'No plans' for new council tax band

Council taxThe Government has "no plans" to introduce new council tax bands on the most expensive properties, Downing Street has said.

The comment came a day after Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed that talks were under way within Government on measures to increase taxes on wealth by targeting properties.

An announcement is expected in Chancellor George Osborne's autumn statement on December 5, when any levy on the rich could go some way to offset the impact of expected welfare cuts totalling £10 billion.

Prime Minister David Cameron has already rejected Liberal Democrat proposals for a "mansion tax" on homes worth over £2 million. If new higher bands for council tax were also ruled out, that would leave a hike in stamp duty or a rise in capital gains tax as the most likely options for increasing the take on expensive properties.

A 10 Downing Street spokeswoman said that any decision on tax was a matter for Mr Osborne.

"The Chancellor will be looking at all these issues in the autumn statement," she told a regular media briefing in Westminster.

She added: "As a point of principle, we have made it clear that those with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden.

"We don't think that people who have worked hard and saved up to buy a home should be hit with a mansion tax. We have no plans to introduce new council tax bands either. We have ruled out a council tax revaluation in this parliament."

Press reports over the weekend suggested that the Chancellor was in discussion with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg over the introduction of three new council tax bands for properties worth more than £1 million.

Mr Cameron was said to be opposed to the idea, because of the danger of upsetting voters in wealthy Conservative constituencies.
Read Full Story