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calendar   Sunday - September 13, 2009

The snooper’s handbook: Guide that will ensure no home improvement escapes the Council Tax

I can’t believe we’ve allowed this to happen. Why does it cost more to police, empty bins etc from a large house with en suites, conservatory etc, Gordon already gets his cut from stamp duty and eventually from death duty. We need an uprising against local and central government. Thereis no reason to work hard- earn more pay more tax, spend more pay more tax via vat, spend it on your house pay more tax. I’m no francophile but they wouldn’t stand for it.

- john, manchester, 13/9/2009

If the Councils could spend there time improving the services that we pay for instead of this snooping around on people might be a better idea.They keep telling us they have no money for this no money for that and cutting services , then they pay these people to snoop on us. I think its about time we the people who pay their salaries tell them what we want our money spent on.

- jacqui weems, southampton, 13/9/2009

Those are just two of some 121 comments made on the website of the Sunday Mail.  What are they banging on about?

‘Families face being taxed for their sash windows and en suite bathrooms. There is nothing that Gordon Brown won’t tax. These inspectors have alarming powers to enter people’s homes – and there is clear evidence that they now intend to exercise them.’


The snooper’s handbook: Guide that will ensure no home improvement escapes the Council Tax inspectors

By Glen Owen
Last updated at 2:58 AM on 13th September 2009

If you have just proudly added an en suite bathroom to your house or laid a tiled floor in your conservatory, then beware.

As part of secret plans for a council tax hike on the middle classes, inspectors have been armed with a new ‘snoopers handbook’ to ensure that no home improvement – however discreet – escapes their scrutiny.

THE BIG BROTHER MANUAL trains valuation experts how to follow up leads from ‘informants’ by undertaking ‘detective work’, including photographing properties, plundering estate agents’ details and room-by-room inspections.
Loft extension

The handbook informs inspectors how to find homeowners who have so-called ‘value significant’ features

In July, The Mail on Sunday revealed that the Valuation Office Agency is compiling a database that will give all 23million homes in England one of 100 ‘dwelling house codes’, which are expected to form the basis of a council tax revaluation if Labour wins the next Election.

Middle-income families are likely to bear the brunt of any tax increases as the Government struggles to fill the black hole on its balance sheet caused by the recession.

The handbook, complete with audio commentary, sets out how inspectors can catch homeowners who have so-called ‘value significant’ features.

One exercise reads: ‘Your office has been informed the roofspace has been converted into a fourth bedroom. Your task is to establish whether existing details [for the house] require amendment.’

Another states that ‘information has been obtained’ about a house that has been ‘extended to include another living room and two new bedrooms with en suites. It also emerges that the house has a partial view of the mountains’.
DIY Repair Replace Garden Fence Panels

Within the guide, inspectors are urged to ‘use to detective work’ to spot value-adding features on a home

The trainee inspectors then have to change their valuation to place the home in a higher bracket.

A further exercise trains inspectors to look out for ‘a garage large enough for two cars and a drive large enough for three’, a ‘hardwood conservatory with single glazing and tiled floor’, a ‘full sea view’ and recent modernisation.

The language in the manual will strike homeowners who have carried out improvements as positively Orwellian.

Alongside pictures of homes and their value-adding features – including in some cases a Sherlock Holmes-style magnifying glass on the pictures for inspecting building features – inspectors are urged to ‘use detective work’.

They are told: ‘The guide is effectively a glossary of the different types of dwellings within the country. You could even say that it’s a kind of illustrated social history.’ They are even wished ‘good luck’ on their missions.

Last night, Conservative Local Government spokeswoman Caroline Spelman said: ‘Labour Ministers have been caught red-handed training a cadre of State snoopers for a council tax revaluation.

SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/13/2009 at 06:13 AM   
Filed Under: • Jack Booted ThugsTaxesUK •  
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