The poll tax: a nightmare on your street

Leaflet produced as part of the movement against the Poll Tax

Submitted by Spassmaschine on July 26, 2009

Coming soon: A nightmare on your street!
In the past, local government and local services have been financed by the rating system. This system meant that the owner of a property had to pay a local tax (the rates) which was proportional to the rentable value of the property. Whilst this system kept the rich rich and the poor poor and had numerous quirks it at least had the merit of taking the most money from those who could most afford to part with it. As part of the State’s continuing assault on the working class and the poor (designed to keep us in our place) the rating system is now being replaced by the community charge, better known as the poll tax.

The poll tax will take a uniform sum from each adult living in a particular district. This means that a millionaire living in a mansion will contribute no more than a worker living in a council flat. It means that a family with children over 18 living in an overcrowded house will pay more than a rich couple living in a large house. This latest attack is one of the most blatant, callous and widespread to date. Are we going to let them get away with it?

As part of the government’s plans to introduce the poll tax, a new register of people who must pay is being drawn up. In Scotland registration forms have already been distributed. They will be distributed here in April 1989.

There are a number of actions we can take to prevent or alter the State’s plans. One of the easiest is to delay the return of the registration form for as long as possible. The form must be sent back within a month of you receiving it. Wait 29 days then send it back saying you don’t understand a question and ask for more information. When they return the form, wait another 29 days and do the same again. Alternatively, if we can get enough people in our street and locality to do the same, don’t fill in the form at all. The important thing about resisting the poll tax is to get as many people to resist as possible. We need to talk to our neighbours and people in our locali­ties and plan our tactics together.

In Scotland people are resisting registration right now. In one street in Glasgow residents returned all their registration forms together BLANK to the registration office.

In Dunterlie, Barrhead, Tenants Association members dumped almost all the areas poll tax forms - still blank - back at Paisley Regist­ration Office along with a query about the meaning of a ‘Responsible Person’. (It actually means that in each household one person has to be nominated ‘Responsible Person’, this person has to make sure every­one pays the poll tax and will also be liable to pay the other people’s tax if they do a runner.)

There has been mass burning of forms on Scottish hilltops.

In Strathclyde about 20 canvassers who were working to introduce the poll tax have been forced to resign due to the public abuse they received.

Other forms of resistance could include strikes, blacking and sabotage by the council workers who must operate the poll tax. We could also call for industrial action in our workplaces in pursuit of higher wages to offset the drain on our incomes that will be caused by the poll tax.

The object of all these actions will be to make the collection of the tax as expensive, inefficient and unpopular as possible. If resistance is widespread and determined enough then the State will be forced to keep the rates or at least to alter the poll tax so that it is less punishing than planned.

If you are interested in organising against the poll tax or would like more information please contact: Anti Poll Tax


Taken from the Antagonism website.