Revaluation bombshell 'timed to explode' after election

Tuesday, 8 March, 2005

Ruffley warns of soaring council tax bills in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket

David Ruffley this week expressed his concern that council tax bills in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket 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 Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket could be forced up a tax band, from Band E to Band F. Such an increase would typically add £267 to a council tax bill.

David explained:

'Under Mr Blair, council taxes across Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket have soared by over 80% per cent 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 Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket 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- with the Liberal Democrats voting in Parliament to support Labour's new taxes. 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.'