By Mark Brown
FIVE HUNDRED people demonstrated in Glasgow last Saturday in support of the proposal of Tommy Sheridan, socialist member of the Scottish Parliament, to replace the council tax with a Scottish service tax. Demonstrators demanded that money for local services should be raised by taxing people according to their wealth rather than the present system.
Under the current council tax system most workers pay on average twice as much of their income as the richest 10 percent. The 800,000 Scots whose household income is under �10,000 would be exempted from paying service tax under Tommy Sheridan's proposal. The overwhelming majority of workers would pay less, while those on more than �100,000 per year would pay ten times their current bill.
Eddie Cornock from west Lothian told Socialist Worker, "The council tax is not much better than the poll tax. In terms of the burden of taxation it is very much weighted against the poor. "People like Brian Souter are paying �1,500 to �1,600 maximum, while here in Glasgow some of the poorest families are paying about �750. That is totally unfair."
Speakers at the rally included workers involved in the fight against cuts in council services, and Ian Hunter, the Scottish Socialist Party candidate in the forthcoming Falkirk West by-election.