Government 'dog tax' would hit poorest families, wsays Torridge MP

GEOFFREY Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, has expressed his concern at plans by the Government to force people to pay a compulsory levy to own a dog. This would apply to all dogs – including poodles and chihuahuas. The Government has announced a cons

GEOFFREY Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, has expressed his concern at plans by the Government to force people to pay a compulsory levy to own a dog. This would apply to all dogs - including poodles and chihuahuas.

The Government has announced a consultation which includes proposals to compel all dog owners to pay for compulsory third party insurance to be allowed to own their own dog. Families would face "penalties" - fines or criminal sanctions - for breaching this requirement.

In practice, this "dog tax" would not affect the owners of the most dangerous dogs, Mr Cox claimed, as the Dangerous Dogs Act already banned the ownership and sale of fighting dogs like pit bull terriers.

He said there were an estimated 5.4 million households with dogs across England and Wales, including up to 15,450 homes across Torridge and West Devon which would be required to pay a compulsory dog tax.


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Although some homes may already have pet insurance, the poorest homes would be hit the hardest by the new levy. The Government had admitted that the tax may result in more stray dogs and greater pressures on dog rescue centres.

Mr Cox said: "As always, Gordon Brown sees tax as the solution to every problem. His plans for a dog tax will penalise more than 15,000 law-abiding dog lovers across the region and do nothing to target irresponsible dog owners. I fear this will hit the poorest homes the hardest.

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"We need tougher laws against the growing problem of dangerous dogs being used in acts of violence. But it is a sledgehammer to crack a nut to impose a dog tax on a poodle. This is yet another way that five more years of Gordon Brown will just make things worse for struggling families in Devon.

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