Boris Johnson and sister split over Labour's mansion tax

Feb 18, 2013

The London mayor says Miliband's tax is 'un-British' but sister Rachel hails it as 'political Viagra'

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ED MILIBAND'S proposal to slug the owners of properties worth more than £2 million with a 'mansion tax' has divided the house of Johnson. London mayor Boris Johnson has condemned Labour's policy proposal as "un-British", while his sister, the journalist Rachel Johnson, said it was justified and represented "sheer political Viagra".

Boris devoted his column in the Daily Telegraph to a tirade against Labour's proposed tax, which is designed to raise up to £2bn and fund a revival of the 10p tax band. He advised the owners of expensive homes to stop carrying out repairs and halt renovations "because any such effort might lift you over the limit for Ed's so-called mansion tax".

The mayor said Miliband's first real policy announcement had revealed that Labour was returning to the "politics of envy and nihilistic class war". The tax was "un-British", "unfair" and discriminated against Londoners, who would bear the brunt of the initiative. He added that it might even encourage the owners of expensive houses to vandalise their property in a bid to reduce its worth and avoid the tax.

In her column in the Daily Mail, Rachel offered a more supportive appraisal of the mansion tax. She confessed that it might "ruin" her because the London house she bought with her husband for £385,000 in 1992 had appreciated so much it would qualify as a 'mansion'.

Rachel admitted Miliband's proposal was a clever political strategy, because it "surfs the country's waves of anger against bankers, the non-domiciled, foreigners, the super-rich and everything London…" Tongue somewhat in cheek, she declared "Well done, Ed!"

On a more serious note, Rachel suggested a mansion tax made sense because it was time she and her privileged peers – the baby boomers who enjoyed a free university education, fell into well-paid careers and watched property values rocket, particularly in London – started sharing some of their easily-won wealth with younger Britons.

"My peer group have created problems such as endless recession and rocketing property prices, but until now have not been keen to become part of the solution," she wrote. "I can see why a spot of moral capitalism from a man [Miliband] who went to a comprehensive, rather than oligarchy from Old Etonians, might be the ticket."

Her brother vehemently disagreed. If Miliband introduces his mansion tax it will sign his "political death warrant" he said. It would prove that the Labour leader was hostile to one of the "deepest instincts of the British people: to show the energy, enterprise and ambition to want to improve your own home and to raise its value".

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Boris is quite right, as usual! This is another cheap political stunt from the Millipede - ill considered, not thought through and the (welcome, in my view) unintended consequence is likely to be that people of any reasonable means in the home counties will think twice before voting for Labour or the ridiculous Lib Dems.

I would rather give the Millipede the benefit of the doubt - instead of being unutterably stupid and naive, as he so convincingly appears to be, this far out from the General Election he he is more likely to be kite - flying for popular/populist policies with which to decorate the Labour party's manifesto; thus far, little of any real substance has been mooted by the Millipede or Ballsup, the Bulldog.

quite a rude little troll

dear Boris, if this proposal is "envy & class war" that is bad... why, exactly?

On the contrary, Boris is talking through his backside again, and desperately trying to divert attention from an obvious truth; people who have become rich simply because they had the money to invest in property at the right time must expect to put some of that back into society. The fact that many of these people are the very ones who created the financial crash means they have not got a leg to stand on when asked to pay their way to assist the current generation. Boris is a rich, privileged,ambitious philanderer, and anything he says has to be seen in that light.

The unpleasant terms you use to describe Labour politicians do you no favours; they have clearly touched a nerve with you, probably because, like Boris, you know they are right.

Indeed, it seems that I have touched a nerve - your's perhaps? It is a given with the Left that criticism of any of their "sacred cows" - eg the NHS, Education and the spitefully envious anti-property ownership view is simply not to be countenanced or tolerated; perhaps, just perhaps, some enterprising and hard-working people in the PRIVATE (not PUBLIC!) sector deserve the fruits of their labours?

Is it too much to ask that they be allowed to actually enjoy the fruits of their labours without having to stage a constant rear-guard action from the mediocre Left? Just to pour fuel on the fire - I attended a boys' Grammar school (yes - God Forbid! Selective Education! AAAAAAGH!

I then served, from the age of 16, in the British Army! AAAAGH! Militaristic! Yet I still believe in Democracy, the work ethic and I ABHOR war and violence - so, perhaps, before using the hackneyed word "Troll" expand your imagination beyond the Metropolitan Luvvie mindset - there is a big wide world beyond the M 25 - go out and live in it!!!

...sorry to have offended your sensibilities -

Not quite sure how buying a house and watching it appreciate due to forces outside your control qualifies as "fruits of your labour". But maybe you would like to enlighten us.

If there were enough mansions to make a difference, it might be worth doing. But seems ridiculous to assume that there are loads of rich people who dont deserve to be wealthy, living in mansions. I think we need to look at ways of bringing large amounts of revenue into the country rather than redistributing it within our own.