‘Double the council tax on expensive homes’ says Derby MP

CORB TAX GRAB Top Corbyn ally says council tax should be DOUBLED on big homes with average bill going up by £350

Chris Williamson proposed a 100 per cent hike for properties worth more than £320,000 to combat local authority cuts

A LABOUR MP has called for council tax to be doubled on some UK homes to combat local authority cuts – with the average home seeing a £350 rise.

A Derby MP has said doubling council tax rates on more expensive homes could be the key to combating local authority cuts.

Chris Williamson, who is shadow fire and emergency services minister, said there was a lot of support for such a move.

He said under the initiative, the levy could be frozen for properties in Bands A to C, with a progressive rise after that leading to a 20% increase for Band D homes valued between £68,000 to £88,000, and a 100% hike for Band H ones worth more than £320,000.

Mr Williamson, MP for Derby North, stressed that the plan was not Labour Party policy and would need to be backed in local referendums before it was introduced.

The shadow minister told HuffPost UK that the “Differential Progressive Council Tax” idea was conceived out of frustration at local authority cuts.

He said: “A lot of local people said ‘what are you going to do about it?’ And they sometimes think the MP has got a lot more power than they have.

“I can’t instruct the Labour group to do anything really. So we put our thinking caps on and this was an idea that we came forward with.

“Unless the Government has a change of heart, this could be the only way of arresting the cuts and generating some income to start to grow local services. Obviously it would be up to the local area.

“There is a lot of support for it. Regrettably no local authority has taken the plunge and implemented it yet. I can understand the anxiety because it would no doubt attract a lot of adverse publicity.

“You can imagine the Daily Mail and Daily Express would go to town on a proposition like this.

“It’s not a panacea, it’s a response to a terrible situation. I think it’s an argument that could be won.

“This is not Labour Party policy, it’s an idea I came up with at a local level and it’s got a little bit of traction in other parts of the country. It’s a reaction to an emergency that local government has been placed in.”

Mr Williamson said that a discount scheme, funded by the initiative, would need to be put in place to protect low income people living in expensive properties.

He said: “The benefit of this is that it also enables you to ensure that somebody who is asset rich but income poor could be protected through a local council tax support scheme.

“What you couldn’t have is a situation where somebody is on a widow’s pension in a big house and gets a big bill that would be an untenable scenario.

“And it would undermine the whole concept of the proposal. This would give them the resources to give a greater priority to a more general council tax support scheme so that everybody in that situation was entirely protected.”

The proposal comes after the Government gave local authorities the leeway to increase council tax bills by up to 5.99% to meet social care costs.

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Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5314922/labour-mp-jeremy-corbyn-ally-council-tax-double-uk-homes-chris-williamson/
Source : http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/double-council-tax-expensive-homes-1040096

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