Council tax reform “to deliver fairer system”
A package of reforms to council tax will address unfairness in the current system, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Finance and Local Government has said.
Rebecca Evans provided an update on the plans to the Senedd today.
The Welsh Government has proposed reforms including more progressive bands reflecting the latest data, regular revaluations, and a review of arrangements for discounts and reductions to ensure people are supported in the most effective way.
The changes are set to be delivered from April 2025, and more detail about what the new system will look like will be confirmed towards the end of this year. Council tax will continue to fund vital services like schools and social care, but the reforms are not designed to raise any more revenue overall than is raised currently.
Speaking in the Senedd, Rebecca Evans said:
“Council tax is still regressive in the way it is designed, it places a higher burden on households with lower wealth. Even now, it is twenty years out of date.
“With every year that we continue under the current arrangements comes more unfairness, carried by some of the poorest in society. The evidence and experts agree this is one of the most beneficial actions we can take to reduce wealth inequalities, that will be felt in the pockets of those most in need by the end of this government term.”
Council tax reform is a commitment in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru Designated Member Cefin Campbell said:
“Together, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government are committed to reforming this outdated form of taxation to make it fairer. The current council tax system we have is nearly twenty years out of date, contributes to wealth inequalities and disproportionately impacts poorer areas of Wales.”
Notes to editors
A Welsh Government consultation last summer sought views on:
- completing a council tax revaluation of all 1.5 million properties in Wales to create a fairer system. Even though Wales is the only part of Great Britain to have updated property values since council tax was introduced, the current system is now twenty years out of date.
- designing a new system of bands and tax rates that is more progressive, including considering adding more bands to the top and bottom ends of the scale if needed.
- in-built regular updates to keep council tax fair in the future, using modern data-driven technology.
- improving the framework of discounts, disregarded persons, exemptions and premiums to ensure the arrangements are aligned to our goals.
- improving the Council Tax Reduction Scheme which provides support to low-income households.
More information is available here: A Fairer Council Tax | GOV.WALES