A little bit of politics: replacing the council tax

I know, I know, I’ll be back to posting about Girls Aloud and Macs in a bit. But I was listening to the morning show on Radio Scotland (The Angry Pensioners show – (c) Tony Kiernan) today, and they were talking about the Scottish plans to replace council tax with a local income tax.

Well, that and ranting about dustbins. But I digress.

What I don’t get is, if the aim is to have a fairer tax system – and council tax is manifestly unfair – then why not have a Scottish sales tax? Unlike income tax, clever accounting doesn’t enable you to avoid it altogether; unlike income tax, you can’t dodge it if you work strictly for cash; unlike income tax, it’s directly linked to consumption – so if you don’t spend huge sums of money on stuff, you don’t pay huge wads of tax.

I can appreciate there are logistical issues – how to deal with online shopping is a biggie; you’d need an exemption for tourists, and on things like children’s shoes and other things you don’t pay VAT on – but surely things like the black economy, creative accounting and other things mean a local income tax has more holes in it than a string vest, with the dodgy and the superbly rich more or less evading it while working stiffs pay full whack?

Am I missing something really obvious here?