Revaluation bombshell ‘timed to explode’ after election

This week, the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich & Woolwich, Alistair Craig, expressed his concern that council tax bills in Greenwich could soar under the Government’s plans for a ‘rigged’ council tax revaluation. The revaluation process will start this April, with each home being re-assessed for council tax purposes, and new bills being issued in April 2007.

Yet in Wales, two years ahead of England in the revaluation process, four times as many homes are moving up a council tax band as are moving down. Based on the new tax bands introduced in Wales, the average home in London could be forced up a tax band, from Band F to Band G. Such an increase would typically add £279 to a council tax bill.

Alistair explained, “Under Mr Blair, council taxes across Greenwich have soared by 39 per cent - equivalent to 4 times the rate of inflation, with further increases expected this year. But I fear that the coming council tax revaluation will be fiddled to increase local tax bills by stealth. Even without any change in the headline rate of council tax, homes will face larger bills through their letter box.

“A rigged revaluation could push the average home in Greenwich up a tax band – meaning an automatic hike in council tax bills hitting the doorsteps. This threatens to be a ticking council tax bombshell: intentionally primed to explode after the general election.

“Only Conservatives have provided the effective opposition to these tax hikes – our local Labour MPs, Clive Efford and Nick Raynsford, the Minister in charge of the council tax itself, voted to support it. We will stop these plans for a rigged revaluation, and introduce additional measures to keep down council tax – including a new 50 per cent discount on council tax for pensioners aged 65 and over. We will stand up for the forgotten majority and stop Mr Blair’s plans for third term tax rises.