This new Snoopers Charter introducing a new 'Patio Tax' is utterly ridiculous' says Ruffley

Tuesday, 22 November, 2005

David Ruffley MP has today expressed his alarm at reports that Government inspectors will be invading people's homes to collate information for the Council Tax revaluation.

Following the revelation last week that taxes could be increased on homes with features such as; patios, conservatories, parking spaces or even scenic views, it has now become clear that inspectors from the Valuation Office Agency will have the right to enter properties and gardens and take photographs of each home, including bedrooms.

This will allow the Government to implement taxation via 66 indicators on individual properties known as 'value significance codes'. The inspectors will report back with their findings to enable higher Council Tax bills to be levied on homes with garages, green houses, patios gardens or scenic views.

David said:

'These new 'value significance codes' mean a new snoopers charter will allow inspectors to poke around our property and increase Council Tax on home owners who have done nothing more than try to improve their homes.

'An Englishman's home used to be his castle. Under New Labour inspectors will invade his gardens, patios and bedrooms to suck more tax out of him.'

'It is frankly ludicrous that someone should be taxed more because they have a conservatory, a patio or simply enjoy a nice view. You can be certain Mr Prescott will make sure his army of minions report back with every detail of our homes.

'This is typical of a Government that does not understand, and seeks to abuse, rural communities such as Suffolk.

'Why should the population of rural England pay more Council Tax than those in urban areas just because they happen to have a view of the sea, hills or a conservation area?

'This will be a 'patio tax' rather than a charge for local services. It could make the sight of a camera laden inspector traipsing down our driveways commonplace and will hit the vast majority of homes across middle England and the shire counties with a hefty increase in their Council Tax.'