According to this morning's Telegraph, there are plans to base Council Tax valuation and rates on whether or not you live near a bus stop, or local conveniences, or have peace and quiet. The bottom line of the report is that if you live in a sink estate full of drugs and crime you won't have to pay as much Council Tax as someone who lives in a nice house, on a nice street, where the kids don't beat you up for looking at them funny.
If this is true it is an absolute expression of the politics of envy. However, is it true? Ever since the news broken that Prescott might charge higher Council Tax to people with nice views my instinctive reaction has been that the story is bollocks.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't put it past the Government to try it, but I also think that they're politically astute enough to know that a policy like this would be the guaranteed quickest way to drive millions of votes away. Votes that, as we all know, they need.
I'm not sure what anyone else might think of this? If I recall correctly Sir Michael Lyons report on Council Tax is due some time very soon (after being delayed for so long), which makes me wonder whether this is idea is just one part of that report which the Government will reject as an idea.
I could be wrong of course, but that rarely happens these days (famous last words). If I am wrong I promise to eat my hat. *
Update: I've just the papers on the way into work. Seems this is some sort of subjective advice in a guide for those valuing property for revaluation in Wales and Nortehrn ireland and thus might be applied in England. The only question I have is, surely valuing property should be done by looking in the local estate agents window?
* I will have to buy one first.