Is basically what David Cameron may as well say at the Tory party Conference this week.
Ruling out a Mansion Tax just being the latest in a long run of nails in the coffin for his famous phrase.
Worse of all Cameron comes out with what is clearly a lie, vowing to;
“take further action to ensure rich people pay their fair share”.
Whilst planning further cuts to HMR Revenue & Customs staff, making it harder to clamp down on the £95 billion or so that is lost through tax evasion or avoidance.
Here’s Osbourne’s explanation for why not to go for it – at a time when the poorest in society are having to deal with a below inflation rise in the minimum wage, cuts to welfare and all the problems in the employment market.
“Before the election they will call it a mansion tax, but people will wake up the day after the election and discover suddenly their more modest home has been labelled a mansion.
“We don’t think people who have worked hard, saved up to buy a home, should be clobbered with a mansion tax.”
You’re joking? I never really paid the policy much attention (as I doubted it’d ever get through and was nothing more than a pathetic attempt by the Lib Dems to try to appeal to their (former) supporters at conference time) but I think the value for the proposed tax to take effect was £2 million. A £2 million house. How, how, just how exactly is a £2 million house ‘modest’.
Yes, as a northerner, I may not appreciate just how extortiante London house prices are, but I get that a more modest home for a big family can easily stretch into the millions, but still, we’re not talking any average family here. (A couple of examples I found for £2 million houses in London include a 10 bed detached house in a more suburban area through to a 4 bed terrace in Pimlico.) If you owned one of these properties, you have got to be on the wealth off end of the spectrum.
People on ‘modest’ incomes don’t save up a little each month to buy a property like these. You need a big income. And, as Simon Jenkins in the Guardian pointed out:
“England’s property-based council tax stops at the present H-band. This means that the same tax is paid on all houses valued at more than £320,000 at 1991 prices (roughly £950,000 today). In parts of London, this means half the houses pay the same. Nick Clegg is right to protest that “it cannot be right that an oligarch in a £4 million palace in central London pays the same council tax as someone in a four-bedroom family home”. It is ludicrous.”
This is a ludicrous situation, and one, like many in the Uk tax system, which benefits the super rich.
Changes can be made, compromises had (increase the threshold to qualify for the tax in London?) but no. The Tories have set their stall pretty definitively these past years. They are a party of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. And the rest of us be damned.