Ed Balls unveils mansion tax and promises to hit the rich hardest

Kate McCann
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Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls has announced plans for a mansion tax similar to those already proposed by the Liberal Democrats, promising to hit the wealthy hardest.

Labour’s proposal would see those in homes worth above £2m hit with a property tax linked to house prices, not inflation.

The scheme would be organised into bands; £2-£5m, £5-10m, £10-20m and over £20m, with exemptions for the cash-poor but asset-rich.

“How can it be right that the foreign buyer last month of a £140m flat in Westminster will pay just £26 a week in council tax — the same as the average-value property in that council area?” Balls wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday. He also called on the government to publish detailed research it is believed to have undertaken on how the mansion tax could work.

Balls’ announcement is being seen as an opportunity for Labour to woo Lib Dem MPs in a possible coalition deal after the 2015 election.

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