Features

I don’t want to be a mansion tax migrant

The super-rich can shrug off Labour’s big tax idea. People like me will be forced out

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

This election will see me up all night until the last results are in. It will have me knocking on doors, handing out leaflets and driving old ladies to the polling stations. All this is a first for me — and for the many others I find myself doing it with. Why does this election galvanise like no other? One issue has made it up close and personal — Labour’s mansion tax. As one neighbour canvassing with me yesterday remarked, ‘It is landing us in the shit.’

We are all of a certain age. We range from the comfortably off to the quite poor. We have lived in our houses a long time and now we find our homes under threat.

A new Labour government will hold a budget in June and send out mansion tax demands shortly after. Houses valued between £2 million and £3 million will pay £3,000 a year. Over that is anyone’s guess. Shout, a campaign to stop the mansion tax, estimates the average at £12,000 a year. Last week a report for the Centre for Policy Studies put the likely tax rate at 1 per cent of value. In many roads in my area that is £50,000 a year and counting.

If you have to stay in London, selling up is not the obvious answer. Increased competition for houses under the mansion tax threshold is already pushing up prices. Shout estimates 100,000 homes could tip over that £2 million edge within the year. You go through all the trouble of downsizing only to find your modest flat has also has become a ‘mansion’. But I do not want to downsize. I do not want millions in the bank. I just want to stay in my home.


Then there is the whole question of value. This is a tax on pie in the sky. The only value a house has is how much someone will pay for it. If values go down, will owners get a rebate? If values increase, who is going to judge how and when new houses move into the tax? I and my fellow canvassers would fall on our knees in gratitude if our houses were suddenly valued at little more than we paid for them. Increased value has not translated into happiness or wealth. On the contrary, it has brought nothing but trouble.

It is also going to store up trouble for our children. One third of ‘mansions’ belong to pensioners and have been in the same hands for ten years or longer. Miliband promises that those on an income of £42,000 or less can roll over the tax until they sell or die. Some comfort. This leaves our children to pay 40 per cent inheritance tax on the house together with 20-odd years of mansion tax. Maybe we should just hand over the deeds to our homes here and now to the Treasury and be done with it.

And what kind of crazy incentive does this £42,000 cut-off create? If you earn £42,001, you are suddenly expected to find £30,000, £40,000, £50,000 in mansion tax? Out of taxed income? In fact it is not worthwhile earning unless your income jumps from £42,000 to a stratospheric £150,000. That, after paying income tax and a Mansion Tax of £50,000, leaves you with an income of roughly £40,000 a year again. We literally would not be able to afford to make money. And we certainly would not be able to spend it. That will add up, says Adam Memon, head of economic research at the Centre For Policy Studies, to less income tax, less VAT and less inheritance tax for the Treasury.

At a stroke the mansion tax makes us tenants of the state. The government, my new landlord, can jerk me around at will. He can raise the ‘rent’ and I will have no redress. Miliband declared last week that he will force private landlords to cap rents. Will mansion tax payers receive the same assurances and protection from the government?

I rail at the unfairness. For example, one woman friend will be liable for the mansion tax but her ex-husband, a landlord with ten flats, escapes because not one of them is valued at over £2 million.

And please do not press my emotional buttons about the NHS. I spent a year investigating the NHS for a think-tank report. I know what it needs to improve — a sum of money that will keep it going for just four days is not one of them.

But the thing that makes me most angry is that this does not address the scandal of the London property market and the lack of homes for my children’s generation. London has turned into an investment playground for the world’s super-rich. Why have we let this happen? Why, like other countries, are we not rationing how much property foreigners can own or charging them dearly for the privilege of doing so? When I am forced out, I will not be freeing up a much-needed home for a struggling young family. The last English people to buy a house in my road were my ex-husband and me in 1987. Only someone who does not pay UK income tax can afford London property now. The new owner of my home will be foreign and largely absent, the favourite concubine, perhaps, of an Azerbaijani warlord looking to invest for her old age. Lucky woman. I wish I could do the same.

el

Harriet Sergeant is a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies and author of Among the Hoods: My Year with a Teenage Gang.

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Show comments
  • davidshort10

    If the mansion tax brings down the price of London houses, it will be a good thing.

    • freethinker14

      So you think a negative equity bubble will be a good thing. Did it occur to you that if house prices drop, many people will not be able to afford to sell which will reduce available housing stock even more? The last thing we need is for prices to drop. We need more houses and prices to remain constant so that the redress is through inflation and the current investment for capital gain falls away. This will provide the housing needed. A house price fall will trigger a recession as people will stop spending and concentrate on paying down mortgages.

      • davidshort10

        London house prices must come down. There should also be rent controls. The better type of Tory would agree. There will be no inflation in the near to medium future because interest rates will remain low, the reason being that governments control interest rates and they are large debtors.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Harriet is far from being the better type of Tory, she is one of Paul Dacres evil empire. Grossly smug and indifferent to society at large. Snobs.

          • Al

            …and you would be delighted if you were in her position to give your house to the state would you. Hypocrites. Rather Margaret Hodge of you, if you don’t mind me saying so…

          • Alex

            No, to give £3,000 on unearned, admittedly notional income of £100,000 (low-balling that) from the annual price rise of a £2m home.

            Rich property owners, and their cheerleaders, are the biggest penny-pinchers around, it seems. And also the biggest whingers – give your house to the state, indeed. Grow up.

          • Al

            Properties over £3m will be in the £40,000-£50,000 tax bracket. Over 30 years a bright young man such as yourself Alex might pay £1.5 million on a property worth £3,000,100. Your children would then have to pay 40% of the 3,000,000 in inheritance tax. I’ll add it up to make it easier for you – an additional £1.2million which leaves just 300,000 left. If you lived another 7 years you would die with money owing to the state. You think properties are going to go up 100,000 a year after this tax? You really are daft as a brush.

          • Alex

            Where is your source that states properties over £3m (not that that was what I was talking about) will be charged £50,000 a year?

            “The Labour Party has already proposed its own mansion tax, which would
            see properties valued between £2 million and £3 million paying £250 a
            month or £3,000 a year. The party is yet to set out details of higher
            bands.” Telegraph, 12 April 2015.

            So it would appear this has just been dreamt up out of your head. In any case, even if it were true, I’d just move to the property next door worth 2,999,900.

            Any idiot can avoid inheritance tax: just move out of London when you retire, buy two houses in the countryside and transfer them to your kids. Capital gains at 18/28% on the difference between purchase price and value (which may be small given this is the regions). You have also misunderstood the seven-year liability period: it’s if you die WITHIN seven years that inheritance tax is due.

            You have also assumed in reaching your eventual figure of £300,000 the value of this Central London mansion will never rise in thirty years, when as I have said a conservative estimate would be £150,000 unearned income a year from rising prices. And if prices crash, why, the place will be back down under the mansion tax band!

            Whinge, whinge, whinge, whinge and some of the most facile accounting I have ever seen, I hope this isn’t how you make investment decisions in this business you supposedly run.

            But of course in Toryland the great and the good among us are entitled to point and live wherever they want in London, it’s only the poor that get shipped out to job deserts like Stoke for the crime of not being paid enough to afford soaring rents. Rich people shouldn’t even have to get off their arses to avoid tax it seems!

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            No. The average will be 1% of value or £12,000 pa, so £360,000 over 30 years while the house value quadruples

          • Verbatim

            The feral Abacus strikes again.

          • Verbatim

            “Better type of Tory”? Bigger-headed Hydra. What’s with the compliments?

        • Caractacus

          Rent controls are more destructive than atom bombs. Please go away and educate yourself.

  • Always_Worth_Saying

    Build an extra kitchen. Call it two properties each worth less than two million pounds. That’s what Ed Milliband has done. You will have to pay two council taxes.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      A Daily Mail journalist from the Centre for Policy studies thinks its unfair!
      What is unfair is a random quirk of location landing Harriet with a massive windfall and a house worth as much as 40 houses in Burnley or 10 houses in Bristol.
      It is unseemly to bleat about an annual bill of £3,000 on a £3 million house, which will conservatively increase in value by £150,000 per year. As for those paying the £12,000 they are in homes worth well over £10 million.
      On her own figures two thirds of these uber rich have only been in their homes for 9 years or less, why shouldn’t they share the massive gains with the rest, who form the infrastructure that allows this gross inequality?
      Labour will allow those with cash flow issues to roll the modest debt up. Over 20 years the £3 million home will double in value amost twice, to about £10 million. At which point about a third will be exempt from IHT, the rest subject to the 40% tax….so actually £2.7 million plus 20 lots of £12k, the hard done by inheritors only get to share £7 million. The mansion tax represents only £240k of an equity enhancement of £7 million, or 3%. Meanwhile the little old lady gets to live in a house that is far too big for her, while grumbling for 20 years about a small redistribution of her location windfall and her heirs being robbed blind by the unworthy masses.

      • Des Demona

        Yes but ….but …. it’s just soooooooo unfair.
        Instead, why don’t they tax people living in council properties who have an extra room and if they can’t stump up they get evicted?
        Oh wait a minute….

        • Al

          Bu66er off back to the New statesman website.

          • Alex

            Little too close to the truth for you?

          • Al

            This IS close to the truth. You, Bazza and Yvonne didn’t / couldn’t buy a house and you don’t like it that some people did and have benefitted from price rises. The most disastrous leader this country has seen since Callaghan stepped into office is about to be handed the keys to no. 10 Downing Street and he has pledged to redistribute wealth from those people who had a house to those who did not. (You). You are as selfish as the people you loathe because they happen to be wealthy. As I said, touch of the Margaret Hodges about you

            Missing you already.

          • Alex

            I will have the income to buy a house, certainly in the regions. Now, I know this is a tough thing for you right-wingers to wrap your heads around, but I am not particularly interested in the country being governed in the interests of my bank account, and certainly not the bank accounts of the flushest people in the country. I would far rather it were governed for the benefit of the majority of people. Better economy, social mobility, productivity, growth, happiness, aspiration, the list goes on. Crazy what redistribution of wealth can achieve.

            And “happen” to be wealthy? “Have benefited from price rises?” There was I thinking wealthy people were supposed to be harder workers, smarter, more innovative than the rest of us. Turns out they’re all just a bunch of chancers. No wonder they’re insecure about being taxed, people might realise they’re not gods.

            You’re obviously trying to get middle-class provincial Tory voters and outer Londoners to fear this mansion tax proposal. It’s so obvious, with the way your post equates taxing those with £2m+ houses with taxing all home-owners.

          • Al

            One point we agree on, despite us not getting on very well on our first online meeting, Margaret. Social mobility is very important. You’ve got a bit of time on your hands. Spend it looking at how to make everyone equal in opportunity given their abilities and skills. Wealth equality is not as important as equal opportunity to succeed in life. When Miliband bleats on about inequality in wealth the conservatives should counter that it is equal opportunities that is more important. That is something the Conservatives should be espousing and to their shame they are not.

          • Alex

            Certainly, the thing is in a rentier economy opportunities are ever more skewed because all the wealth concentrates with the rentiers. Surely you’re not going to suggest we have more social mobility now than during the post-war consensus, with its unabashed commitment to high taxes, social spending, wealth redistribution? With respect, if you’re as old as I suspect you are, your generation benefited from that, and you all think you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps.

            You misunderstand the mainstream left in this country. I don’t really give a fig if someone is richer than someone else, certainly not if they/their families have become rich through innovation and hard work (though this is increasingly impossible). What I object to is when people are locked out of the sorts of systems that allow people to become rich. Surely you can see how the more an economy is based on rent-seeking, and widening divides based on ownership status, such as business owner/manager/worker, homeowner/mortgage/renter, the more it reduces equal opportunities for normal people. And it is precisely this that I associate heavily with the Conservatives, who seem only interested in protecting the rental incomes of the asset-wealthy.

            The problem is these sorts of systemic explanations don’t cut through to people particularly easily, which is why wealth inequality is seized upon. It’s populist and easy to understand. But nobody actually believes you can just magically pass a law to transfer wealth – and that’s why as I say I’m not actually all that keen on the mansion tax. But as a young professional what I am very keen on when it comes to the London market is proper supply-side measures and prioritising local people over rich investors. Both things the Tories are deliberately doing the opposite of and both things Labour at least have some ideas about that point in the right direction.

          • alexw

            Brilliant post. Sadly individuals such as you are posting in reply to are determined to not understand. They will not aknowledge the reality of the rentier economic system the UK has created. They have much too much to lose by doing so.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Britain now has less social mobility than 500 years ago,thanks Tories.

          • Verbatim

            You’re welcome. Anytime. Or, as the Germans say, “bitte”.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            Is Margaret Hodge the Labour MP who complained about secretive tax avoidance schemes and then got a £1.5m dividend from Lichtenstein, a tax haven?

          • Al

            Yes I think that was the same Margaret Hodge. To be fair to her though, and trying to stick to the facts, the scheme hadn’t always been in Lichtenstein. It had operated out of Panama before Lichtenstein.

            Panama has long been hailed as a paragon of open and transparent regulations with regards to money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance.

            I think Stemcor, the company in question is about to go into administration having overstretched itself just before the Iron Ore rout in 2012. Ho hum

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            It is Yvon ,I am male.

          • Verbatim

            No, you’re a hemaphroditic Hydra.

          • Mary Jackson

            So glad you admit that Labour are going to win the Election, Tell you’re mate Dave to start packing his bags,

          • Al

            My dear Mary, Dave will be on his way shortly. Young Edward will enjoy the trappings of power so much it would be a shame to disappoint. But if I were him i wouldn’t unpack. He may not be there very long. Not sure if the English want to be governed by a party reliant on SNP.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            6i6antic 6it

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          That is right Des. The poor bleat on about needing a spare room for when their relatives or friends visit. The poor expect people who only have a million or two to give up £10,000 or even £20,000 and all they do is plead for enough space to store belongings or dry their clothes.The poor have a flipping cheek. When we let them live in little damp flats up high rised buildings for nothing more then £190 a week. Do they want the moon on a stick? How will Harriet afford her foie gras or her champers? it is an outrage. She may have to consider moving to a massive barn conversion in the Cotswolds just to make ends meet.

      • Stop the Mansion Tax

        The logical extension of what you are saying is that if your house increases in value to a certain level where its taxable value exceeds your ability to pay that tax, you have to sell it and move out. In other words, if your house increases in value, it reaches a point where the state dictates that you are no longer entitled to keep it. This is clearly an injustice in a free market free society. These are very important principles around an individual’s right to own something. You seem happy to cast them aside.

        • Alex

          Well, put it this way, if you’re going to be that tight-fisted about your £3,000 bill I’ll pay it for you. It’s hardly going to ruin anyone or drive anyone out of their house, though I do agree the threshold of £42,000 is probably a bit low. Mind you, presumably you’re happy when similar sums are being charged to modestly paid TENANTS as council tax – as well as when 50,000 of London’s low paid workers are shipped out to Stoke for the dual crime of not owning their house and not getting pay rises high enough to keep up with the soaring costs of their rent.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Yes, move out. If somehow despite owning a £3million house you cannot find £3,000, leave.Because you won’t be able to afford to maintain it either.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            Your £3k £3m assertion is not correct. Between £2m and £3m the cost is likely to be about £3k or £5k pre-tax. On houses over £3m the suggested Mansion Tax is about £16,000, post tax income, around £24,000 pre-tax income. It’s taxed once before you can use it to pay another tax.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            The article says the average will be £12,000. Please explain how house equity appreciation has already been taxed?

          • Verbatim

            Everything, just everything you say shows why you’re such a loser.

      • Verbatim

        Go back into your cave, Hydra.

  • freethinker14

    A mansion tax is yet another tax of envy – it’s not fair, has not been thought through, and will unfairly penalise the middle classes who were lucky enough to buy a home before house prices shot up.

    • davidshort10

      It’s not envy. It’s a tax. And ‘fair’ is for children. It may be unfair for people who were lucky but fair for those that are not. I don’t want to live in a country where we have to look after the ‘middle classes’ above all else. England will see riots much worse than seven years ago. People can take only so much. The haves should not prosper at the expense of the have nots. If you believe in fairness, that is…..

      • commenteer

        If you want to be a have, start a business and take on all the worry, responsibility, hard work and insecurity involved. You’ll soon change your tune.

        • sarah_13

          Why would he it’s easier being angry after all you don’t have to think when you’re angry.

          • Caractacus

            Former Punk Jackie Leven:
            “It took me fifty long years, just to work out
            Just because I was angry, didn’t mean I was right.”

            Socialists, Leftists, Greens, Students, Anarchists, Russell Brand and other associated idiots need to be beaten over the head with that lyric until they get it.

          • davidshort10

            Jackie was a good friend of mine. One of the best and gentlest people I have ever met and taken too soon. He wouldn’t want his lyrics to be misused like this.

          • Catherine Allinson

            Go on – how were they misused please?

          • Verbatim

            Phooey.

          • sarah_13

            Yes, a friend of us all.

          • Verbatim

            But they’ll never get it, they want you to GIVE it!

          • sarah_13

            Brilliant lyric and so true.

        • davidshort10

          Yep, the average person on the street should just march into an estate agent, rent an office building, hire staff and get on and start a business. From scratch. Easy.

          • Al

            I did. I employ 540 people now. No university career needed. Stope whingeing, get off your arse and make a difference

          • Alex

            And you think the 540 people you employ could just go off and set up 540 businesses themselves and magically become wealthy?

            For a big shot businessman you don’t seem to have much grasp of markets, numbers or basic logic…

          • Al

            A bit more than you thankfully. You might have a friendlier audience at the New Statesman website. Why don’t you make soft lefties happy over there with your cries of ‘It’s unfair’. Grow a backbone.

          • Alex

            Go ahead, make my day. Try to answer my questions.

          • Verbatim

            And the nature of your questions reveals precisely why you are trapped where you are on the social and economic strata.

          • Alex

            Where would that be, do you suppose? It has nothing to do with me or any individual person, I don’t understand why this is so hard for you lot to understand. This is about the whole of society. Of course individuals can go and set up a business, but the point is every individual who does so will need to rely on the graft of 540 people to make them money.

          • Verbatim

            Stupid, ignorant and ultimately completely self-defeating attitude. It doesn’t deserve a further comment, except that you’re a loser.

          • Alex

            Again, it’s nothing to do with myself. As I said, I know that’s a strange concept for a right-winger, but if you give it some thought I’m sure you’ll be able to get your head round it.

          • Verbatim

            I’ll bet it has everything to do with yourself. Business people make profits (NOW THAT IS DISGUSTING, MAKING PROFITS) off the backs of “the workers”? Straight out of the soviet politburo handbook. See how well that system worked before you go any further. By now you’ll have both fingers in your ears.

            Confucius say ‘when in big hole stop digging’.

          • Alex

            I hold out a forlorn hope for a right-winger who can engage thoughtfully with content like this without resorting to squawking about the Soviets, Cuba, North Korea. I manage not to mention, say, Pinochet.

            Profit is immoral insofar as it is earned through coercion. That can be coercion of customers, suppliers or workers. Profit is just reward insofar as it is earned through innovation or productivity (i.e. work).

          • Verbatim

            Yes, undoubtedly it would be forlorn trying to airbrush your communist mates out the equation. Good luck with it altogether. But you really must stop regurgitating their dangerous cant if you want to be rid of it. Obviously, poor dear, you’re just too thick to understand that capitalism has brought progress. That or you’re just too young and haven’t yet sloughed off the propaganda heard by your aggrieved parents or some under-appreciated university academics.

          • Alex

            Still not sure why you think communism has any relevance to the discussion. Of course capitalism has brought progress. But what we are discussing here is not innovation and productivity. It’s people sitting on houses making loads of money by exerting political pressure to restrict supply – and then whinging about being taxed a few thousand on it.

            Providing for those who need it and providing the conditions whereby a new generation of people can own homes is not communism.

          • Verbatim

            You don’t get it!!! The “new” rich are the middle class – the bar has been lowered on who is “rich” now and that’s the problem. Meanwhile, the ultra rich get away with paying little or no tax and the rest falls on the middle class re-badged as rich. You don’t get it and that’s your problem. Besides, nobody has an obligation to provide you with a free lunch. Get off your backside and make a success of your life. I lived in a horse stable of biblical proportions for the first 3 years of my business, and with a camping toilet and 2 kids and 1 on the way. Our friends thought we were mad; they were in flash houses and having holidays and we worked 24/7. That’s not rich, buddy, it’s bloody hard work which you and your kind know bugger all about. Bugger all.

            And now my friends who felt sorry for us now have far less money than we do. And I don’t appreciate the fact my husband worked himself into old age only to be told he owes bludgers a living. Now, get a life and find out what doing it tough really is all about. And there’ll be huge benefits to your self-esteem which cannot be much now that all you do is whine and begrudge people their success.

            I feel sorry for you.

          • Alex

            Again, that rant has no relevance to the discussion. Working hard can make you as rich as someone whose wealth is unearned (unworked-for), but it has always required luck and it’s increasingly difficult. It is fairly uncontroversial to state that social classes/earning potential are more rigid for my generation, unlike for yours.

            Earning potential is based on ownership of property and the means of production. You have business owners and those who own their homes outright at the top, managers paying mortgages in the middle and workers renting at the bottom.

            It is not based on work, because we don’t have the sort of economy that rewards work so much as it does property ownership. In today’s world, you would not turn out richer than your friends, not if they grabbed a property before the boom or inherited it. They would get the holidays, the time, the fun, the wealth and you would work your lives away for nothing.

            Your rant proves my point: capitalism is good when it results in either innovation or productivity, and the profits you made are the reward for that. But that has absolutely nothing to do with bad capitalism, which is embodied by people sitting on property with ever rising value so there is no supply for the next generation of young workers, managers and business owners. If we cannot hope to own a home, we will not be motivated to work. End of.

            The whinging about owning “bludgers” a living truly is pathetic – particularly, but not only, when it’s unearned income being taxed rather than productive income.

            I feel sorry for you, grasping and holding tight to your money as you are, sneering at those in need and bitching online about tax. Maybe you should take a holiday 😉

          • Verbatim

            Your attitude is the very reason you’re not successful and haven’t ‘made it’. Easy to see. The very reason you’re in the doldrums is because your mentality keeps you there. This is the real reason people in the affluent west are poor; their own thinking, or lack thereof, is significantly part of the reason.

            You speak of capitalist property owners as though they weren’t ordinary hard working people. One thing to remember; my generation didn’t have ‘toys’ they wanted and wanted now; cars, computers, iPhones, iPads, payTV. We went without EVERYTHING so we could buy property and, in my case, 30km from the city centre. Almost all the young people I know today wanting to enter that market want and, indeed feel entitled, to live within 10km radius of the city centre. I.e. the most expensive part. So, you’ve got absolutely bugger all idea what you’re talking about.

            What a bitter and twisted old person you seem to be. It’s the sense of entitlement which is on display here. The Emperor has no clothes.

          • Alex

            “We went without EVERYTHING so we could buy property and, in my case,
            30km from the city centre. Almost all the young people I know today
            wanting to enter that market want and, indeed feel entitled, to live
            within 10km radius of the city centre”

            If that’s true (something tells me it might just be bigotry), that’s because we know the stakes are higher: anything else is a recipe for misery and stagnation. We’re going into a have and have not economy and if you’re a have not you might as well not bother at all. Work just doesn’t pay. For those who feel they have no chance of ever buying a house, as price rises outstrip wages year after year after year, it’s not even WORTH saving your pennies, because they’ll never even be enough to buy anything with. I worry daily, if not hourly, about getting a place to live, but I wouldn’t worry about the comparatively tiny sums needed to pay for a phone. Ten 300 quid contracts over 20 years is probably less than the average YEARLY interest, even at these low rates, over the same period on your mortgage.

            And if you must know, I’m on the cheapest mobile tariff, built a computer which will still be better than off the shelf in 10 years, my iPod was second-hand for 20 quid, and I have no interest in all these tablets.

            Nowadays there is less regulation and mechanisms stopping the “wealth creators” (wealth vacuums) who own the means of production from keeping all the money. It was only tax and spend socialism that allowed your generation to buy houses and create viable small businesses from scratch.

            The argument about computers and iPhones is first-grade bollocks, you’re showing yourself up there as a caricature of a crabby old person. Technology has progressed thanks to a genuinely free market, because it’s not a need but a want. That’s good capitalism. But in a world where everything we need is already there, the only real way to make profit is to get your hands on an essential good and drive up the price by coercion, collusion, restricting supply. Hence we get rising house prices, rising energy bills and so on. We may have toys – which you can buy as well if you want! – but we don’t have the essentials.

            What we really need to do is stop targeting growth for its own sake, then the government won’t encourage that sort of behaviour. It’s either that or wait for the economy to impose zero growth on us itself, like in Japan. Really it is best to get all these essentials back under state control and thus diminish the importance of the profit motive, rather than have them frozen under corporate control forever.

            I would say my age is the main reason I haven’t “made it” – whatever that means. In any case, if I am LUCKY (not hard-working, that’s just not how it works…) enough to make it, I will never take on your sort of grasping, jealous politics. Entitlement is sneering at young people who can’t afford a house due to lack of supply while not only defending your right to unearned income of £100-150k on a £2-3m mansion, but also whinging about having to pay a few thousand tax on those gains.

          • Verbatim

            Now you’re just a sad individual. I won’t bother dignifying your comments with a reply.

          • spiritof78

            Yes it’s the distinction between everyone being able to win the race, and not ALL runners being able to win the race at the same time.

          • mohdanga

            Are the workers forced to work there? What if he never started the business, these workers would have to work somewhere else (presumably exploited because all businesses do that). Maybe a gov’t job or one in academia could be the norm for everyone.

          • Alex

            Another of the workers would then fill the gap he created. The important thing is not that some people run the business and others work, it’s that there is the potential for churn.

            If an undue proportion of his advantages are passed on to his children (i.e. they are unearned wealthy), that stokes up inequality in the following generation: the children of the former workers are with each generation less able to succeed.

            As wealth and power is sucked up to the top, you get among other things a population increasingly less able to pay for the things businesses produce – capitalism always eats itself in the end and we have to have a generation of socialism to keep it going. But you can iron out the peaks and troughs by having a system of taxation, regulation and subsidy that targets the right people in the right proportions.

          • sarah_13

            Yes mate, you can. But it won’t happen over night, nor should you expect it to. You’ll need to put in a DISPROPORTIONATE amount of graft. But again you suffer from the same delusion as David you think OTHER people have it easier than you. They don’t. It’s tough for all of us, it’s called life. And given that we live in one of the freeest countries in the world, with a heritage of liberalism and freedom on contract you should thank your lucky stars everyday that we don’t live in a Natalie Bennet utopia where the green party decide to slap people with random ‘wealth taxes’ based on what THEY decide is moral.

          • Alex

            I’m sure I could, but who cares about me? It’s got nothing to do with individuals. Point is it’s impossible for all 540 of those people to set up 540 businesses of their own earning similar money. That’s not political or ideological, that’s just logic.

          • moretruthplease

            it makes sense that the people who work for entrepreneurs can afford a decent life [assuming the work created is not commodity]. If the work is skilled then they should earn enough money to live without resentment – and indeed they would if they were not having the wool pulled over their eyes by media and the globalisation phenomena.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Please explain how you just started a business. Who helped,or are you just an entrepreneurial genius? If so , share the secrets.

          • Verbatim

            Again, your line of questioning reveals why you don’t have a business and are never likely to do so. It’s only a “secret” for those without a brain and five cents worth of initiative.

          • convincing

            I can explain. Get made redundant , take your redundancy money and start a business doing whatever it is you do best. Work 50,60 or sometimes 70 hours a week taking home less money than those you employ. After about 5 years things will improve , you expand and make some money. Keep expanding until you get made a nice buy out offer and retire at 57. Worked for me, now you have a go if you think your tough enough.

          • davidshort10

            I don’t have to do that, you silly sod. I did not whinge. I am quite OK on the money front and know how unhappy mid-range, middle-class people like you are .

          • moretruthplease

            is your business at the expense of another business ? – or a tech thingy as they call them which are nasty internet middleman companies that extract money ? Or something that adds no real contribution to the overall economy. ?
            This needs debating.

          • Al

            “Is your business at the expense of another business?” All businesses operate in a competitive market place. So yes I suppose if we succeed it is at the expense of other businesses who charge more for the service. The customer is normally the beneficiary of competition.

            “Is it a tech thingy?” do you mean, do we harness technology to make us more efficient? Yes we do

            “Are we a nasty internet middleman company?” Are there nice internet middlemen companies in your socialist benefits driven world?

            “Is it a company that adds no real contribution to the overall economy?” If there was no value to our customers they would not pay us. Any business provides a contribution in its own way.

            Am I going to disclose my personal and business details to a socialist masked man who won’t put his own name to this forum? No I value my safety and privacy more than that.

          • moretruthplease

            I own a manufacturing company – 100% export, 200 people and am no socialist. I believe that the current model of Uk busineess -essentially to grab something between a supplier and customer and screw both and your workforce isn’t right – does that make me a socialist ? The hotel booking sites, energy company sites, most retailing follow this model and actually produce nothing except profit for themselves.

          • Al

            You have a simplistic and flawed view on other people’s business. What makes you so different from others? This is a perception issue surely. For example I could level the same criticism at you that you aim at others. You grab parts from your suppliers, put them together and sell them to your customer, ‘screwing’ your customers and workforce at the same time because you make a profit at their expense.

            Sounds pretty fatuous doesn’t it? The reality is you presumablly work hard to provide a useful product, whatever that may be, you put yourself at risk financially, you try to keep your costs under control and maximise the sales each year. This is what most businesses do even if they sell services rather than products or use technology in the process.

            The truth is you are probably better off if Labour get in because Sterling will get hit hard making your product cheaper in terms of other currencies. Good for you. Don’t expect everyone to have your perspective. The truth is it sounds pretty myopic

          • moretruthplease

            actually pretty successful. we make from scratch unlike most British companies that assemble – adding all the value on home turf bar some saw material. A business like you describe is simply a wealth displacer rather than creator. i.e. the GDP doesn’t grow – you take it from somewhere else – something we in the UK must address. All my contribution to the economy is new money into the UK. The UK needs to look at GDP more scientifically. What is a pound worth that is true export than moving around internally ?

          • Al

            To use your weird logic,you are displacing the wealth generation from your competition to yourself. You are displacing wealth between your employees and yourself. You are displacing wealth between your customers and yourself and you are displacing wealth between your suppliers and yourself. As you know this is not a very positive way to describe your business. But this is what you sound like when you describe all other businesses.

            You can state proudly that your business is helping to rebalance our current account as a nation about which many companies offering services or products to UK citizens cannot boast. But in reality your business is no better or worse than any other which is legal and is providing jobs, a good product or service to your customers, paying your suppliers on time and with a fair margin and taxes to-boot.

            Indeed those less charitable than me may view your argument as pretty self serving. Perhaps it is no coincidence that this echoes Leftist propaganda trotted out by the current Labour party: the concept that there are predators and producers. This outlook, like yours is deeply flawed and overly simplistic. You want to ban things like pay day lenders, they will be replaced by loan sharks. The losers are the little guys who need the money. No amount of meddling by the state changes that. Of course the real problem is poor financial acumen amongst many citizens which has been in part to blame for the banking crisis. The banks sold mortgages aggressively, the regulators failed to curb it, but the individuals who bought them did so freely without understanding the problems they may get into.

            How would you judge a company that sold financial education online to help people from getting into debt. Would this be another tech middleman you despise so much?

            Broaden your horizon. Take a holiday and look around you. You are not so different as you think.

          • moretruthplease

            So a business that sells unnecessary soffits to old people for ridiculous prices is not a predator ? – they are doing nothing illegal I think ?
            People took on stupid mortgages due to the fear of not affording anything fit to live in. In more progressive societies ? say Germany [where I am right now] – controls of the free market have kept houses not too expensive by limiting the amount you can borrow very clearly. Maybe there your hypothetical business selling online help to people to avoid predators isn’t necessary and the entrepreneurs maybe set something up that increases productivity or makes something like cars which improve peoples lives.

          • Al

            Again it is quite easy to pick your argument apart. If old people want to buy soffits why would they be ‘unnecessary’. If they really are unnecessary old people won’t buy them and the company will need to change direction to survive. If the prices really are ridiculous why would old people pay those prices? I suggest they would not and again the company might need to change its pricing policy or face financial difficulty. In Germany (where my sister has lived for the past 25 years) house prices are low and stable mostly because there is not the pressure on housing stock there is in our rather crowded island. And incidentally I support solid regulation of banks and other markets. It is important to protect depositors, the bank customers.

            On your single example of a ‘good’ business it is quite easy to highlight concerns some people have on the role cars have on global warming. If they are electric cars you had in mind, batteries have harmful chemicals and waste disposal challenges associated. You may not agree with it but this is my point. Your perspective is just that. It is not the only view or one that should take precedence over others.

          • commenteer

            I started my business in my kitchen. Staff working from home, when we were big enough to hire any. You’re out of touch with how businesses start and grow in the modern world.

          • davidshort10

            I think there are a lot of people here who are economical with the truth. Successful entrepreneurs don’t waste their time on forums like this. And include me in on that one! I have great admiration for people who start successful businesses but i do wonder if they are happy.

          • commenteer

            I don’t need to work any more, so I quite enjoy the occasional foray into these forums, as I assume do you. I should imagine the happiness quotient is much the same as for anyone else; it’s largely genetic, as far as I know.

          • sarah_13

            They don’t wonder, they are too busy doing.

          • sarah_13

            And by the way, so close to an election with such dire consequences for political stability, you’d be surprised how many ‘entrepneurs’ are on forums at the moment.

          • Verbatim

            A cadaver would have more intelligence than some of these class haters.

          • Mary Jackson

            Respect to you,

          • sarah_13

            So, you start small and build on each step. That’s how you make businesses grow. The idea that you do it overnight strikes me as part of your problem. Business people and the wealthy don’t do it over night. It takes years and years of GRAFT.

          • Verbatim

            Not only that Sarah, but they put ON THE LINE virtually everything they own in getting that business going. It’s hugely risky. Then, if they are Australian, they get to pay other peoples’ superannuation, holiday leave and loadings, sick pay and then payroll tax and other government imposts. Many – I repeat, MANY – will not end up with enough left over for their own retirements but will have contributed to those of their employees. And we have “redundancy payments” here in Australia if you lose your job after a few years. Many companies go belly upwards paying such imposts. I can provide names and addresses.

            Only the stupid and ignorant make the comments they do about this (as we’ve noted on these pages). Their default response is “well, you’re rich”. It’s the ugly face of class warfare and the (typically unthinking) Left adds bulk to such ignorance by talking about ‘fairness’. Again, not a word which carries ANY legal weight.

            And who do these Pollyannas think put all their own money on the line every time they go to buy a pair of shoes, an item of food, a piece of technology. That’s right; somebody has put all their capital on the line for each and every item which is available to sell. This is the real world of business; not some idle beach-goers who draw on social security.

        • Mynydd

          I have two in fact,, had all the worry, responsibility, hard work, and insecurity, and still say the mansion tax is a fair way of making the well off pay a little more. Lower classes who have lived in the same house for years, brought up children there, are told down size or pay the bedroom tax, so why not the same principle for the wealthy. If you cannot afford the mansion tax, down size

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Yes. Harriet is simply beign priced out of her hoem town/village. She should feel some sympathy for all the Cornish and Devonian locals who are forced out of the villages their families have lived in for centuries because rich home counties toffs buy up thousands of second homes here.

          • Verbatim

            Oh no, it’s the ubiquitous Hydra itself!! The usual class warfare cant too.

          • BoiledCabbage

            so remind me, why did the locals sell?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Usually because the older generation have died and younger ones have no work or cannot afford homes there.

          • Catherine Allinson

            OK, so the lower classes to whom you refer
            are presumably living in council or social housing and so subsidised by the taxpayer and hence subject to the mores of taxpayer prejudice from time to time. If they do not like this, they can put themselves back into the private sector and stick one up to the moralising taxpayer?

          • Verbatim

            That bedroom tax is a bloody scandal too!! I disagree with you about the fairness of the ‘mansion tax’. If you had the business acumen you say you do you’d understand that one of the most effective ways of having the “rich” (yeah, right) pay more tax is to let them CONSUME and pay higher consumption taxes – which is what they do already. In Australia we have a myriad of taxes to trap more affluent consumers:

            1. Stamp duty on housing;
            2. Goods and Service Tax;
            3. Luxury car tax;
            4. Land (value) tax

            Why in the hell would we want MORE taxes? It’s a no-brainer.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Says the Viennese teacher.

          • Verbatim

            Who has a few properties, can afford to live in Europe for months at a time and who knows all about tax. Whereas the Hydra spends its life as a leftist evangelical (aren’t they all, though?) on the internet.

          • BoiledCabbage

            no its a tax on inflated London values

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Values inflated at the expense of the rest of the nation by a Government in the pay of the CoLC tax haven.

        • Verbatim

          BRAVO x 1,000

        • spiritof78

          That does not address the question of fair taxation of wealth.

        • Mary Jackson

          It was your choice, So stop moaning about all the hard work and insecurity,

      • sarah_13

        The haves don’t prosper at the expense of the have nots they support the have nots by already paying a disproportionate amount of tax. Go do some research and look at how much the wealthiest pay in tax. Then have a trip to Venezuela and see how similar policies, i.e. blame and envy are working out there.

        We already pay taxes: income tax, council tax, inheritance tax, tax on savings… Those in society who have invested in the future already pay a disproportionate amount of tax.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          The have nots pay for the roads. The have nots pay for the hospitals and schools. Once reliably educated and healthy the haves can exploit them on less than minimum wage.

          • commenteer

            The haves don’t use state education or the health service (if they can avoid it). Anyone with a family paying basic rate tax is getting an unbelievably good deal.

          • Verbatim

            What a lorry load of shyte you talk, Hydra.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Full of reasoned argument again dingo baby.

          • Verbatim

            I can make things up like you do but I’ve got better things to do; like having my head (just the one!) drilled open and filled with several litres of concrete.

          • sarah_13

            Like I said the wealthiest already pay a disproportionate amount of tax. The so called ‘have nots’, if they pay tax contribute but those who earn more already pay a disproportionate amount. That means even taking into account that they may earn more they pay much much more tax, i.e. a disproportionate amount towards the education you so disparage. I was educated, no doubt in my comprehensive school, thanks to the disproportionate amount of tax paid by others who earned much much more than my salesman dad and nurse mother.

            I have not been exploited by anyone. I live in a free society where if I’m unhappy with my job I can leave it and find another one. And if I earn money, I believe the present amount i.e. top rate of 40% is already a huge amount and should not be more nor do i want the Greens or labour slamming me with a wealth tax or a mansion tax, should I be lucky enough to cobble together enough to buy a mansion. We already pay plenty of tax; council tax, income tax, VAT etc etc.

          • Mary Jackson

            Cobble together, You talk like it costs pennys to buy a mansion.,? If you can afford to live in a mansion You can afford to pay the mansion tax, I did not hear anyone complaning when the disabled were being hit by the bedroom tax, But now it the mansion tax, It’s all boo-hoo

          • sarah_13

            The ‘bedroom tax’ is not a tax. It’s the reduction of a subsidy.

          • Mary Jackson

            If it looks and sounds like a tax, Then it’s a tax, Whichever way you try to spin it,

          • sarah_13

            No, not really. A subsidy is a benefit a tax is money demanded by the government levied on INCOME. It’s really not the same. Just because you’ve been used to an unearned benefit doesn’t make the removal of that benefit a tax.

          • Mary Jackson

            unearned Benefit,? Any benefit’s that i get are def not unearned, I worked for 30 years paying into the system, Love,

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            …and the mansion tax is not a tax on income it is tax on windfalls.

          • Verbatim

            Windmills, did you say? Something like those you tilt against.

          • sarah_13

            Windfalls? You clearly know the personal and financial of every homeowner. Such presumption rather casts doubt you previous comments.

          • Verbatim

            The Hydra, sarah, knows bugger all about such things as share-market turmoil and the instant declines in real values which can happen at the drop of a hat. Better to put fingers in both ears, aye!!

          • Verbatim

            But the gimme gimme set are like cats when you take away the cream. The age of entitlement means they DO think of welfare as income. That’s the shocking nature of leftist evangelicism.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Sarah you are wrong, the top rate is 47% , bottom rate is 32%. But someone on average pay of £28,600 pays just 21%. If someone on £40,000 pa buys an item for £1,000 the VAT is £200, or 0.5% of their income. If someone on £10,000 buys the same he pays 2% of income, disproportionately more for the poor.

        • Mynydd

          I have been to Venezuela and spend twelve months working there, so tell me, what first hand knowledge you have of that country?

          • darky

            I haven’t been to Venezuela to admire their daily hunts for basic necessities, but I’ve been to Eastern Europe, so I’ve seen first hand how socialism ravages countries with its hatred and envy.

          • sarah_13

            Very many close family friends are still there. One was threatened and is now trying to get his family out. He was one of the many fools who supported Chavez until like all demagogues they eventually turn on the people who supported them- now they have an even bigger fool, with even less brains and less charisma El “in-Maduro” the idiot on his way to perfecting the Idiocracey el pais queria. que pena. That’s where envy gets you and when one scapegoat is destroyed they make up new ones.

        • Verbatim

          Bravo x 100,000. The only caveat I’d offer is that the super rich are adept at avoiding their fair share.

          • sarah_13

            Perhaps but the narrative of ‘tax the rich’ never just ends with the rich, or with just taxing them. Ever.

          • Verbatim

            And the most galling thing is that the bar of “rich” is constantly being lowered so that the middle class become trapped in the tax grab.

          • sarah_13

            Exactly. I recall when ‘occupy’ were burning effigies in oxford circus, I think it was after the riots, and a ‘protester’ went up to the BBC correspondent and said something like ‘Hey, you’ve got lots of money.” And I thought, yes exactly, that’s inevitably where this kind of narrative leads. Everyone is rich compared to somebody and we are all hoisted by this narrative in the end. It really is the politics of hate.

        • Mary Jackson

          We all pay tax, Stop moaning about it

          • sarah_13

            Indeed, and it’s a fact, not a moan. The wealthiest already pay much, much more tax in proportion to what they earn than those who earn less. When I earn more I don’t want Natalie Bennet or Russel Brand telling me that I need to give them a percentage of my mother’s wedding ring, or my ‘wealth’ or making me pay a tax on a house, having already paid tax on the money earned to buy it.

          • Mary Jackson

            And so they should pay more If they are wealthy, Those who earn more pay more,

          • sarah_13

            I believe you’ve missed the key word ‘disproportionate’, i.e. taking into account the amount they earn. Think about it. Go and look up the facts and see if you think they should pay even more and if that encourages aspiration.

          • Verbatim

            They do pay more you silly woman. The only people who escape tax are ‘cash in hand’ tradesmen and the mega-rich who employ fancy accountants. Ergo, the rest of us “rich” are easy pickings for the tax man and obviously have far far too much money. It’s the packaging of us as “rich” which is just illegal and immoral.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            But you’ve lived in Vienna since 1971.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            In the ideal redistributive system the top half pay in and the bottom half take out.

          • sarah_13

            The problem is most people live not in a theoretical “ideal redistribute system.” Like I said above, go check out how Chavez’s ideal system is working out: especially those who originally supported that system. Not too well, I can tell you from personal experience.

            I’m still waiting for Owen Jones and Diane Abbot, who so enthusiastically supported Chavez to make one real critical comment on what is happening in Venezuela. They, like all political tourists, support all manor of madness and never worry to follow what actually happens, after what they have given their support to turns inevitably nasty.

          • Verbatim

            That’s just immorality, right there. Robin Hood for the leaners.

      • PetaJ

        I don’t think that ‘luck’ has anything to do with working hard to put a roof over your family’s head, irrespective of where that roof is.

        • davidshort10

          I think you’ll find Harriet was the one who mentioned being ‘lucky’. And whatever has ‘working hard’ ever got to do with prosperity? I know lots of people who work hard but are poor.

          • PetaJ

            “It may be unfair for people who were lucky but fair for those that are not”
            I think this came form your comment? Of course not everyone who works hard prospers, but plenty of them do. Since when was it a crime?

          • davidshort10

            I was repeating the ‘lucky’ bit because Harriet wrote it. Geddit? No one said working hard was a crime but people like binmen, postal workers, cleaners and nurses work hard but they are not prosperous and most of them never will be.

          • PetaJ

            All those peope you mention, if they lived in Council houses, had the right to buy under Margareth Thatchers’s government. Many did. I am sure they are not complaining unless their Council houses are now Worth £2million+ and, believe me, some are.

      • freethinker14

        I take it you do not remember the impact on the economy the last time house prices fell? You also seem quite comfortable with kicking the elderly out of their homes because they have been lucky, through no fault of their own, and now live in a house worth far more than it was when they bought it. Are they less deserving of compassion because they happen to own a house worth something?

        As for giving the have nots by taking from the haves …. Enough Said. This is so typical of the left. Penalise those who have worked hard and achieved something and give to those who have not. How does it sit with you that the people affected saved money and paid their taxes and then paid stamp duty when buying their homes? What have they done wrong to be treated like this?

        • Alex

          Yes, they are less deserving of compassion. They didn’t work for that wealth and by sitting on it they are restricting supply needlessly screwing up the market for those who do work hard. They can move – especially as they don’t need to be in central London for work.

          It really does make a mockery of the Tory claim to be for hard-working people. Their actual constituency is asset-wealthy property owners, they don’t really care whether that was achieved through work, luck, or in the case of much London property, good old-fashioned money-laundering.

          We have a supply-side crisis. If you want to keep old people in their houses, the solution is simple:

          Build.
          More.
          Houses.

          • Al

            …and of course if you did work hard, bought a house and complain about this policy then that doesn’t count because you can. Am I right?

            Let me ask you this, how many people are going to bother to get out there are start their own businesses and provide jobs when everything they generate goes to the state. I’ll make it easy for you. None. You won’t have anyone to tax then will you?

          • Alex

            No, I would certainly still support the policy, as it benefits the majority, and either pay the tax in full or move to a cheaper area, like a grown-up member of society.

            More pathetic CCHQ level rhetoric about businesses. As I said, must try harder! (Oh, and if you run a business and it’s all so self-sacrificial, why the hell aren’t you working now?)

            I imagine the number of people who get out there and start their own businesses will be as many as the market can bear. You will doubtless be shocked to learn that there can never be as many businesses as people.

            I’ll make it very simple for you: if, as you prescribe, everyone went out and started businesses that “provide jobs”, who would work the jobs?

          • Al

            Brilliant. Its just so challenging discussing these interesting topics with you. Your logic has won me over. I will vote Labour and never work a day in my life again. That way I can receive handouts from other people who do all the work. I get it now.

            Thanks for the heads up.

            Last one out turn the lights out.

          • Alex

            Likewise. Your enthusiastic engagement with what I have written and in-depth answers to my questions have blown me away. It’s been an absolute pleasure.

          • davidshort10

            Or
            Move
            Families
            Into
            Old Peoople’s Homes
            And
            Put
            Old People

            in
            Old People’s homes

          • Verbatim

            It’s so breathtakingly simple I don’t know why the Hydra didn’t think of it first. On second thought……………

        • davidshort10

          I am not of the left. That is the point.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Me neither.

      • Al

        Smells like envy…

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Says the arch enemy of fairness.

          • darky

            I suspect that when you use the word “fairness” you don’t mean “free from bias and injustice”, but something related to a pathological authoritarian compulsion to steal other people’s stuff, and control their lives.

          • Alex

            Yeah, like, I don’t know, a landlord?

          • Verbatim

            Yep, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck………….IT’S A HYDRA.

      • davidofkent

        The middle classes are the people who really make a country prosper. Labour will devastate this country. Not only is a mansion tax an inequitable tax, it is also a stupid tax. It will ruin people in the South-East who make our economy tick. The houses inland around London will be sold to foreigners who will leave them empty.

        • Alex

          £2m house is not exactly middle-class, maybe the highest reaches of the upper middle in a large pile in some desirable areas, but even then it’s still some of the most precious, pathetic whinging I’ve ever heard, when those in council houses are sent to live in Stoke and hounded for daring to have been allocated a house with an extra bedroom.

          While I don’t really agree that Labour’s plan for it is that great, the mansion tax is certainly in the financial interests of even the most cold-hearted of the middle class, as is a Labour vote now the Tories are planning to take away their child benefits.

      • Catherine Allinson

        Well yes it is envy – it taxes someone who owns a £2m plus house even if they have a £1.9m mortgage and not someone who owns several £1.5 m unmortgaged houses none of which reaches the magic £2m threshhold. This will not fly in reality – have no illusions about this.

        • Leftyliesrefuted

          Good point, Catherine – but in any case, the threshold will be progressively lowered, as £2m will hardly raise anything, given the enormous cost of collecting this tax, and the fact that lots of dwellings will be split up in order to get them below the threshold.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          To get a £1,900,000 mortgage requires an income of £475,000 per year.

          • Catherine Allinson

            And just think how much income tax you would have to pay on that eh?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            £197,000.

      • Verbatim

        “Fairness” carries no legal weight, but “discrimination” does. That’s the angle I’d be taking in the courts in tackling this one.

        And I wasn’t born to help you so do get up off your backside and do some heavy lifting, just like I did in my working life – raising 4 kids, running a business, going to university and working in a profession. It was 24/7 x 25 years and NO DAYS OFF. And it was risk, risk, risk and more risk – everything was on the line and could be lost at a moment’s notice. Now, I’m not going to pay for you when you had the days off that I didn’t and didn’t take the huge risks that I did. And it is a source of pride that 2 of my 4 children are hard at work in their own very risky businesses.

        I wasn’t born lucky, but the harder I worked the ‘luckier’ I got. You and others like you are just lazy, envious losers. And I’ll see all my cash under floorboards before giving the likes of you a single cent.

        • davidshort10

          You don’t seem to have had a very jolly life. In fact, it seems like a waste. I don’t believe in people working hard unless they have no choice. I have been ‘lucky’ enough to be born with talent enough to earn quite good money and save a lot but not work all that hard. I go on holiday in the sun lots of times. I know others who have followed the same path. My late acquaintance, Felix Dennis, was a prime example. He was worth many hundreds of millions when he died but he said publicly how he did very little work. He built up a large magazine company and got other people to do the work. He lived a very luxurious life and slept with lots of beautiful women.

          • Verbatim

            Good luck with all that; you’re going to need it!! I wasn’t after a “jolly” life – that’s for children.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            You lack understanding, lack joy ,misunderstand idleness and bleat endlessly about your money. Shame on you.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          A self-righteous prig who seems never to have slept. Or does 24/7 mean he works 24 mins of the hour 7 hours a day?

      • BoiledCabbage

        too many have-nots are parasites, to be blunt.

        • davidshort10

          But most aren’t. The population tends to follow the average distribution curve. Most of the population work and live within their means.

      • mandelson

        Thank you Dave Spart.

        • davidshort10

          I am far from being a Dave Spart, but you are a troll who still lives with his mother.

        • davidshort10

          The sooner only Spectator subscribers are allowed to comment here, the better. Trolls who live with their mothers in adulthood who don’t have jobs should not be allowed to insult us here.

          • mandelson

            Two goes at a ripost referring to mothers. Oedipus complex?

    • Jean-Claude Cameron

      Compounding asset revaluations in the London property market only have led to great discrepancies within the UK region of Europe. GDP per capita readings for its capital city EU NUT2 UKI1 is four times higher than in the rest of the country – it needs to be that so people can afford to live there.

      An increasing number of indigenous English CANNOT afford to live there any longer, they will have to move out watching external ‘investment’ capital entering the city boundaries.

      The extent and social pressures of this scenario is unique in Europe.
      It is not a desirable outcome medium to long-term.

      • van Lomborg

        We must examine why it is that the 0.1% are not opposed helping only themselves. Trickle down economics do not work as well as the Scandinavian model.

        • UnionJihack

          New builds are the preferred investment opportunities for foreigners parking their money near taxfree. Development of brownfield sites and the refurb of derelict properties all over the rest of Britain are subject to VAT.

        • darky

          There’s no such thing as “trickle down economics”. It a nonsensical phrase.

        • Ivan Ewan

          Oh yeah, the Scandinavian model. That’d be the one in drag, on fire, and slitting its own wrists?

          I think I’d rather take my chances with that new, untested, dangerous capitalism thingie.

          • Nomideva

            What the fudge are you talking about?
            EU economic policies may be having a negative on the EU in general but Scandinavia is in no particular trouble.

        • Verbatim

          Listen van Lom-I-don’t-give-a-damn-borg, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

        • Staenus

          Trickle down economics has NEVER existed. In addition, capitalism and cronyism are two VERY different things. Please learn to differentiate.

          http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/04/sorry-but-trickle-down-economics-doesnt-exist-and-never-has-done/

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      Are the rich so self important that they assume any redistributive tax is based on envy?

      • Al

        Perhaps the top 1% of earners who pay 30% of all our taxes think they are paying their fair share already.

        It does make you think though. What happens to the rump of Ball’s revenue stream when they leave because everyone has their limits.

        • Stop the Mansion Tax

          Our point exactly. If anyone thinks the cuts are bad now they ain’t seen nothing if these people leave. Its incredibly disingenuous for Ed Balls and Ed Miliband paint the ‘rich’ as takers when they know full-well that they are already paying for huge chucks of the public sector. Without them (the rich I mean, not the two Eds), things will start to collapse.

          • Al

            Good luck with the campaigning. You can see from the breadth of view on this forum how strongly people feel about it. With a touch of luck there will be a bit of a climb down from Labour in terms of the scale of the sums they are hoping to extract from only a handful of houses above the 3million mark.

          • Alex

            Again, could you provide evidence of what these sums might be? You seem to think they will be £50,000 on anything above 3m. Evidence.

          • Verbatim

            Ed Millstone doesn’t know which way is up.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          The top 1% only pay 27% of income tax.They do not pay even 10% of Nics, VAT,Excise duties or Council Tax.

          • Verbatim

            As I said, lorry loads…………….

        • davidshort10

          I’ve never really believed that statistic. Often repeated but I doubt if the people who state it have looked into the reality.

      • darky

        There’s no such thing as a “redistributive tax”. My income cannot be redistributed because it wasn’t distributed to begin with. It was earned.

        Instead of saying “redistribution”, try “expropriation” instead, and there you have your answer.

        • Alex

          How did you earn £100k+ a year house price appreciation?

          • Verbatim

            By doing a lot of appreciating. LOL

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Do you think civilisation pays for itself you selfish twit.

          • Ivan Ewan

            The first half of civilisation was built on slavery. The second half was built in freedom. Which side do you choose to lean towards?

          • Verbatim

            I don’t know. Do you think my car polish will last 12 months?

      • freethinker14

        I am not rich but I do understand that to tax people on their assets purchased by income already taxed is unfair. If you cannot see that you are blinded by envy.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          The huge equity gains on large properties are not previously taxed income. They are windfalls.

          • freethinker14

            Unrealised windfalls. If prices fall do you get the mansion tax back?

          • Verbatim

            With your vast economic nous you obviously know a great deal about it.

      • Verbatim

        Yours is a question answered by itself.

    • Fraziel

      Its not fair, waaaaaaaaahhhh! In the same way that poor people with nothing only get hakf their rent paid and have to move house if they cant afford to stay where they are? if the tories think thats ok then asking people with assets worth millions of pounds, making them in the richest 1% in the world never mind the uk, should f*cking suck it up and move if they have to. if its good enough for people in social housing its good enough for people in big pricey houses. Envy has nothing to do with it but fairness has everything to do with it. I am curious why you cant see the truly staggering hypocrisy on this issue from the conservatives.The whining is as nauseating as it is hypocritical as it is pathetic.

      • freethinker14

        So how much is fair? When does it become unfair? How is it fair that people who have worked hard, paid their taxes and now own their own home are facing eviction and being forced to move?

        This is not a tax on income. It is a tax on assets that were paid for by taxed income.

        And I am not wealthy, I rent and do not own a house, and I am not a Tory. Don’t jump to conclusions.

        And you talk about fairness. The top 1% of earners pay 30% of all income tax and the top 10% pay 50%. The bottom 50% pay nothing. How much more must the wealthy pay before its fair in your eyes?

        • Fraziel

          You amuse me, your subjectiveness .selfishness and ignorance is mind boggling,lol. Firstly, you mention income tax paid by the top 1%, not all tax. As a percentage of total income the lowest paid and the middle classes pay a higher amount of TOTAL tax as a percentage of income than the top 1%. I dont advocate soaking the rich but they should at least pay the same percentage of income as everyone else. You talk about fair, explain to me why that would not be fair?

          You ask why it’s fair that people who have worked hard , people who are enormously asset wealthy i might add to the extent they are among the wealthiest in the entire world, should have to move. Tell me why thats not ok while people with nothing who are literally on the breadline also have to move and are evicted through the bedroom tax,? I support the bedroom tax i might add.

          Your pitiflully weak arguments, hypocrisy, subjective ignorance, greed and selfishness is truly staggering.

        • Verbatim

          I’m not interested in “fair” or “unfair”. That’s childish and carries no legal weight. That’s what interests me; what carries legal weight and what can be challenged in the courts. And this one’s ripe for the picking.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Two types of Tory. Rich selfish git and unrealistic aspirational git.

      • Verbatim

        Not like what you’re doing, aye?

    • Sloan

      The Mansion tax is a blatant con by LAB/LIB to sell to voters the idea of a new punitive tax on property ownership. Of course lefties love it because they think it will punish the rich. As with other taxes the reality is before long we’ll probably all be paying it. Renters too because landlords will have to pass it on as an extra cost. As with other Labour taxes designed to hit the “rich” eventually, more and more people will be dragged into the net. Property prices rise, the threshold is lowered… there was a memo leaked last year that showed Labour are considering lowering the threshold to 400k. Next 200k probably because the sums simply don’t add up.

  • Stop the Mansion Tax

    The Mansion Tax is a model example of a poorly thought through policy which raises no end of issues including:

    1) Not hitting the right wealth segments: Balls claims it will hit the “super-rich” but many middle-class Londoners now live in semis valued at £2m. The real super rich either won’t pay or won’t care because they have so much money, leaving London’s middle class to pick up the tab.

    2) Not tackling Buy To Let: BTL is one of the main causes of property price
    increases in London (by reducing supply of housing for sale) and yet a landlord who owns a portfolio of properties worth say £20m will have zero Mansion Tax liability if
    each property is worth less than £2m.

    3) Hollowing out of London communities: “Hollowing out” as identified by Barney Stringer, a former Head of Infrastructure and Sustainability at the London Development Agency where areas of London become property asset zones and genuine London communities are destroyed – this has effectively now happened in Kensington.

    4) Reducing charity giving: Lord Winston has rightly identified that the Mansion Tax is likely to affect legacy giving – a main source of income to most charities. For a retired couple with an income below £42k living in a £2.5m house a £5,000 annual Mansion Tax bill rolled up over 20 years is £100,000 excluding any interest.

    5) Not spending the money where it is raised: London is the most densely populated part of the country with intense pressure on schools, hospitals, transport and other public services and yet the Mansion Tax money is being earmarked for doctors and nurses in Scotland.

    6) It probably won’t raise the money anyway. Reductions in property prices and consequential falls in Stamp Duty receipts are likely to almost completely offset any Treasury gains from the Mansion Tax.

    The truth is that this is a deeply cynical “Robin Hood” policy designed to give memorable tangibility to the idea that Labour takes from the rich and gives to the poor; Raise a “Mansion” Tax from rich people and use it to “Save the NHS” is the simple message. The problem with this misconceived idea is that the rich already give vast amounts to the Treasury. The top 3000 tax payers contribute more tax income than the bottom 9m. If just a fraction of these tax payers leave or off-shore their money, there will be more cuts not less.

    And finally the idea that the £1.2bn raised from the Mansion Tax will save the NHS treats voters’ intelligence with absolute contempt. The current NHS budget is about £115bn (the highest ever in cash terms) and costs £315m per day. £1.2bn or 1% is just 3.8 days spend. There’s no way on earth that this sum can “save the NHS”.

    Perhaps these points explain why a number of Labour MPs, peers and donors have come out against the Mansion tax with one Labour peer (Gulam Noon) even describing it as “hopeless and desperate”.

    • Des Demona

      ”but many middle-class Londoners now live in semis valued at £2m. ”
      There are only 55,000 homes valued at 2 million or more in the entire country. Slightly more than people attending the average Arsenal match.

      • Alex

        To be clear, even if they were all in London that would be just 1.6% of the total number of households: we really are talking here about making the 1% pay their way.

        • Des Demona

          Ah you say that, but apparently vast swathes of these 1% of houses are actually owned by little old widowed grannies or postmen who bought their houses 40 years ago, or so I’m led to believe.

          • Al

            Bit cynical are we Des? There there. I’m sure you’ll feel much better when the rich are brought to justice so you can feel good about yourself.

          • Des Demona

            Not cynical at all. Come back and argue when you realise you are a t w a t and have done something about it. If that’s possible of course. You sound way too far gone I’m afraid.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Heard one the other say he bought his modest home for £70,000 …..in 1972….when average price was £6,000 !

          • Alex

            That would indeed equate to 3m today given average house price is in the high 200ks. Difference was in 1972 average wage was £2,000. Still puts that modest home of his at just shy of a million when he bought it in terms of wages.

            I’m sure some people on this thread are deep enough in the bubble that they think £100k is the average wage, so that the average house is as affordable as it was, but the average wage is actually a quarter of that.

            Could everyone whinging on about the mansion tax in this thread have afforded to buy four houses back when they last lived in the real world in the 1970s?

        • Stop the Mansion Tax

          The top 3,000 tax payers pay more tax than the bottom 9 million (HMRC). Is that what you mean by asking the top 1% to “pay their way”?

          • Alex

            Poor statistics. You are using ranks, but we know the wealth distribution is so skewed that ranks are not going to help us much. Tell me the summed earnings of the top 3,000 and the bottom 9 million and I’ll get back to you.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            Top 3,000 tax payers provide 4.2% of total Government
            income tax revenue whilst the bottom 9 million lowest-paid contribute less than 4% of total income tax revenue. HMRC.

          • Alex

            No no no matey, sum their earnings. That’s only fair if the top 3000 earn the same as the bottom 9m. I rather suspect the top 3000 earn far more!

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            If we are going to sum their earnings we should also sum their Stamp Duty payments on property (At 4.2% of GDP, the UK’s level of property taxation is higher than any other OECD country), share transactions, VAT on all their purchases, tax on all their dividends, corporation tax on their company profits and, on top of that, the inheritance tax they pay between generations (the top 0.7% of homes contribute 36% of inheritance tax).
            The reality is that the rich are taxed at almost every turn. Saying they ‘don’t pay their way’ is part of the Socialist propaganda machine and a bare-faced lie. Of course, that doesn’t make good populist fodder for the Left so they tend to keep quiet about it. Have you heard any Labour politician make this point in this campaign? Of course not. On the contrary they deny this truth and claim the rich should make a bigger contribution. This is dangerous for economies. You sound like a student or recent student, possibly of economics, so go and swat up on the Laffer curve and relate it to tax revenue takes under Labour in the 1960’s and 70’s. Then you can report back to me.

          • Alex

            If you are bringing in extra taxes other than income tax to make your figure look better, then you can’t ignore things like VAT and council tax, which are flat and hit the poor. Define your terms. Stop moving the goalposts. Stop whinging about paying your way.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            That’s a soft and rather evasive response.

          • Alex

            Your waffle about income tax rates has no bearing on the issue at hand. Please respond with the sum of earnings for the top 3,000 and the bottom 9m.

            Actually, whatever, I’ll do it for you, as far as the figures will allow. The Telegraph article (I’m sure very unbiased, the usual right-wing circle jerk on this forum it seems) you’ve lifted this from says the bottom end of the top 3000’s declared income is £2.7m per year – no figures on the average, unsurprisingly, so I cannot construct a summation.

            From government (HMRC) data I can see that the bottom 14% (9m/64m) of earners get under £12,000 a year (one wonders if the HMRC survey reported in the Telegraph was carried out before or after Cameron’s income tax changes! The Telegraph states the figures refer to the poorest paid workers, not the poorest paid who are in income tax … think on.)

            Let’s stick on the side of caution, i.e. favour your side of the argument, and high-ball their income and say they all earn £12,000 (though actually the 1st percentile earns £8,370). £12,000*9m = £72bn.

            As for the top 3,000, let’s work out what average income each would have to have to be earning more in aggregate than the bottom 9m, under the above safe assumption. £72bn/3000 = £24m each. The question for both of us is, are the mean earnings for the top 3,000 £24m or higher (and note, I would guess we could just about halve this figure)? If so, their share of tax is unfairly low even if you think everyone should pay the same tax as share of income.

            We should also of course note this is only declared income. Someone raking in over £2m a year just in declared income is probably going to be highly conversant with the network of tax havens and avoidance schemes to which our country turns a blind eye.

            Yes, OK, VAT isn’t 100% flat, and neither is council tax, but they’re pretty damn flat overall, as you acknowledge.

            (Income tax is pretty flat as well, to be honest. To move between three bands from £10,000 to £40,000 and then nothing until you get to £150,000, and for this to be (presumably) a quite effective system for raising revenue, shows two things (with relation also to the Laffer curve): 1. the unfairness of the tax system towards those in the “aspirational” lower middle class, while protecting the well connected upper middle, and 2. the criminal skewing of the wage distribution in our country.)

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            Please see Table 2.5 “Income Tax Liabilities by Income Band” given within HMRC’s Income Tax Statistics and Distributions Published by 7th Feb 14 Updated 13 Feb 15.
            In table 2.5 you will see that the bottom 8.6m income tax payers have a liability of £5.037bn. You will also see that the top 3000 tax payers have a liability of £5.38bn.
            My argument was that “the top 3,000 tax payers pay more than the bottom 9m”. Apart from the fact that I took the liberty of rounding 8.6m to 9m, you will see that the argument is factually correct and completely proven. Even accounting for the rounding, the sentiment of the argument remains completely true. If you are not happy with the rounding, we can widen the bands. Here you will see that the bottom 14m (@£14.5bn) still have a lower liability than the top 35,000 (@£16.8bn). In other words, the top 0.1% of tax payers pay more than the bottom 47%.
            There is therefore absolutely no question that the sentiment of my argument holds.
            You will note that these data are sourced directly from HMRC and not from the Telegraph, as you wrongly assume and assert.
            I’m not prepared to enter into the other irrelevant arguments you make about the distribution of income, declared earnings or tax avoidance here as that wasn’t part of the argument I made in relation to tax liabilities by income band. Nor am I going to discuss further your false assertions that “income tax is flat and hit the poor” as your grounds for these arguments were factually incorrect.
            Waffle indeed. Good luck with your studies.

          • Des Demona

            Has it not occurred to you that they pay more tax because they have most of the money?

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            a bit more…..

            The highest-earning 1 per cent of Britons pay almost 30 per cent of all income taxes. The 308,000 on the 50p top rate – who earn more than £150,000 – pay £47billion a year to the Treasury – or an average of £152,597 per person.
            The 3.7million who earned more than £35,000 and pay 40 per cent tax, hand over £57billion in tax, 34 per cent of the total – or an average of £15,405 per person.
            The top 1% of tax payers pay £47bn whilst the next 3.7 million tax payers pay £57bn.
            (Source: Thisismoney/Oriel Securities)

          • Alex

            Still on ranks, earnings please.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            INCOME TAX,not all tax. How many times can you repeat this lie ?

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            We can always include the VAT, Stamp Duty and Corporation Tax paid by the top 3,000. That will add up to a fair bit.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Liar.

          • Verbatim

            Comedian.

          • Verbatim

            How long is a piece of string? Or a Hydra’s tentacle?

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          The UK has 26 million households.97,000 over £2 million is only 0.35% or one third of the 1%.

          • Alex

            I know but you have to talk about the London market separately really. So I assumed they were all in London to be safe.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            Those percentages aren’t quite the same in London marginals. watch this space 🙂

          • Verbatim

            And you know, don’t you, since you’ve been checking them and putting them on a list instead of working in a job.

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        Never let the truth get in the way of Tory dogma.

        • Stop the Mansion Tax

          Please see factual correction above.

          • Des Demona

            Not sure it is a factual correction when you give several widely different estimated figures. Mine was from the Land Registry, rather than Estate Agents who have a vested interest, but even accepting 110,000 then that is still just 2 Arsenal games.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            Off piste but… Wenger & Co wanted a bigger stadium but apparently the local authority capped it at 60k for transport and safety reasons. I’d have settled for 80k. IMHO Emirates is small for a “big” stadium.

          • Des Demona

            I believe they have over 40,000 on the season ticket waiting list so yeah I guess they could have easily filled an 80k seater.

            My step-son has been told it will be 3 years minimum before he gets his!

        • Verbatim

          Watch out! Dogs are partial to Hydras.

      • Stop the Mansion Tax

        The 55,000 statement is factually incorrect. The figure is widely reported to be between 100,000 and 150,000 houses valued at £2m+. Savills estimates there are about 97,000 properties in the UK. Internet
        portal Zoopla puts the number at about 108,000, and estate agent Knight Frank puts the total at about 110,000.

        • Alex

          The market is so insane her figure is probably only like six months out of date.

  • Des Demona

    Work smart, not hard!
    Always been my philosophy!

  • Porkbeast

    I don’t think anyone cares if you leave

  • James

    If government is responsible managing our money we would be able to keep everyone happy without discriminating taxation policy.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      The problem is Government policies that favour centralising everything in London. They add to the ridiculous House price frenzy that has led to modestly well off folk like Tory journalists sitting on a pile of money. A house in London worth £3 million would have been worth only £700k just 18 years ago. But of course they gripe and groan about a tiny slice of this being moved to more useful purposes.
      Harriet needs to use the massive vlaue of her home to take a modest secured loan of say £200,000 and then she can stay in her little mansion.

      • MA0

        Haha, classic socialist policy: spend until there’s nothing left to fix the roof. I’ve visited the corrugated iron huts built inside Havana’s derelict roofless mansions. So many admirable socialist utopias to choose from! Unlike Cubans, you have a passport, so use it and don’t come back, parasite.

  • Jambo25

    You can join the 50,000 or so poor people who’ve already been shipped out by various London councils to everywhere from the south west of England to Manchester and Hull. Where were you when that was happening?

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      She will just ask Paul Dacre for a pay rise. Or maybe the Centre for Policy Studies could let her stay overnight in a sleeping bag.

      • Jambo25

        Evil He He.

      • Jambo25

        Delicious ideas.

  • PetaJ

    The discussion around the mansion tax seems to be centred on London which, given that a smallish semi or a flat in the right area has a value that makes it a ‘mansion’, is understandable. That in itself is quite ridiculous.
    However, no-one talks about homes outside of London – farmhouses in the country for example. Many of these are on working farms that have been in the same families for generations. They too will have the dubious ‘honour’ of being designated as ‘mansions’.
    This is a property tax, pure and simple, reliant on nothing but market forces and unrelated to income in any way. When property prices fall – and make no mistake, one day they will – once you have fallen into the £2m bracket, is there a mechanism to get out of it if one’s property value falls below that? Another question: who is going to value these properties? Any property is only worth the price it is sold for so if a £2m mansion is sold for less than that, will the owners get a rebate on tax already paid?
    When it comes to badly thought out policies this one has few equals.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      They will only value the farmhouse though, not the working farm outbuildings or the land. Plus most farmhouses have a proportion exempted as Agricultural Buildings for tax purposes
      We could do with a Land Value tax but it may put many farmers out of business, so it needs thinking through as regards exemptions.
      I for one would love to see the toffs who own the massive 30,000 acre grouse moors in Northumbria (the one where Boris Johnson likes to slaughter little birds) pay a fair LVT, especially the hedgies indulging their selfish bloodlusts.

      • Al

        Proof the policy is popular because it satisfies Lefties’ envy. Very big of you Yvon and Bazza.

      • PetaJ

        So, only rich “Toffs” should pay extra tax. What about rich non-Toffs, like football players?
        By the way, gouse moors are just that – moors. They are not used for anything else but still need managing, as does the wild-life they support. Managing costs money and the ‘hedgies’ pay a lot of it for their sport whether you agree with it or not.

        • JoeCro

          Grouse moors are wildlife deserts. if left they would eventually revert to Woodland/scrub.

          • PetaJ

            Grouse moors are the natural habitat of….er….grouse. Among other things of course.

          • JoeCro

            There is nothing natural about Britain’s treeless uplands.

          • PetaJ

            The Uplands were deforested long before shooting parties were the vogue – like a few hundred years.

  • Fraziel

    oh, boo hoo. If you and your buddies live in houses worth over 2 million, you are not poor. Nowhere close. Just curious, how do you and your tory pals feel about the bedroom tax? Now i support the bedroom tax but i wonder if you do too. One rule for thr rich and another for the poor eh?

    • Chenks

      Because two wrongs make a right? Criticising one doesn’t automatically mean you support the other.

      • Fraziel

        You miss the point.Lots of tories support the bedroom tax that displaces the disabled and the poor ( i agree with it to an extent as its unfair that social tennants should be subsidised and private tennants have been subject to it for years, if you cant afford where you live, move) while whining about the mansion tax and that THEY might have to move. The poor wee souls living in their 2 million plus houses might have to free up some equity. Aww, diddums. Its as nauseating as it is amoral as it is disgusting. The fact the person writing this article describes some of her pals in 2 million plus houses as poor beggars belief.

        • Chenks

          I don’t think they are pretending they are poor but it doesn’t mean they are victims. This whole argument is all moral anyway. It will raise a little from the people who don’t care, anyone who doesn’t want to pay won’t. This is coming from someone who isn’t affected by it.

          Also, many of the people who will pay (like in Islington and Hampstead) hate the Tories and have never voted for them. Only the Kensington set are Tories, they’re not complaining because they’ve got enough money.

          • Fraziel

            If people in social housing and private lets who have nothing are forced to move then people sitting on assets worth millions, making them some of the most asset wealthy people in the world, should also have to move. Anything else is utter hypocrisy and double standards. Please tell me why they should receive special treatment?

    • darky

      There’s no such thing as the bedroom tax. What you’re referring to is a reduction of a subsidy, i.e. money the scroungers get through forced transfers from the others.

      It is not a tax (an expropriation) of something they already own, such as income or a house. There’s no parallel between the proposed mansion tax and the spare room subsidy reduction.

    • Stop the Mansion Tax

      I am not sure where you are but the whole point of this debate is that you can live in a £2m house or flat in London and certainly not be rich. £2m house does not = what Ed Balls called “rich foreign investors”.

  • Bert

    How soon before the threshold is lowered?

  • John Carins

    By leaving the country you would be helping the Tories bring down their net migration figure. Every cloud has a silver lining. If that’s not to your liking then I suggest the only alternative is to vote UKIP.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      Err, no. By leaving you increase net inward migration.

      • John Carins

        Just have a little think about it. If 100 people leave and 200 come in then net migration is 100. (200 minus 100 = 100). If 101 people leave and 200 come in then net migration is 99 (200 minus 101= 99) i.e a reduction in net migration.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Just think about it. If 2 foreigners come we have 2 more foreigners ,if a Brit leaves we have 3 more, compared to who is left.

          • John Carins

            You are very confused. If 2 foreigners come in and one Brit leaves then the net increase in one foreigner. Just have another little think.

          • MA0

            Thank you for this insight into socialist arithmetic.

  • Mike Barnes

    So you’ll be campaigning for more house building, less immigration and higher taxes on foreigners investing here then.

    I doubt it.

    You want all the things have drove up your house price to continue as before, but you don’t want to be taxed on your unearned house value lottery win.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      Yep, greedy buggers.

      • Verbatim

        Now don’t get nasty, Hydra, you know it’s not good for your collective blood pressures.

    • Stop the Mansion Tax

      “more house building, less immigration and higher taxes on foreigners investing here then.” I can agree with all three.

  • henryGrattan1800

    the rich hate paying tax it just for the little people

    • Chenks

      There is a difference between not paying tax and paying an additional £35k a year (if weirdly, as it shouldn’t be unlucky) you live in a house over £3million (so 1% of value), considering you already paying £30k a year on income tax. Yes you may earn a lot, but because of how it worded you end up with £15k at the end of the year out of £80k. Ironic seeing as the house cost £35k to buy in the first place.

      They’ve paid taxes, always voted Labour but will now pay £65k a year in tax out of £80k. A lot for many people but fair? C’mon. How are they to be blamed for a 10000% increase in property value in a house that was in ‘the wrong end’ of town back in the day? Tell me more about how tax is just for the little people?

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        What the hell is this?
        How is anyone unlucky to live in a house worth £3 million? To have such a place means you have in effect won the lottery. You have a windfall that equates to five times what most will earn in a lifetime.If you really cannot afford to live there as a pensioner then sell it and enjoy 20 years of spending £165,000 a year. It will do the economy the Tories so love no end of good.

        • Chenks

          I didn’t say it was unlucky, I said that in the respect of the size of tax it was unlucky, not over all, hence the brackets.

          Who is the government to say who should move and who shouldn’t? The fiscal value of the property doesn’t matter if the owner has no intention to ever sell it as they love the property.

          The government should be making people have an ultimatum whether to continue to live in their house or take a gigantic hit on their earnings.

          • Alex

            They seem to have been pretty happy to tell people where to move when shipping 50,000 families’ worth of them out of London to jobs deserts like Stoke.

            Oh, hang on, turns out they were normal working people, who committed the heinous crime of not receiving pay rises commensurate with their soaring rents. Barely people at all, don’t you agree?

            £3,000 on even notional earnings of £150,000 a year (5% price rise for a £3m place) is not by any measure a “gigantic hit on their earnings”, especially as, as the article says, those earning less than £42,000 a year will be exempt. I think that is a bit low, as it goes, but your hyperbole is unwarranted.

          • Chenks

            Yes but if you earn over £42,000 a year you pay the additional tax. Anyway, as I’ve said no one will pay if they don’t want to.

            They’re taxing the lawyers and financiers who are too intelligent to work for HMRC.

            I wouldn’t say hyperbole, and you still have said if it is fair or not!

          • I think you left out the word ‘not’ in your last para.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      I have met a lot of rich people in my line of work and every single one resented and loathed paying tax and sneered at and despised the poor.

      • PetaJ

        You clearly have a nasty line of work. In mine I met a lot of rich people too, and very, very few sneered at and despised the poor. I didn’t like them much either.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          I do.
          Just remember 67% of the rich moved to their expensive homes in the last 9 years, they chose to move there.

          • PetaJ

            Justify your statistics please. Even if they are correct, which I very much doubt, what about the other 33%?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            It is in the article. One third of the rich have lived there for over 10 years or more.

          • PetaJ

            Emphasis on the “or more” – a lot more. They are family homes.

          • Verbatim

            You call THAT living?

      • Verbatim

        Your line of work is to spend all day on the internet and, yes, you’ll meet a lot of sneering there.

  • Al

    Thi inciteful article highlights some of the inequities of this hopeless
    tax and I applaud it for that. It does not address some of the long term unintended consequences
    such as the loss of our heritage and the demotivational affect it will have on our entrepreneurs. When our listed buildings are made too
    expensive to run, they will be left to fall down. Privately owned
    buildings of this nature are kept going at great expense by their owner
    occupiers. Without them our heritage will crumble away. And with it the
    jobs of stone masons, thatchers, carpenters, gardeners and all those
    other artisanal professions which thrive in keeping these places up and
    running. Second, those who had aspired to work hard and buy a lovely
    house of their dreams will now do so in other countries. Demoting
    aspiration will harm our economy and drive successful entrepreneurs away
    from this country. By the way those are the guys that were meant to pay
    the 50% top rate of income tax. Oh dear I think I can see where this will all end up…

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      The loss of our heritage? Somehow the National trust will cope. Somehow many of the medieval monasteries survived the dissolution. Somehow we still have Avebury 5,500 years on. I’m sure a handful of Victorian posh folks homes will be saved for the nation too.

      • Al

        Yes, I could have bet a large sum that your solution would involve pumping more state funds to resolve the situation. Who is going to pay it when there are no mansions to tax. Perhaps we could tax the National Trust. How many mansions do they own? Great idea Yvon and Bazza.

  • Alex

    Even in London, you don’t have to live in a £2m flat. That. Is. A. Choice. We’re used to wealthy right-wingers whinging like nobody’s business at being asked to contribute to society, but this is something else.

    Other Labour policies, such as advertising houses here first rather than months in advance at property exhibitions in China, will solve the other problems. Labour’s proposition on London housing would be an election-winning issue if the media allowed it to be broadcast. We are all at least pretending we think foreign investment and property prices are a problem – but even if Labour are imperfect, what are the Tories doing to tackle these problems?

    Nothing.

    It’s been going on for decades, but they were the ones who caused it to be this serious, when they opened their legs to these foreign “investors” so they could claim a growing economy and thus cover up the mistakes of austerity.

    As ever, attacks on Labour are based on the fact that their policies aren’t 100% perfect, holding them to a far higher standard than the Tories, whose only policy on housing affordability is Help to Buy and the Help to Buy ISA – demand-side measures that will do nothing but pump up prices for starter homes even further and indebt young people in return.

    • Al

      Proof that this policy, ill thought through though it is, appeals to the green-eyed Leftist supporters for whom it was designed. Curiously not the ones having to pay it. I’m sure, Alex, if you were in Harriet’s position you would be delighted to have your house taken off you over the course of your life. Touch of the Margaret Hodges about you me thinks…

      • Alex

        Unoriginal, quite apart from the usual “envy/stealing houses” rubbish, you already called someone a Margaret Hodge below. Must try harder!

        Actually reading my post might also be an idea…

        • Al

          touch of the old Margaret Hodges about you Alex me old buddy.

          • Alex

            Too much to hope for clearly, but I’m honoured by the comparison! I think she’s the best parliamentarian in the House, energetically holding ministers and corporate crooks to account.

            I believe there was an article here a way back comparing her to Robespierre, you couldn’t make it up, the rabid right wing really is the gift that keeps on giving.

            Except when it comes to paying their taxes, of course.

    • English_Independence_Movement

      He already does contribute, you just want him to contribute at a much greater rate than yourself.

      • Alex

        Sure I do, because she has all the money.

    • darky

      You’re not “asking” anyone to contribute, and certainly no tax is applied on an “ask” basis. It’s expropriation done with the implicit threat of violence.

      That’s why it’s bad, and it must be kept to an absolute minimum.

      • Alex

        Then work is expropriation of labour value with the implicit threat of starvation. If you’re going to be hyperbolic then so am I.

  • Labour is truly outrageous. First, they have no moral standing on which to take people’s property away via authorized theft, which is what this ‘tax’ would be: the money used to buy the home was already taxed when it was earned, when the owner paid stamp duty to buy it, and it is the basis of the tax levied every year by the local council. To say nothing of the yearly income tax assessed on the homeowner by Inland Revenue.

    But Labour has arbitrarily decided that this heavy burden is not enough. Not enough for whom or what? (Greedy b stards, aren’t they?) I know people that do nothing but sit on their duff all day, and they have their council tax waived because they ‘can’t afford it’. So there’s no penalty in Britain for being a non-contributor and net drain on the economy — and a burden to one’s fellow citizens — but you certainly WILL be penalized if you strive to better your lot in life.

    Aside from the intangibles of life — health, freedom, the love of my loved ones — the most important good to me is a beautiful home. I’ve dreamed of having a beautiful home, one with grounds to garden and architectural merit, all my life. I’m not there yet, but one day I hope to be. Labour would make that an impossible dream. Labour breaks dreams, it doesn’t make them.

    • Alex

      “I’ve dreamed of having a beautiful home, one with grounds to garden and
      architectural merit, all my life. I’m not there yet, but one day I hope
      to be.”

      Well you don’t seem to have put much research into the matter if you think the Tories are going to help you achieve that dream.

      “Labour breaks dreams, it doesn’t make them.”

      Dreams are all Tories can offer to working people like you and me.

  • Callipygian

    And as the author gets round to saying, this punitive unworkable pulled-from-the-air proposed tax would do TERRIBLE things to the economy. Does Labour have any idea how an economy works? Evidently not. Once they have essentially bankrupted those with wherewithal at all, the only people left will be those with none, so there will be no worthwhile tax base. They don’t grasp the basic principle that 20% of something is worth more than 50% of nothing. The American Treasury was richer after Reagan cut income tax rates than it was under Carter, who had brought them to an all-time high. This is just basic economics. Labourites are economic illiterates who should be nowhere near the levers of power.

    The inheritance tax itself, besides its unwarranted rapaciousness, has done much damage to the resources of the country, since it meant the breakup of estates, the loss of valuable architecture, and the misery of those that were forced out of their homes. This mansion tax is merely a pre-inheritance tax, and it would have even worse effects.

    • Alex

      Yeah, apparently the way an economy works is we just give all our money to the rich and wait for it to trickle down.

      And wait … and wait … and wait …

      • Callipygian

        Another economic illiterate speaks. And it’s not just about economics, it’s about justice. You can’t take someone’s money just because you fancy it, and that’s what Labour wants to do.

        • Alex

          Almost no academically qualified economists either here or across the world believe in the trickle-down theory.

          Leave the ideological bollocks out, we all know rich people’s money isn’t really theirs to begin with. In the case of housing it doesn’t even exist!

          • Callipygian

            we all know rich people’s money isn’t really theirs to begin with.
            That’s choice ideological manure, right there. Your position is frankly immoral. Thanks for telling us.

            As for ‘trickle-down’, you can call it what you like, but there is no denying that rich people hire others, and that profitable companies employ workers, and they produce goods that we can buy so as not to live in a Dark Age. If you want to live in a society like North Korea, go, but don’t try to ruin freedom and prosperity for the rest of us.

          • Al

            Here here. Though I think you are wasting your breath on young Alex. He is not too quick off the mark that one.

          • Callipygian

            No, I felt that I ought to raise the flag over the sandcastle, but he IS more like an anthill, I agree.

          • GraveDave

            Calling someone young this or naive that or ‘socialist’, and hurling lots of insults is not winning the argument. I’m not saying Alex won either, but at least he stayed rational and calm.

            And much of it is about greed and NIMBYISM.

          • Callipygian

            I didn’t hurl insults and my arguments are quite rational, thank you. You sound as though you have problems with facts, yourself.

          • Al

            Dear oh dear Margaret. You won’t work for someone else, you won’t get off your arse and take risks to start your own business. But that does leave you an awful long time to espouse ill conceived policies about how to take money off other people to make you relatively wealthier.

            One day you will look back on your life and think, “Perhaps I should have done something with my life”.

            The Labour party needs people like you. Go and become a Labour MP and get tax payer funded 15% pay rises.

          • Callipygian

            Ah, I’ve just seen your @rse comment, after writing my own @rse comment: we seem to be in complete agreement! Heh heh heh

          • Alex

            Lol you two are pathetic. Call yourself adults?

          • Alex

            What’s this business you run then?

            Any word about your taxpayer funded 11% yearly pay rises on the value of your precious house? Oh no, you “earned” that through your hard work…

            Time to grow up and give back Al.

          • pedestrianblogger

            If rich people’s money is not really theirs to begin with, is poor people’s? At what point does other people’s money become yours?

          • Callipygian

            He’s a socialist, he says. Therefore there is no such thing as ‘other people’s money’, but only money held in common that some have managed to steal for themselves from the commonwealth. It’s lunatic, but that’s what they believe.

          • Alex

            I link reward largely to work done. You can see how the value is created by workers because when they strike nothing can get done. However, when the management take a day off things more or less carry on as normal. The value-add of the management and the initial idea for the product do help generate profit, they’re not completely useless, but the workers are what make it happen day to day.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            You are wrong. Reward is about need.

          • Alex

            At the bottom it is, but in between I believe in something a bit more work-based than that (of course with fuzzy boundaries), which I suppose makes me a Liberal, horror of horrors.

          • Verbatim

            Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Don’t give up your day job.

        • GraveDave

          IMO he’s doing very well in the debate

          • Callipygian

            What debate? He believes that houses are ill-gotten booty. That’s irrational and wrong. He believes in legalized theft. That’s immoral. I’ve done with him.

      • Al

        Yes, Ms Hodge, as I’ve said before, you might benefit from doing a little less ‘waiting’ and a little more ‘working’.

        work…and work…and work…

        • Alex

          While the rich profit … profit … profit … from my work – whether I’m an employee or a business owner.

          Anyway, before we can work, we have to wait for the rich to, in their divine benevolence, magically “create” the jobs for us to work in. After all, we gave them all our money under the impression that it just “worked” this way, and they are the best people to decide what to do with the money, and when to do it.

          • Callipygian

            Why don’t you get off your self-satisfied @rse and start your own employment? Why is your whole attitude to life that someone else must give everything to you? Obviously that old saw about the world not owing us a living was something that passed you by. But as a matter of fact, we all need a living and I do think ‘the world’ owes it to us, in a manner of speaking. But we have to do our part, as well. All I see is you whingeing and b tching about the money other people have made. Typical Leftist: wants something for nothing and prefers to live off robbery.

          • Alex

            It’s not about me, clearly not everyone at once can earn riches in business even if they are all amazing at it. Because then who is doing the grunt work and who is paying for the product?

            You right-wingers do have a lot of difficulty separating the personal from the systemic, don’t you?

            Here’s a question from down the thread which was not answered. Let’s say I have a business with 540 employees. Can they all reject employment, pull themselves up by their bootstraps and create 540 businesses of their own, all making the same money as me? Clearly not. I was just lucky to get in first, or to have more capital. Can I pay them as employees the same amount they’d earn if they owned the business, i.e. the same amount their work effort creates? Clearly not. If I wasn’t making any profit out of their work, I’d shut down the business.

            I haven’t really whinged or bitched about the money other people have made – again, separate the personal from the political. I’ve mainly been saying that if they are making notional unearned income off appreciating property prices on the order of at least £100k a year, they can damn well afford to pay £3,000 of that to help people who can’t get into the housing market because of the same artificial restriction of supply from which they profit.

          • Callipygian

            ‘Notional’ — exactly: as the article writer says, a house or property is only worth what the next person is willing to pay for it. Properties LOSE value as well as gain. You’re a very young man and you haven’t been stung by that particular scorpion.

            Anyway this is not just about the housing market, however unfortunate it is for most young people, and I understand that. But as I said, doing injustice to right a situation that you deplore (lack of affordable properties) is not the way to advance society as a decent regime. If it’s unjust, it’s unjust.

            But Britain has form in matters like this. The TV licence, for instance. Obligatory reporting of all TV buyers to the state so the state can charge a fee for a service that buyers may or may not be using. (If the public has to pay no matter what, then the public should be stakeholders and the BBC should be accountable to the public, just as a company is normally accountable to its shareholders. But typically for such a gov’t- coddled agency, the BBC wants everything its own way. This is taxation without representation in another guise>)

          • Alex

            Laughable off topic rant about the BBC. Bottom line, I consider the provision of housing, ideally owned, to every person in the country far more important than protecting the profits made by people like you who have grabbed a slice of the market and now call for continued restrictions on supply. That’s what’s justice to me.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            FTSE bosses pay has doubled since 2008.Ordinary Joes had a 5% rise.

          • pedestrianblogger

            Would you be happier if they had become poorer and you had not got your 5%? If so, why?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Happier if they had had 40% and we had 20%.

          • Verbatim

            Yeah, but 20% of each head equals 40%, Abacus.

          • grammarschoolman

            ‘While the rich profit … profit … profit … from my work – whether I’m an employee or a business owner.’

            Yes, I’m sure Margaret Hodge is very grateful to you for it.

      • blandings

        “we just give all our money to the rich and wait for it to trickle down”

        What money have you given to anyone Alex?

  • clifrd10

    I am a libertarian 22 year old. All taxation is deplorable – but there is absolutely no justification for our current tax system, which massively favours the owners of unearned capital from house price inflation over owners of earned capital or income earners.

    There are issues with the particulars of this proposal (the cliff edge at £2m, the fact that the tax cannot be deferred until sale regardless of income) but the writer criticizes the practicalities of the tax as if the ‘mansion tax’ were not effectively a contrived adjustement to the council tax system.

    The nimbyism in this article and others similar to it is astounding. Get a grip – taxing unearned house price appreciation is massively favourable to taxing income or other capital gains.

    • Alex

      As a socialist 23 year old I agree completely. This sort of thing is beloved of those on the radical left like the Greens whom you might not consider natural allies. Unearned income is a cancer on our society, particularly from property, as it is essential for people’s survival.

      • Callipygian

        What is the taxation you support if it isn’t ‘unearned income’ for the government and its welfare darlings?

        Jaysus Joseph and all the saints. What is the mansion tax but UNEARNED by the public???!

        • Alex

          Well, tax functions as the rent on the use of assets held by the state, mainly land and the labour and consumptive capacity of the people. This is how things have evolved from feudalism. And it’s exactly the same as the tenets of property law which you hold so dear (because they benefit you): you hold assets and charge for their use.

          The way you feel about tax and the state is approximately the same way renters feel about rent and property ownership.

          Unearned by the state or not, the mansion tax is clearly levied on unearned income, so it’s unearned all round – except oh look, what a surprise, the property owner still gets to keep over 95% of it (assuming 5% yearly growth)

          • Callipygian

            One last time. First you assume that any property value is owing to inflation and not the hard cash someone actually put down for it. As someone that has paid a large downpayment (‘deposit’) on one home and that bought my second home outright, with my own filthy lucre please note, I reject your idea that this is all a form of Monopoly money we’re playing with here. No it bleeding isn’t! Nor was the money that I put into the house (unloaned, it came straight from my bank account) to improve it. You will no doubt now complain that I had the nerve to enjoy those improvements, even though I paid for them! (There is no pleasing a Leftist: he is entitled to everything, but no one else is entitled to much unless he says so.)

            Further, you have no idea what percentage of yearly growth will accrue. As I said, values also go down or stagnate. And finally, rising values mean nothing to the homeowner unless and until he sells. If all I want is to live in the home I paid half a million for, and you tell me that it would be worth a million if I sold it, but I don’t want to sell it, why should I pay a penalty for not wanting to sell?

            You have no moral standing on this issue at all.

          • Alex

            Yeah, keep on keeping on there pal, you know in your heart the rising value of your house, even if you sell for that price, isn’t real wealth. That’s why you’re so scared of all this stuff. How could it genuinely rise in value? It’s not doing anything productive!

            Keep the moral out of it, nothing we have been discussing has anything to do with morals, unless, as rich property owners do, you want to define moral as just that which allows you to profit at the expense of others.

            You question my figure of 100k on a 2m house. That’s 5%. Do you know how much house prices – sold house prices – are increasing by in London per year?

            11%.

            If the value of your house goes down – as well it ought to – then lo and behold, it’ll be under the threshold and you won’t need to pay a penny of tax to the evil gubmint.

          • Callipygian

            Fail. I’ve made my argument. Perhaps in a few years when you’ve earned something of your own, you’ll grow up.

          • Alex

            It wasn’t much of one. I will not “grow up”: I will always abhor rent-seeking and unearned income, and those who defend their own narrow interests so sanctimoniously while pretending it’s all due to some higher moral purpose. All I can say is come back in 30 years and let’s see.

            What people as out of touch as you can’t see is that all politically engaged young people think like me in one way or another. Look at the libertarian at the start of the thread. Opposite end of the spectrum to me and yet he has the exact same concerns. That’s because we all have to suffer the harm your greed is causing.

            Plus if you have no social mobility people will not “grow up” and start voting Tory when they get older as has been the conventional wisdom as they will have no private property to protect.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            House prices in parts of London are now falling (partly in response to the threat of a Labour government). Can we claim tax relief if prices fall?

          • Alex

            If they fall below the threshold of £2m you will be ecstatic to learn you need no longer pay any tax, though I understand the point.

            Indeed I have said repeatedly that I think the mansion tax in the form Labour have laid out is stupid. But the attitudes of the rich property-owners in this thread are so nauseating this point of agreement has rather been lost.

            I can’t remember such touchiness and moral outrage on this site when the bedroom tax caused so much misery, penury and death, but I guess those people aren’t really people, are they? Why, they don’t even own their own property, the lazy sods!

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of
            ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchill

          • Callipygian

            That’s right. Or instead of the greatest statesman of the 20th century, we can listen to 23-year-old Alex here. The wisdom gap is obvious enough but the poor chap still thinks he knows the difference between what’s really mine and not really mine and belongs, according to the state, to the state. I mean, why stop at houses? Why not tax cars, and earrings? I don’t expect our own government to act like the mafia, and no one should permit such a government to exist.

          • Stop the Mansion Tax

            When he owns something of note his views will change. If they don’t, he may be worthy of some admiration. Time will tell.

        • Des Demona

          The public pay the taxes, create the infrastructure, education system, legal system, national security etc that allow for wealth to be created and massive property price rises which are therefore more ”earned” by the taxpayer than the homeowner if you want to go down that route.

      • grammarschoolman

        ‘Unearned income’ is income that doesn’t exist, unless people sell their possessions. You are therefore either forcing people to pay money they don’t don’t have, or forcing them out of their own homes. How very socialist of you.

        • Alex

          So have the tax payable at sale.

  • ohforheavensake

    My heart bleeds for you… no: hang on.

    No. No, it doesn’t. Not even a little.

    • Callipygian

      Well you’re an idiot, then. Do you want a regime in which Labour — or any party — sticks an arbitrary cap on what wealth and possessions you may own? Today it’s someone else’s house — tendentiously called a ‘mansion’; tomorrow it will be your allotment or your fancy bicycle. Leftists stop at nothing. Once they have gobbled up everyone else, they’ll come for you.

      • Alex

        I hear they hide under your bed

        • Callipygian

          No, they swindle out in the open.

    • grammarschoolman

      Not even for the people who earn nothing but live in houses which they’ve had all their lives but which now, completely arbitrarily, are worth so much that they have to pay huge amounts of money they haven’t got? This is one of the worst injustices any party has ever proposed.

      (And, by the way, I rent, and my parents don’t own property either, so I’m completely disinterested on this one.)

  • davidshort10

    No one here as far as I can see thinks they are part of society and they think they are hard working and think they are haves due to their own virtue. Watch out when people who do not agree with you decide to do something about it. As they did seven years ago, You people need to understand what is really happening in England.

    • Callipygian

      What the h=ll are you talking about? One can earn one’s money and be ‘a part of society’ at the same time. In fact, as Sir Walter Scott’s novel Waverley acknowledges, it is the loose cannons of society that don’t have investments at risk, while the property owners are the true stakeholders in society, since they have something to lose. Leftists have an upside-down view of how society and money really work.

      • PetaJ

        I’d ignore “davidshort10” if I were you. He’s short on everything except envy.

        • Callipygian

          Gotcha.

  • Bill O’Sale

    More savage violence by illegal aliens: http://tinyurl.com/mw7p5ov

  • FairHomeTax Campaign

    The Mansion Tax is a sleight of hand to win Votes. It does nothing for the treasury. Read http://www.fairhometax.uk/index.html

  • Hayekian2

    As far as I can tell (as Labour has been far from clear itself on the details), Mansion Tax plus Income Tax will amount to roughly 110% of my gross salary.

    This on a house bought and paid-for out of post-tax income (taxed at roughly 40% over the years), extensively refurbished (incurring 20% VAT) and on which my family will have to pay 40% IHT when I die.

    It is also (it seems) based on the gross value of the property so ignores the fact that I still have a large mortgage so 1% of the value is more like 1.5% of my equity every year for the privilege of living in my own supposedly freehold house.

    So what are my options? I can …

    1) sell, suffer SDLT of more than 10% (any economist will tell you it is really the vendor who really pays, even if the buyer writes the cheque) on most of my net assets and move out of London (probably out of the UK if we have a Miliband/Salmond government)
    2) pay the Mansion Tax every year out of my savings until those run out … and then be forced to sell
    3) quit my moderate-paying University job or go part-time so I can roll up the Mansion Tax, live off my savings until those run out … and then be forced to sell

    If Labour wants to tax the “international super-rich” out of London then it should have the honesty to admit that and target them, not attack hard-working people who have the audacity to have lived/worked in Central London for 30 years.

    • Callipygian

      Top comment: great.

      • PetaJ

        Seconded.

  • MA0

    My father spent ’41-’47 in the RN defending this country, including at D-day. He then worked hard to qualify and work as a lawyer and pay his taxes. My mother was an NHS GP for forty years.

    They bought a house for 29K and took thirty years to pay it off with their after-tax earnings. It was our family home, and they decided to move out so that their son could have it as a home to bring up his children.

    I do not have the income to pay Labour’s Home Tax, so I will almost certainly have to uproot my family, and move away from where I was born. The British voter apparently wants me to sell a family home to foreign investors to use for occasional visits.

    Fairness-through-theft advocates will miss the point and only consider the money, but the shame of this tax is that it attacks homes, families, and the tradition of belonging, i.e. the basic ingredients of what the marxist average Briton is always fantasizing about: ‘communities’. When my family has to give up its home, what will keep us in a country brain-washed by mindless grasping socialists? Socialism destroys social fabric.

  • Mary Jackson

    Sorry but if you can afford to live in a mansion, You can afford to pay the mansion tax, I don’t remember any articles being written about the bedroom tax, Which have hit disabled people, Now that it is you that is being hit, There are cries of woe is me, Stop being so selfish,

    • Callipygian

      Stop being unjust. The money isn’t yours and you have no claim on it.

      • Mary Jackson

        Where in my post did i say the money was mine,? And what is unjust is disabled people are being hit by the bedroom tax, While those that can afford to live in a mansion are getting off scot free, Sorry if the truth hurts,

      • GraveDave

        Well that’s fair enough. But let’s stop pretending that mansion owners are being made paupers or victims. And like the lady said – no one ever came out for those forced into paying bedroom tax. Of course -they’re just ‘welfare scroungers’.

    • Bonkim

      Many pensioners may be asset-rich but don’t have the income to maintain the homes and pay Mansion tax.

      • GraveDave

        Yeah they do.

  • Verbatim

    This is absolutely appalling discrimination against home-owners. Shocking, absolutely shocking. But I can see this happening in Australia where the politics of envy sees people shouting for the ‘rich’ to pay and pay more. However, those with very expensively valued homes who are on the pension and paid by taxpayers are a different matter. The government has a right to hold a caveat over that house in lieu of pensions paid during the owner’s lifetime. But a straight “mansion tax” has all the hallmarks of soviet style class hatred and it has the most awful ring to it, as well as a foul odour.

    The most frightening thing about this is that “rich” is being re-badged; it now means ‘the middle class’, such is the level of propaganda directed towards ‘the rich’ and the fact that there’s little money for government in taxing the rich further because there are , in reality, just so few of them. So the net must be cast wider and, as usual, it’s the good old “rich” middle class paying all the bills.

    Sydney homeowners now have homes worth well over 2 million, thanks to avaricious Chinese investors and a skyrocketing market for real estate. Aside from that, most of these home-owners have precious little else by way of assets. Rich aye? Don’t make me laugh.

    • GraveDave

      Politics of envy, class hatred, its them commies getting at us… Boo -hoo. You’re the same people who would happily accuse any other moaners of playing the victim card. Get a grip ffs. You’re not being robbed nor are you being stripped to the bone.And remember what your boss in number 10 said ‘We’re all in it together.’

      • Verbatim

        Another angry, bitter and twisted response from the aggrieved Left.

  • Bonkim

    Some truth in this. Government should make it illegal for overseas nationals to own property in the U.K particularly if they don’t live and pay UK tax.

  • The proposed levels of mansion tax are peanuts compared to what you would pay if they brought back linear rating valuations.

    Under council tax, the top band is H, which is about three times the band A rate. A person with a £5m house pays three times a person with a £100k flat. Under pre-Thatcher rates, they would pay 50 times as much, like you still do on commercial property.

    It’s another ‘bash the rich’ but not enormous. The one I most fear is increasing employer’s national insurance, by far the biggest tax the rich pay.

  • Patrick G Cox

    I have long believed that only those who are millionaires and those on Social Security can actually afford to vote Labour. The rest of us just get hammered by all these unthought through grabs at wealth so they can patronise everyone by ‘redistributing’ everything I and anyone like me has sweated blood to earn. When I see Miliband, Ball and Harman to name but a few, living in Housing Association houses or flats, and donating all their inherited wealth to the Treasury to ‘redistribute’ to the poor, I might reconsider my view.

    They are nothing but thieves. They are entrenched in the corridors of power, and this is just another way to make sure they stay there. A pox on all their houses!

  • Stop the Mansion Tax

    Think you’re safe from the Labour & Lib Dem Mansion Tax? If you are a property owner, the Mansion tax will probably catch up with you at some point. Why? Because taxes have a very nasty habit of increasing their scope after introduction. Let’s look at three examples:

    1) VAT was first introduced in 1973 at a flat rate of 10%. Where are we now? A flat rate of 20%.
    2) Stamp Duty on property sales used to be 1% on properties sold for more than £60,000. Now the top rates of Stamp Duty are 4% on properties costing between £500k and £1m, 5% on properties costing between £1m and £2m and 7% on properties costing more than £2m.
    3) Income Tax – The initial rate was 10%. The basic rate of Income Tax is now 20%, with higher rates at 40% and 45%. Today around 30 million people pay Income Tax.

    So, there is a very good chance that any property worth over £1m will eventually be dragged into the Mansion Tax.

    The biggest problem for politicians is introducing new taxes, once the tax is in, it’s a relatively simple job to increase its rate and scope.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Create a reversionary 999-year lease, in favour of relatives, that begins in say 20 years. So ‘your’ property only has vacant posession for 20 yrs. Should substantially reduce value, which can be balanced between owners to keep below the threshold. Its a widely used tactic in estate planning, so may fall foul of the tax when it is introduced.

  • J K

    boo hoo get a job

  • cultureboy

    There’s always a degree of inequity, but after the Tories’ poll tax and bedroom tax have caused misery for decades for the poor, it’s about time those with more assets shoulder the pain. Man thousands of people have lost their homes because of the bedroom tax… why is it somehow worse that those with high value properties should have to sell them and move into slightly less expensive homes?
    And people with little money surely can’t afford the maintenance on these properties anyway? Move, cash in and you’re still ahead.

  • Linda Smith

    I expect that the “mansion” tax is just the opening skirmish before a full blown wealth tax is introduced a la francaise, that well know socialist paradise. Under the French wealth tax all your assets, down to your grill pan, are included in the annual bill which is assessed annually on 1st January. Not much fun to pay wealth tax on shares and then see them plummet in value. I understand Milliband is a fan of the French socialist model so expect a wealth tax to come winging your way if he gets in to No.10.

  • mandelson

    Didn’t someone say “All property is theft”? Yes good old beardy. Should be in Lib/Lab’s manifestos. State seizure may not be far fetched in some near future.

  • milford

    Both the mansion tax and the bedroom tax are outrageous tactics and leave people of both ends of the spectrum insecure in their own homes. It’s a disgrace.
    An Englishman’s home is his castle and whether you’re rich or poor politicians, if they really gave a you-know-what, would leave the hearth and home of the electorate out of it. Alarmingly these taxes will affect the elderly more than anyone else :-(((((

  • q-pantagruel

    For what it’s worth I’d like to clear up a bit of linguistic slight-of-hand that permeates many of the threads below by those who support the “mansion tax” and see it as similar to and therefore some sort of balancing of the so-called “bedroom tax”.

    Let us ignore the fact that many of the properties affected are hardly “mansions” in any sense that any of us (even those on the left) would understand, but it is clearly, by any definition, a tax. The government is demanding money which you have earned based on some arbitrary criteria. Today it is a property worth £2M or more, in the past it was whether you had a window or not. The criteria may change, but the concept of tax stays the same. The state takes money you earned from you.

    The “bedroom tax” is not a tax in any sense. It is a reduction in the amount of housing benefit one can claim based on a criteria. That housing benefit is not earned money, it is a state welfare benefit that is being reduced. It may well have the effect of reducing disposable income and one can argue that it is perhaps unfair or unfairly applied but it is not a tax and is therefore not comparable to the mansion tax, which is actually a tax.

  • moretruthplease

    the idea is to make non-taxpaying rich people leave so that the aspiring british can afford what they used to naturally – like a terraced house somewhere nice. Or an upmarket restaurant or handbag. The economy will do better for this. Houses will drop in value and there will be no mansion tax on the new values.
    Surely this makes sense ?

  • Dec La’Ration
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