Army of clipboard inspectors to invade Greenwich’s bedrooms

Following the revelation that John Prescott is planning to charge higher council taxes on homes with patios, multiple bedrooms, conservatories and scenic views, Greenwich Conservatives this week expressealarm at reports that Government inspectors will be marching into people’s homes to collate this information.

The nosy inspectors, from the Valuation Office Agency – an arm of the Inland Revenue – will have the right to enter properties and gardens, and, in many cases, take photographs of each home, including bedrooms.

Labour’s forthcoming council tax revaluation and rebanding will mean an army of nosy clipboard inspectors invading people’s homes. The privacy of law-abiding citizens will be ignored due to Labour’s desire to levy new stealth taxes on hard-working families and pensioners.

Greenwich residents will find it offensive that intrusive bureaucrats sent by John Prescott will be taking photographs inside their home, to find out their number of bedooms, and the size of their patio, garage or greenhouse. Council tax bills have already risen by 44% under Labour, but everyone will pay even more for this Orwellian bureaucracy.

We are concerned that invasive inspections in Greenwich will place the elderly at risk from conmen pretending to be from the Government. The case for cancelling the unpopular and unwanted council tax revaluation has never been stronger.

The internal Valuation Office Agency documents, obtained via Parliamentary Questions, reveal:

• Because the Government has yet to make the politically explosive decision on the number and structure of the new council tax bands, every home in England will have to have an exact numerical valuation, rather than just being placed in a wide valuation band. This will send the cost of the council tax revaluation through the roof, and require invasive inspections of people’s homes.
• The ‘Big Brother’ computer database will include new ‘inspection codes’ for each property that will allow the Valuation Office Agency to check which properties have been inspected, and the degree to which an internal or external inspection has been recorded.
• Advice from the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner argues that entering people’s homes to take details of the property does not breach the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act or the Human Rights Act, even though these laws were supposed to protect citizens’ privacy. Inspectors taking photographs of property is not apparently in contravention of these laws.