Rishi Sunak vows Council tax bands will remain unchanged for 5 years in challenge to Keir Starmer

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer

Rishi Sunak vows Council tax bands will remain unchanged for 5 years in challenge to Keir Starmer

PA
Christopher Hope

By Christopher Hope


Published: 18/06/2024

- 17:09

Updated: 18/06/2024

- 17:10

The bands are based on what a home might have sold for in April 1991

Council tax bands will not be changed for tens of millions of families if the Tories win another five years in power, Rishi Sunak has said, in a challenge to Sir Keir Starmer.

Earlier in a radio phone-in, the Labour leader refused to rule out changes to the town hall change which could see millions of homes slipping into higher council tax bands. Starmer said that it was “not our policy” to review them.


The amount of council tax a family pays pay relates to the valuation of their home by the Valuation Office Agency which places them into one of eight council tax bands - A (the cheapest) to H (the most expensive).

The bands are based on what a home might have sold for in April 1991, even if it was built recently.

Rishi Sunak and Keir StarmerRishi Sunak vows Council tax bands will remain unchanged for 5 years in challenge to Keir StarmerPA

However speaking to GB News on the election trail where he met farmers and fishermen in north Devon, Sunak said he would rule out any changes on council tax.

He said: “Council tax is one of the biggest bills that a family has, alongside their energy bill... We are the ones that introduced a referendum precept and a cap on council tax increases without a referendum…

“Tens of millions of families get clobbered, they get whacked with high council tax bills. Every day the penny drops a little bit further tax rises are coming with a future Labour Government.

“People should be in no doubt and I have said it before at the first debate and I will say it again. If you think Labour are going to win you better start saving.”

Keir Starmer on the campaign trail

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (centre) during a visit to Gabardine Bar in Basingstoke, while on the General Election campaign trail

PA

Sunak pointed out that Sir Keir had ruled reports of a levy on premiership footballers but not on increasing council tax.

He said: “He is very happy and quick to rule out a levy on football but cannot give reassurance to tens of millions of hardworking families across our country that he is not going to whack them with higher council tax bands. It is extraordinary.”

Earlier on LBC, Starmer said he would not “write the budgets for the next five years” when asked about changes to council tax.

(left to right) Farmer David Chugg, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, parliamentary candidate for North Devon Selaine Saxby and Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron feed sheep during a visit to a farm in Devon, while on the General Election campaign trail

(left to right) Farmer David Chugg, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, parliamentary candidate for North Devon Selaine Saxby and Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron feed sheep during a visit to a farm in Devon, while on the General Election campaign trail

PA

He said: “What I am not going to do is sit here two-and-a-bit weeks before the election and write the budgets for the next five years.

“What I can say is that none of our plans require a tax rise, and that is for a reason, and the reason is our focus in getting our economy going, on building, on growing, on raising living standards, on creating wealth.”

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