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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Socialists targeting council tax
Council tax form
Left-wingers have put forward a bill for a service tax
A bill aimed at abolishing the council tax has been lodged by Scottish Socialist Party Leader Tommy Sheridan.

The SSP said it wants to replace it in Scotland with a personal income-based service tax.

Mr Sheridan said the wealthiest 14% would pay considerably more while 80% of Scots would pay less.

He said the radical and progressive measure would cover existing council spending and also allow domestic water rates to be scrapped.

It is a radical measure which will significantly redistribute income
Tommy Sheridan MSP
Scottish Socialist Party

Mr Sheridan said: "The council tax is an unfair Tory tax which penalises the pensioner and average worker but pampers the well paid and wealthy.

"The Scottish service tax replacement raises more money than council tax but in a fairer way."

He added: "This bill is great news for pensioners and low paid workers in particular.

"It is a radical measure which will significantly redistribute income from those with most to those with least."

'Not credible'

People were urged in May to give their views over the following four months on the Socialists' alternative to the council tax.

Party leaders argue it would see many low-income households saving up to 30 a week.

Labour said the proposals were "not credible" and that those on low incomes were protected by council benefits.

Mr Sheridan replied that research suggested 77% of people in Scotland were in favour of abolishing the charge.

Anyone earning up to 30,000 would pay less than they are at the moment, Mr Sheridan calculated.

All those earning under 10,000 a year would be automatically exempt from the proposed tax.

The Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats want the council charge replaced with an income-based alternative.

SSP sets out 'service tax' plan
27 May 04  |  Scotland
Alliance holding back axe on tax
06 Mar 04  |  Scotland
SNP unveils 'axe the tax' plan
05 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Scrap council tax, says Swinney
26 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Pensioners push for tax review
23 Feb 04  |  Scotland

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