Fascist EU wants to raise UK Council Taxes

3 June 2014 Last updated at 03:58

European Commission urges UK to tax expensive homes more

The European Commission has called on the UK to raise taxes on higher value properties, build more houses and adjust the Help to Buy scheme.

The commission said council tax bands should be revalued, which would put up bills for some people.

Each year the commission offers member states advice intended to help ensure long-term growth.

The Treasury said the UK, as one of the fastest growing economies, would listen to the commission with interest.

‘Boost supply’
In far-reaching recommendations the European Union’s executive body also said the UK should prioritise capital spending.

The commission described Britain’s council tax system as “regressive”, being relatively high on lower value properties.

The UK government said the commission’s recommendations were “in line” with its own approach. EU leaders will discuss the advice later this month.

The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme is designed to make it easier for people to get on the housing market.

The commission said: “Action is needed to further boost the supply of houses – by creating appropriate incentives to raise supply at the local level.

“The authorities should continue to monitor house prices and mortgage indebtedness and stand ready to deploy appropriate measures, including adjusting the Help to Buy 2 (loan guarantee) scheme, if deemed necessary.

“Reforms to the taxation of land and property should be considered to alleviate distortions in the housing market.

“At the moment, increasing property values are not translated into higher property taxes as the property value roll has not been updated since 1991 and taxes on higher value property are lower than on lower value property in relative terms due to the regressivity of the current rates and bands within the council tax system.”

It added: “Remove distortions in property taxation by regularly updating the valuation of property and reduce the regressivity of the band and rates within the council tax system. Continue efforts to increase the supply of housing.”

‘Fragile’ recovery
The commission praised the UK on extending childcare provision and making benefits changes but said more should be done on apprenticeships and skills.

Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the recovery across Europe was “fragile”.

“With these recommendations, the commission is pointing the way forward. We believe that member states must now play their part in seeing these reforms through, even if we know that sometimes they are politically unpopular,” he said.

BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins says the intervention comes at a sensitive time amid the row about who should be the next president of the commission, and as Conservatives seek to show they can negotiate significant change in Europe ahead of a promised referendum.

Some Tory backbenchers are in no mood to listen to the commission’s ideas about Britain’s economy, he adds.

Eurosceptic body Business for Britain said the European Commission should “spend more time worrying about how it makes the EU more competitive rather than suggesting how to hamstring the UK economy with high taxes”.

Campaign group the Tax Payers’ Alliance said “higher taxes on high-value property would only strangle much-needed supply further”.

A Treasury spokesman said: “Figures last week showed Help to Buy has helped thousands of first time buyers on steady incomes buy properties and finally realise the dream of home ownership.

“It’s an aspirational policy that will remain a key part of our economic plan.

“We are the first to say we must be vigilant and not repeat the mistakes of the past which is why we specifically gave the Bank of England powers to intervene in the housing market; they should not hesitate to use them if they see fit.”

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