A major council tax shake-up will be pushed back until 2028, beyond the next Senedd election, Wales’ finance secretary announced.

Rebecca Evans confirmed Welsh Government plans to redesign council tax, which were initially pencilled in for as early as April 2025, will be delayed to 2028.

Under the plans, which aim to make council tax fairer, bands could change and Wales’ 1.5 million homes would be revalued for the first time since 2003.

While bills for 70 per cent of people would fall or stay the same, and the total amount raised would be unchanged, 30 per cent of households – about 450,000 homes – could face higher taxes.

Ms Evans said consultation responses showed a clear appetite for reform but over a slower timeline.

During finance questions, Ms Evans told the Senedd a further consultation will be held nearer to 2028 about the scale of the reforms.

She said: “I recognise the concerns about the impact on households during the cost-of-living crisis, and that was very central to our considerations as we looked at the pace of reform.”

She told the chamber adding council tax bands at the higher end – and a band at the lower end to help people in the least expensive properties – will be part of the thinking.

Peter Fox raised reports from The Daily Telegraph that satellites will be used to assess changes to property values in Wales, drawing a parallel to George Orwell’s 1984.

Ms Evans described the article as “poorly informed, to be generous”, pointing out that the Valuation Office Agency carries out valuations independently of the Welsh Government.

Mr Fox, the Conservatives’ shadow finance secretary, suggested cynics would say council tax and farming reforms are being pushed back with an eye on the 2026 Senedd election.

Welcoming a commitment to the 25 per cent single-person council tax discount, Mr Fox raised concerns about proposed powers for councils to disapply or reduce council tax discounts.

Ms Evans acknowledged some people living in high-value homes may have a low income.

She said the Welsh Government is undertaking a review of the 53 different categories of discounts and exemptions to ensure they are fit for purpose.

Ms Evans added the Welsh Government will look at other groups who should benefit from a council tax discount or exemption.

Asked about a transition fund to support people, Ms Evans recognised a consensus that transitional arrangements came too late after the previous revaluation.