Monday, September 21, 2009

LibDems Sceptical About the Cable Mansion Tax

Talking to LibDems this afternoon about Vince Cable's proposed mansion tax, I have yet to find more than a handful who support it. The majority say that while they personally find it acceptable, it's political madness. One delegate described it as an "indulgence".

Susan Kramer must be spitting tacks and it's just as well she isn't here this week as she'd probably deck him. Her Richomnd-on-Thames constituency has a lot of houses which fall into that bracket, as Zac Goldsmith will no doubt he highlighting.

To me this has all the hallmarks of becoming the LibDem poll tax. It's also envy politics of the worst find.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's not a tax on the wealthy its just another council tax on property, not on mansions, not on big houses just on the value of a house as artificially decided by a valuations officer. A 3 bed terrace in West London can cost £1m a 7 bed house in North West can cost £750k who's getting taxed oh the rich....

Bryan Dunleavy said...

And totally unworkable. If i buy a house for 900,000 which then increases in value to 1,000,000 plus what then? Do taxmen come round and revalue the property? What if it then falls in value? Does it get revalued again?
Fortunately this will never happen because the Lib Dems will never be in a position to implement such a stupid tax.
Somehow I think this will do them more harm than good.

startledcod said...

My parents, who are in their 80s, live in a house worth well over £1 million. They bought it for £65k a long time ago. They are on a fixed income.

I spoke with them earlier this evening and they were truly worried by this proposal.

The only reassurance they have is that the Lib Dems will never be in power so the Cable Mansion Tax will never see daylight.

The proposal will however play well in Lib Dem/Tory marginals.

Doh Vince!!

T England said...

"mansion tax"

Like it matters what the Liberals say or do!

DespairingLiberal said...

I think all this onslaught against the tax on properties over £1m and Vince Cable himself is precisely because you know it is a good idea that will run with quite a lot of the electorate.

I presume you and your fellow New Righters are in favour of large tax cuts for the very rich? Perhaps you should say so in public...

Keith Elliott said...

Ahhh, the Lib Dem Poll Tax...the similarities are endless. lol

I keep checking your blog for further updates on the Bedford Tory Open Selection Meeting...

Have a good one.

Mark Jenkins said...

This tax would affect a tiny, but vociferous, minority of the UK population...
...whereas those of us living in the 98.6% of UK households worth less than £1million aren't spitting feathers at all. Some of us are even cheering.

iain said...

A completely pointless exercise in futility - a feeble attempt to grab a headline masquerading as a policy.

Is that the best he can do?

Anonymous said...

In many parts of the country, a £million house may well be a mansion, but in London and the SE, where I live, it isn't. It is wrong to come up with a figure like this when property prices across the country vary so widely.

What WOULD make sense would be to add two new tiers to the council tax band so that mansion-style houses (6 bedrooms+) and private estates (8 bedrooms+) were not lumped together with 4-bed executive-style houses which someone on a slightly over average salary might aspire to.

Naked Vince said...

I would think that most Liberals are highly embarrassed at Vinces' ill thought out envy tax. It certainly was not their financial guru's finest hour.

Javelin said...

How many of Vince Cable's sound bytes can you fit on the head of a pin?

I Squiggle said...

The giveaway is the headline grabbing number of £1M. So, not £987,566.34? £1,326,923.75? Which means the whole thing is a stunt, with no basis in actual revenue raising justification before you question the reasoning behind it. That much is obvious, and proves what a fraud Vince is anyway. I will leave aside the alarming non-sequita that is Asset versus Income i.e the ability to actually pay, and ask the question why didn’t Vince just propose to tax high income? The inference that just because you live in a highly valued house means you have loads of dosh is questionable at best. What if it’s mortgaged to the hilt and in negative equity? What if I live in rented accommodation and earn 3 squillion a year? (I wish).

Charles said...

One Nick Clegg must be a very happy chappy tonight.

ST Vince's financial Halo fell off today.

STB2 said...

Is every attempt to increase taxes on the middle-class or wealthier sections of society to be labelled 'the politics of envy'? Does that mean the Conservatives have pledged to raise taxes only on the poor, while at the same time cutting services to the poor? I'm waiting for George 'plain-talking' Osborne to answer.

Neil A said...

Surely the tax would have to be huge to raise any kind of serious money? If Mr Cable is talking about £20,000 a year or something then I can imagine there being some serious consternation in the Home Counties. If he's not then its really just a gesture...

DespairingLiberal said...

What part of London do you live in that you consider houses worth over £1m to be "normal"? Hampstead? Richmond?

A casual poll tonight in the pub of the regulars confirmed my hunch that this will be a popular policy.

Anonymous said...

Lynne Featherstone may not be too thrilled either.

one thing this policy ignores is that, if you live in a high property cost area i.e. London, you end up spending so much on a mortgage for a very ordinary house that you have very little disposable income compared to people on similar incomes in other parts of the country. There's limited comfort in knowing that the house would fetch a lot if you sold it because we all have to live somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Look, the Liberal Democrats could advance a policy of compulsory euthanasia for everyone over the age of 21 and it *still* wouldn't matter a damn.

They're the Liberal fucking Democrats: aka the perpetual runners-up, those who come third behind Labour, The Party That Will Never Govern This Country.

Lib Dem policy statements are to actual policy as Dan Brown's books are to the art of English literature. Why are you even discussing this? You're only encouraging them by giving them so much attention. You should ignore them and then, eventually, they might get the message, give up their dolphin-friendly hemp sandals and go do something more useful with their lives.

AP said...

11 Downing street must be worth, oh I don't know, ten million? So that will be a 'mansion' tax bill of £45,000 for Mr Cable, plus tax on benefit in kind for the free rent, It would rent for lets say bargain basement 250k a year. So that is tax bill of £103,000. It looks like poor Mr Cable won't receive ANY of his chancellors salary of £145,000. In fact he will be paying us to do the job.

But then of course we all know that on a salary of £145,000 (8,000 a month net) you can buy yacht to rival Roman Abramovich, holiday at Sandy lane at Christmas, send Tarquin and Timmy to Eaton, keep a nanny, a 911 for yorself, Range Rover for the Mrs, golf for the Nanny, save a pension, pay your mortgage (on the mansion you got for nothing obviously), Keep a mistress, go down to Stringfellow s every night to do a bit of downtrodding of wimin, and then you go home and bathe in champagne.

Or maybe you can't. After slogging all your way up to that level, after maybe 30 years of sacrifice, you are probably borrowing for school fees, driving a clapped out Bluebird, holidaying in your 20 foot garden of your 1000 square foot house, in a not as nice as you hoped area which is worth a bit more than the 600k mortgage you have on it, but is your only asset as you have no pension and can't afford one. You are worried about redundancy, your pension, the threat that you will be paying over 60% tax on the earnings over 100k that you were granted with the last promotion that you fought your way up the greasy pole for the last nine years for doing 90 hours a week with no overtime or bonus and yet all the thanks you get our fine politicians is abuse. You have contributed all of your life and yet you are treated like a thief. Your wife is probably having an affair because you are always at work and your kids have seen the writing on the wall and have dropped out of society. Fat Cat? Fat! Chance!

It makes you wonder why you got out of bed all of those mornings.

Alternatively there is always a career in Politics!!!!

mav said...

I think its a ruse. An ill thought out diversion. Its going to raise £1bn towards a £16bn tax cut. They had £15bn of tax rises that they didn't want to talk about, so came up with this headline grabbing scam. Which has backfired, badly.

Tristan said...

I love the Tories sometimes - when policies are set to benefit the powerful, land owners, oligopoly and monopoly business all is well and good and its the 'free market' (its rather Orwellian, a bit like Obama being 'liberal')

When LibDems make a half-hearted attempt at redressing some of the balance its 'envy politics'.

When the policies of government cease to redistribute from the poor to the rich, then we can talk about envy.

What else can we expect from the party which has always defended privilege and lack of talent over hard work though? (it seems the other parties are catching up though)

Fox in sox said...

I am amazed at how ineptly the Lib Dems are running their conference. First Cable then Clegg appear as muppets, first savage cuts then bash the rich.

They benefited from anti Tory tactical voting over the last decade, that gearing is now going into reverse. I think that they will lose lots of seats to the Tories. A better tactic would be to get anti labour tactical votes, then they would be in a position equivalent to 1997.

A massive majority does not make for good government, either as Tories in the 1980's or labour in the last decade. But that is where we are heading now.

trevorsden said...

"are in favour of large tax cuts for the very rich? " -- I think most of us 'new righters' and old 'uns would be happy to see rich bastard bankers and their ilk swinging from the trees. Beown unfortunately seems to be saying to them business as usual.

The point about the tax as complained about is that it is not based on ability to pay. You can be modest in income but live in a house valued highly.

I am in favour of getting more tax out of the rich - thats not always done (if ever) by increasing rates - its done by encouraging them NOT to avoid paying it and encouraging entrepreneurship.

If we can get them to buy more Rolls Royces that is good for employment industry and tax receipts in Britain.

I do not envy rich people - I am angry if they selfishly squander money and do not use it for good. Seems to me you can be rich and selfless - as indeed I am sure many are.

This tax seems a silly idea - indeed if it was so good why have we not had an extra council tax band before - oh yes council tax goes to the council - this will go to the govt - another complication another database another govt dept and running costs.
Another libdem cock up.

trevorsden said...

"What if I live in rented accommodation and earn 3 squillion a year? (I wish)." --- then your landlord will pay the tax (on top of income tax and capital gains tax) and simply put up your rent.

But lets hold on a goldarned minute here ....
The deficit has to be reduced and debt has to be repaid.

How?

Lets be clear, the labour suggestion that it can all be painless under them and wife-beatingly cruel malicious and rapacious under the tories not only is wrong. It misses the point.

We are in for austerity. Vince's suggestion to tax a few nobs on the hill is equally disingenuous.
I for one do not intend to reward the party that got us into this mess with my vote.

True Belle said...

I suppose this tax is equivalent to Nu labs proposed tax on properties with a view.

You see, the Libdems have come down to B'mouth, and visited the richer neighbour Poole and envy pure envy has surfaced.

The delicious rewards of hard work are being attacked.

The Libdems annoy most people, they are all misfits who have not adjusted their 'you know whats'- too far to the left if you know what I mean!

Hamish said...

AP, well said.
Incidentally, could I have your wife's telephone number.

I Squiggle said...

@tevorsden

That is precisely my point – and I agree with your follow up. This idea is just complete nonsense, ill thought through and panders to the politics of envy. Everyone, but mostly those who actually pay tax in all its manifest ways, are going to have to get hold of the idea that the debt we (we?) have built up, will need to be paid off. Hard choices, hard times. Yes, those more able to pay will pay more, but (Vince) be honest: An asset tax is nonsense, you’re going to have to go for income - however it comes in, however it is spent.

I’m looking forward to the Labour party conference – a first. Will anyone be honest?

Hunter-Gatherer said...

As an economist at Shell he didn't run anything either

DespairingLiberal said...

Fine, if it can't be property taxes, let's have a supertax on hedge funds then.

Not under Cameron though, who is very much one of the hedge fund fraternity.

Anonymous said...

"alarming non-sequita that is Asset versus Income i.e the ability to actually pay" well that’s the system both Tories and Labour favour with council tax.
Even with Council Tax Benefit, the poorest pay a high proportion of their income because of council tax .

neil craig said...

Damn. Susan Kramer is the one LibDem I want to see win since Zac "vandalising power stations is legal" Goldsmith is an eco-fascist & unfit to represent any decent party.

Isn't it interesting that the constituencies with the highest green votes are wealthy urban ones, just as som many green leaders are from public schools with inherited dosh?

Sir Edward Heath said...

What happens if, under Lib Dems, you own more than one £1m house? You move abroad. Hee! Hee! Hee!