This is a letter from me published in the Ham & High on 19 February 2015.
Last week, the Lib Dems doubled down on their pledge to introduce a ‘Mansion Tax’. Indeed, in recognition of the fact that most homes hit are London flats, Lib Dem economics spokesman Danny Alexander redubbed it a ‘High Value Property Tax’: different name, same policy.
Be under no illusion what it means for our community. More homes would be hit by the ‘Mansion Tax’ in just Camden than in the whole of the North, the Midlands, Scotland, and Wales combined.
And unlike Council Tax, the revenue would go to central government. So while Camden residents will pay £100m in ‘Mansion Tax’, not a single penny will go to Camden Council. Whether it’s the Labour ‘Mansion Tax’ or the Lib Dem ‘High Value Property Tax’, it means a tax on our borough.
Indeed, Camden Council would have to pay, as it owns a large amount of street-front social housing that would be hit by a high-value property tax. Camden Council could well pay more in either ‘Mansion Tax’ or ‘High Value Property Tax’than public services in Camden would receive. And that’s not even counting the £100m that local home-owners and private renters would have to pay.
We’ve long known the ‘Mansion Tax’ would be a disaster for residents – but it also means a financial black hole for Camden Council. The Lib Dems’ name for it may have changed, but their support for it hasn’t, and a tax by any other name would not smell sweet.