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Council Tax

Volume 519: debated on Friday 3 December 2010

The coalition Government are clear that there should be no unexpected council tax revaluation rises in the next five years. We recently announced that we would therefore cancel council tax revaluation due in England in 2015 and confirmed the Government would not carry out revaluation in England during the lifetime of this Parliament. It is right that Welsh taxpayers have the same protection.

I am therefore pleased to announce that the Government intend to include in the forthcoming localism Bill the necessary provisions to:

cancel the legal requirement for a council tax revaluation in Wales that was due to take place in 2015;

devolve the power to Welsh Assembly Government Ministers to decide the timing of council tax revaluations in Wales, rather than being bound to the timetable set out in legislation passed following the Local Government Act 2003.

As a result of the last council tax revaluation in Wales in 2005, four times as many homes moved up one or more council tax bands than moved down. Two-thirds of the net rises were amongst homes originally in bands A to C. We believe this hit the less well-off households the hardest.

This Government want to see Welsh taxpayers get the same certainty about revaluation as English taxpayers. It will be a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government to decide whether they will now issue the same reassurances to Welsh taxpayers as have been given to English taxpayers. No revaluation will now take place unless the Welsh Assembly Government Minister determines otherwise.