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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

The Politics of Council Tax Reform

IPPR is delighted to host an event on ‘The Politics of Council Tax Reform’, which will take place on Tuesday 25th June, 9.30am – 11.00am at the IPPR 14 Buckingham Street, WC2N 6DF.

    Council tax is considered by many politicians to be in the ‘too difficult to touch’ box when it comes to reform. Haunted by memories of the ‘community charge’, better known as the poll tax, which is widely perceived to have contributed to the fall of Margaret Thatcher, the majority of national politicians daren’t even speak of reform, let alone propose any change, for fear of the political consequences.

    But leaving council tax unreformed is becoming ever more unsustainable. Local authorities across the country are increasingly cash strapped as a consequence of government cuts to their core grant funding and limits on their ability to raise funds through council tax and other sources. Perhaps most significantly, however, is just how unfair the current system has become.

    IPPR research, focused on London, but with wider relevance for the whole system across England, demonstrates how council tax has become increasingly regressive with regard to property values – the cheaper your property, the more you are likely to pay as a proportion of your property value. Council tax has come to look more and more like the poll tax, the controversial system which it replaced. Many of those on the lowest incomes are no longer protected and will be hit ever harder by council tax increases.

    Join us at this event as our panel discusses the political and policy challenges with the reform of council tax. There will be a presentation on IPPR’s work and proposals for reform for London and the panel will be asked to appraise the prospects for wider reform and consider whether a coalition could be built for the reform of council tax.

    Speakers include:

    • Laura Gardiner, Research Director, Resolution Foundation 
    • Tom Copley, Labour party Assembly Member for London and Lewisham Councillor 
    • Joe Bourke, Vice-Chair of Hounslow Liberal Democrats, Chair of ALTER (Action for Land Taxation and Economic Reform)
    • Chair: Luke Murphy, Associate Director for Energy, Climate, Housing and Infrastructure, IPPR

    To register, please follow the link below.