14 days to go: Conservatives will scrap revaluation stealth tax

Millions of home owners will be saved an average £270 a year in council tax bills when the Conservatives win the May 5 general election.

Party Leader Michael Howard has promised to halt Tony Blair's latest stealth tax by cancelling a revaluation of domestic properties which is expected to result in seven million homes moving into a higher council tax band across England.

He made the pledge at an election press conference in London, which focused on the Conservative local government campaign, and where the party launched its manifesto for the local elections - also on May 5.

Mr Howard declared: "We will stop Mr Blair's next stealth tax dead in its tracks by cancelling revaluation. Based on what happened in Wales, this will save seven million homes in England from paying more - £270 more, each and every year, for the typical household."

The commitment is part of a straight-forward five point action plan designed to keep your council tax down. This involves easing the burden on councils, by abolishing unnecessary and costly regulations; ensuring fairer funding from Whitehall, by introducing greater transparency over grant distribution; delivering a fully-funded settlement for local government, with an above-inflation increase for local councils, and significant increases for schools, police and health and social services; halving council tax bills for the elderly by reducing the charge levied on millions of adults aged 65 and over by up to £500 a year; and by scrapping the planned property revaluation throughout England.

Denouncing the way Labour has hammered home owners with relentless council tax increases, and warning that Liberal Democrat plans to replace the council tax with a local income tax would cost a typical hardworking family in England, with two earners, at least £600 more, he said:

"I believe in rewarding families who work hard and do the right thing. So I am going to stop Mr Blair's next stealth tax by cancelling revaluation. While he has talked, families have been struggling - last year, for the first time in a decade, their average incomes fell thanks to Mr. Blair's stealth taxes. The most punishing of all Labour's stealth taxes has been the council tax.

"For most families, their home is their most valuable asset. It's the bedrock of their security - both financial security and personal security. But Mr Blair has used people's homes as a means of taxing them by stealth. Most people will have just opened their council tax bills with horror. Well, my message to them is clear: you don't have to settle for this. You can make a difference. You can vote to stop the relentless rise in council tax."


story from: www.conservatives.com