Poll Tax Debts

Part of Question Time — Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 22nd January 2004.

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Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour 2:30 pm, 22nd January 2004

I share that view. As one of my constituents said in a letter to the East Kilbride News :

"It would be nice, too, to consider the struggle suffered by all those who scrimped and did without" at the time to pay their local taxes. I agree with that point. However, Phil Gallie's comment is a bit rich. When the poll tax was introduced, we all knew that it would be a difficult tax to collect. In one year, only 67 per cent of the poll tax was collected.

Let me also take the chance to clarify something that appeared in the newspapers last week. I said in a press release that I was encouraged that councils had collected more council tax than ever before, but I also made it clear that I expected them to do better and to collect more council tax. I am encouraged by the fact that local authorities are working hard to collect their moneys. Those moneys go to good use in local communities.