Cor­byn ally wants ‘af­flu­ent’ to pay for coun­cil tax freeze

The Sunday Telegraph - - Politics - By Ed­ward Mal­nick

MID­DLE-class house­holds would face a coun­cil tax rise of more than £300 to fund a freeze for poorer homes, un­der a plan put for­ward by a close ally of Jeremy Cor­byn.

Chris Williamson, a mem­ber of the Labour front bench, sug­gested that coun­cils could freeze lo­cal tax bills for peo­ple in “mod­est ac­com­mo­da­tion” and im­pose in­creases of be­tween 20 and 100per cent for “more af­flu­ent house­holds” in bands D to H.

Un­der cur­rent rules, coun­cils in­creas­ing taxes by more than 5per cent have to call a lo­cal ref­er­en­dum.

But Mr Williamson sug­gested that the mea­sure would be voted through be­cause it would be a “no brainer” for house­holds in bands A to C – while ac­knowl­edg­ing that it would prompt “whing­ing” among some of those in higher bands.

Mark Prisk, a for­mer hous­ing min­is­ter, ac­cused Mr Williamson of “us­ing the tax sys­tem to pit one group of res­i­dents against an­other”. A spokesman said: “Labour has no plans to ex­tend the use of ref­er­enda to set tax rates.”

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