Taxed if you move - taxed if you don't

Local Conservatives have this week warned that home owners face a new Labour stealth tax – in the form of soaring fees for planning applications. Proposals slipped out by the Government just before Christmas call for a £70 million hike in planning fees from this April.

Fees for planning applications will rise by an average of 39 per cent, equivalent to over 30 times the rate of inflation. Fees for a residential extension will rise by over 20 per cent. The maximum charge for a new building will rise by 355 per cent, up from £11,000 to £50,000.

Yet the small print reveals that central government grants to local councils for planning (‘Planning Delivery Grant’) are to be cut back once the fees have risen – highlighting how this is actually a stealth tax, and councils’ planning departments will not have more additional resources.

Alistair Craig, Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich said:“The average home in Greater London now pays an extra £7,335 in stamp duty under Labour. As a result, more households are opting for a residential extension. Yet I fear that Mr Blair’s Government now intends to tax them as well.

“Soaring fees won’t mean more money for Greenwich Council. What John Prescott is giving councils with one hand, he is snatching back with another, leaving firms and local residents to foot the bill. This is a tax on new homes, residential extensions and small local builders.

“I fear that this is the first of many tax rises planned by Labour in any third term – new council tax bands, a fiddled council tax revaluation and capital gains tax on homes will be next, punishing families who have invested in home improvements. Under Labour, you will be taxed if you move and taxed if you don’t.