£1,000 fine for householders who refuse council tax snooper

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  1. £1,000 fine for householders who refuse council tax 'snoopers'

    Last updated at 23:31pm on 24th October 2006

    Let me in: Council tax 'inspectors' will be given the right to fine homeowners who refuse to cooperate with them

    A new army of council tax 'inspectors' is to be given the right to enter people's homes and issue fines to anyone who refuses to cooperate.

    Camera-wielding officials will be able to take photographs inside properties, including bedrooms, and rule they should pay more if they have home improvements such as patios and conservatories.

    Residents could be fined £1,000, and then £200 every day after that, if they do not let the inspectors in or fail to properly 'assist' them.

    The Conservatives branded the proposals a snoopers' charter that would trample over fundamental civil liberties.

    Homeowners are expected to face higher council tax bills if they enjoy good views or have improved their property by building an extension or putting in double glazing.

    These would be deemed 'site positive' features that enhanced the value of a property under a planned revaluation of all 21 million homes in England.

    The new tax system will require detailed information about every home.

    Under a new house price tax, 'site positive' features would include gardens, patios, conservatories, double glazing, scenic views, number of bedrooms and number of parking spaces.

    Shadow local government secretary Caroline Spelman said legislation being discussed in Parliament today would pave the way for council tax inspectors to have new powers to enter and assess properties.

    In an alarming addition, residents who 'fail to give reasonable assistance' or do not cooperate with the inspectors will be fined £1,000 and be recorded on local police and court records.

    If the householder continues to obstruct, hinder or fail to provide assistance, they can be fined £200 per day on top, she said.

    The Tories claim ministers are quietly introducing the new scheme in Northern Ireland before rolling it out nationwide, just as Margaret Thatcher piloted the community charge in Scotland before introducing it in England and Wales.

    Shadow Local Government Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "Northern Ireland is now being used as a testing ground for Gordon Brown's tax inspectors, from the levying of a new house price tax, to the use of invasive Big Brother computer databases, to new aggressive state powers to enter family homes.

    "Labour craves these powers since they want to tax every feature of people’s homes - including bedrooms, conservatories, double glazing and garden sheds.

    "For all of Labour’s talk of human rights, these new powers are the footprint of an oppressive and greedy government.

    "Conservatives will resist these new authoritarian powers and will stand up for people’s property, privacy and liberty."

    In Northern Ireland, a new house price tax is being introduced - an annual levy calculated using the value of each property.

    Residents are expected to be charged at 0.78 per cent of their home's value each year, pushing the average bill from £1,056 to £1,492, though local authorities could vary the rate.

    This tax will hit Northern Ireland in April, with a Government review of town hall finances thought to be looking at the same system for England.

    The Conservatives warned that if introduced in England, average bills would go up by £436 a year, with middle-class households in the South and South East worst hit.

    If the Northern Ireland model was applied in England, several councils - including Westminster, Wandsworth, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames, Islington, South Bucks, Windsor & Maidenhead, Mole Valley, St Albans, Winchester, Brentwood and Epping Forest - would see average annual bills rise by more than £1,000.

    In many Labour heartlands, by contrast, average bills would fall because house price rises have been less dramatic since the last national revaluation.

    A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government accused the Tories of "scaremongering" and said the measures only applied in Northern Ireland.

    "The Government is not using Northern Ireland as a testing ground. It has a different system of local government finance from England.

    "Different considerations apply. Sir Michael Lyons is currently conducting an independent inquiry into local government. He is due to submit his report to ministers at the end of the year and any decisions will be taken at that time."

    Under existing law, anyone who obstructs a valuation officer already commits an offence and may be liable to a fine of up to £500 if convicted.

    But previously, they had no right to enter a property and had to base valuations simply from looking at its exterior.

    Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain, who wants to be Labour's deputy leader under Gordon Brown, said at the party's conference that the new system being introduced there was "fairer".
  2. Well if everyone with an ounce of intelligience refused entry with, I'd love to see prosecute all every home owner/ rent payer in the UK.

    Pie in the sky thought or mini revolution that's quite possible?

    Not sure myself?
  3. I thought that council tax was to pay for the amenities provided in your local area. What difference does it make if you have a nice view or a swimming pool. Surely the tax man gets his grubby mits on the householders cash when the house is bought and sold, with the price increased suitably to reflect the view and pool! Then again when the householder dies and the house breaks the inheritance tax threshold!
  4. I'd also love to see a council inspector try to gain entry to certain gaffs in South Armagh. IIRC rates & TV licenses weren't paid for years & probably still aren't.

  5. Good I'll be asking for all forms of ID and proffesional quals before even considering letting the turds near my gaff
  6. This had a good thread last year, I'll sniff around for the the link
  7. I think this is truly disgusting and once again proves that the Labour gov beleive that they not only own us but our property as well, who do they think they are absentee landlords !
    Look what problems this caused in Ireland a few generations ago, it's like they are trying it on in England now, how many more ways can they squeeze tax out of us, next it will be rubbish tax, then double glazing tax.
    I bet the home improvement companies will go out of the window, maybe we will be watching home un-make over programmes, Trinny and Susannah come round and Ruck your house up for you.
    Rant set to safe, change mag.
  8. Sounds like a plan to me.
  9. So, the nicer you make your home, the more you have to pay. Grand! On the one hand we have the EU directive telling us that every home in the UK should have the benefit of double glazing and central heating, then on the other you have your local council strapping you for extra cash when you do.
    I have a view over some open countryside from my bedroom window. Not a fault of mine yet it seems i am going to have to pay more for the way the house is designed.
    I have a patio and a nice garden, because i enjoy gardening and sitting in it. So i am going to have to pay for that as well.
    Its not the people who take a pride in their homes and gardens who should be 'fined' I can't call it any other than a fine, its the people who dont look after their property who should be handed the fine.
    How many homes do you pass where there are gardens that are like jungles and houses whose occupants can't even see out of their grime filled windows?.
    My ex neighbours ( 2 males ) were a right pair of filthy scutters, whose net curtains were actually black with mould and the garden was nothing more than a weedfilled scrapyard, Yet somehow i will end up paying more than them. Ignoring the fact that neither of them worked and paid concil tax anyway.
    The system needs a review maybe, but not in the way they're intending to do it.
  10. It'll be interesting to see how they can implement it what if you bought your house with the double glazing and central heating/extention already fitted? if you've stamp duty or similar on the house then surely thaey can't charge you twice for the modifications as they were already taken into consideration & the house priced accordingly
  11. Tax evasion in 10 easy steps.

    1. Find out when the inspectors are due.
    2. Put your sofa on the front lawn (leave grass uncut).
    3. Put your car up on bricks on the drive.
    4. P*ss in your hallway.
    5. Borrow a nasty-looking dog.
    6. Get some fag butts from the pub and fill up ashtrays all round the house.
    7. Cover carpets with stained copies of the NOTW.
    8. Put a few topless pictures on walls/colourful renditions of motorbikes.
    9. Fry things.
    10. Usher the inpsectors in to your house unshaven in your tracksuit and swear repeatedly at them/your partner/the dog/your kids throughout the visit.

    Bingo! Couple of grand off the bill.
  12. Stop worrying about it.

    Some Govt. dude trys entering your home just fill him in. Simple. Get done for GBH but next inspecrtor won't want to come in. Seriously though, er, some Govt. dude trys entering your home just fill him in. Simple. Get done for GBH but next inspecrtor won't want to come in.....
  13. Council tax is based on the value of your house so they need to work out the value of your house. What's the big deal?

    The poll tax alternative of charging everyone the same tax regardless of their wealth wasn't popular last time it was tried.
  14. Blair enough, but why do they have to come into your house? And who can say what a nice view is? I live on a shitty urban estate but the neighbours wife getting her kit off between 10 and 11 pm is beautiful. What next, a letcherous tit tax?