Coffee House

Why no conservative should support a mansion tax

18 February 2013

The Government is expected to raise around £550 billion in tax revenue this financial year. The Centre for Policy Studies estimates that a mansion tax (of £20,000 on properties of £2 million), would raise at most £1 billion, less than 0.2 per cent of revenue. The tax is, however, likely to weaken the market and reduce prices – reducing receipts from other taxes; so even the CPS’s static analysis is probably optimistic.

This proposed tax would be a huge burden on those forced to pay. The rate is not 1 per cent of the property’s value. The standard lifetime of a lease on a new build is 125 years, over which time the government will have confiscated 125 per cent of the value of a £2 million property. And there will be people who own a £2 million property, but can’t afford the £20,000 a year fee. It would be an ugly political gesture that forced them to sell their homes.

Janan Ganesh, writing in the Financial Times (£), dismissed this concern by arguing that the tax could be taken when the property is sold. But, on top of a seven per cent rate of Stamp Duty, that would be such a huge burden it would freeze the property market. Would anyone downsize if it meant paying a quarter or more of their property’s value in a single cheque to the exchequer?

He also pointed out that there ‘is also such a thing as equity release’. You borrow to pay the tax and pay it off from your estate when you die. This route has been suggested by many without considering the consequences. Equity release borrowing tends to come at a price of about seven per cent a year. We did the sums for the 2020 Tax Commission and found that could mean an effective inheritance tax rate of 75 per cent, with a threshold of zero.


The moral case for this tax seems to be based on an updated form of the old Marxist separation of earned and unearned income. Income is earned if it is a payment for labour and unearned if it is a return from capital. The idea that capital income is ‘unearned’ is beneath contempt. You earn the returns on an investment by working, delaying gratification and saving. The argument that an inheritance is ‘unearned’ (so that we can take what we like in Inheritance Tax) is just as weak: someone earned the money.

This moral case isn’t quite what Tim Montgomerie (£) and some other advocates of the mansion tax are making. They are basically saying that people got lucky in the London market; they don’t deserve the returns on their investment. But you can apply exactly that logic to anyone who bought Apple shares in the secondary market shortly before they announced the iPod. Maybe an Apple Tax is coming next. On the other hand, commercial landlords and many people who own expensive homes in other parts of the country have lost a lot of money on property recently. Will they get a cheque from HMRC?

If the London property market is “rigged”, stop rigging it. We can actually help first time buyers by doing something about restrictions on building new residential property. Like the limitations on replacing low value commercial space with flats. The mansion tax wouldn’t help them.

It is obviously true, as Tim says, that ‘the job of a pro-free market party should not be unquestioningly to defend the interests of the super-rich.’ That is like me starting this article with ‘the job of a conservative intellectual is not to justify Stalinist Communism’. But there are some things which any party that claims to defend the free market cannot do, and a mansion tax is one of them. It could easily end in a wealth tax. After all, how could you justify someone with ten £1.9 million houses paying nothing and someone with one £2 million property paying £20,000 a year? How could you justify someone with £100 million in other assets paying nothing and someone with a single £2 million family home paying £20,000 a year? The list of such questions is endless. And fiscal drag would mean middle class families paying before too long. Just like inheritance tax, just like income tax.

There are much better ways of helping the poor, and far better ways to ensure that you can only get rich through productive work, not exploiting subsidies and regulations. A mansion tax would be a disaster and contribute to the horrible sense that, once again, Britain is not a country in which it is socially acceptable to get rich. That would be terrible news for all of us.

Matthew Sinclair is Director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Picture from the TaxPayers’ Alliance Flickr feed.

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  • Matthew Rees

    “The idea that capital income is ‘unearned’” is simply a matter of logic (try it sometime). No labour is required to generate that income so clearly it is unearned, i.e. nothing has been done to earn it.

  • Matthew Rees

    This is barbaric. The bedroom tax is going to force hundreds of thousands of the less well off to move to smaller homes yet the TPA thinks if people who live in £2million mansions have to move to pay a little tax that “would be an ugly political gesture.”

  • AuldCurmudgeon

    “It could easily end in a wealth tax. After all, how could you justify
    someone with ten £1.9 million houses paying nothing and someone with one
    £2 million property paying £20,000 a year?”

    How can you justify paying child benefit to two people earning £49,000 and nothing to one parent earning £50,000?

    The iniquity of modern conservatism has already been established by this government. All Miliband is discussing is how far it can be pushed.

  • michael

    How could you envy someone that has become the proud possessor of a two million quid unsaleable liability ? (like a French chateaux)

    -You couldn’t… not until they turn it into a housing estate or a block of flats, fill it with immigrants, and collect extortionate EUman rights rentals, splurged gratuitously by ‘DHSS direct’

    Chelsea, the new Bucharest. Streets adorned with the romance of the nomadic Roma – in transits … Who’ld ‘ve thought it?

  • Youbian

    Well said Mathew.

  • John Smith

    Whether you support the Conservatives, Labour, Lib dems or
    any other party, a new property tax implemented in the correct manner is the
    best thing all Britons, including Londoners. The key point here, is that the
    implementation needs to be fair and sensible.

    The Conservatives’ answer to a “mansion tax” was to increase
    stamp duty rates – a lazy, ill thought measure that has crushed property market
    turnover. George Osborne talks about understanding the aspiration of Britons,
    it seems he understands as much about the matter as he perceives his rivals to
    do so. Those who aspire to move up the property ladder are faced with paying
    anything between 12 to 21% of their home’s value just to move three times.

    Instead, buyers hold out for long term homes, while those
    who may have chosen to move slightly up the property ladder hold off because of
    the stamp duty cost.

    Maximising taxes, is
    about maximising transactions and turnover. Every transaction is taxed.
    When you buy a sandwich from a store, you pay VAT, the company pays corporation
    tax, and its employees pay income tax. Property taxes should and currently
    exist (stamp duty), but they should not discourage property turnover. Discouraging
    property turnover is exactly what the current schedule of stamp duty has done.

    A mansion tax would
    be good for Londoners. In sought after areas like London, the consequences
    are even more disturbing. Sellers are discouraged to move homes due to high
    stamp duty rates, meaning a shortage in supply of homes for sales, while the
    few remaining homes are snapped up by the few who can afford it, pushing prices
    higher. Meanwhile, the majority who cannot buy, are forced to rent, pushing
    rents higher, and ultimately again pushing property prices higher. All the
    while, newspapers again and again complain about the squeezed middle income and
    the unaffordable cost of living in the capital, with the only solution
    seemingly to build new homes in places no one wants to live.

    A sensible suggestion
    would be to slash the current level of stamp duty (a top rate of, say 2.5%), and
    introduce an annual property tax, for homes over a certain threshold (e.g.
    1% for homes over £2m). For most people, this should be a comparable but easier
    tax burden to deal with (rather than the lump sum of stamp duty), but most
    importantly, it poses a much lower tax burden to move home, thus increasing
    property turnover and transactions and ultimately increasing tax revenues. Some
    sort of initial concession for those who have paid stamp duty in full before a
    regime shift can even be made to keep things fair.

    Moreover, non-doms who contribute no income tax, and avoid
    stamp duty will also end up paying taxes. One could even suggest that the levels
    of stamp duties or mansion tax should be higher for non-residents who pay no
    income tax.

    An annual property tax is fair,

    and is implemented by many countries with no fuss what so ever. Don’t forget, if you don’t own a home, and keep your cash in a bank, you pay tax on the interest, and therefore pay tax on your wealth. If you have no cash, but own a home, you currently pay no tax on your wealth.

    Critics of mansion tax argue that the old lady who lives in the family home worth £4mm, but earns no income will not be able to afford mansion tax. It is difficult to deny that this subset of the population may be the most adversely affected by such a tax. However, it is that same sub section that has benefited most from the economic success of the UK over the past 30 years and resulting housing boom that came with it. What contribution are they making now to the UK’s recovery in its worst recession for decades? The old lady who pockets £4mm from selling her home because she cant afford to pay mansion tax, is in a much better position that most of the population. And her cost of moving home will also be reduced with stamp duty slashed as suggested. And of course provisions can be made for those who cannot afford a new property levy to ensure a smooth transition/introduction.

    Other critics cite the resources required in assessing the
    value of homes. Surely in this day and age this cannot be a serious obstacle?
    The government can even make it a self-assessment, and have incentives and penalties to ensure people fairly value their homes.

    In summary, I am not advocating a mansion tax in addition to
    all taxes Britons currently have to pay. I am advocating a system that does not
    discourage property transactions and turnover through a combination of lower Stamp
    Duty and an annual property/mansion tax, resulting in a fairer system for
    homeowners and non-homeowners, and to those who aspire to move up the property
    ladder, whilst hopefully presenting an increasingly difficult tax to dodge for
    those who can afford to take the risk of trying to dodge Stamp Duty.

    If Osborne wants to pull a masterstroke and take back the
    initiative from Miliband, imho here is your solution!

    • Andy

      We already have a Property Tax which is deeply unpopular: it is call Council Tax.

  • John Smith

    the proposed mansion tax is not 1% of a home’s value. it is 1% of the value over £2 million. A £2.1 million pound home would only be subject to £1,000 per annum tax, not 125% of the home value over a 125 year period as mentioned in the article.

  • Daniel Maris

    Typical propaganda from Sinclair and the TPA.

    First off – what sort of citation is it to say “Source OECD” on a graph. If he can’t give a proper citation I suggest we conclude it is as inaccurate as all the other source material they offer up. Without Sinclair putting up more evidence, I’m querying that because my understanding is we have always had low property taxes in the UK.

    Secondly, the moral case for this tax is based on the systematic swindle that people in the upper income levels have been engaged in with the corrupt remuneration committees awarding each other huge above-inflation increases, tax dodging trusts, turning themselves into bogus companies, and salting away company profits overseas. It’s a complete derogation of duty by the rich , and so we must find ways to make them pay. This is a start. We need a more general property tax.

    There are ways in which we can transition to the tax without throwing people out of their homes and on to the streets.

  • andagain

    If the London property market is “rigged”, stop rigging it. We can
    actually help first time buyers by doing something about restrictions on
    building new residential property

    Funny thing: When the government tried to liberalise planning restrictions last year, almost all the objections came from the Conservative press.

  • Charles Hedges

    What has the Taxpayers’ alliance done for the NHS?

  • DWWolds

    My “capital income” is already subject to double tax. It has been taxed as it was earned and, now that I have some savings, the low level of interest on those is taxed again.

  • MichtyMe

    And this is a racist tax. The occupants of these properties are Russian oligarchs, various European mafioso, tax dodging Greeks, Arab despots, miscellaneous third world kleptocrats, crooked American financiers, Latin American drug dealers etc all probably with non dom status. We can’t do this to them.

    • itdoesntaddup

      Correction: those are the only people who will be able to afford the tax. Everyone else will have to sell up and leave Mayfair to that foreign mafia.

  • dalai guevara

    Ah yes – tax on the wealthy is ‘most likely to reduce receipts from other taxes’. So the trickle down agenda continues…is anyone still ‘likely’ to fall for that nonsense?

  • Steve Tierney

    I agree with you 100%. But you’ve missed the slippery slope. Once you’ve established that people can be secondary-taxed because they chose to buy something you don’t approve of the possibilities are endless.

    We’ve already heard the Lib Dems considering sending in inspectors to check your jewellery.

    You think it stops there? The next thing you know you have twice-yearly wealth checks to establish the value of your assets.

    But how do they determine the value of such diverse property and “deter the wealth tax evaders?”

    We’ll have state experts in everything from art, to stamp collections, to comic books, to antiques. If you’re “hiding” your wealth in assets, they’ll need to be found. Got an MP3 collection? Access to your hard drives will be necessary to value it.

    At some point they will realise that some people use their wealth not to buy assets but to have enormous fun. Before you know it they’ll be eyeing the imbalance in fun had enviously and looking for ways to redistribute it and tax it.

  • Tommy Long

    Where exactly does this figure of £60bn for UK property taxes come from?

    • Daniel Maris

      It doesn’t sound right does it? Is it including business taxes?

  • CharlietheChump

    Flat tax.
    That’s all.

  • Grrr8

    Remarkable that in this long elucidation of why a mansion tax is a bad thing, the words “capital gains tax” fail to appear. Here is a trade I’ll offer Mr.Sinclair. No mansion tax; instead cap gains taxes applied to properties worth above £2m.

  • andagain

    It could easily end in a wealth tax.

    Why is it acceptable to tax income but not wealth?

    The purpose of this policy announcement by Labour was to demonstrate that given a choice between taxing the earnings of people on low incomes, or taxing millionaire houseowners, the Conservative will always choose the first option. And they have succeeded.

  • Chris lancashire

    You forgot to add, Mr Sinclair, that this is also the politics of envy. And before this invites another slur from Tyrone Homes, I don’t own a £2m property and can confidently sat I never will. And I don’t envy those who do.
    This noxious idea, exhumed overnight by messers (I use the term advisedly) Miliband and Balls was only in response to Cameron’s PMQ’s jibe. It has so many holes in it it could be named the colander tax.
    No doubt the authors thought it clever politics. It’s stupid economics.

  • HooksLaw

    It would presumably raise less than 1 billion since this is money that would not now be spend and be subject to VAT.
    There is a case for everyone paying their fair share of tax.but taxes themselves but be seen to be fair. The issue here raises the whole validity of property faxes. its not the first time Tim Montgomerie has been found out spouting cobblers.

  • Nick Reid

    People who got lucky with Apple shares pay Capital Gains Tax. Those who got lucky with London property don’t.

    No one has a problem with “unearned” income but why should investing your spare cash in UK businesses attract CGT but investing in your own bricks & mortar be entirely tax free.

    That’s the economic distortion. It means assets are tied up in unproductive assets.

    • Matthew Sinclair

      Both will pay tax when they sell (Stamp Duty or Capital Gains Tax). Compounding the unfairness of Capital Gains Tax (a double tax on business profits) with the unfairness of a mansion tax is a terrible way to approach policy anyway.

      • HooksLaw

        Correct . People forget that stamp duty has gone up. The buyer pays not the seller but the seller has to buy a subsequent property. In any event – this ought to address the issue of rising property prices and ‘speculation’.
        ‘Rich’ people are already ‘paying’ in the sense that IHT is not to be indexed.

        Shares are possibly bought as income in which case the sale is less of an issue, but when bought as a speculation they are taxed on sale. A house is a home. Second houses or homes are subject to tax on sale.
        Share ownership is also part of our pensions industry. Hardly makes it a good idea to make it difficult to buy and sell them.

      • Grrr8

        No you are plain wrong. There is no cap gains tax on primary property. And stamp duty addresses total asset value and not the gain. If anything you should be pushing to eliminate stamp duty and apply cap gains.

    • peter jones

      It’s only tax free as long as it’s your principle place of residence otherwise CGT applies. Perhaps CGT should be charged on all property sales including PPR. Analyse that in terms of the property market.

    • Ben Rogoff

      How can the home I buy (with after-tax income and subject to a 7% stamp duty – also paid with after tax income) and raise my family in be considered an unproductive asset? This is pure politics of envy / soaking the rich, or should I say the London rich…

  • John Moss

    Impose CGT on principal residences, but relieve this at 20%pa after two years, so no tax payable after 7. (Should do that will all CGT)

    • telemachus

      I am unclear why the super rich should be let off after 7 years.
      One of the aims is egalitarian and achievable only if you keep going

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        I know you funny guys at Labour party HQ hate the idea but this country is still a democracy (despite your best efforts) and it is not against the law for individuals to own things. I would love to know what you mean by egalitarianism, presumably everybody must have exactly the same salary, assets etc etc. Not possible on this planet but no doubt your desire to inflict pain, misery and suffering upon anybody who dares to be successful will not stop you guys from trying. By the way successful means: not claiming benefits and not voting Labour.

        • telemachus

          From each according to their abilities
          To each according to their needs
          It beats Tebbit’s sod em

          • Andy

            I propose all those members of the Labour Party and Labour Party Voters are subject to a Special Gordon the Moron Brown Tax levied at 75% on all income.

            All those in favour. . . .

  • Nick Reid

    Well the proposed Mansion Tax is on the value above £2m.

    So no one in a £2m house will pay anything. You’d need a £4m house to pay £20,000.

    Which rather throws most of the sums in your first few paragraphs.

    • John Moss

      IF that is the case – and there is no detail – then that would reduce the tax take even further. So much so it would probably fail to cover its costs.

      • Nick Reid

        You’re probably right. But then makes cost of valuing cheaper as far fewer houses to consider. And it probably means an easy £1bn raised from the seriously rich (and foreign). Bank levy only raises £2bn, but a useful £2bn nonetheless.

        Personally I think details of Mansion Tax make it impractical but in theory it is good to tax property wealth/gains more and work/entrepreneurialism less.

        • HooksLaw

          Property gains are taxed. If your business or speculation is buying and owning more than one home you are taxed on their sale.

        • ButcombeMan

          The easisest and most painless way to raise a susbantial amount of money for the UK Exchequer would be to broaden the VAT base to cover all the currently zero rated items and AT THE SAME time to increase State Pension, other State Benefits and the point at which Income Tax starts. It needs some number crunching to make the impact neutral for anyone on the national average income but it could easily be done..

          • Grrr8

            It’s not an either or. We should do both.

    • Matthew Sinclair

      Read Tim M’s article in the Times, where he explicitly says £20k on £2m. Not that it matters anyway, it doesn’t alter any of the fundamental arguments. Just mitigates the cliff edge and makes the tax even more marginal as a likely source of revenue.

  • Matthew Rees

    The moral case for a Mansion Tax is simple, those who have the most wealth should do more to carry the burden that failed Tory policies have saddled us with. And owning a £2m mansion is a pretty good indicator of high wealth when the average house costs just £160k.

    • Sir Trev Skint MP

      On account that the 14% highest earners in the UK contribute 60% of all tax revenue I would say their shoulders are already well laden.

      • dalai guevara

        No – that entirely depends on how much wealth those 14% (why 14?) own of the total national pie.
        Why not stick to internationally accepted 10/10 or 20/20 rich/poor ratios?

    • John Moss

      Define wealth? If you don’t have the income to pay it, (after other taxes, mortgage payments, travel costs, food, clothing, heating etc), then you have to sell/move.

    • Smithersjones2013

      But value is relative. What is worth £2 million today will not be once the left have destroyed our economy again. So what happens then?

    • ArtificialIntelligence

      As far as I remember, Labour left us with a 12% deficit, plus added 25% to the national debt at a stroke. That is notwithstanding Brown’s increase of the national debt off-balance sheet (PFI) before then. It seems to me that whatever the Tories are doing, they cannot possible match Labour when it comes to wasting public money.

    • HooksLaw

      failed tory policies? What a chump you are. You are extremely gullible if you think we will fall for that one.

    • peter jones

      My £2million house cost £60K, so I should move because I have no ready cash?
      Sounds like confiscation to me

      • Andy

        Thats because it is.

    • CharlietheChump

      Taxes are not “moral”. The rich already contribute 37% of the tax take, that’s enough.

    • Andy

      You mean ‘failed Labour policies have saddled us with’.

      What we should do is bring in a Flat Tax set at 20%. And we should actually look at what the Government does and what it sends OUR money on. We could then quite easily slash a heap of cash from the budget.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      The moral arbiter is, of course, yourself. The top 1% of earners already pay around 28% of all income tax collected which seems like a pretty fair share of the burden. Thus if you, with your moral certitude, decide to tax their properties further than they are presently taxed, these highly successful, highly mobile people may decide to move to a friendlier tax regime. Good riddance, I hear you say but while their tax contributions will no longer be available the bills for welfare etc will keep on rising. The poorer less mobile members of society will thus end up paying even more stretching the gap between rich and poor even wider. You might like to think through the consequences of your simplistic moral superiority before treating the rest of us to you boundless sanctimony.

    • Andy

      Of course Rees YOU will be paying this tax yourself one assumes ? If not what is the morality in demanding a tax secure in the knowledge that you wont yourself be subject to it ????

    • Colonel Mustard

      Well, I’m inclined to be forgiving because you look stupid in that picture too.

    • dalai guevara

      No – there is no moral case for taxing assets per se. What we find is that there is no moral case for taxing work MORE than taxing assets (that have not been *earned*).

      Raise asset taxes or reduce labour taxation – government, it’s over to you.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Watch how those who oppose a “mansion tax” will soon be denounced in emotive and moral terms to implicate and intimidate them. How long it will be before the terms ‘phobes and deniers are brought into use against them. The three main parties will scurry about displaying their “mansion tax” credentials, each one more eager than the next to be seen to punish “the rich” in order to sustain a bloated, wasteful two-tier Napoleonic state here and in Brussels.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Asset taxes are the last refuge of those who are bankrupt of ideas how to positively improve the economy. They are an admission of economic failure because they resort to taxing what has already been taxed. Their proponents like burglars in the night dream of looting people’s houses.

      How are burglars dealt with in society? So it should be with those who propose asset taxes. It is the proponents of such taxes that should be denounced Those who propose asset taxes are idle foul thieving parasites incapable of anything but theft. In tax terms assets taxes are nothing less than theft.

      Its not the opponents in this case that lack moral fibre it is the proponents!

    • dalai guevara

      Yes, Stiglitz has long pointed out that the disproportionate taxing of the wealth of work bears no comparison the the taxing of assets, with the observed outcomes in Anglo-America. Some are more than willing to obfuscate that fact by randomly bringing Brussels into the equation.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Whether you like it or not Brussels is almost always in the equation now. Or perhaps you think the money sent to Brussels is earned rather than taxed by the government?

        • dalai guevara

          Brussels per se has nothing to do with this at all, this much is clear. Whether I believe that the principle of regional development funding or the harmonisation of business environments and opportunity on a European level are a good thing or not are totally irrelevant with regard to the fact that there are an increasing number of assets that are indeed not *earned*.

          The market has one-sidedly supported the growth of one asset with detremental effects on the balance of OUR future society (not that of Germany or Norway), where ever larger sections are excluded from housing themselves adequately, educating themselves or plainly the wealth creation game. Of course it is right to rebalance when these facts become evident. This is not a new strategy – there are many cases in history where asset imbalances (which are ultimately imbalances of power) have been adjusted.

          What I will give you is that taxation is obviously (again) the easy way out. An alternative would be to reduce value/broaden access to/reduce inequalities etc by increasing supply – but that would involve actually laying some bricks, rather than just signing a piece of legislation and *paper pushing* it through. That part, which is the increasing burocratic aspect of our lives is the bit that I would agree with calling into question.

          • Colonel Mustard

            The mansion tax has absolutely nothing to do with the relative growth of the value of the asset or the distortions that has introduced to real value. The proposal is more stratagem than strategy, combining the continuing inventiveness of government thievery with a sense of punitive retaliation against the “rich”.

            The distortion that ought to be of more concern is the increasing size and remit of government(s) and their associated ever rising costs. The correlation seems to be that their uselessness and irksomeness rises proportionately as they grow obese. That is unsustainable but I can understand the attraction if you are dependent upon for it for your champagne socialist lifestyle.

            • dalai guevara

              Interesting, ‘more stratagem than strategy’. Yes indeed – it is a response to ringing alarm bells, not an intrinsic coming out of the ruling right.

              Governments are not increasing in size – my council shrunk by £110m this year alone, and the ominous EU budget -I am sure you will love these facts- is a mere 1% of respective national GDP, with an administrative component of less than 8% of that 1%. Peanuts.

              PS: thanks for asking, but it’s Criollo steak and Rioja Gran Reserva 1994 tonight. After all, it’s all about terroir.

              • Colonel Mustard

                You really shouldn’t conflate budgets and their relative “cuts” (more often just a slight decrease of planned increase) with government size and remit, especially when so much is concealed off book or packed into quangos and fake charities. It is “austerity” only in the sense of the morbidly obese calling a reduction in daily hamburger intake from thirty to twenty-nine a “diet”. Government spending has decreased slightly in 2013 but will rise by 4% to 715 billion in 2014 (compared to 687 billion in 2012). And there is no indication of any limitation in government growth or remit – NCA anyone? Then there are all those high item numbers like the cost of Leveson and various other (mostly socialist demanded) enquiries, initiatives and court cases. Can we afford them? Should we?

                Also for those of you who really believe the twaddle that Gordon Brown was on the road to recovery before his downfall you might pay better attention to his pre-election spending spree that saw real public sector debt as a % of GDP rise from just over 40% in 2007 to over 60% in 2010. This was mostly cynical bribery in the run up to the election and reckless endangerment of the economy, ignoring the impact of the recession to throw even more borrowed money at the public sector. It didn’t result in growth.

                My last sentence was not meant to indicate “you” literally but at least it has winkled out your admission of where you stand.

                • dalai guevara

                  We know the national budgets are rising, and that no permanent gastric band was ever fitted to the quangos, a mere bonfire of phoenixes.
                  However – on a local level, things do look slightly different. Council budgets are coming down – that’s a fact. The Pickles line: ‘we will cut and shift responsibilies, but don’t you dare raise the Concil Tax in return’ loophole discussion highlights exactly what is going on.

                  Their are pressures from TWO sides that we face today. Both the governmental and corporate side are playing hard to protect their respective entities. To demonstrate my point (and remove the party political line from all this), I will move to Ireland and their quarrels with Google. Two years ago, Google retained the upper hand when facing the corporation tax rise discussions with that government. How the situation has moved on since!
                  We are now in the situation that Sandhurst is renamed King Hamal Barracks or something to that extent. Jeez, we are in trouble.

  • Tyrone Homes

    Spoken like someone who has something to lose…

    • ArtificialIntelligence

      My property is worth around £135,000 and I’m totally against wealth taxes like this. I think you’re projecting: Just because you don’t have any principles, it doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t.

      • telemachus

        That’s it then we tax until all properties are down to £135000

        • ArtificialIntelligence

          I’m sure it’ll happen eventually!

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Hilarious, you seem to think that properties have a definitive intrinsic value (look it up in a dictionary) that can be taxed at will. Should you impose a tax upon £2 million + houses they will quickly lose their market value and not be eligible for further taxation. Should somebody be forced to sell their house to pay the tax and the house fetches less than £2 miilion it is presumably not subject to the mansion tax in the first place. A typical Labour/LibDem mess rather than a policy founded in economic reality..

          • telemachus

            The point being that it hastens equality

            • Colonel Mustard

              No such thing. Even in your glorious Soviet Union and other “communist” states equality was a myth. And you don’t really subscribe to it. You don’t treat conservatives equally but abuse them and call them “revanchists”. For you equality is selective.

              • telemachus

                Economic equality
                There may need to be corrective training to prevent slide back to selfish Tebbitism

                • dalai guevara

                  equality is the equality of taxation
                  the rest is none of government’s business.

            • Victor Southern

              By which you mean making all equally poor?

              • telemachus

                No rich in materials but more importantly rich in spirit

          • Daniel Maris

            Yes, no other country on earth has ever successfully introduced a property tax have they?

          • Grrr8

            Somehow, I don’t see the house currently on sale in London for £100M suffering from the problem you describe. Though the broader point that house prices should fall a bit as a result of this tax is correct. And for the broader economy, this is a VERY GOOD THING.

    • Matthew Sinclair

      Nowhere near.

    • peter jones

      Spoken like someone who is indifferent because the case does not apply to him or enjoys a bit of schadenfreude or is an envious git.

    • alabenn

      Spoken like someone who has never worked for his pay, Bungalow Homes.

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