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Vince Cable restarts Govt mansion tax row

Vince Cable 480

Business secretary Vince Cable has restarted the coalition Government row over the introduction of a mansion tax ahead of the autumn statement on 5 December.

At the Conservative party conference in Birmingham last month, prime minister David Cameron ruled out “clobbering” home owners with an annual charge on properties worth more than £2m.

Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said he will not agree to more welfare cuts unless there is agreement on some form of wealth taxation.

With chancellor George Osborne keen to cut a further £10bn from the welfare budget, it is the key source of coalition tension in negotiations for the autumn statement next month.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday, Cable said other forms of property taxation such as rises in stamp duty and more council tax bands are being considered.

He said: “I know these areas are under discussion and the devil will be in the detail but it is right that we do tax wealth and property is the obvious place to go.

“One reason that it is fairer is that it cannot run off to Monaco and Liechtenstein. When trying to deal with abuse of the tax system, it is the best way of doing it.”

Cable says the best off in society must contribute more and he expects Government arguments about property taxation to be resolved “in the next few weeks”.

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