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Lib Dems lead on fairer tax - others just follow

October 10, 2014 3:25 PM
By Greg Stone
An easier way to implement a fairer tax - Liberal Democrats show how a "mansion tax" in the form of "super council tax" on the richest 55,000 people would work.
At the Liberal Democrat conference in 2012, party members agreed to help achieve fairer taxation by adopting a "mansion tax" - an increased tax on residential properties valued at over £2m: ""an annual mansion tax on the excess value of residential properties over £2 million as a first step towards wealth taxation designed to reduce inequality"
At this year's conference in Glasgow, the Liberal Democrat leadership suggested the most practical way of implementing this would be to introduce new upper rate "super council tax" brackets, for example for properties worth more than £2m, more than £5m, and more than £10m. Such a change would be unlikely to hit more than a handful of North East properties, but would have a big impact in London and the South East.
Labour have belatedly caught up with Lib Dem thinking and announced they would copy the idea at their conference - only to be met with significant opposition from London Labour MPs who fear this will hit millionaire celebrity Labour supporters and donors in places like Hampstead and Islington! Now even Old Labour North East class warrior Ronnie Campbell is opposing Labour's proposal and calling on his leadership to follow the Lib Dem approach instead!
Meanwhile, at the Conservative party conference David Cameron had the cheek to announce his support for the Lib Dems' proposal to increase the starting tax threshold to £12,500 - something he had previously claimed was undeliverable - whilst also offering tax cuts for those paying the higher 40% rate .
Newcastle Lib Dem spokesman Greg Stone comments:
"Labour appear to have belatedly jumped on the mansion tax bandwagon but have not yet published any details of how they would make this work and how they would close loopholes like transferring ownership of properties offshore. It is striking that several senior Labour MPs now seem to be getting cold feet about the mansion tax, as their wealthy donors and celebrity supporters will be hit. Meanwhile the Conservatives have tried to copy the popular Lib Dem policy of taking the lowest paid out of tax, but still want to give even bigger giveaways to people on higher tax bands and are opposing the mansion tax altogether.