#Onthisday in 1991, it was announced by John Major that Thatcher's poll tax would be abolished, following a mass non-payment campaign and widespread rioting. The Poll Tax Riots were a series of riots and protests across British towns and cities to oppose the Conservative governments introduction of a new "community charge". This was a regressive taxation which did not take into account an adult's income or family wealth, and that meant large families using a relatively small house saw their charges go up considerably. It was understood to save the rich money and move the expenses onto the poor, and was renamed the Poll Tax after another infamous mediaeval tax which sparked a Peasants’ Revolt in 1381. As part of a movement of mass non-payment, figures suggest that 18million people refused to pay the community charge. Legal action, including warrants, arrests and cases clogged up the courts and incurred billions in debt, but could not break the movement. This image was taken during one of these demonstrations in Trafalgar Square on 31st March 1990, where a protest escalated after a riot squad van drove straight into the crowd and knocked a young woman across the road. The riot in central London did much to contribute to the downfall of Margaret Thatcher, who resigned as Prime Minister later that year. Image: The Guardian. Sources: Libcom, BBC, Socialist Party Ireland.
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