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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Johnson’s Mansion Tax: angry Tories hit out at ‘socialism lite’

Conservatives have been lining up to criticise a mansion tax which may be introduced on expensive homes to fund infrastructure improvements in the north of England. 

The idea was floated last week in both the Treasury and 10 Downing Street, with two separate sources telling the Sunday Telegraph that the idea was being considered by Chancellor Sajid Javid and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The concept of a mansion tax was previously floated by former Labour leader Ed Miliband - at the time it was stridently criticised by Conservatives, including Boris Johnson.

Now there has been strong criticism from new Conservative MPs of their own government contemplating such a measure.

Former Westminster council leader Nickie Aiken, now MP for Cities of London and Westminster, told BBC radio: “I was anti the mansion tax and I shall remain anti the mansion tax.”

And Siobhan Baillie, new Tory member for Stroud, told BBC TV: “I campaigned against a mansion tax when Ed Miliband was running with that when I was a councillor many years ago…We want to honour our pledges on taxes. I’m a low tax Tory.”

Also on BBC TV, Darren Grimes - a key figure at the right-wing think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs - said British property taxes were already some of the highest in the western world.

“You’ve got stamp duty, you’ve got inheritance tax, you’ve got council tax. People are taxed incredibly highly at the minute … this [mansion tax] would be sending a message that our economy is not low tax and open for business” said Grimes, who claimed that if voters rejected such policies from Labour in recent General Elections, they would not want “socialism lite” from the new government.

And the Bruges Group, a loose grouping of anti-EU right-wingers, tweeted: “Had we wanted Labour we’d have voted for Corbyn. The grassroots are furious and rightly so. Sort it out Boris.”

Yesterday the Daily Telegraph repeated its claim from the previous day, insisting that Sajid Javid was “weighing up” a recurring wealth tax on the owners of expensive homes. 

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Let me see, the creation of an annual tax on wealthy and not so wealthy people who find themselves the owner of properties with a large price tag. Is that a conservative vote winner? or does it sound like an election loser.

    Given that the idea was dreamed up over a decade ago by of all people Vince Cable, I am in wonderment why it is rearing its head once more.

    Tinkering with stamp duty, taxation on property can seem a great idea, but as I have seen first hand it can have seismic consequences. In 1988, Nigel Lawson said it would be a good idea to limit mortgage relief at source but gave advance warning. This caused everyone in the UK to pair up and buy property, massive house inflation, and a nuclear winter - property market for many years after. I was actually in agency at the time, and remember it took over a decade for the market to come back.

    More recently, we had the introduction of additional stamp duty for buyers, purchasing second or more properties, result - another bun fight to buy before the tax change - then a slower market.

    Annually the property industry in the UK is worth collectively 6.5BN, and the chancellor collects around 16BN, before changing things consult the UK real estate industry first.

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