CPS Research Fellow Harriet Sergeant writes for The Spectator on Labour's Mansion Tax proposals, Friday 1st May 2015 edition.
"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."
To read the full article, visit The Spectator website.