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    Saturday, 20 February 2021 00:16

    The Positives Of The Poll Tax

    Not many would be willing to advocate the positives of the Poll Tax, but we will. Here is why moving to an individual method of local taxation has its benefits.

    What Is The Poll Tax

    We can track the Poll Tax back to 1275. The word “poll” is another word for “head”, so the “poll tax” is essentially a “head tax”. Each member of the population would be required to pay the tax. 

    Why Does The Poll Tax Have A Bad Reputation?

    When the poll tax (AKA The Community Charge) was launched in the late ’80s, it was introduced against the people’s will. It never had the consent of anything near a majority of the people and was almost impossible to implement. There were several reasons for that, but the wide-scale pushback that we sore were inevitable without that consent.

    Another significant issue was that it was implemented unfairly. A portion of that unfairness can be found when it was introduced into more impoverished areas first. Scotland found themselves paying the Poll Tax before England, Liverpool before the more affluent Home Counties.

    When people refused to pay the tax, they were carted off to prison. All of this was caught on film and broadcast on the nightly news. It didn’t look good.

    There was also another twist that would seal the fate of the poll tax’s reputation. Margaret Thatcher tried to implement it at the end of her reign. Throughout her time in office, she had amassed a determined line of ex-Ministers and Civil Servant enemies that were determined to see her fail. Those ex-Ministers would do everything they could, from Direct sabotage to backstabbing the Poll Tax through the media.

    In short, it was a marketing disaster, but was it a financial disaster for the public? No! It wouldn’t have been. People would have found themselves better off. 

    Benefits Of The Poll Tax

    The Poll tax would have been fairer, especially in contrast to the current system of Council Tax. For example, the charges for Council Tax are itemised. On that bill, there is a breakdown of costs for things like Police, Fire, Bins etc. Common sense would suggest that those costs would be proportionate to the number of adults residing in each property. The more adults per property, the more in expense that home would cost the local purse.

    Why should a property with just two residents pay the same tax as a property with ten adults? Ten people produce much more waste; there is a higher chance they will use the Police, fire etc.

    In the above example, the  Poll Tax would have charged to each of those ten people for the services they use. If those ten people start to pay tax, the property with two people in wouldn’t have to pay as much as they do under the Council Tax system. For that reason, the poll tax was fairer.

    The Poll Tax was far easier to collect; everyone over 18 paid a fixed amount. There were some discounts for the exceptionally hard-up, but the majority paid the same. This has two benefits; more people will find it harder to escape it, and the administrative costs are lower. Both of these mean that individual taxpayers would be less per person.

    Just imagine a system where tax wasn't raised the the price of the property that you bought using money that you had already been taxed on to pay for it? The Poll Tax was a reward for success, you weren't penalised for working hard and being successful.

    Don’t write off the Poll Tax as a wicked system from a bygone era. There were two sides to the Poll Tax, and the media very rarely paint the beneficial side.

    Our news service is great because it pulls no punches and doesn't allow political correctness to interfere with our views.
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