The mansion tax scaring London’s millionaires
The rich with residence or property in Britain are trembling at the possibility of the so-called mansions tax being imposed. For now, it is just one of the proposals of the electoral program of the Labour and Conservative parties. But if the next general election in May 2015 is won both Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg will impose a tax on those houses whose value is more than £2 million.
“I am very responsible with money and certainly the rate could take away the desire to buy a house in London.” This was the response from Angelina Jolie when asked by the British media about the tax, in view of her intention to settle in the capital.
Among those who have already spoken out against this tax are celebrities Gryff Rhys Jones and Myleene Klass. Calculations from the Financial Times states that the tax would mean that those who own a mansion of between £2 and 3 million would pay £3,000 a year, while those with more expensive properties could pay up to £19,000 per year, since it would be a progressive tax. Pensioners could postpone payment until their death and those who have low incomes but a house whose value has increased, would be exempt.
According to Labour, the tax doesn’t affect 0.5% of the UK population, since the average price of a house in Britain is £241,000, and in London almost double that. However, there are between 50,000 and 90,000 properties of more than £2 million, depending on which estate agent does the calculation.
Currently, we all pay council tax, which varies depending on the street and the occupants of a property. But the mansion tax would not be confined to a city, but national and the Labour tax revenue aspire to raise about £1,2 billion to go to finance the national health system (NHS), presently affected by a severe crisis.
The largest concentration of homes worth more than £2 million is in the London districts of Kensington and Chelsea – home to, among others, the Beckham family, billionaire Roman Abramovich and a raft of actors.
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