LETTER : Tax break

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Home Secretary has announced that his Enforcement of Financial Penalties Working Group is considering alternatives to imprisoning people for the non-payment of fines and TV licences (report, 14 February). It is not, however, considering alternatives to imprisoning people for non- payment of local taxes. They are civil debts, not criminal punishments.

Civil debtors will receive harsher treatment than petty criminals if imprisonment is abolished for fines and TV licences but not for taxes. It seems right, therefore, for the working group to expand its brief to include the enforcement of local taxes in order to avoid such an unjust anomaly.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Nicolson

Treasurer, Campaign Against

Poll Tax Imprisonment

Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire