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Tories warns HIPs are ploy for more tax

The Conservatives has continued its onslaught against Home Information Packs , set to be launched tomorrow, warning that the scheme is being used as a ploy by the Government to use the Hips database to increase council tax bills.

The Tories claim that an investigation by the party shows that the information collected by the new army of home inspectors is likely to be used to hike up council tax bills in a ‘backdoor’ revaluation, leaving property owners forced to pay for the privilege of the State inspectors entering their home – to help the taxman record, log and tax it.

It says that the Valuation Office Agency has already gained access to estate agency database Rightmove as well as the Land Registry to gather information on homes ahead of the council tax revaluation in England.

Shadow Local Government and Communities secretary Eric Pickles says: “Labour’s plans for HIPs are nothing less than a home information tax. This isn’t about making it easier to get onto the housing ladder; it’s just a stealthy way of conducting Labours controversial council tax revaluation by the backdoor.”

He adds: “Labour Ministers keep changing their tune on why HIPs are supposedly needed – first to tackle gazumping, now to enforce EU directives. Yet the real driving force is their desire to create a massive property database of every home.”

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