• Simon Fell, the MP for Barrow and Furness, is to hold a debate in the Westminster Hall Committee Room on Wednesday this week, to put forward council tax reforms for the UK.
  • The motion presented is: that the House of Commons considers Alternatives to Council Tax and Stamp Duty
  • Simon Fell MP supports and calls for council tax and stamp duty reforms to introduce a ‘Proportional Property Tax’

Simon Fell, the Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness, is to host a debate in Parliament this week where he plans to call on the Government to consider reforms to council tax and stamp duty.

Mr Fell is calling on the government to scrap the current council tax and stamp duty system in favour of a proportional property tax.

In theory, council tax is a fair and progressive system which is based on a property’s value. In essence, if your property is worth more, then you pay more. The challenge, Simon says, with the current system is that the valuations are based on the property market of the early 1990’s. As a result, Mr Fell and MPs of all political persuasions are joining ‘Fairer Shares’ calls for a modern, reformed taxation system on property through proportional property tax.

Commenting, Simon said:

“I’m delighted to have been drawn in the ballot to hold this important debate on council tax reforms.

“It can not be right that the owner of a £30 million mansion in Westminster pays a council tax burden of just 0.06%, meanwhile the owner of a £120,000 home in Barrow pays a council tax burden of 0.80%.

“The current system is out of date, and unfair for Furness residents, and many others across the UK. That is why I am calling for reform to the way we tax properties in the UK.”

The Furness MP says that the ‘council tax conundrum’ has a ‘fair and simple solution’, which has the support of MPs from many political parties in Parliament called ‘Proportional Property Tax’ (PPT). PPT would see homeowners (and not renters) pay a flat rate of 0.48% based on current valuations, updated annually, rather than 1991 figures.

Fairer Share, the independent organisation calling for PPT, own analysis shows this would lead to significant tax cuts for 76% of families, saving £6.5 billion per year for households outside central London and the southeast (or £556 per household), helping to level up communities and boost local economies.

Commenting, Simon said:

“Not only will PPT save Furness households an average of £556 a year, but this reform would bring the treasury an extra £5.4 billion per year. This could be put toward the additional deficit created by the pandemic and the energy crisis. Or it could also be used to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis facing hard-working families.

“This is not about more tax. These reforms are about fairer tax. Households are finding the cost of living a real challenge right now. Westmorland and Furness council has hiked Furness residents council tax by almost 5%, and we’re not paying a fair rate when compared to mansion owners in London and the South East. It’s time for this outdated system to be modernised so that it’s fair and equal.”

Commenting, Andrew Dixon, Chairman of Fairer Share, said:

“We are delighted that Simon Fell has secured this important Westminster Hall debate. Council Tax is outdated and unfair. Stamp Duty is punitive and hinders mobility. Both taxes are in need of urgent reform and this debate is a wonderful opportunity for MPs to discuss the various options that are available. It is time for the Government to ensure councils are sustainably funded. I encourage MPs from all sides of the political spectrum to participate.”