Any day now, a man or woman with a clipboard will come knocking at your door and demand to take a look around your home.

It will be the house equivalent of a strip search, far more intrusive than an estate agent and even more thorough than police on a raid looking for drugs. And more than likely the outcome will cost you a good deal of money.

I am not a political animal but this time Mr Blair is going to hit me where it hurts.

We have known for some time the Government planned a shake-up of council tax in the form of home revaluation. Now it has emerged - and I don't remember this in the Labour manifesto - that home improvements are on the list of things that will push up your tax.

The "valuers" will call at every house and snoop around your two-up, two-down, they'll rip up the floor boards to see if you have built an extra room underground and they will want to wander down the garden path.

They will be looking for "substantial improvements" such as that extra bathroom you proudly installed, the odd swimming pool in the back yard, or - Lord forbid - a conservatory.

Get caught in possession of any of these hot items and your revaluation could go through the roof. Ah, that's another thing: loft conversions will also increase your council tax valuation.

If you have the consummate gall to have a garage or even parking spaces, you will get stung. If you have a big garden, you'll pay.

This is where I object. I don't have a big house, but the garden is huge, a bit like a doll's house in a football field.

A lot of the work done on improving the house and garden I've done myself (and the wife helped, too) - and we've paid tax on the way.

My DIY tools had VAT on them, the materials I used were taxed.

We have just applied for planning permission - that in itself is a costly business - for a conservatory and, horror of horrors, we can get a couple of cars in the drive.

Yes, we have a garage, but who uses a garage for housing cars these days? It's more of a junk room, workshop and a bolt-hole when domestic pressures become too great.

Apparently, when the inspector calls, he is not going to look at your new wallpaper, or count the radiators in the house. The curtains and carpets should also be exempt, but anything's possible with this grasping Chancellor.

Garden ponds won't count, though, so if you have a swimming pool, fill it with water lilies and goldfish, take down the diving board and apply liberal amounts of weed and reeds until he has gone.

If you have a second bathroom, put coal in the bath, brick up the loo and insist it's a storeroom.

I reckon that with the housing market slowing down because people are finding it cheaper to improve their existing homes, the Government is missing out on all that lovely stamp duty lolly. So if people won't move, let's hit 'em with another tax for staying put.

Think twice about replacing those old kitchen cupboard doors; be careful if you buy a 32-inch telly, who knows where they will stop.

If your kiddie has a wigwam in the garden, watch out. They will insist it's an extension or demand tax from the rent from Red Indian lodgers.

Take care with garden furniture, too. Should they spot a few tables and chairs with a barbecue near the sandpit, they'll think you are running a beach bar and tax your home as a business.

Of course, Government spokesmen have been quick to deny there's anything sinister in the revaluation. For every householder paying more, there would be people paying less, they say.

I'll bet when it's all over, you and I never manage to find one of those lucky people who is paying less - unless he has sold off the garden for a developer to build a block of flats.

Updated: 09:33 Tuesday, June 21, 2005