Rating Reform (Scotland)

Petitions – in the House of Commons at 11:40 pm on 19th January 1988.

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Photo of John Home Robertson John Home Robertson , East Lothian 11:40 pm, 19th January 1988

I am grateful for the opportunity to present a petition on behalf of my constituents against the Government's threat to impose a poll tax in Scotland. It is appropriate that I should have the opportunity to do so immediately after the Government have once again used their English majority to force through an instrument associated with that legislation.

The petition is signed by 457 residents of the neighbourhood of the royal burgh of Haddington which is the county town of East Lothian. They recognise that the crisis in the rating system has been caused by successive Government cuts in rate support grant and the gross unfairness of a poll tax that is likely to be set at £361 per head in East Lothian.

Under such a medieval taxation system, many people on modest means will have their local taxation burden doubled, while prosperous citizens will benefit spectacularly.

The poll tax legislation is unfair, undemocratic and unworkable. It is an insult to the nation of Scotland and I wholeheartedly support my constituents in Haddington in their petition to the House to repeal this vicious legislation.

To lie upon the Table.