Labour Party's tax inspectors will snoop on your garden to size it up – and then tax you says the Conservative Party

New research has today uncovered which parts of the country will face the biggest tax rises under Labour’s plans for a new land value tax, claim the Conservatives.

The tax, in Labour’s manifesto, will lead to big increases in local tax bills for homes with larger gardens. Labour’s Marxist Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, has asserted that property and garden tax will “raise the funds we need” and slammed home owners for having “unearned wealth”.

Tax snoopers target ten million homes with larger gardens: Analysis of data collected by the Valuation Office Agency as part of the last Labour Government’s planned council tax revaluation has identified 10.2 million homes with “above average” sized gardens.

The proposals, say the Tories, will mean soaring bills for family homes, broken down today for the first time by region. Under the Labour Land Campaign plan, endorsed by Corbyn and McDonnell, this new town hall tax would be imposed as a 3% levy on the value of land. Analysis shows this would result in yearly tax bill of £3,837 for an average family home in England – a massive 224% increase on the current average council tax bill of £1,185.

Cottage Garden By Hugh Chevallier (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

By Hugh Chevallier (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The tax would fall hardest on areas with higher land prices, but also with homes with the biggest gardens within individual council areas. Conservatives say they have produced figures for the average bills across regions, but also estimated the number of homes with the biggest gardens.

Andrew Percy, Communities Minister, said:

Under Jeremy Corbyn’s plans no one escapes Labour’s intention to squeeze homeowners dry.  Either you are whacked with massive bills in places where property is dearer – or you’ll suffer a hike for living in a part of the country where there is more space for bigger gardens.

“The independent IFS have already said that Jeremy Corbyn’s plans would mean taxes at their highest level since the second world war – and this is yet another example of hard-working homeowners being clobbered.

The Conservatives say they scrapped intrusive Labour’s plans for a council tax revaluation, and in 2011, subsequently cancelled the revaluation database that was secretly collating information on families’ patios and gardens in order to tax it during the revaluation.

A local authority breakdown of the data that was collected on 18 million homes was published online in 2010 – giving a detailed survey of the average plot size of homes. If the average house plot size is 50 square metres and the average garden plot size is 150 square metres, dwellings with a plot sizes of more than 200 square metres are likely to be rated as having an above average sized garden. Conservatives are warning that a Labour Government would restart this tax database, and send out tax inspectors to size up people’s gardens.

The councils with the highest proportion of above-average gardens is Blaby (where 73% of all homes have gardens that size), followed by Rochford, Oadby and Wigston and Wokingham. The councils with the highest absolute number of such gardens are Birmingham, followed by Leeds, Sheffield and Wiltshire.

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