New poll tax debt law is welcomed

Midlothian Council's headquarters
Midlothian Council's headquarters

New laws to stop local authorities pursuing people for poll tax debt have been welcomed by Midlothian’s SNP MSPs.

An estimated £8 million remains outstanding in Midlothian from uncollected community charge bills.

Council Leader Owen Thompson (SNP) confirmed that Midlothian did not use the electoral role to chase unpaid community charges.

“We await further information about what the proposed legislation will mean to us as a local authority,” he said.

Welcoming the new law Midlothian South MSP Christine Grahame (SNP) said: “After 25 years, a line has finally been drawn under the deeply unfair and widely hated Poll Tax.”

Midlothian North MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) added: “This planned legislation will ensure that the debt is ‘dead and buried’ once and for all.”

The community charge, or poll tax as it was dubbed, was introduced in Scotland in 1989 and replaced by the council tax in 1993.