This week 30 years ago: Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax made pensioners weep

This week 30 years ago. Picture: Hackney Archives

This week 30 years ago. Picture: Hackney Archives - Credit: Hackney Archives

This week 30 years ago the community charge or poll tax introduced by Margaret Thatcher’s conservative government was set to cost each resident £499.

The tax coincided with drastic cuts to services and angered anti-poll tax groups. The Salvation Army reported to the paper that weeping pensioners had been calling in.

Captain James Williams told the Gazette: "We have had grannies coming in and cancelling their holidays because they need the cash to pay for the poll tax."

The high poll tax was due to be rubber-stamped at a council meeting and town hall leaders prepared for trouble following violence at other similar meetings across Britain.

Opposition Tory leader Joe Lobenstein blamed the council for the high poll tax rate as it had failed to collect millions of pounds in rent and rate arrears.

The same week an abducted woman, doused with petrol suffering from burns and broken bones, was rescued by police during a routine car check.

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