Book celebrates ordinary UK homes

With government tax inspectors rumoured to be eyeing up the quality of people\'s homes for new Council Tax bands, a book just out could offer inspiration to those looking to devalue their homes in the eyes of prying inspectors.

Living Normally by Trevor Naylor is a backlash against glossy coffee table interiors books and TV home make-over programmes. It celebrates normal homes and everyday chintz.

If the Conservative Party is right about Labour’s plans to tax people on the look of their homes, the dwellings featured could be the tax-efficient homes of the future – provided the owners don’t make any improvements in the meantime.

It was rumoured recently that Gordon Brown’s Valuation Office Agency had drawn up an illustrated manual of every type of home.

The Tories say inspectors are instr-ucted to grade homes with computer codes based on features such as sash windows, stone fascias, patios and other factors such as proximity to public transport and desirable views.

Caroline Spelman, Tory shadow secretary for local government, says: “As we learn more about the plans for invasive inspections it becomes clearer that home improvements could be used to increase Council Tax.”