SNP policy could prove to be a gift for Lib Dems too

The SNP's wish to introduce a Local Income Tax (LIT) to replace the regressive and very unfair council tax is a great thing for Scotland, but potentially very good for the Lib Dems too.

A LIT has long been Lib Dem policy and if it works, and let's face it, it works in scores of other countries around the world so there is no reason to believe it won't work here, then it would prove the Lib Dems right in their support for the policy. But more than that, it will push the Tories and Labour in to a corner.

The Tories and Labour are going to have to defend the Council Tax, the last popular tax in the UK, to electors and themselves in order to oppose the SNP's plans.

In effect the Tories and Labour will form an alliance to defend the indefensible, and if the Lib Dems are right and campaign on this issue effectively, they can be made to be seen as backing the wrong horse.

The tag line "Remember The Labour Party/The Tory Party (delete as appropriate) voted to defend the unfair council tax this year and refused to support a fairer system based on people's ability to pay", might be a long line, but if repeated over and over again (and were I still writing Focus leaflets for Fakenham where I was a councillor I would be using this and recycling it every month), then it could prove very effective, especially if done in months when people's council tax bills land on their doorsteps.


Jeff said...

Hi Nich,

I have to agree with you here, this is something of a lifeline for the Lib Dems up here as they have struggled with political life now that they're out of the coalition.

Further to this, I expect that the SNP will compromise on the Libs favoured "local" Local Income Tax rather than the SNP's National Income Tax, perhaps as part of a deal to get the budget through.

There is still room for Land Value Tax being pushed through by Labour/Tories/Green/Margo but those 4 parties all finding agreement would be quite something!

Note that Lib Dems and SNP don't have the numbers to push bills through but they'd only need the Greens onboard or, better still, if the SNP win the upcoming Motherwell and Wishaw byelection then they will only need Margo onside.

But again, I agree, the best part of it all is working out how Labour and the Tories will manage to oppose the SNP/Lib Dems and also avoid being in favour of the Council Tax.

Another fun year ahead in Scotland at least by the looks of things!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Jeff, I think this could have resonance across the UK, not just Scotland, but yes, it could be a real shot in the arm for the Scottish Lib Dems.

Anonymous said...

The details have not yet been drawn out and id be interested to see real genuine financial implications as that will be what the idea is really judged on.

Its certainly been talked about in the local newsagents with some fear. "If its going to cost me more I dont want it" being the general talk.

The Scottish Lib Dems need to push for the local bit and try find out more about what the SNP plans are.

They also need to watch the SNP, if this goes pair shaped... it might be blamed on the lib dems for adapting the "proposed" idea.

The SNP were playing a blame game on the liberal part of the previous administration for a while, I hope this "our friends" bit keeps up and something can be sorted out that works in the benefit of Scotland... as Im sure it can.

Its still very hazy on whats actually going on and what the details of the system will be.