Local Government Finance

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th October 1990.

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Photo of Mr John Maxton Mr John Maxton , Glasgow Cathcart 12:00 am, 17th October 1990

When will the Minister stop using the rather foolish non-payment campaign being run by the Scottish National party as a shield behind which to hide and pretend that the poll tax is working? Does he not recognise that research shows that the vast majority of those who have not paid their poll tax simply cannot afford to pay it? The simple fact is that he could end the crisis tomorrow by abolishing the 20 per cent. rule, allowing a moratorium on rebates back to 1 April 1989 and improving the rebate system to make it much more generous. He must recognise that Scottish local authorities are facing a financial crisis as a result of the poll tax itself and not because a few people are foolishly not paying it.