Mansion tax plans slammed by estate agents as ‘unfair’
by Jacky Hayler
LABOUR plans to introduce an annual ‘mansion tax’ on owners of homes worth more than £2 million have drawn criticism from property industry experts.
Party leader Ed Miliband told delegates at the Labour Conference in Manchester that the proposal would raise £1.7 billion a year and help fund the NHS.
The levy would feature protections for the asset-rich but cash-poor — people who don’t have a high income but live in expensive properties.
Labour said the tax would also be staggered, so properties would be taxed at different levels, based on their value. The plans have been widely criticised, with estate agents saying a tax would be difficult to implement and disproportionately affect properties in the capital. London Mayor Boris Johnson said the move would be a “tax on London”. Land Registry data shows that of 72,900 homes sold in May 2014 in England and Wales, 238 were sold for more than £2 million, with the majority — 199 — of them in London.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show the typical house price in London was £514,000 in July.