Vince Cable Insists Mansion Tax Remains On The Agenda

Cable: Mansion Tax Is Still On The Agenda

Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has insisted his proposed "mansion tax" is "very much on the agenda".

He said the tax would ensure rich foreigners with property in Britain contributed to the public finances while creating the "right sort of incentives" for the housing market.

Mr Cable originally proposed the annual levy on properties worth more than £2 million when the Lib Dems were in opposition and it was bitterly opposed by many Tories.

"It is good for two reasons. It would constitute a tax on wealth rather than income, which we believe to be right, and also in economic terms it creates the right sort of incentives for the property market."

He added it was "perverse" that wealthy foreigners could buy high-value properties in the UK and contribute just £1,000 a year in council tax towards the public finances.

However other members of the cabinet are on-record as opposing the tax. Communities secretary Eric Pickles told the Telegraph in September that he felt middle class families were already paying enough.

Any mansion tax would require a re-evaluation of all houses in the country, something the coalition has said it's unwilling to do. There have been calls for several years for Britain's housing stock to be re-evaluated for council tax banding purposes, but ministers from successive governments have resisted. Any re-evaluation would lead to millions of people receiving higher council tax bills, despite a cooling off of house prices in the past three years.


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