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Council tax bands revaluation postponed 'indefinitely'

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Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced the government has no plans to revalue council tax bands during the current parliament.

Consumer champion Martin Lewis, of , says the decision means 400,000 homes will remain in the wrong council tax bands.

Indeed, even Pickles accepts that current council tax bands are based on 'dated information'. However, he believes there is no need for a revaluation since the current system is 'fair'.

Responding to criticism on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Pickles said that 7 million households would be worse off if council tax bands are revalued in England.

"Let's go back to Wales," he said. "The people who were hit the hardest [following a council tax revaluation in 2005] were those on the lowest bands, A to C. Something like two-thirds of the increases occurred in those bands. This would actually hit poorer people harder than it would hit richer people.

"What we want to do is offer some degree of stability. Just coming out a recession I don't really think we should be imposing an extra £1,600 worth of taxation on [ordinary families]."

He added: "It is the relationship between the top and the bottom bands that's important and the relationship between the north of England and the south of England. They are roughly in the same position that they were 20 years ago. So there is actually no need for a revaluation."

Previous plans to revalue council tax bands for 22 million homes in 2007 were scrapped because of the acrimony caused by the Welsh revaluation in 2005.

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