A number of debts must be acknowledged. Firstly, our research was supported by a number of trusts and charities. Midwinter received a sabbatical year financed by a Nuffield Fellowship to study the implementation of the community charge; work on the distributive consequences of tax reform in Strathclyde was financed by the Scottish Foundation for Economic Research; the research into value-for-money auditing was financed by Strathclyde University's Research and Development Fund; and the work on capital expenditure, by the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.
Secondly, we received considerable assistance from local authority officials, who, despite pressures on their time in implementing the community charge, always made information available and gave lengthy interviews to us when requested.
Thirdly, we owe an enormous debt to Jean McDougall, who typed the entire manuscript and coped with our revisions on a tight timescale with unfailing good humour.
Finally, we must thank our respective partners, Jean and David, for their support and encouragement throughout this enterprise. In the final stage of writing the book, Midwinter became a grandfather for the first time, and Monaghan became a mother for the second time. Fortunately, neither Zoe nor David Matthew will have to pay the poll tax.