By Peter Wozniak
There will be no re-valuation of council tax bands in England within the life of this parliament, the government has promised.
It had been feared that a re-valuation possibly adding hundreds of pounds to people's council tax bills would be enacted as a way of recouping funds for the government amidst the impending spending squeeze.
But it emerged today that council tax payers in England will see no increase based solely on the value of property.
The local government secretary, Eric Pickles said: "I've always argued against a revaluation because we know from what happened in Wales that it tends to hit poorer families.
"Given that the bands are roughly in the same position as when council tax was first introduced then it seems to me to be a matter of fairness that we don't impose an additional level of taxation, £1,600 during this Parliament, on ordinary families."
The council tax bands were last evaluated in 1993, and are perceived to be long overdue for re-evaluation.
In an environment of heavy public spending cuts, however, the government has eschewed the re-evaluation, which would likely see many properties raised into a higher band, costing residents several hundred pounds more a year.
Such a tax increase for many residents in England would be desperately unpopular when the country is enduring an already severe austerity drive.
The government turned blame for previous suggestions of a rise firmly on Labour, which abandoned plans for a re-evaluation in 2007 and postponed the decision until after the 2010 election.