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Burns & Laird Brochure
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Poll Tax Protest

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Bulletin Photographs

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Poll Tax Protest

Councillors gathered outside the City Chambers in a protest against the new system of local taxation, the Community Charge or Poll Tax, in April 1988, pictured in Glasgow City Council's newspaper The Bulletin. As the City Council was legally obliged to co-operate in the collection of the tax, the protest had to be confined to the details on the form required by the registration officer.

The replacement of the property-based general rates by the tax-per-head Community Charge, which soon became known as the Poll Tax, provoked widespread protests. The tax was introduced in Scotland by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government in 1989, one year before the rest of the UK. A campaign under the slogan "Can't pay, won't pay" gained widespread support and provided a platform for militant socialists such as Tommy Sheridan, who went to prison for his refusal to pay. Glasgow had one of the lowest rates of Poll Tax collection in the country. It was replaced by the Council Tax in 1993 after Mrs Thatcher fell from power.

Reference: Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection, Bulletin Photographs

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Bulletin, City Chambers, Community Charge, Conservative Party, Council Tax, councillors, Glasgow City Council, lord provosts, militants, non-payment, political demonstrations, Poll Tax, rates, taxation, taxes

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