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UK Labour ‘using Wales to road test higher council tax bands’ claim Conservatives

03 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Keir Starmer picture by Rwendland (CC BY-SA 4.0). First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

The UK Labour party are using Wales to “road test” higher council tax bands, the Conservative party has claimed.

The Welsh Government is currently holding a consultation which is looking at creating different tax bands which they say will ensure that the poorest do not pay a disproportionate amount of tax.

But Greg Clark, the new Levelling Up Secretary, said that “Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is using Wales to road test plans to hike up taxes on people’s homes”.

“Hard-working people who have saved and improved their homes will face soaring tax bills – a tax on aspiration and pride in your house and neighbourhood,” he said.

“Family homes will face soaring local tax bills without any improvement in local services as Labour taxes the increases in house prices over recent years.”

Mr Clark told the Telegraph newspaper the plans “a stealth tax raid on middle England and middle Wales”, adding: “What they are planning in Wales today, they will do in England tomorrow, given the chance.”

He pointed to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), commissioned by the Welsh government, which suggested that extra bands could be placed on top of the existing council tax bands, meaning the highest-value homes paying four times as much as the average home.

The Conservatives said that such a change introduced in England would push the top council tax band to £7,864 a year.

‘Great deal of work to do’

The Welsh Government have said that their council tax plans, which are part of the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, would ensure a more progressive approach to supporting the local services.

Proposals include completing a revaluation of all 1.5 million properties in Wales to ensure valuations are up-to-date and people are paying the appropriate amount. This would enable different bands to be created with new tax rates chosen for each band, creating a fairer tax, they said.

Launching a consultation in July, Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said that the way council tax is currently charged has a disproportionate impact on less affluent people.

“These reforms will bring the council tax system up to date while making it fairer, meaning council tax is less of a worry for people with tighter household budgets,” she said.

“The reforms are not intended to raise more revenue from council taxpayers overall as, while some people could pay more, many others would pay less, and we will consider the need for transitional arrangements for any changes.

“We recognise this is a significant exercise and that we have a great deal of work to do before any changes can be introduced. These proposals are at an early stage so I encourage people to have their say through the consultation.”

The Welsh Government’s consultation ends on 4 October.


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

This is the same hypocritical Conservative party saying this who tested the poll tax on Scotland before rolling it out across the rest of Britain. Oh and Greg Clark there are thousands of “hardworking” people forced to go to foodbanks because of Tory austerity & misrule.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
26 days ago

But Greg Clark, the new Levelling Up Secretary, said ” a load of old hoarse s****, because obviously, Starmer doesn’t call the shots in Cymru and the moment he tried there would be deafening laughter.

You can file this along with my C.V.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
26 days ago

I very strongly suspect that if the Welsh government was punitively and unjustly hiking up the lower council tax bandings liabilities to match the higher ones leaving those higher ones untouched, we would not be hearing a peep from this minister but I would advise the minister for social injustice and inequality that our government is attempting to inject some social justice and equality and in doing so is highlighting why we the voters here in Wales permanently reject his party leaving throwing toys out of his pram and mud slinging as his only options. Oh there there minister!

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
26 days ago

I suppose one should expect the Tories to engage in defence of the wealthy so that £40M mansions in Mayfair will continue to pay the same council tax as the bigger council houses in England’s poorest towns.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
25 days ago

As much as any tax rise hurts us – the Tories are hardly in a place to criticise. They should shut up and get the new PM to stop reintroduce the £20 a week cruely taken from people recently and do far far more to help with the cost of living crisis.

Frank
Frank
25 days ago

Because of the current situation with fuel, energy, food prices etc. one would think they would hold back on increasing council tax. After all, apart from emptying bins, what services do councils actually do these days? Most of our money goes towards paying their wages, expenses and fancy pensions. Price increases are crippling households and these idiots are discussing more charges!

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
25 days ago
Reply to  Frank

I would advise you to read the notes that come with your council tax bill. You will be astonished to discover that Social Care is probably the largest single expense for Councils, not to mention Police and Fire Service. I agree that some of the ‘top dogs’ in Councils do get excessive remuneration, but that is a Tory led thing. It never used to be that bad until Thatcher and her disciples. We also need to remember that houses were last valued for Council Tax in 1991 so perhaps some sort of update might seem reasonable, not to mention extending… Read more »

Richard
Richard
25 days ago

Well the best way to defend your own indefencable record is to not reply but instead attack someone else’s record ..,,,and the second rule of deflection
is if your going to tell a ‘ wopler ‘make sure its a big one….

So lets thank the little pen pushers inTory HQ for keeping to the scropt 👍🏼

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