Allegra Stratton at the Guardian set the ball rolling yesterday on whether the Lib Dems are planning a new type of mansion tax – albeit under a different name.
The proposal is being kicked around by senior Lib Dem figures (such as Richard Reeves, policy wonk to Nick Clegg) but is meeting resistance from Tories. It is also unpopular with other Lib Dems such as David Laws (who is playing a key role in co-writing their “Tax 2020″ document). That’s right: Laws does not want it.
Wealthy FT readers in big houses may rest easy for a while longer.
Here’s our news take on it:
Owners of £1m-plus homes would have to pay capital gains tax when they sell up under attempts by senior Liberal Democrats to revive their “mansion tax” proposals.At present CGT is paid at 28 per cent when a second home is sold but main residences are exempt from the levy.But Lib Dems are considering whether sellers could be forced to pay the duty on any profits beyond a £1m tax-free threshold – a policy which could bring in billions for the exchequer.Treasury officials have had discussions with experts in the property industry to find out how many people live in multi-million pound homes and where they are located.However, the proposals are likely to meet fierce resistance from Tory ministers given that many Conservative voters live in homes worth more than £1m.Vince Cable, as opposition Treasury spokesman, was forced to revise his original “mansion tax” proposal – an annual levy on big homes – after the Lib Dems realised that it would harm many of their suburban voters in south-west London.The business secretary’s attempts to revive the mansion tax as a device to