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AS 2012: Osborne rules out ‘mansion tax’

George Osborne 480

Chancellor George Osborne today ruled out a so-called “mansion tax” on expensive properties.

Giving his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons today, Osborne said a property tax would be “expensive”, “intrusive”, difficult to recoup and would tempt future Governments to expand the number of properties that would be caught by the tax.

In September, the Liberal Democrats backed plans for a new annual property tax which would either be levied at up to 1.5 per cent of a property’s value or based on a site’s rental value.The Lib Dems previously included a proposal to put a charge of 1 per cent on all homes worth more than £2m in its last election manifesto, dubbed a mansion tax.

Within a few days of the LibDems announcement, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls admitted Labour was also considering the idea of a mansion tax for the UK’s largest homes.

In October, Prime Minister David Cameron effectively ruled out any such tax, saying the Government has already put extra taxes in place for when people buy expensive properties.

Business secretary Vince Cable restarted the row in November after he appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show and said it was right to tax wealth and property was an obvious place to go for that.

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