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.
The Liberal Democrats will not however support a Labour motion designed exclusively to play cynical party political games.
Parties should be judged on what they deliver on fairer taxes, rather than what they say about them. In Government, Labour refused to back our mansion tax.
Instead, Labour raised taxes for the lowest paid by abolishing the 10p tax rate. In Government, the Liberal Democrats have pushed for and achieved a £600 tax cut to over 24 million people on low and middle incomes, lifting more than two million low paid workers out of income tax all together.
The top rate of tax will be higher under the Coalition Government than any year under Labour and the rich are now paying more as a percentage of their income in tax than at any time under Labour .
In Government, Labour rubbished the Liberal Democrat policy of a mansion tax. In Opposition, they have simply copied it exactly in an attempt to fill in their blank piece of paper where original policies should be.
The Liberal Democrats continue to support a mansion tax. The current council tax system is totally unfair to many working families who pay more on a modest band H house than oligarchs living in mansions worth many millions. We believe that, in an age where the living standards of ordinary families are being squeezed, we should be asking for a greater contribution from the very wealthiest in society.
And here is the Liberal Democrat amendment:
Line 1, leave out from House to end, and insert:
‘This House notes that this Coalition Government has cut income tax for 25 million people, taking over 2.2 million low income individuals out of income tax altogether, while at the same time increasing taxes on the wealthy, including raising stamp duty on expensive properties and restricting tax reliefs; further notes that both parts of the Coalition continue to support tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes; notes the part of the Coalition led by the Deputy Prime Minister also advocates a Mansion Tax on properties worth more than £2million, as set out in his party’s manifesto, and the part of the Coalition led by the Prime Minister does not advocate a Mansion Tax; further notes that the top rate of tax will be higher under this Government than under any year of the previous administration and that the rich are now paying higher percentage of income tax than at any time under the previous administration, demonstrating that it presided over an unfair tax system where the rich paid less and the poor paid more in tax than now, meaning nobody will trust the Opposition’s promises on tax fairness.’