Government plans will cause hike in council tax

February 8, 2005 1:00 PM

Research by the Liberal Democrats suggests council tax will rise significantly over the next two years, and Cambridge residents could be among those worst hit.

From April this year the Government will begin revaluing houses in England, which are currently banded for council tax on the basis of their value in 1991. Areas which have seen an above-average increase in house prices since then - including much of the south and east of the country - can expect large rises in council tax.

Estate Agents boards in Cambridge

Strong demand has caused house prices to rise substantially in Cambridge

David Howarth said: "Council tax is unfair, and revaluation will do nothing to make it fairer. Residents paying the same amount of council tax often have very different incomes, which means they have differing abilities to pay. Revaluation will cost £300 million - a waste of money. A local income tax, as proposed by the Liberal Democrats, is based on people's ability to pay, is fair, and doesn't need expensive revaluations."

Although the Government is to spend over £600 million keeping Council Tax rises down ahead of an expected May election, above inflation increases are still anticipated to be widespread. Next year, when this 'one-off' grant to councils will not be repeated, residents' bills may need to rise by more than 7.5%.

Axe the Tax College Green 11th May 2004

Charles Kennedy with fellow Lib Dems, fighting for the unfair council tax to be axed

The Liberal Democrats would scrap the council tax and replace it with a local income tax, run through the current tax system. This would save hundreds of millions in administration costs, be fairer than the current 'band' system, with its arbitrary floor and ceiling, and will result in lower bills for many households.

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