Monday, 20 August 2007

Government preparations for English Council tax revaluation continuing behind the scenes

Yet more evidence (as if anyone with a modicum of sense needed it) that Nu-Lab politicians wouldn’t know the truth if it were to walk up to them and roundly slap them in the face with a halibut ;-) as they so richly deserve.

‘Caseworkers’ working for the Valuation Office Agency, the people tasked with increasing council tax assessments, who in turn come under HM Revenue & Customs have been issued a new handbook.

It is a 120-page job, freshly updated in June. It contains helpful advice to these state sponsored professional snoopers. Things like how to measure architect’s plans and the size of gardens. Instructions to penalise homes, which have pleasant surroundings, good schools and fast road links.

So it seems, that despite having ‘officially’ shelved plans for a Council tax hike, after fierce protests, this ‘shelving’ is actually a sham to keep the voters quiet. Nu-Lab have reportedly briefed the agency that: “it is imperative that every opportunity is taken to maintain and further improve the extensive electronic database built up during the revaluation exercise."

Eric Pickles, the shadow local government secretary, said: "Official Government documents prove Gordon Brown's council tax inspectors are still moving ahead with his plans to hit nice neighbourhoods with higher council taxes.”

He revealed that close to a million covert photographs of homes in England had been surreptitiously taken by the government and pointed out that this secret revaluation would ensure Gordon Brown was poised to implement a council tax hike immediately after the next general election, should Nu-Lab win.

Despite this a Department for Communities and Local Government spokesperson still claimed: "There is no revaluation taking place, or underway.” Possibly even ‘technically’ speaking not actually untrue.

Clearly not actually a full on revaluation, but there is little doubt that no opportunity to quietly gather information is being lost and everything is being put in place that can be to take advantage of that - so fast that English homeowners won’t have time to blink when Gordon decides the moment is right to lower the boom on them.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, council tax is bases almost directly on what the house is worth on the open market. Just like domestic rates were pre 1990 So it has always been the case, past present and future, that anything the influences capital value, including how nice the area is, has an impact on council tax. Theres nothing new in this. Its been the same almost continuousely since 1601

Phil A said...

The point of the post is not particularly about what criteria are used in the valuation of a property.

Rather it is primarily aimed at the fact that the supposedly shelved revaluation of homes is still effectively continuing, covertly, behind the scenes. The existence of the handbook is evidence towards this.

This in turn suggests that NU-Lab were less than entirely frank about the revaluation being on hold - but are trying to keep it under raps, in the hope that the turkeys will be voting for Christmas come the next General Election, where upon the stuffing (revaluation tax increase) will already be in the fridge waiting…