Council tax charges on two properties owned by Dominic Cummings will not be backdated to when the homes were built, giving the government adviser a '£30k tax break'

The Northern Echo exclusively reports that "years of unpaid taxes, potentially between £30,000 and £50,000, on two homes built in breach of planning laws will be written off" for the two homes near Durham.  

New charges for the properties will come into effect at the start of this month on a cottage Cummings built on the farm with his father in 2002.

Durham County Councillor John Shuttleworth told the paper: “They should have informed them (the authorities) and it should have been checked.

“If it was anybody else, they would be getting charged and it would be backdated, or they would be getting taken to court.

“It just proves there is two sets of rules, one for them and another for everyone else. It is not right.

“We have to abide by the law and it we don’t you get put in prison or you get fined. They are just above it.”

John Hewitt, corporate director of resources at Durham County Council, told the Northern Echo: “I can confirm that the Valuation Office Agency have concluded their inspection and provided us with details of the required changes to the valuation list in respect of North Lodge, where the current single assessment will be replaced with three entries in the rating list going forward.

“These changes will be implemented with effect from October 4, 2020, which is the date we have been instructed to apply the changes from.

“The date from which the rating list is to be amended is a matter for the Valuation Office Agency.

“We are instructed that they have made their assessment in line with the relevant legislation and custom and practice in terms of such changes in accordance with Article 3 of the Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1993.”

Cummings famously broke lockdown rules by travelling 260 miles from his London home. 

The Prime Minister’s senior adviser drove from London to Durham to isolate with his family during the lockdown and says he subsequently took a trip to Barnard Castle to see if he was fit enough to drive before returning to the capital.