Government Plans New Stealth Tax Assault On The Homeowners Whose Suffolk Houses Have Risen In Value

Tuesday, 3 December, 2002

David Ruffley MP today warned that at least 2,995 property owners in St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Mid Suffolk District Council areas could be burdened with an astonishing Council tax hike as a result of a new government Local Government Bill published in the last week.

David Ruffley said, ' The Government is planning to introduce a new assault on the middle classes of Suffolk by taking even more tax from people with higher value homes. It will hit people who do not consider themselves rich but who have benefited from recent house price rises in Suffolk, especially Bury St Edmunds, over the last four years. The plans come from a regulation in the new Local Government Bill which would allow the Government to alter council tax bands for the first time since their introduction on 1991.

BandProperty Value
£St Edmundsbury Borough Council
Number of HomesMid Suffolk District Council
Number of HomesA0-40,0004,8714,790B40-52,00016,31510,429C52-68,0008,3868,140D68-88,0006,6095,975E88-120,0003,8264.250F120-160,0001,7172,397G160-320,0001,3931,381HOver 320,000119102

'This means that those paying with houses today over £250,000 and below £320,000 will be paying more Council tax than before.

'The figures show that over 1500 people whose homes are covered by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and 1483 people whose homes are within Mid Suffolk District Council could face enormous tax hikes as part of the Government's plans for council tax rises over the past five years.

'This rise is a double hit on the residents of rural areas who are already burdened by the Government's over taxation. The central Government grants to St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Mid Suffolk District Council have been cut in cash terms and a much greater cut in real terms over the last five years. The direct result is that the shortfall from central Government can only be made up by rises in local council tax.

The population covered by Mid Suffolk District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council has grown appreciably in the past decade yet the Government refuses to acknowledge this fact. This is placing a terrible strain on the provision of adequate services by the Council as spending demands grow. Money is shovelled to the Labour heartlands of the cities instead whilst areas like Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket are penalised.'