on replacing the Council Tax with a local income tax: