Tuesday, 7 October 2014

On the Mansion Tax - Londoners support but estate agents and Tories don't

Proposals for a new Mansion Tax start to address the unfairness of property taxes in this country, but we need to see the detail.

Property taxation in the UK is outdated and arbitrary: Council Tax bands are set by Whitehall and reflect prices set in 1991 but they can't change without a wholesale revaluation, a massive exercise which SW1 politicians bottle.  

The current system does not take into account the huge hike in values enjoyed by many homeowners and recent property investors.  

No one yet knows the full detail of the proposals, like at what point the tax will be paid, but there should be consideration for those likely to be cash poor and asset rich, like some pensioners.

But reducing the deficit or paying for public services should be a duty for everyone, not just low and middle earners.   

The majority of Londoners support the Mansion Tax but estate agents Knight Frank, (who presumably profit more from the international market in London than any increase in sales a Mansion Tax would bring in terms of commission) don't and neither do the Tories (although according to the Yougov poll, their support is split).

In the past Camden Labour has argued that any Mansion Tax should be used to support council house building in the areas it is raised from.  We've proposed that Stamp Duty should also be spent locally for new homes:  this is opposed by the government, as too is our increase in Council Tax on furnished homes left empty by speculators.

Due to the high costs associated with the top-down re-organisation of the NHS and rising waiting times we understand why hospitals needs more funding, but in line with the principles set out by the recent devolution debate it's fair that should be a link between money raised in Camden and money spent on local services.

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