Charlie Dewhirst: If you think Council Tax is high, consider Labour’s Land Value Tax

A guest post from Cllr Charlie Dewhirst, the Conservative candidate for Hammersmith.

It seems astounding that every other party campaigning in this election, apart from the Conservatives, wants to raise taxes on working people. If I am elected your MP on 8th June I pledge to campaign to keep taxes low and help working people keep more of their own money.

One of the greatest achievements of the Conservative Government since 2010 has been consistently raising the personal allowance to ensure those on lower wages can keep more of their own money. This policy is crucial with the higher living costs we have here in London, where many of those who would be considered average earners elsewhere in Britain are left struggling at the end of the month after paying on average nearly 60% of their salary on rent or mortgage payments and utility bills.

Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush is a great place to live but I know too many people who are struggling with the cost of living here. I want to be elected to Parliament to protect precisely these people, often overlooked by politicians, and ensure that everyone here is protected from greater financial stress and the increased cost of living.

Over the past few days I’ve been hearing real concerns about Labour’s proposed tax rises on the doorstep, especially their proposed Land Value Tax. Research has indicated that this would create a staggering average tax rise of 224% per household, and those with gardens would be hit hardest.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has said the tax might become a “tax on gardens”, which could tempt homeowners to sell off gardens to lower their bills. The IPPR warns that there will be “many losers” and the tax “might push some heavily mortgaged homeowners over the edge”.

This would have a knock-on effect for private renters, with landlords likely to shift the rising tax bill onto their tenants.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has also made it clear that this policy would have disastrous effects on our agricultural industry, driving up food prices for the entire country.

This misguided policy would have dire consequences; disproportionately targeting people on fixed incomes like pensioners; driving up private rents for the younger generation; threatening our green spaces in London; and damaging forever the character of our local area.

It’s clear that a Labour Government would make us all poorer – if I am elected as your MP I pledge to keep taxes low and ensure no further financial burden is placed on those already struggling. If you want lower taxes, vote Conservative in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush.

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