Local Government Finance

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 4:58 pm on 3rd February 2010.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government), Vice-Chair (Youth), Conservative Party 4:58 pm, 3rd February 2010

I will not, actually. I have not even quite finished dealing with the intervention by Hazel Blears. As she said, there is a genuine appetite for a council tax freeze. It is just a shame that her party's Government cannot recognise that. We want to help local government deliver that, but her party wants to undermine it.

There was one question that I did not get to put to the Secretary of State. He would not rule out the revaluation that is coming down the track and could mean families paying hundreds of pounds extra. [Interruption.] Is he ruling it out? He says that there are no plans, but we have all heard the statement "There are currently no plans" in the past when we have known that there were. Preparation for the revaluation is well under way, and the Secretary of State's own local government body, the Labour group of the Local Government Association, in its document "Putting Fairness First", does not just talk about a revaluation but states that on top of that:

"At the very least, the council tax needs rebanding. The addition of more bands at both the top and the bottom of the scale will help to make it a more genuinely progressive tax".

[Hon. Members: "Hear, hear.] We seem to be getting messages from Labour Back Benchers-perhaps the Secretary of State can confirm this-that Labour wants to continue adding bands and pushing up council tax for people across the country.

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