How Labour garden tax will hit you

6 Jun

Labour’s plan for big rises in local taxation were laid bare last night.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to replace council tax and business rates with a new charge based on land value rather than property prices.

The Conservatives say this ‘garden tax’, which could be charged at 3 per cent, will hardest hit those with land adjoining their home. The party’s analysis of Labour’s policy has found that in the South East of England, the cost of the land value tax for the average home would be £5,539.

That is nearly four times the current £1,466 average cost of council tax in the region, or £4,073 more. The Tories say the rise in local taxation will be particularly severe for those with larger than average gardens.

Jeremy Corbyn wants to replace council tax and business rates with a new charge based on land value rather than property prices

Jeremy Corbyn wants to replace council tax and business rates with a new charge based on land value rather than property prices

Jeremy Corbyn wants to replace council tax and business rates with a new charge based on land value rather than property prices

Families in London, where land values are highest, will be hit the worst.

The Conservatives say land value taxation would be £8,818 on average in the capital – almost eight times higher than the £1,134 council tax bill.

Those in the East of England – the region covering East Anglia together with Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Essex – would also suffer large increases.

At present, average council tax stands at around £1,306 – but this is projected to rise to £4,868 under the land value tax.

Last night Andrew Percy, Conservative communities minister, said: ‘The small print of Labour’s tax on hard-working families’ gardens shows there are huge hikes of well into four figures being planned, which would hit the whole country hard.

‘If you live in the South East, where property prices are higher, you face being absolutely clobbered by the increased bills, sent soaring to the tune of thousands of pounds if Jeremy Corbyn has his way.’

The garden tax proposal comes on top of Labour’s manifesto pledge to scrap Tory plans to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1million by 2021. Instead, Mr Corbyn would reduce it from £850,000 to only £650,000.

PARTY ‘CAN’T DELIVER’ ON HOUSING 

Critics have questioned Labour’s plans to cap the price of 100,000 new homes for first-time buyers.

In another uncosted spending pledge, the party promised to prioritise people ‘let down most by a broken housing market’.

Unveiling a ‘New Deal’ on housing, Jeremy Corbyn proposed 100,000 discounted ‘FirstBuy’ homes, as well as a stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers. 

The Tories claimed the policy would cost more than £4billion a year. Mr Corbyn said Labour would also build 100,000 affordable homes a year by 2022, including what they claim will be the biggest council housing programme in more than 30 years.

But Andrew Percy, minister for the Northern Powerhouse, said: ‘This is just another unfunded promise Jeremy Corbyn can’t deliver. 

Last time Labour crashed the economy, house building fell to its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s.’

Research by the Tories has claimed that an extra 1.2million homes could be liable for the tax under Labour. The number would more than double from 725,000 under the Tory plan, to almost two million by 2021 under Mr Corbyn’s proposal.

Last week the Daily Mail revealed that he was also considering a ‘wealth tax’ to fund social care.

This is on top of Labour’s commitment to hit those earning £80,000 or more with higher income tax.

A costings document that accompanies Labour’s manifesto said the party planned to hold a ‘review into reforming council tax and business rates and consider new options such as a land value tax, to ensure local government has sustainable funding for the long term’.

A blueprint for how the tax would work has been drawn up by the Labour Land Campaign. Under the proposals, there would be a levy of up to 3 per cent on the value of land.

The Tory analysis found that across England, families would face a £2,651 increase in local taxation.

They said the average council tax bill was £1,185 – but this would go up to £3,837 under the land value tax. 

In the South West, the Conservatives said the average bill would go up by £2,764 to £4,092. 

In the east and west Midlands, the increases would be £1,869 and £1,991. The rise in the North East would be £1,046 and in the North West £1,339. In Yorkshire and the Humber the increase was claimed to be £1,316.

MCDONNELL’S ‘4,000 DEATHS’ SCARE 

Claims that Conservative policies could lead to the deaths of almost 4,000 more pensioners this winter led to the Labour Party being accused of ‘irresponsible scaremongering’ yesterday.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the Tory programme – including scrapping the pensions ‘triple lock’ and means-testing the winter fuel allowance – represented ‘the single biggest attack on pensioners in a generation’. 

The party calculated that if the Conservative plans were to lead to 90 per cent of pensioners losing the allowance it could be expected to lead to an additional 3,850 deaths this winter.

But last night Damian Green, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said: ‘We have been very clear that we will always look after the most vulnerable. This is irresponsible scaremongering by Jeremy Corbyn – who can’t be honest about the fact he is relying on his magic money tree.’

 

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