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Labour could use Budget legislation to force mansion tax vote

20 February 2013

Labour’s current plan to embarrass the Lib Dems over its clothes-stealing mansion tax policy is an Opposition Day debate in the Commons. But, in a mark of how serious the party is to score a political point on this matter, I understand that it is also considering tabling an amendment involving a mansion tax to the Finance Bill after the Budget.

Labour sources tell me that this threat will be enacted if the government doesn’t allocate time for an Opposition Day debate before the Budget. A source says:

‘We want to be clear that we are serious about this. This is a test for the Lib Dems to see if they can keep just one of their promises. It’s a test for Nick Clegg as leader.’

The chances are that there will be time for an Opposition Day debate between now and Budget day, especially as the Commons is not exactly chock-full of legislation at the moment. But this is the gift of the Government, not the Opposition. And as I outlined in my earlier post, there are opportunities for the Lib Dems to do something that neutralises the vote, such as an amendment. But far from trying to cosy up to the Lib Dems with similar policies, Labour are trying to make it clear that they don’t believe voters should trust Nick Clegg’s party. Which is exactly what the Conservatives are doing in Eastleigh at present, too.

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  • 2trueblue

    The sooner the better. It would help the electorate in Eastleigh should they manage to get it in the diary prior to the 28th, there by declaring their hand and giving the electorate the chance to see them for what they really are, the party of envy, who ran the most corrupt parliament over 13yrs and who take no responsibility for any of their mistakes. They are all mouth at the moment.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Its time for London [perhaps with the South-East] to declare Independance, introduce a flat-rate tax to compete with Singapore, and leave the EU at the same instant, so as to be finally rid of the tax-parasites that feed on its profits. The Mansion Tax is of course a tax on London.

  • Chris lancashire

    Despite the fact that Labour has already introduced a 10p rate and then scrapped it they seem determined to repeat the mistake, believing, for some reason, that it’s clever politics even if it’s stupid fiscally. They compound their error by insisting on linking it to a “mansion tax” for the self same reason thinking it will bring about a split in the Coalition – not because it is sound fiscally (it isn’t). And The Times can rarely have seen one of their predictions come true so quickly. Yesterday they predicted that the “mansion tax” would quickly be extended since it will never yield much tax as proposed by Labour. Today, the LibDems propose extending it to vacant lots.
    Labour needs to ditch the schoolboys Miliband/Balls quickly if they have a hope of ever again being believed on economic and fiscal policy.

    • telemachus

      Miliband will go
      He was there only to warm the seat for Prime Minister Balls
      It has a good solid ring of Trust
      Like Prime Minister Baldwin

    • andagain

      They compound their error by insisting on linking it to a “mansion tax” for the self same reason thinking it will bring about a split in the Coalition

      That is not the only point. The other advantage, from Labour’s point of view, is that it raises the question of whether you would prefer to tax the property values of millionaire houseowners, or the earnings of people on low incomes.

      They can then let the Tories tell everybody that they would prefer to tax the low earners. So the next time the Tories claim to care about those “strivers”, everyone can conclude they are lying.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Tax thresholds for the lowest earners have been raised by this government. No more Labour lies here please.

        • andagain

          And you could raise them further by using the proceeds from a mansion tax. Would you be happy with that trade-off?

          If not, then Labours point holds.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Labour has no point. There is no point to Labour except to provide ungainful employment to a horde of chip-shouldered, bolshy whingers and commies who collectively have seriously damaged this country beyond repair.

            • andagain

              Their point in this case is that you would prefer an income tax on people with low incomes to a property tax on millionaires.

              And that is a perfectly accurate point to make. So I don’t see why you are complaining when they make it. Anyone would think you were embarrased by your own opinions.

              • telemachus

                The wealthy hide income in a thousand ways
                They cannot so easily hide major assets like property and many live off trading these assets in a myriad of ways
                This is why we for fairness need a tax on aggregate assets

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  What you really mean is that you should be able to confiscate all of the assets of people who do not share your political views without right of appeal and redistribute those assets to people who do share your political views. All that talk by Milliband about “rewarding success” is hypocritical because whenever anybody has the temerity to succeed you immediately want to steal what they have legitimately earned and pass it on to the feckless, unproductive and workshy that support the Labour party. You are the party of mediocrity, envy and failure and you only ambition is to ensure the rest of this country ends up in the same Stalinist pit of despair.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Well that would be a stupid conclusion to reach. The mansion tax is not a serious means of raising revenue but a politically appealing device for left-wing parties. Such taxes would raise very little money and would cost a fortune to implement. A mansion tax would necessitate a revaluation of all property values and in order to raise significant revenue, would soon require an additional levy on properties of considerably lower value. This, I suspect, would constitute electoral suicide and doubtless the Labour party knows this. The problem is that naive people like you take this kind of gesture politics seriously because you believe anybody with an expensive house must be iredeemably evil and undeserving while poorer people are unquestionably virtuous and deserving. Finally, the top 1% of earners pay around 29% of all income tax already and they are also the most mobile members of society (ie they can move abroad). Should you decide to milk this group to heavily they will move to pastures new leaving the poor that you profess to care so much about to pick up the difference.

        • andagain

          A mansion tax would necessitate a revaluation of all property values

          It would require a valuation of all properties thought to be worth £2 million or more. That is hardly all properties.

          Now, ask me to trust all your other assertions.

          The problem is that naive people like you take this kind of gesture politics seriously

          I have always voted Tory – how naive do you think I am? In any event, your real problem with me is that I am a cynic – I simply do not believe the Conservative Party when it claims that its oppostion has noble motives.And nor does anybody else. There have been a lot of polls over the years showing that the mere fact that the Conservative Party supports something makes it less popular.

          A year ago the same people who demanded deregulation shouted and screamed blue murder when the government proposed liberalising the planning laws. Now the same people expect me to trust them when they say their oppostion to a mansion tax has nothing to do with the fact that it would cost rich houseowners money.

  • telemachus

    They would not dare amend the Finance Bill
    We will be in office from 2015 so we would not wish to flout convention

    • Colonel Mustard

      “We”? But you told us only recently that you were not a member of the Labour party.

      Are your pants on fire? They deserve to be.

      • telemachus

        I have only once been a party member and that was not Labour
        Sometimes one recognises soulmates

        • Colonel Mustard

          And yet more tripe from the troll.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    How many times do you have to change sides before people lose their trust?

    • telemachus

      Fortunately the LibDems will revert to a Grimond rump after the election and what they do is not of consequence

      • HooksLaw

        Which would mean quite a few conservative seats.

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