Balls hits back at Labour critics of mansion tax

Charlotte Henry
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A ROW erupted in the Labour party yesterday over its key mansion tax proposal.

The shadow chancellor Ed Balls insisted that “there’s a tried and tested way to do this. People will be able to get an independent evaluation, which HMRC will use....Of course it will work."

He was forced on to the defensive in response to a rare intervention by former business secretary Lord Mandelson. The Labour grandee called the policy “crude” and “short-termist”, and backed the Lib Dem proposal to raise council tax bands instead.

The Lib Dems said that the “comments prove yet again that Labour is all at sea when it comes to the nation's finances.”

Other high profile Labour critics include Hackney MP Diane Abbott, who yesterday backed Lord Mandelson, calling the mansion tax policy a “tax on London” which could “have unforeseen effects.”

However, Abbott’s potential rival to be Labour’s candidate for London Mayor Sadiq Khan disagreed, saying “the mansion tax is absolutely fair,” insisting that “those who are cash poor, but asset rich will not be affected.”

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