16 June 1998
Hunting — another poll tax?
THE hunting issue could become Prime Minister Tony Blairs poll tax, warns Nicholas Budgen in The Daily Telegraph.
He attacks a proposal to give local councils the power to license or not to license hunts, possibly after holding a referendum of all voters in their regions.
He says this has the effect of delegating the moral and political problems of banning hunting to councils so that they, and not the Government, get blamed. He calls it an abdication of leadership in favour of continued popularity.
He says if the Government wants to ban hunting, it must take the argument to the country. He argues if the issue is left to Private Members legislation, it will be killed off each year by backbench Tories and, if the Government passes the buck to local government, any resulting ban will lack the authority that ought to go with legislation.
- The Daily Telegraph 16/06/98 page 20