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Local Taxation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 4th July 2005.

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Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman Shadow Secretary of State (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) 3:32 pm, 4th July 2005

I share that concern and feel it deeply. We all read the headlines about people being threatened with prison for not paying their council tax. We are all lobbied by organisations that call for the abolition of council tax and we all witness the growing disregard for local government among voters.

Instead of trying to arrest the drift, the Government are moving in the wrong direction and hastening it. The warning signs are so clear and the symptoms are so obvious that ratcheting up council tax must be part of a broader plan. How else can we explain the forthcoming revaluation, which is hanging like a sword of Damocles over people's heads? Despite claims that it will be revenue neutral, the revaluation shows every sign of punishing people simply because the value of their property has appreciated.