Why a mansion tax? Why now?

Left Foot Forward makes the case for a mansion tax based on the fact that within the current council tax system the rich do not pay their fair share.

Ed Miliband announced yesterday that a future Labour government under his leadership would reintroduce the 10 pence starting rate of income tax rate scrapped under his predecessor Gordon Brown and pay for the subsequent reduction in revenue to the exchequer through a mansion tax .

Left Foot Forward agreed with this progressive measure, and we set out why here.

It’s also important, however, to look at why the current system is unjust.

At present, a person who owns a house worth tens of millions of pounds can pay the same amount of council tax as a person living in a modest suburban home.

This is because council tax banding is at the same level it was in 1991.

Banding may have stayed the same, but since then property prices have more than quadrupled. The average price for a property in London now sits at a whopping £445,651.

In the table below is the council tax banding for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for the financial year 2012/13.

The average house price in this, one of London’s wealthiest boroughs, is just short of one and a half million pounds.

This means that a resident of Kensington and Chelsea, such as Goldman Sachs boss Christoph Stanger, who owns a £7 million pound property in Kensington’s Palace Gardens, pays an annual council tax bill of just over £2,000 – the same as a middle class family owning a property in the neighbouring borough of Tower Hamlets, where the average property costs £367,068 – and also the worst area for child poverty in London.

Band Council Tax Range of values
A £717.15 up to and including £40,000
B £836.67 £40,001 to £52,000
C £956.20 £52,001 to £68,000
D £1,075.72 £68,001 to £88,000
E £1,314.77 £88,001 to £120,000
F £1,553.82 £120,001 to £160,000
G £1,792.87 £160,001 to £320,000
H £2,151.44 over £320,000

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has also ordered officials to destroy data collected by previous governments that could allow a widespread rebanding of properties. This one of the reasons we now need a mansion tax, because the current system is incredibly unfair.

As for the objection that a mansion tax will force older people out of properties which, due to the house price boom of recent years, are now worth more than £2 million pounds, we could quite easily say that, if you are past a certain age, you can switch your mansion tax into inheritance taxes, paying nothing while you are alive and staying in your house.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

68 Responses to “Why a mansion tax? Why now?”

  1. Mick

    Ah, stupid! Newsbot’s intellectual level. Poor little Newsbot!

    The BNP is a small party. John Lewis is a shop. Silly little Newsbot!

  2. Newsbot9

    Apparently you are that stupid. John Lewis is organised on a mutualist basis. Keep fighting it!

  3. Mick

    Ah, back to the mouse.

    Where drunks see an elephant, mutualists see mice!

  4. Mick

    John Lewis is not a party. John Lewis can work as a business model, whatever it does, if it can appeal and be savvy.

  5. Newsbot9

    Oh you’re drunk? No surprise there.

  6. Newsbot9

    Thanks for admitting that mutualism can and does work.

    I never, of course, said John Lewis was a party. I said it was organised via mutualist principles. And it is. Well done, you’ve accepted the truth once!

  7. Mick

    No, but you must be to witter on so.

    Poor little Spambot!

  8. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep confusing me and you.

  9. Mick

    Mutual building societies and shops are different from imposed mutual government.

    John Lewis isn’t running the country under a mutualist agenda, which is madder than socialism because it doesn’t want to take away QUITE as much from people as other Reds do.

    People can have what they want.

  10. Newsbot9

    That’s right, you’re the one stuck up on imposing governments on everyone.

    Keep on calling successful competition with your socialism mad. Socialism for the rich, of course.

  11. Mick

    No, that would be an honour to put you on my level.

    Poor poor Newsbot. Keep taking the tablets.

  12. Mick

    And who would the new rich be under your anarchism? Why, Newsbot and his little pals!

    Under a Newsbot mutualist government, landlords and bank customers would be treated as pariahs and immoral, forcing them to let people live in their properties for free and go bankrupt as they couldn’t borrow money. And whilst big business would be smiled on, smaller firms would go to the wall as they’d be forced to starve.

    Poor little Newsbot. Spitting on the workers!

  13. Newsbot9

    Nope, you’re extrapolating from your command and control mentality again. I’m not like you, sadly for your vicious attack on workers.

  14. Newsbot9

    Yes, keep claiming that dragging people down to your level is a honour, social darwinist. Keep fighting the concept that most sane people don’t agree with your politics.

  15. Mick

    You don’t know my politics. And you IGNORE most people reject yours!

  16. Mick

    Now I KNOW you’re spamming! Mutualists want to starve workers by denying their banking rights!

  17. Newsbot9

    You’re funny. In the head. Keep on talking up YOUR policies as if they were everyone elses.

  18. Newsbot9

    I do, by what you’ve typed. You’re a far right anti-British fanatic. But hey, facts.

Leave a Reply