Lib Dems revise mansion tax

THE Liberal Democrats have doubled the threshold at which they want homeowners to pay an annual &ldquo;mansion tax&rdquo;.<br /><br />Properties will now have to be worth at least &pound;2m to incur a one per cent charge &ndash; the previous plan was to charge 0.5 per cent a year on properties worth more than &pound;1m.<br /><br />Party leader Nick Clegg admitted he had been forced to &ldquo;do some homework&rdquo; since announcing the policy in September. Many Lib Dems fear the scheme could damage their election prospects in London and the south of England.<br /><br />An estimated 80,000 homes would now be hit by the levy, compared to around 240,000 under the previous threshold.<br /><br />The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors warned a mansion tax would be difficult to implement. <br /><br />Gillian Charlesworth, director of external affairs, said: &ldquo;Any tax needs to be based on accurate information about who is affected and how much they will be expected to pay. A lack of information means it is not straightforward to even estimate the potential revenues from the scheme.&rdquo;<br /><br />The revised &ldquo;mansion tax&rdquo; formed part of a range of tax proposals unveiled by the Lib Dems yesterday described by Clegg as the &ldquo;most radical, far reaching tax reform in a generation.&rdquo; These include:<br />&bull; No income tax paid on first &pound;10,000 earned; <br />&bull; Tax relief on high value pensions reduced;<br />&bull; One per cent annual &ldquo;mansion tax&rdquo; on a property&rsquo;s value above &pound;2m;<br />&bull; Capital gains to be taxed as income;<br />&bull; Ten per cent temporary tax on bank profits;<br />&bull; More green taxes.