My Home isn't my Castle - Labour Lies Exposed!
The post below exposes the confused messages we are being given about whether a Valuation Officer can enter your home to assess it for rates. After Hazel Blears revealed that the Valuation Officers were gearing up for inspections there was outrage and denials were sent out - "staff of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) have no powers of internal inspection when valuing homes for council tax banding purposes"
Another example is this:
House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 11 Nov 2005 (pt 4)
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers (a) staff and (b) contractors of the Valuation Office Agency have to forcibly inspect a property for a council tax valuation in circumstances where the resident refuses entry to the (i) inside of the premises and (ii) land surrounding the property. 
Dawn Primarolo: None.
So on one side we have Hazel Blears and saying the opposite is Red Dawn representing the Chancellor, The Deputy Prime Minister's Office and the Worker's Union. Someone is wrong, who is it?
A quick look at the VOA website reveals firstly it is part of HM Customs and Revenue and not your friendly local council and so it will have the powers the HMCR has. And it even puts its VOA Council tax Manual online. And guess what we find:
Appendix 1.2: Authority to Inspect
AUTHORITY TO STAFF UNDERTAKING INSPECTIONS FOR COUNCIL TAX PURPOSES
I hereby authorise * to enter on, survey and value dwellings for Council Tax purposes in accordance with the provisions of Section 26 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This authority should be produced with an identity document, serial number *, bearing a photograph of the holder.
The relevant act is:
26. Powers of entry.
(1) If a valuation officer needs to value a dwelling for the purpose of carrying out any of his functions, he and any servant of the Crown authorised by him in writing may enter on, survey and value the dwelling if subsections (2) and (3) below are fulfilled.
(2) At least three clear days' notice in writing of the proposed exercise of the power must be given; and there shall be disregarded for this purpose any day which is-
(a) a Saturday, a Sunday, Christmas Day or Good Friday; or
(b) a day which is a bank holiday under the [1971 c. 80.] Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 in England and Wales.
(3) In a case where a person authorised by a valuation officer proposes to exercise the power, that person must if required produce his authority.
(4) If a person intentionally delays or obstructs a person in the exercise of a power under this section, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 2 on the standard scale.
(5) In this section and section 27 below "valuation officer" means any listing officer and any other officer of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue who is for the time being appointed by them to carry out any of their functions.
So yes they do have the power to enter, they have had for a long time, so why the lies?
But if you think I will let any cheap suited man from the council in to photograph my daughters' bedrooms, you have another thought coming.