Margaret Thatcher was reelected for her third term in 1987. One of the changes she promised to implement was to levy a flat tax that she called a “Community Charge,” although it became popularly known as the poll tax. A flat tax means that everybody, regardless of wealth, has to pay the same amount. The tax was to be set in the 1989-1990 financial year in Scotland, and in the 1990-1991 financial year in England. However, it was unpopular from the moment she proposed it, and she met resistance from both the people and her party.
In May of 2010, the United Kingdom held its general elections. One of the candidates, Nick Clegg, ran on a platform that included a promise to vote against any proposals to raise tuition fees for students. However, by October of the same year, Clegg changed his stance on the issue. The potential for a change in the cap on tuition fees from £3,290 to £9,000 was on the table. The government also announced substantial budget cuts, particularly for public services. The news of these issues resulted in an outcry of protest from the student population across the United Kingdom.