Are Osborne and Cameron right to scrap mansion tax?

Oct 8, 2012

Chancellor wins over Tories by scrapping property levy but two-thirds of public are not convinced


GEORGE OSBORNE and David Cameron have rejected Liberal Democrat calls for a 'mansion tax' - an annual one per cent tax on properties valued at more than £2m. But do they have the support of the general public?

"It's not a 'mansion tax’ it's a 'homes tax’ and this party of home ownership will have no truck with it,” Osborne told the Conservative party conference to rapturous applause.

Today’s Daily Telegraph leader applauded Osborne and Cameron for scrapping what it describes as Cable's "most distinctive and misguided contribution to fiscal policy".

The Daily Mail has described the decision as "Osborne's bold stand for true Tory values" and a "calculated and long-overdue slap in the face to his coalition partners".

The Mail added: "It is music to the ears of restive Tory backbenchers, increasingly angry that far too many concessions have already been made to the Lib Dems, who for all their grandiose posturing have just 57 MPs in a parliament of 650.”

But a survey released today suggests that nearly two-thirds of Britons support the mansion tax. A poll for the Metro newspaper found that 57 per cent of 1,164 people questioned were in favour of it.

One reader taking part in The Independent’s online debate on the subject pointed to an interview in The Times from 2009 when David Cameron could not even remember how many 'mansions’ he owned. When asked if he owned a fourth house, Cameron had said: "I don't think so - not that I can think of."

One tweeter summed up: "Pigs don't vote for sty tax. Turkeys aren't keen on Xmas. And no surprise Tories veto mansion tax. Millionaire looks after no.1 shocker."

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They are in line for gilt-edged pensions when they finish their 'work' (can't you see the callouses on their hands?)