Britain: Revolt over A Poll Tax

Revolt over A Poll Tax

When London imposed a poll tax in 1381, revolting peasants beheaded four of the King's ministers. A similar levy is scheduled to take effect April 1 in England and Wales, and though decapitation has not been mentioned, the reaction has been anything but mild. Across Britain last week, furious crowds stormed local government chambers, burned Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in effigy, looted stores and battled police. Scores were arrested and dozens injured.

Under the system, adults will pay a flat rate based on the cost of government services in their localities, rather than property taxes assessed according to the value of...

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