Letters to the Editor

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A taxing question

I appear to have hit a raw nerve re my letter “Council Cash Shortfall” both with Messrs Thompson and Beattie (SNP) – good! The point I was making, apart from them blaming everyone else, is simple. The unpaid monies that remain due by those who didn’t pay their community charge, despite being able to do so, should be collected using whatever legal means possible, including the electoral role. The majority of us did pay and it is morally wrong and unjust not to pursue those who didn’t – especially as the people of Midlothian cannot afford to write off £8 million in the face of a projected local budget deficit. According to Mr Thompson, only 15 per cent of Midlothian Council’s income comes from Council Tax. Therefore at a time when cash is tight – is that not even more reason to be prudent and collect the debts owed? Are the council/Scottish Government to assure us that they don’t use, or intend to use, the electoral role in other types of debt recovery in the future?

I hear because of the unease building in political circles there may be the intention that the Scottish Government (SNP) will pick up the shortfall. Talk about insult to injury, those who have paid already are about to pay again – via additional taxes! Finally, the current SNP-led Scottish government have had since 2007, that’s seven years, to bring in a fair and just local income tax (LIT) based on the ability to pay. I wonder why they didn’t – sounds too much like the poll tax, Community Charge. The cynic in me Mr Beattie (MSP) – perhaps your colleagues thought it better to leave introducing a LIT until after the Referendum!

Mungo J Tennent


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