Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/701/13532

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2012

Irish 'poll tax' battle has begun

Cian Prendiville, Socialist Party (CWI, Ireland)

A massive campaign against a new 'Household Charge' has begun in Ireland. The new flat tax affects 1.6 million households across the country, including the overwhelming majority of ordinary workers.

However, a mass campaign of non-payment, launched by the Socialist Party and others, is getting a huge response.

The new tax came in on 1 January, and requires people to self-register and set up payment before 31 March.

However, following a call from the Campaign Against the Household and Water Taxes, a wide layer of TDs (MPs), celebrities, and ordinary people have come out and declared that they will not pay it.

Over 100 public meetings have been organised across Ireland, launching local branches of the campaign.

Opinion polls have shown the vast majority are opposed to this tax, and say they will refuse to pay.

Despite government propaganda about it being a 'charge' for community services, everybody knows where the money is really going: to the bankers and speculators the state is bailing out.

This will be made even clearer on 25 January when the Irish government plans to hand over 1.25 billion, eight years' worth of the new tax, in repaying someone who gambled on one of Ireland's most reckless banks.

This new tax will rise and rise if they get it in. While it is starting at 100, it is meant to pave the way for a full home tax and water charges in the next years, taking another 1,000+ a year out of the pockets of ordinary people who already pay the vast bulk of taxes.

Campaign

Over the next weeks and months a momentous battle will develop across Ireland, bigger than anything in recent history.

The campaign will take the fight around the country; organising mass rallies, mass distributing leaflets, car stickers and window posters calling for non payment and non-registration, and knocking on doors to sign people up to the campaign.

We aim to have organised and established mass non-payment by the middle of March and then be in a position to break the government 'deadline' of 31 March.

Such mass non-registration, and an organised and sustained campaign of non-payment, can make the tax unworkable and force the government, and their bosses in the EU/IMF into retreat.


The Poll Tax: Thatcher's downfall

The hated Poll Tax (or Community Charge) was the Tory Thatcher government's replacement for household domestic rates.

Introduced first in Scotland in 1989 and then a year later in England and Wales, it was a socially incendiary piece of legislation.

Instead of a household charge every individual over 18 years was liable to pay it. It meant that a millionaire living in a mansion would pay less than two adults living in a council flat.

Effectively the Poll Tax was a massive shift in wealth from the poorest to the wealthiest.

Militant supporters, the forerunners of the Socialist Party, played a key role in organising opposition to the tax.

Militant's tactic was based on defying the law through a mass non-payment campaign with the slogan: 'Can't pay, won't pay'.

Anti-poll tax meetings were held in every city, town and even in villages. Streets and neighbourhoods organised anti-poll tax unions and, through the work of Militant socialists, were combined into town, borough, and regional federations, and an all-Britain anti-Poll Tax Federation.

These federations gelled together the non-payment campaigns into a massive 17 million strong movement.

Despite the extensive use of the courts by local authorities to sequester payments from individuals and the jailing of non-payers (many of whom were Militant supporters), the tax became largely uncollectable and thereby unworkable.

Moreover, the anti-Poll Tax movement galvanised political opposition to the anti-working class Thatcher government.

The 'Iron Lady', who had hailed the Poll Tax as her flagship legislation, was now badly corroded. So much so that the Tory Party grandees were forced to remove her as party leader.

Thatcher resigned in November 1990 after failing to secure sufficient backing from Tory MPs in a leadership contest and the Poll Tax was replaced by the council tax.


For further reading on Militant and the Poll Tax battle, see The Rise of Militant by Peter Taaffe, available here online and from Socialist Books, 9.99

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 January 2012:


Anti-cuts campaign

Stand up to Tory bullies

Pensions attacks can still be defeated

Labour leadership approves the Con-Dem cuts

Cameron's attack on Scottish independence referendum backfires

Welfare Reform Bill:- Lords compromise is no victory

Ofsted: "requires improvement"

John Lewis economy: another fantasy from Corporal Clegg

Them & Us


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Keep private vultures out of our NHS!


Youth fight for jobs

End the slave labour culture of workfare


Socialist Party workplace news

Electricians' national meeting plans next steps in battle against pay cut

Unilever workers say hands off our pensions

South Yorkshire Stagecoach bus drivers take eighth day of strike action

Jobs massacre at La Senza

Doctors support call for action


Obituary

Rob Windsor: socialist fighter and Coventry Socialist Party councillor 1964-2012


Socialist Party feature

1972 Derry - "this was murder"


Socialist Party campaigns

EDL intimidation fails in Barking

Save community schools - no to academies

Protect women's rights - oppose the abstinence bill


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Non-payment movement against new housing tax

Irish 'poll tax' battle has begun

Nigeria: Fuel strike suspended


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 January 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Ireland:

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleIreland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleIreland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

triangle1967 Abortion Act reflected social changes

Tax:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

triangleThem & us

triangleTrump's tax attacks

Poll tax:

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleSouth London tower block residents plan safety campaign

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

Pay:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

Government:

triangleNationalise rail now

Militant:

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected

International

International

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

31/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Rajoy's furious response to proclamation of Republic

25/10/17

Kurdistan

Kurdish referendum declared illegal

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2