Ed Miliband today confirmed Labour's plans to introduce a "mansion tax" on homes worth more than £2m - but his plans have already met with criticism.
This will affect people all over the country, not just in London where the market has been most buoyant. Many owners are people who have worked hard throughout their lives and have been in their homes for many years, or those who have invested in their home to provide a secure retirement. Many are asset-rich and income poor and the threat of a mansion tax would force these people to sell up.
Analyst Louise Cooper made a similar point in a note ahead of Miliband's speech claiming £2m properties are “far from mansions, and not in prime central London”.
So much of the country's economic wealth is generated by London and the South East. Its workers must have somewhere to live. If the next generation can only buy a property with support from their parents, then this country will become even less socially mobile than it is already. That will cost the economy.
How can we have the vibrant and successful city - the engine of growth for the country - if no one can afford to live in it. Either because of the initial cost of buying a property is so high, or because of the cost if living in a property - the inaccurately named "mansion" tax.
Labour’s proposal to tax expensive houses and hypothecate the funds for the NHS is bizarre. Although property value taxes are among the least inefficient taxes, and shifting the burden from costlier taxes like stamp duty land tax, corporation tax and income tax is a good idea, we already have a perfectly good property tax system: council tax.