Labour will not change council tax bands, shadow minister says

Labour have said they will not change council tax bands if they win the general election.

labour will not change council tax bands, shadow minister says

Pic: iStock

The party has promised to not raise income tax, national insurance or VAT, but has avoided making explicit commitments on other taxes, including council tax bands.

However, speaking to Sky News' Breakfast with Kay Burley, Labour minister Jonathan Ashworth said: "No increase in income tax, no increase in national insurance, no increase in VAT or corporation tax.

"We're not doing council tax re-banding."

But, he would not specifically rule out a rise in fuel or stamp duty.

He added: "We have outlined that all our policies are fully funded, they do not require additional tax increases."

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Current laws stipulate that any local authority wanting to raise council tax by 5% or more has to hold a referendum first.

Labour politicians, including shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, have previously called for a council tax revaluation as current rates are based on house prices from 1991.

Some parts of London have seen prices rise by more than 800% in that time, whereas in places like Hartlepool, they have barely tripled, according to the Land Registry.

In Wales, the Labour Party has promised to introduce new council tax bands and tax band rates, but that has been pushed back to 2028.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has described the Welsh Labour government as a "blueprint for what Labour can do across the UK", and has spoken about his desire to reform local authority funding.

Asked by Sky News earlier this month whether he would rule out a council tax review in England, Sir Keir said council tax was "too high for too many people", and he was "not wanting to raise tax".

labour will not change council tax bands, shadow minister says

Jonathan Ashworth said Labour would not change council tax bands

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Torsten Bell, Labour candidate for Swansea West and head of thinktank the Resolution Foundation, wrote about the need for revaluation in his book, Great Britain? How To Get Our Future Back.

labour will not change council tax bands, shadow minister says

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has previously called for a council tax revaluation. Pic: PA

"It's time to bite the bullet and carry out a revaluation of properties in England and Scotland (Wales has already done it)," he wrote.

"We need to either add more bands, increase the bill variation between them, or move to a fully proportional tax on property values."

Reacting to Mr Ashworth saying Labour will not change council tax bands, the Conservative chief secretary to the Treasury, Laura Trott, said: "Rachel Reeves has failed to rule out increasing council tax, and this morning Jonathan Ashworth was making it up as he went along. Labour are in chaos on tax.

"Labour are already introducing higher council tax bands and a full council tax revaluation in Wales.

"So it is time Keir Starmer comes clean with the British public and admits council tax will be higher under Labour in England too.

"The £38.5bn black hole in their manifesto means there would be at least a £2,094 tax bill for working families under Labour.

"And that's just the start, Wes Streeting admitted their manifesto is not the 'sum total' of their future spending."

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