New evidence has emerged of Labour plans to target family homes with new taxes, with the revelation that Scottish Labour has signed up to a tax revaluation of people’s homes. According to a report in The Times they are planning a new house price tax, targeting conservatories and home improvements, to replace the Council Tax.

Labour intend to "regain the political initiative" in Scotland with this proposal. Such a house price tax system has already been introduced by the (UK) Labour Government in Northern Ireland in 2007 under direct rule, and a 1% house price tax was proposed in Scotland by the Labour-commissioned Burt report in 2006. The Lyons Inquiry into local government finance in England has laid out a route map for regular council tax revaluations in England.

In England, plans for a council tax revaluation are already underway by stealth. The property attributes of every home are already being recorded, logged and digitised and entered into a revaluation database, called the Automated Valuation Model. The database was built with US technology and is run by the Valuation
Office Agency – England’s council tax inspectors. It has cost £13 million to date, despite the supposed postponement of the revaluation in England.

Using 'Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal' and complex mathematical techniques, the tax bill of every home is calculated based on property attributes like bedrooms, conservatories and parking spaces. So-called ‘value significant codes’ will help log, record and tax features like living in a quiet road, patios, roof terraces, balconies, sea or hill views or living near a field or golf course.

Caroline Spelman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local
Government, says:

“The cat is out of the bag. Labour started off with local tax revaluations in Wales and Northern Ireland, now they have Scotland in their sights. If Gordon Brown clings on to power after the general election, you can guarantee that England will be next. Family homes across the country now face the threat of face massive tax hikes on their conservatories, parking spaces and home improvements.”

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