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Local Taxation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:55 pm on 4th July 2005.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Conservative, Preseli Pembrokeshire 5:55 pm, 4th July 2005

No, I do not necessarily accept that. Taxation must be transparent and fair. There must certainly be an element that is geared towards ability to pay. My point is about the way revaluation was undertaken in Wales.

So much for the spin from the Welsh Assembly about revaluation. In the event, only 8 per cent. of homes moved down a band, but more than a third moved up. A total of 28 per cent. of homes moved up by one band, 5 per cent. by two bands and almost 1 per cent. by three bands. Nothing breeds resentment and cynicism more than broken promises and misinformation. People in Wales think that council tax revaluation was another stealth tax or a backdoor tax hike. The revaluation process, as proposed by the Welsh Assembly Government, meant that, although there was no change in the headline rate of council tax, local residents faced higher bills. In Cardiff, 64 per cent. of homes went up by at least one band, and Wrexham, Vale of Glamorgan and Powys were particularly hard hit. In my county of Pembrokeshire, 35 per cent. of dwellings moved up at least one band.