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Local Taxation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:04 pm on 4th July 2005.

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Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford Labour, Greenwich and Woolwich 5:04 pm, 4th July 2005

I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman is reading my articles in the "Municipal Journal" and other organs. I am sure that he agrees with much of what he reads, because he has some experience of local government. Despite his present difficulty, caused by the position that his party is temporarily adopting for expedient short-term reasons, I think he will understand that Labour is the party that is currently pursuing a credible policy to try and create a long-term, viable system of local government finance.

Let us now consider the Liberal Democrats' local income tax. Carried away by its vacuous slogan "Axe the tax", the party came to believe that this was the panacea and the miracle for them, but I am afraid that the rhetoric concealed all the defects of the local income tax. It is administratively complex, as the hon. Member for Bournemouth, West pointed out.