The Mansion Tax is “fair” claims Labour MP Andrew Slaughter

Many Labour MPs and councillors have spoken out against the Party’s vindictive plans for a “Mansion Tax”.

Yet the Labour MP for Hammersmith made the astonishing claim on the BBC Sunday Politics (about 39 minutes in) that:

“It’s fair.”

When asked about the Scottish Labour Leader Jim Murphy’s boast that the Mansion Tax would householders in Londoner pay more tax with the extra spending going to Scotland, Mr Slaughter couldn’t see what the problem was. He said:

“All taxation is redistributive in that way.”

There was a weaselly reference to those earning less than £42,000 “you won’t have to pay at all upfront” – instead there is an odious proposal for a extra death tax.

Then he implied that the issue was of little consequence:

“I’ve had very few letters on the subject.”

Mr Slaughter added:

“We are not in favour of taxing people in ordinary family homes of modest means.”

Really?

Last week the Evening Standard reported that 7,708 households in Hammersmith and Fulham would be hit by Labour’s “Mansion Tax”. In the whole of Scotland only 987 properties would be taxed. In Scotland genuine mansions – and castles – with 15 or 20 bedrooms would be exempt. In our borough Labour defines some two bedroom flats as “mansions”.

This is despite a survey by Knight Frank finds that Fulham house prices fell in the last quarter by  4.2% – more than anywhere else in Central London. They expressly blame the “Mansion Tax” for it.

It would be naive to assume a Labour Government could be trusted not to lower the threshold below £2 million. Labour have a black hole in their spending plans of £20.7 billion. How would they fund that? Lowering the threshold to £1.5 million? £1 million?

It wouldn’t be the first time a tax was introduced supposedly aimed at the wealthy that ended up being applied more widely.

The Labour leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Cllr Stephen Cowan, has claimed that Mr Slaughter is “leading a campaign against the Mansion Tax”. That was not entirely clear from yesterday’s TV interview.

 

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