Tag Archives: mansion tax

Opinion: Making property tax fairer

Mansion Only - Some rights reserved by Gerg1967One of the issues that we heard frequently on the doorstep in Haringey in the run-up to the Council elections was fear over the mansion tax. Many of our wards are in nice leafy areas, where the ridiculous rises in house prices over the last year have left some relatively modest family homes pushing up to the £2m barrier. A retired builder who had bought his home for under £50,000 forty years ago told me that he would never vote for us …

Posted in Op-eds | 35 Comments

LibLink: Vince Cable: Smell the coffee, Boris. The Mansion Tax has slipped in already

Mansion Only - Some rights reserved by Gerg1967This story appears under the byline of a “Daily Mail Reporter” which is a bit odd, because I don’t think they’ve let any of them into the Cabinet yet, and certainly not any who oppose the Tories. The reference to “my Cabinet colleagues’ kind of gives the game away that it’s our Vince who has taken on Boris over the Mansion Tax. Now, there’s another debate I’d like to see alongside Nick vs Nigel. Vince vs Boris. One day, maybe..

Anyway,  Vince started by pointing out that action was taken in the Budget to tax corporate property buying:

One less publicised move was a crackdown on people using high-value property to make easy capital gains from property inflation and then dodge tax, hiding behind a corporate façade.

At a time when families are desperate for housing, thousands of luxury flats sit empty in tower blocks along the Thames. The Government is stopping this abuse by charging a penal rate of stamp duty and a charge on the property value – a mansion tax.

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Higher-rate tax and Danny Alexander’s time-limited dead body

This was the couldn’t-be-clearer headline in the Mirror today, atop an interview with Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander:

danny alexander mirror headline

Defiant Danny Alexander today opened up a fresh rift within the Coalition Government by vowing to block Tory plans for yet another tax cut for the rich. … His comments will enrage Conservative MPs who are pushing to slash the rate from 45p ahead of next year’s General Election. It comes just days after David Cameron refused, on three occasions, to rule out cutting tax. But

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Independent says “Lib Dems go beyond meaning well”

Today’s Independent editorial has some heartening words about the approach of Liberal Democrats within the Government and our ongoing policy making process.

The background to the motion on childcare is explored:

Hence the party’s plan to extend free childcare to all one- and two-year-olds, which we report on today, is no well-meaning wishlist, but a battle-hardened piece of legislation-ready policy.

The plan emerges from the struggle between the coalition partners over the last spending round, which was announced by George Osborne, the Chancellor, in June. Nick Clegg pushed for a better childcare deal, but eventually had to concede that NHS, schools and

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Lib Dem ‘mansion tax': the right policy AND a vote-winner, say 69% of party members

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 650 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Vince Cable smiling - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsThe Lib Dems are committed to levying a new household tax (known as the Mansion Tax) of 1% on the value of properties over £2m. Which of these statements best represents your own view?

    69% – I support the policy and think it will

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 12 Comments

LibLink: Danny Alexander – Bedroom blockers and tax dodgers will pay

Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander has published a robust defence of the Coalition’s welfare reforms in The Sun on Sunday. Here’s how it starts:

Last week a young woman came to talk to me about her housing situation. Her frustration was obvious. She was working hard in a low-paid job and was stuck in an overcrowded home with a young family and desperately needed to move to a bigger home. She couldn’t understand why she had to wait so long to get a home that was the right size for her and her family. It’s a story

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Vince Cable on Labour’s opposition day debate on Mansion tax

This evening, the Liberal Democrats have confirmed they won’t vote for Labour’s mischievous Opposition Day debate on mansion tax, instead tabling a Coalition amendment stating our support for the mansion tax and the Conservatives’ opposition to it. Vince Cable, architect of the mansion tax, has issued a statement explaining why:

This amendment allows Liberal Democrats in Parliament to back our long-held policy of the mansion tax. We created it and will continue to champion it.

The amendment also makes it clear that although we are in coalition with the Conservatives, we have different views on the desirability of a mansion tax.

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 66 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg – the Conservatives need to adopt the politics of fairness

In today’s Observer, Nick Clegg makes the case once again for a mansion tax to be introduced as the most effective way of spreading the pain of austerity. In fact, he goes a bit further saying it is inevitable:

Victor Hugo observed that it is near impossible to resist an idea once its time has come. Last week, he was again proved right as calls for a mansion tax, first proposed by the Liberal Democrats in 2009, gathered new momentum. … I offer certainty: the mansion tax, or a version of it, will happen. My party has often led the

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LibLink: Eastleigh by-election and mansion tax

The Guardian’s Politics Weekly podcast this week focused on the Eastleigh by-election and the mansion tax proposals. These topics were discussed by, amongst others, Lib Dem Voice’s Mark Pack.

You can listen to it here.

 

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Opinion: Oh no! Ed’s got us!

Well he has hasn’t he? I mean this ruse to force a vote on the a mansion tax is piece of political genius surely? The Lib Dems will look like fools traipsing through the lobby with the government whilst Labour dangles something that the party in general and Vince in particular has wanted to bring in for years.

Won’t they?

There’s no denying it’s an eye-catching move clearly designed to embarrass the Lib Dems. But of course the party’s MPs will (largely – a few backbenchers may peel off of course) vote with the government on any opposition motion of this nature. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 58 Comments

IFS verdict: Labour’s 10p tax idea “has no plausible economic justification”

institute-for-fiscal-studies-logo-370x229Ed Miliband’s announcement yesterday that Labour will re-introduce a 10p starting rate of income tax paid for through the introduction of Vince Cable’s mansion tax has received a tepid response from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The IFS put out a note yesterday headed simply, Better options exist to help low earners than 10p tax rate:

A 10p tax rate would reduce taxes for those on low incomes and strengthen their work incentives. A far simpler and more sensible way of achieving these aims would be to spend the same

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‘Please give generously': Tories mail-shot supporters asking for donations to fight Lib Dem mansion tax

That’s the story in the Guardian this weekend:

The Conservative party privately sent letters to Tory donors and wealthy homeowners promising to defeat Liberal Democrat plans for a mansion tax at the same time as their coalition partners thought they were negotiating on a version of the proposal ahead of the autumn statement, it emerged on Friday. … The letters were sent by the Conservative treasurers Lord Fink and Michael Farmer in November, when Lib Dem cabinet ministers privately believed there was hope that the Conservatives would agree to two extra higher-rate council tax bands as a way of raising

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A surprising view on tax from a Tory MP

On MailOnline Tory MP and ally of George Osborne, Nadhim Zawahi says that his house is worth £5 million and that he would like to pay more tax on it:

Already, thanks to the closure of tax loopholes, the richest in this country will be paying a greater share of tax in every year of this Parliament than in any year of the last Labour Government.

Posted in News | 14 Comments

Opinion: A mansion tax that is fair and seen to be fair

The natural mechanism for raising a mansion tax on high value UK property is not Council tax. Councils lack a home by home market valuation database and the means to build one. HMRC can raise a tax far more effectively and then might distribute it to councils.

Current Conservative policy will block a mansion tax based upon the rich contributing more but might accept a new tax targeted solely at non-owner occupied homes. Not only do these homes

Posted in News and Op-eds | 10 Comments

Opinion: The Mansion Tax is unfair and illiberal

Since 2010 the word ‘fairness’ has been deployed on an industrial scale across the political spectrum.

To want ‘fairness’ is to want a distribution of the spoils which reflects the value of the contribution of each to the economic and social resources of society. A fair tax system should seek to tax according to capacity to pay. It must also act to discourage those, such as polluters, whose economic choices negatively impact on society.

Posted in Op-eds | 61 Comments

News snippets from the Conservative conference: tax, Europe, migration and more

Conservative Party logoTrouble ahead on tax as Osborne opposes a mansion tax:

We are not going to have a mansion tax, or a new tax that is a percentage value of people’s properties.

Before you rush to spot the loophole in that – what about adding extra higher bands to Council Tax? – he opposed that too. Given Osborne made much of his reputation as was by opposing changes to inheritance tax, perhaps it is on capital gains tax that there will be room fro an agreement with the …

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Conference news snippets: economy, mansion tax, Dilnot reforms, business bank and Green Deal

In the key economy debate this morning, conference has backed the party’s approach to tackling the deficit:

Earlier in the day, Clegg was repeating his calls for a mansion tax in some form:

Our focus does remain on very high value property for the simple reason that I think most people in this country just don’t understand why people who have very high value properties just don’t pay their fair share, in the way that everybody does.

Danny Alexander has been calling for speedier action to implement social care reforms:

Danny Alexander will warn his Conservative colleagues on Monday not to delay plans to reform social care for the elderly and state pensions, amid Treasury fears that the changes would cost too much.

The Treasury chief secretary plans to use a question-and-answer session at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton to insist that the government goes ahead with both the Dilnot reforms and a single-tier state pension, according to officials.

Meanwhile, Vince Cable is winning out in the arguments with the Treasury over creating a new business bank:

Vince Cable reveals £1bn backing for business bank to help small firms…
In what Liberal Democrats are hailing as one of the major announcements of their conference, the business secretary will say that the new bank could leverage up to £10bn to help businesses struggling to find funds from high-street banks…

The Lib Dems say they have had to fight hard to persuade the chancellor to sign up to the bank, which will be funded from “underspends” by Whitehall departments. These are the funds that remain unspent by departments, which are then clawed back by the Treasury.

And here is Ed Davey and colleagues explaining the Green Deal:

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Opinion: A Mansion Tax to replace higher rate tax?

Mansion tax is not Land Value Tax, but it is a place to start down the road to shifting a significant part of the tax base from income to wealth.

There seems little argument that mansion tax would be a more effective method of taxing non-resident Non-Doms who acquired over 60% of the properties valued at over £2m in recent times.

The inequalities in wealth in the UK far outstrip inequalities in income. The top 10% of households own more wealth than the rest put together: 0.3 per cent of Britain’s population owns 69 per cent of its land.

The HMRC report …

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The 50p tax rate is not for dropping – the leadership’s line

Given some of the recent speculation over the 50p tax rate, the speech from Stephen Williams (Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Party Committee on the Treasury) opening the debate on tax policy was significant:

Now is not the right time to drop the 50p tax rate.

The full context left open if there might ever be a right time, but unlike speculation in The Times a few days back, there was no offer of trading off the 50p rate against the introduction of a mansion tax.

His comments also reflected the text of the motion passed, which included:

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Wealth taxation is now firmly on the government’s radar

As part of the long-standing Liberal Democrat commitment to fair taxation, expressed so clearly by David Laws, the party has often called for a greater emphasis on wealth taxes.

As a direct result of these calls, it is now clear that the government is considering some form of wealth taxation to help deliver another long-standing Lib Dem tax policy – giving millions of low- and middle-earners a welcome boost by raising the income tax threshold to £10,000.

The precise nature of increased taxation on wealth is a topic of much discussion. Radio 4’s Today programme carried an interesting discussion of …

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Lib Dem members back Vince’s ‘mansion tax’ – but views differ about whether on house values of £1m or £2m

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 570 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

81% yes to mansion tax – but pretty even split on £1m or £2m levy value

LDV asked: The ‘mansion tax’ would levy a 1% annual charge on properties above a certain value. Would you support or oppose this new tax?

    7% – I support: for houses worth more than £5 million
    39% – I support: for houses worth more than £2 million
    35% –

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Vince pushes the ‘mansion tax’ – could the Tories yet be persuaded to take tax reform seriously?

Shock! Horror! Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable advocates Lib Dem manifesto policy!

The Telegraph today reports that Vince’s policy — which would levy a 1% annual charge on all properties valued above £2 million — is still on the table as the Coalition writes its second budget:

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, is pushing for a mansion tax to be introduced on properties worth more than £2million in this year’s Budget. While the policy is likely to be opposed by George Osborne, the Chancellor, Mr Cable said that he had spoken to Conservative MPs who backed the plan.

“A mansion tax is still very much on the agenda – it is a very good idea,” Mr Cable told The Sunday Telegraph. “It is good for two reasons,’’ he said. ”It would constitute a tax on wealth rather than income, which we believe to be right, and also in economic terms it creates the right sort of incentives for the property market.”

Mr Cable added that it was “perverse” that rich “foreigners” could buy expensive properties in Britain and contribute just £1,000 a year in council tax towards the public finances.

3 ways of reading Vince’s comments

There are a couple of ways of interpreting this fresh pitch.

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What Liberal Democrat members think of different tax policies

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 550 party members responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

Cut income tax and VAT but raise taxes on property: that’s the message from Liberal Democrat party members in our latest survey. Some answers to our tax questions are unsurprising, such as the North Korean style (or, for older readers, the Albanian style) majority in favour of raising the personal allowance threshold for income tax to £12,500, approximately equivalent to what a …

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What the future holds for Liberal Democrat tax policies

More economically competent than Labour, fairer than the Conservatives – that’s what many at the top of the party hope the message will be come the next general election. If the economy is not doing well at the time of the next election . However, if it is then the party will need the right combination of economic policies to support that proposition.

That is why people such as Danny Alexander are starting to sketch out possible tax policies for the next general election which will involve giving tax cuts to the least well off, paid for by taxing the richest more.

That combination …

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In other news… Son of mansion tax, Tory councillor switches to Lib Dems and more

Nick Clegg has been telling the Financial Times how he would like to see taxes introduced for the most expensive properties as part of any removal of the temporary 50p top rate of income tax. Son of Mansion Tax here we come…

Jonathan Calder reports on the latest goings on in the lively world of Leicester politics, including Conservative Councillor Nigel Porter resigning from his party and deciding to fight his ward for the Liberal Democrats in May’s elections.

The Yes to Fairer Votes campaign has published details of its donors and challenged the No campaign to show the

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Opinion: How Lib Dems make policy – or fail to – and the consequences

Causal chains can be very long, with surprising connections between initiating events and final outcomes. Severe violence between protesters and police on the streets of London resulted from the debacle over student fees, broken pledges, and continuing double talk as to whether this is a coalition compromise, or has now somehow magically become best policy. But it has its roots further back in a faulted policy making process in the Lib Dem party. How did an intelligent political party get such policy so wrong less than a year ago, when it already knew all the current economic issues? To understand …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 40 Comments

David Miliband adopts Lib Dem mansion tax policy

The Guardian reports today:

Owners of homes worth more than £2m should pay an annual “mansion tax” to help the poor, Labour leadership contender David Miliband said today. The shadow foreign secretary said the levy would raise £1.7bn to restore housing benefit for the least well-off.

The proposal – outlined in an interview with the Evening Standard – appears designed to drive a wedge between the coalition partners, as well as appealing to Labour grassroots.

Business secretary, Vince Cable, put the idea in the Liberal Democrat general election manifesto – but it was lost during negotiations with the Tories. Under the plan,

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Teachers, Thatcher, tax and troops: Nick Clegg Q&A

Nick Clegg answers questions at Spring Conference, Birmingham

In this afternoon’s Q&A from the Conference hall, Nick Clegg tackled questions from the floor with a relaxed and confident manner that bodes well for the upcoming TV Leaders’ Debates.

He took questions from party members in the hall, before taking supplementaries.

First up was education and whether schools should use the Pupil Premium to reduce class sizes. Nick said that the Pupil Premium seeks to give back trust to teachers and headteachers. Smaller class sizes are important for instilling a sense of self-confidence and …

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Opinion: Why the mansion tax runs against liberal principles – but a land value tax wouldn’t

One of the more appealing characteristics and strengths of the Liberal Democrats is the room there is within the party for genuine debate, and the freedom members have to hold views which differ from those of the leadership.

There are of course certain principles which all who hold the Liberal banner aloft share however; principles around the freedom of the individual from the unreasonable constraints of the state into their personal lives, and these principles bound us together and make the party the pleasant place to be that it is.

The Liberal tradition goes back to the enlightenment, with figures such as …

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The Guardian’s approving verdict on the Lib Dems’ manifesto principles is correct … but for the wrong reasons

Nick Clegg will have enjoyed reading this morning’s Guardian editorial (Nick Clegg: Liberal parenting) over his breakfast porridge today. The paper commends Nick for yesterday’s launch of the principles which will underpin the Lib Dems’ election manifesto.

At the same time it betrays the Guardian’s usual unawareness of the party’s democratic decision-making principles. According to the Grauniad, Nick “ordered his party to drop some of its favourite policies”, issuing “instructions” in order to transform the Lib Dem manifesto from “a third-party wishlist” into “a credible agenda for directing a government”.

Hmmm, not so much.

In fact, all that …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim13 30th Sep - 11:55pm
    RC What you say about the NE economy would turn people (sorry, already has turned people) there against us, not in favour. The electoral figures...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 30th Sep - 11:49pm
    You need to tell us where, Suzanne. It's a thread about Conference. How can advertising a fringe be off topic?:-) And the reason half the...
  • User Avatarsuzanne fletcher 30th Sep - 11:07pm
    all good advice. I'd emphasise that it really is ok to just start up a conversation with anyone at all. I went on my own...
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 30th Sep - 10:57pm
    @ David, "From a distance it now seems that the tightening of standards over the last four years has meant teachers have to be on...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 30th Sep - 10:46pm
    on that subject: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/10/09/article-2215070-156C345A000005DC-652_634x228.jpg "This is sure to leave many middle-earners scratching their heads, wondering how on earth the hundreds of pounds taken from them...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 30th Sep - 10:45pm
    Well done Julian. not that Theresa May will take any notice. She's in thrall to the same interests as the rest of the British political...