Labour grandees unimpressed by mansion tax

/ 7 October 2014

Prominent Labour party figures have continued to criticise Ed Miliband’s proposals for a ‘mansion tax’ on properties worth more than £2m. Labour’s biggest donor, the businessman John Mills, warned that it would cause “all sorts of problems” and could push some people into negative equity. Margaret Hodge MP suggested that the policy was “too crude to work properly,” while Dame Tessa Jowell, the former Labour cabinet minister, raised concerns about the implications for “older families who are asset rich and income poor.” Elsewhere, the Evening Standard reports that the Liberal Democrats have rejected a call to protect pensioners who could face huge bills under the party’s mansion tax plan.

Source: The Times Daily Mail The Sun Evening Standard

My enemy’s enemy is my friend (except, apparently in the Middle East, where we’ve given up trying to work out who is on whose side): and whoever opposes Red Ed’s Selective Wealth Tax is OK by us. But it’s an interesting group of allies. For Saint Margaret to suggest that any policy is “too crude” does not sit well with her uncompromising and robust chairing of the PAC sessions where she has often brushed aside all subtlety and shown all the finesse of a Polled Shorthorn in a porcelain emporium. Tessa’s rapport with “older families who are asset rich and income poor” is less surprising, coming as it does from a woman who has just turned 67, separated some years ago now from her high-earning husband over the Berlusconi scandal, is out of the shadow cabinet and subsisting on backbencher’s pay and is contemplating retirement from Parliament at the next election. Not that that makes her views any the less valid: we’ll take any support we can get in squashing this hare-brained notion of Ed’s.