Well, of course, no one has ever been able to say it’s a fair tax but the Northern Agenda article, linked below, makes the unfairness point only too clearly:-
Anyone would think that a more fair and equitable way of funding local government had never been thought of or proposed. Oh but hang on, wasn’t it those pesky Liberal Democrats who found what they thought at the time (Charles Kennedy era) was a solution – Local Income Tax – based on the ability to pay? Think it may well have been! Here’s a link about LIT from Institute for Fiscal Studies:-
Now the Lib Dems are not so keen on LIT as the solution to local government financing but, apart from a little tinkering around the rough edges of Council tax, there’s not really much of a political push from any direction to find a local taxation methodology that’s fairer, particularly towards the less well off/less affluent parts of the country.
Too difficult a nut to crack? Fear of the political consequences of proposing a fairer system, if the middle classes don’t like it? Too many memories about the Poll Tax?
The link below to a Northern Agenda page is both revealing and informative:-
It shows how, with a government made up of the wealthy, a ‘system’ to get a £150 fuel bill relief help scheme is actually aimed at those who pay their council tax bills by direct debit. The poor don’t use/can’t use direct debit so they and the councils who need to get the money to them are left in a bureaucratic mess.
I’ve seen this at first hand via talking to a Sefton Borough resident who is trying to get a payment process set up but who, due to being in poverty, is left to negotiate a methodology with the Council who seem unsure what to do. A number of telephone calls by the resident to the Council have yet to resolve the matter.
Basing a process on what the middle and upper classes do is crass and insensitive and it makes you realise how little the powers that be understand about poverty and the consequences of it.
And as an aside could this payment be seen as a one-off UBI?