On reading through the guide to what Leeds City Council spends our money on it seems its revenue sources include:
Government Grants: 48%
Council Tax 13%
Business Rates: 12%
Clearly, local councils are elected by many people who derive benefit from the services they provide whilst at the same time not paying council tax. Similarly, there are businesses which contribute over 92% of the amount contributed by the Council Tax payers and yet have no vote.
This raises the issue of the Multiple Franchise.
A multiple franchise is a system whereby some people have one vote and other people have more than one. At first glance this would appear to be unfair, but need it be?
For instance, let us consider local authority elections: should businesses be given the vote? Should a person who owns a house in the local authority but who is primarily resident elsewhere have a vote?
The British Gazette considers that the answers to both questions should be yes.
The British Gazette would go further. In the case or parliamentary elections the British Gazette considers a multiple franchise should work thus:
All persons apart from those with a unspent criminal conviction and who are 18 and over and who can read and write English should have a vote. This should be called the Universal Literacy Vote.
The British Gazette is of the opinion that:
- those who break the law should have their rights to say who governs the country suspended or revoked.
- that those persons (apart from disabled persons) who are unable to read and write English should not have a vote as they are unable to fully take part in the nation’s affairs.
In addition, all persons who pay the standard rate of tax should have a Taxation Vote.
In addition, all persons who pay tax at the higher rate should have an additional taxation vote.
There is the old saying, no taxation without representation. We believe this to be a sound principal which should be followed.