I have much pleasure in presenting to the House a petition relating to the poll tax legislation. It comes from the provost and councillors of Dunfermline district council, City chambers, Dunfermline, and it is appropriate that this will be the first of many petitions against this especially odious tax which will be levied on the people of Scotland.
The petition speaks of the Government's policy to impose a poll tax—community charge—on the people of Scotland as being unjust and unfair. It will impose a burden on those least able to pay and, additionally, cause a considerable increase in local expenditure to collect the tax and dislocation of local administration. The petitioners pray that this honourable House shall take immediate steps to repeal the legislation which introduces this tax, remove the burden of unfair taxation on the people of Scotland which the people of Scotland firmly rejected in the June 1987 election and replace it with a more progressive system of taxation.
As a resident of Dunfermline, I have great pleasure in presenting this petition. Dunfermline was the ancient capital of Scotland and it is symbolic that interred in the abbey of Dunfermline are the bones of the Bruce, representing the independence and sincerity of the Scots in fighting against oppression.
I trust that the House will note that my petition is the first of many that will be presented by my right hon. and hon. Friends to show the Government clearly that they have no political mandate in Scotland for this unjust tax.