Is it not time the SNP government abandoned its oligarchic and centralising policy of capping council tax?
This was presumably introduced to give the impression that the government was paternalistically protecting the ratepayers but in practice it has given the government a stranglehold on local initiative.
The government is very strong on the importance of the state being free to raise its own income; the same principle applies to local communities.
There must be many places across the country where the local community would be willing to accept an increase in the rates in return for improved local services. The pot-holed streets of Edinburgh spring to mind.
Wasn’t the poll tax one form of what Brian Monteith would euphemistically call a “flatter tax”? Everyone liable, apart from exemptions, paid the flat charge for local services, irrespective of income.
Perhaps even freezing council tax is a flatter tax measure which exacerbates market-led disparities of income.
Another proposal of the flatter taxers is that corporations and individuals should have the same tax rate. It is difficult to see how this flatter tax system would give everyone a sweeter life.
Rather, it is deeply inimical to the ability-to-pay principle underpinning the morality of redistribution.
Aren’t flatter taxers followers of 19th-century liberals: “the distribution of income ought to be left alone”?
Arguably, today’s gross inequalities of income and wealth can be seen as immoral and economically inefficient.
Old Chapel Walk