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Labour’s new ‘tax bombshell’ – party plans to scrap council tax for renters

Renters would stop paying council tax under radical plans being considered by the Labour Party.

A Labour-commissioned report calls on the party to intervene to cool the housing market if it wins power by introducing a new “progressive property tax” set nationally instead of by local councils and paid for by landlords instead.

As part of Labour’s proposed major property laws shake-up, empty homes, second homes and those owned by people not resident in the UK for tax purposes would have to pay the new tax at a “significantly” higher rate.


The idea behind the proposed shake-up of the property tax system is to “discourage the use of homes as financial assets, reduce the tax paid by the majority of households, and encourage more efficient use of the housing stock”.

The report states:”We recommend that a Labour government replace the regressive and unpopular council tax with a progressive property tax based on contemporary property values.

“Unlike council tax, this tax would be payable by owners, not tenants.

“This would result in significant administrative savings, lower levels of arrears and less court action.

“Unlike council tax, the progressive property tax rate would be based on regularly updated property values, and the rates would be set nationally, rather than locally determined.”

Some ministers have branded the proposal “extraordinary and deeply damaging” and warned that Labour’s move amounted to a “tax bombshell”.

The policy idea, contained in the report, suggests that if Labour wins the next general election, the party should make public all information about land ownership and control, urge the Bank of England to do more to cool the property market, and give new ‘Public Development Corporations’ the power to purchase, develop and sell land “in the public interest”.

The report was welcomed by shadow cabinet office minister Jon Trickett, who vowed to study its recommendations "in detail".

However, housing secretary James Brokenshire said the plans were “extraordinary and deeply damaging in equal measure”.

He said: “Labour will stop at nothing to hammer families with more tax and make home ownership a pipedream for future generations.

“Plans to seize land into public ownership also show Labour's true colours of more and more state control.

“This tax bombshell for families would mean family homes with gardens paying far more and higher taxes on pensioners by abolishing the single person discount.”

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Poll: Do you agree with the radical plans being considered by the Labour Party?


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    We are free to pay the council tax ourselves now and include it in the rent, so surely that's exactly what will happen if this new system comes in, atleast the council tax will be paid over to the councils before the tenant does a runner owing a years worth of council tax.

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    Stupid stupid Labour hamas supporters great News though. Another reason to add to the previous dozen reasons as to why this stupid clueless labour supporting hamas bunch of jokers will never every get to run a government this next decade. Brilliant lets vote Labour NOT.
    O forgot, any rate increase, utility increase, maintenance increase, service charge increase, new bill never had before, o dear, there we have a rent increase. Rent caps next? Me think not.

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    • 05 June 2019 09:17 AM

    Even more radical could be a scheme whereby EVERYONE has to pay an individual charge like a sort of Community Charge.
    That would be fairer.
    Obviously those who would receive Council Tax support wouldn't pay most of a CC.
    But with an individual CC Councils would receive far more than they do from Council Tax.
    You could regard such a CC as a local income tax.
    It is individuals that consume council services and it is they that should pay.
    The CC could be deducted from PAYE.
    I reckon a far fairer system!
    Just imagine how much CC a Council could make from larger properties occupied by adults Not in education.
    An HMO would take in say £900 per month with 5 adult occupiers.


    I agree Paul, a much fairer method, but that's what the ''poll tax'' was, and wasn't there a fuss about that one.

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    Tax 'Bomb-Shell'? Can we use less emotive language please in your reporting? (Especially in your headlines......) Many Thanks.

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    • 05 June 2019 09:30 AM

    Was I perhaps referring to such!?
    I wonder!!?
    The reason the CC failed was that everyone was charged the same irrespective of means
    Base it like a local income tax and that is fair.
    It works with normal tax so why not for a local income tax;?


    Once again Paul I agree, makes total sense, and that's why it is unlikely to happen, governments and sense don't go together.


    It's a difficult one, the highest earners already pay higher levels of income tax so it'd be unfair to hit those people again with a local income tax, essentially taxing them twice.
    The actual cost of waste collection, policing, libraries etc is the same for each person so it'd be unfair to charge high earners more for local services, it could be argued they're the people less likely to use them as they're more likely to have private health care, educate their children privately etc.
    As it stands properties with higher bands are typically larger (usually more people living in them) hence they pay more than smaller properties like one bed flats, which seems fair enough.
    What does seem unfair to me though is that a Band D property in W8 (Kensington) is charged £1200 Council Tax despite on average being worth £3 million, whereas a Band D in Portland, Dorset DT5, worth on average £210k, is charged almost £2000.
    I'm aware my argument to some degree contradicts itself but it seems fairer to me to base charges on property worth rather than size, or its owners earnings.
    In any event it'll be a long time before things change, labour will never get in with Corbyn at the helm and the Tories won't risk overhauling the system for fear of further alienating their core voters.


    council tax is charged irrespective of means

    mt tried it on sweaties--who refused to pay


    What is unfair Barry is people paying more council tax just because they live in a bigger or more expensive property. They all receive the same lack of service from the council. The bin men don't wear carpet slippers when they walk up my drive and the grass verges adjacent to my property don't get a finer trim so why should I have to pay more. I can probably guarantee that some smaller households in my immediate area earn more money than me but pay half the council tax. Is that fair?

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    Make All students pay council tax.

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    So who pays the council tax in council owned housing in this scheme???


    Oh...they will be FREE too. Just like when all private landlords had to upgrade their smoke/heat detectors in Scotland..but council housing didn’t! Makes my blood boil!

    Suzanne Morgan

    The Council Tax Payer would pay for Council House tenants. You so g Association properties as well most likely. In other words we pay our own and others who rent.

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    Nobody under tin pot labour . O sorry us other CT payers, silly me. We will pay for everything, a bit like we do now really except students they dont pay, so make them pay too.

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    Why not do something really radical. Abolish Council Tax and charge every user 150% of the cost of the services provided, schools, bins, roads etc. The extra 50% would pay for those who genuinely couldn't afford the full 150% charge and every user could choose which School, which bin emptying company etc. to use. Council employees could compete with private sector managers for the jobs.

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    • 05 June 2019 13:58 PM

    Of course the reason CT is popular as a methodology to tax is that it is very easy to collect.
    Pursuing individuals for tax is always fraught as they can move around something that few properties can do!!
    Remember as well that s Labour Govt would have no qualms at a CT revaluation.
    That would double most bills overnight.
    You could say that CT payers have been getting away with the actual CT as it should be on existing values.
    But a revaluation exercise would be electoral suicide for the Tories.
    They can just circumvent elector sensibilities by chucking more Central Govt funding to struggling council.
    The CT payer is still paying more but doesn't notice Central Govt funding.
    A bit like Govt keeps the cost of A down by expending billions in DHP whilst maintaining the pretence that the OBC and LHA freeze is working.
    It isn't and never has.
    From a political perspective however Govt can claim success.
    Smoke and mirrors etc etc!!!

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    Here's an idea.

    Why don't we pay the tenant's gas and electricity bills for them!

    Let's not stop there. Let's pay their food bills and give them some holiday money as well!

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    No need for us to do that, the Council is doing this already, thousands more joining the queue every week it’s called free living and so popular, why would you buy a cow when the milk is free.

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    • 06 June 2019 15:44 PM

    Millions of welfare scroungers are choosing to do no more than 16 hrs work pw week.
    This is because of the way the Welfare system is currently designed.
    Full- time work definitely doesn't pay.
    The same net income can be achieved by just 16hrs alleged work pw.
    Selling the Big Issue for two days a week achieves the same income level at more than NMW for 42 hrs pw.
    We also have the same perverse situation with hospital doctors where it becomes not worthwhile doing overtime due to the way the doctors pension system is constructed.
    These doctors are more than willing to do extra work but not for nothing!!
    Nobody will work for more hrs for effective less pay.
    It is simply scandalous that 16 hrs of alleged work enables welfare scroungers to avoid the OBC.


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