PROPERTY experts yesterday ridiculed Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable&rsquo;s pledge to introduce an annual levy on homes worth more than &pound;1m, warning that the measure would lay waste to an already fragile housing market.<br /><br />The so-called &ldquo;mansion tax&rdquo;, proposed by Cable at the Lib Dem annual party conference yesterday, would see some 250,000 households pay 0.5 per cent on the value of their property above &pound;1m, equating to &pound;2,500 on a house worth &pound;1.5m.<br /><br />But key figures from the property sector rounded on Cable yesterday, claiming that his plans would wreak havoc on the housing market.<br /><br />Head of residential research at Knight Frank Liam Bailey said the tax would destroy the market for homes just below the &pound;1m mark and unfairly punish the South East.<br /><br />&ldquo;Coming on the back of the non-dom levy, and the 50 per cent&nbsp; tax rate the sign would be very clear &shy;&ndash; that the UK is not a location for highly paid or highly motivated people to come to,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />Ed Mead, director of Douglas and Gordon said: &ldquo;This will freeze up the housing market at a time when that is the last thing it needs. It&rsquo;s absolutely outrageous.&rdquo;<br /><br />DTZ director Mike Bickerton added that the tax would hit pensioners whose homes have increased in value and was &ldquo;not a vote winner for the Lib Dems&rdquo;.<br /><br />Cable said the levy would raise &pound;1.1bn towards funding a change in the income tax threshold from &pound;6,475 to &pound;10,000, lifting four million people out of taxation on earnings altogether.<br /><br />In total, Cable believes he can raise &pound;17bn by targeting the wealthiest members of society and closing tax loopholes.<br /><br />On spending, Cable savaged the Tories, who he said were committed to &pound;53bn in extra spending and &ldquo;so arrogant they think they can walk into Downing Street without anyone noticing&rdquo;.<br /><br />He identified a host of other programmes that could be cut to reduce pressure on the public purse, including the Crossrail project, whichCable said wasn&rsquo;t a &ldquo;key priority&rdquo;.&nbsp; <br /><br />Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London&rsquo;s advisor on transport policy, said: &ldquo;Vince Cable must be the only person in London who believes a project that will add at least &pound;20bn to the economy, and will employ some 14,000 people is not a priority.&rdquo;<br /><br />Cable also said a Liberal Democrat government would scrap the NHS database and ID cards, as he sought to make his party appear tougher on spending.<br />