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Spelman: Protecting families from ever-increasing council tax bills

Speech at election rally in Newquay

"Michael's given me my orders. I'm absolutely clear what he expects of me: to protect families from ever increasing Council Tax bills and to help young people get their foot on the housing ladder. And I'm quite clear what will happen if I don't come up with the goods.

For most people their home is their most precious asset - their families' security. But Labour have used people's homes as an excuse to tax them by stealth. In the last eight years average Council Tax bills have gone up by £525 on Band D bills - that's a huge amount of money.

And if the Liberal Democrats get their way - though that's hard to imagine given they only had 55 MPs in the last Parliament - they'd bring in a Local Income Tax which would hit hard working families hard.

If you vote Conservative on May the fifth we will take action to protect pensioners and families from ever rising Council Tax.

Within our first week in office, we will instruct the Valuation Office Agency to cancel the Council Tax revaluation. This will stop the backdoor Council Tax increases which started this month. If you look at what's happened in Wales, cancelling the revaluation will save a typical family £270 a year in extra Council Tax - that's right save a typical family £270 a year.

Next, we will cancel Labour's plans to add higher rate Council Tax bands - because that's another sneaky way of putting up the Council Tax.

If we carry on like this Council Tax will hit the £2,000 mark in the next five years. Just imagine your Council Tax bill hitting £2,000 - we'll that's what will happen if you give Labour another chance.

Third, we will halve Council Tax bills for up to five million pensioners. We'll give every home where all the adults are aged 65 and over a fifty per cent Council Tax discount up to £500 each and every year from April.

Home ownership matters. That's why we want everyone to have the chance to own their home - to own their piece of Britain.

We'll give more people the chance of buying their homes by removing Stamp Duty on every house worth a quarter of a million pounds or less. That means the average home buyer won't have to pay a penny in Stamp Duty.

So our orders are clear - don't use the Council Tax as a stealth tax, help pensioners pay their bills, and give more people the opportunity to own their piece of Britain.

And I'm clear that all members of the team will have to deliver."

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