Labour guidelines out adjustments to council tax bands | EUROtoday

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Labour has dominated out altering council tax bands after persevering with scrutiny in regards to the celebration’s tax plans.

Over the weekend, Conservatives seized on shadow well being secretary Wes Streeting’s refusal to disclaim Labour authorities would copy council tax adjustments instituted by the Labour-run Welsh authorities.

But pushed for clarification on Times Radio, Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth stated: “We’re not changing council tax banding.”

As we head into the second half of the election campaign Conservative tactics are becoming clear.

A blizzard of policy announcements has not shifted the polls so now the Conservatives are relentlessly attacking Labour’s economic policy, trying to force them to rule out one tax rise after another.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has stated that Labour “don’t want to see the tax burden on working people increase”.

The party has already gone much further than Tony Blair did in 1997. His manifesto just promised no increase in the basic and top rates of income tax.

It also stuck to the Tories’ spending plans for two years.

Going into this election Sir Keir Starmer ruled out rises in the rates of income tax, VAT, national insurance and corporation tax.

He was asked in a Panorama interview last week whether he would repeat that pledge for Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Sir Keir reiterated Labour’s pledge that none of his plans required tax rises beyond those already announced and that the manifesto was fully costed.

But that line was soon hardened up to a guarantee that people selling their main home would not pay CGT.

Something similar has now happened over council tax.

Current council tax banding in England, unchanged since 1991, has been criticized for not reflecting soaring house prices. Critics argue it favours wealthier property owners.

The Labour-run Welsh government plans to overhaul the council tax system in Wales in 2028.

Homes in Wales were revalued over the last 12-months, creating new property bands that could raise council tax for over 470,000 homes and reduce it for about 800,000 households.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps accused Labour of secretly planning to repeat the scheme to pay for “unfunded spending promises”.

“Once you start getting into the details, we know they plan to reband the council tax as they have done where Labour runs things in Wales,” he told BBC Radio’s Today programme.

Mr Ashworth described Conservative claims as “more nonsense from an increasingly desperate Tory campaign, probably the most desperate Tory campaign I’ve seen in my lifetime”.

Separately on Monday, Mr Shapps stated he was a “realist” and wouldn’t “try and pretend black is white” by claiming the Conservatives are on track for victory.

He advised Times Radio it was “possible [for the Conservatives] to win the election”, however conceded it’s “not the most likely outcome”, including: “I’m a realist.”

Asked if a Tory victory is unlikely, he replied: “I think that’s the realistic position, isn’t it? I mean, I live in the real world. So, you know, let’s not try and pretend black is white.”

So why are the Conservatives adopting this technique?

Labour says the concentrate on tax is an indication of how “desperate” the Tory marketing campaign is, however Conservative insiders assume they’re planting doubt in voters’ minds over Keir Starmer’s financial coverage and limiting his room for manoeuvre if he turns into prime minister.