No Council Tax revaluation

The government has said it will not be following Sir Michael Lyons\' recommendations for a revaluation of Cou-ncil Tax bands or the introduction of two new bands for higher value properties.

The Lyons report, published last week on Budget day, recommended the measures to reduce bills for those in the lowest value properties by increasing those of higher value homes.

Sir Michael Lyons also called for Council Tax benefit to be recognised as a rebate and for an automated system to ensure 1.8bn in unclaimed benefit is taken up by the poorest households.

He proposed raising the savings limit for pensioners to 50,000 as he says pensioners are bearing too much of the burden of Council Tax.

Sir Michael Lyons, says: “Council Tax is not broken but has come under pressure as it is seen as unfair.”

But Phil Woolas, local government minister, says: “Sir Michael has proposals for improving Council Tax including revaluation.

“The evidence shows that a revaluation would not have a significant impact on the fairness of Council Tax relative to income.

“But it would cause a lot of disruption for individuals and families.”

Woolas goes on to say that the government will stand by its commitment not to revalue during the lifetime of this parliamentary term and that with the forthcoming three-year settlement for local government concluding in 2010/11, it does not expect to consider revaluation before this date.

Therefore, Woolas says the present system of Council Tax banding will remain in place for the “foreseeable future”.