Friday, December 05, 2008

There is Hope For Local LIT

Although the idea of the Scottish Tories was to get an airing for their reformed reformed Poll Council Tax, the vote yesterday in Holyrood for the Abolition of the Council Tax Bill to debate all proposals on the table paves the way for various alternatives to be looked at. It may also be a face saving way for the SNP to not implement a 3p Scottish National Income Tax, which seems to break all sorts of binds to Local Authority accountability, without losing too much face. That is of course if Alex Salmond actually listen to the will of Parliament, which would be a nice change.

Of course there is the Lib Dem proposal for a true Local Income Tax and the Green's proposal of Land Value Tax to be considered in the mix. It may please James @ The Two Doctors to know that over the years at various party conferences I have been at fringe events looking at LVT as well as LIT so I know there are benefits to each, just as everyone will also be pointing out there are disadvantages in both (or for that matter any tax system). However, looking at what is on offer in the essence of fairness the ability to pay has to be paramount LVT is still linked somewhat to the property you live in, irrelevant of when you purchased that, while closing up a few loopholes for acquisition of land and leaving it empty and unused.

One thing that recent Labour shenanigans at Westminster over taxes is clear though is that reform is needed. For years now under Labour and the Conservatives our tax burden has been increasingly borne by those less able to pay it while those most able have been getting greater and greater tax breaks. A friend of my said yesterday that they had overheard an elderly couple out food shopping and putting something back because the price was a mere ten pence higher than previously and outwith their budget.

It's not just the credit crunch that is affecting the worse off though it has been the tax squeeze from Labour stealth taxes and high earner breaks, which they picked up and ran with from the Tories that has been endemic in the system for long enough. We need to sort out the tax and benefit system, make it comprehensible, fair and based on ability to pay and true need.

2 comments:

James said...

Noted!

Stephen Glenn said...

Aw shucks!

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