Andrew Finch talks about the reality of the poll tax – or Community Charge – and then reveals a tiny part of it.
The whole reality of the situation was that this tax benefited the rich, while costing 60 per cent of the population more.
The poll tax was a flat rate tax that was paid by each individual adult in the household, with few exceptions.
It was introduced by Margaret Thatcher.
Before the advent of this ‘fairer option’ the rates on my council-owned property stood at £310 per annum – afterwards they increased to £975.90.
Or, £325.30 each for the three adults in my household.
The problem was that my wife did not work and my son worked only part-time, we did not – and we never have – claimed any benefits for unemployment, housing or sickness.
Having explored all local areas for a solution I wrote to Parliament, to Chris Patten, requesting relief for a non-earning wife.
He quoted the example of a man earning £30,000 a year with a non-earning wife living next door to a couple who were both earning £20,000.
And the unfairness of my suggestion, with a total income of £l0,000 the example was lost on me.
Unfortunately my savings disappeared before the Poll Tax did.
Bob Wydell, Oswestry