Azara Blog: Lib Dems hate the rich but can't figure out what to do about it

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Date published: 2008/03/08

The BBC says:

Vince Cable has told BBC News he was forced to ditch plans for an annual tax on homes worth £1m or more over fears it would alienate middle class voters.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live's John Pienaar, Mr Cable said he was persuaded to drop the policy last year by Lib Dem party colleagues.

But he said he was now devising a new policy to address the "problem of extreme wealth in property".

Mr Cable earlier unveiled plans to tax the "super rich".
...
He said plans unveiled this time last year for an annual 1% levy on homes worth £1m or had been dropped after pressure from party colleagues.

Asked if that was because such a move could damage the party in the eyes of middle-class voters, Mr Cable said: "Certainly that objection was made.

Let's see. If your house was worth £999999 you would have paid nothing. If it was worth one pound more you would have paid 10k per year. Well that's fair.

And in London if you are old enough then because of house price inflation you could quite easily own a million pound house and earn (say) 50k per year. So a 10k tax increase would not have been insignificant.

Funnily enough, the Lib Dems claim that council tax (upper limit circa 3k or so per year) is "unfair" because it is not based on income. Yet they wanted to introduce what amounts to a super council tax. Unbelievable.

The Lib Dems will never be in power so in some sense it doesn't really matter what they say. But the other parties have their own, equally silly, "soak the rich" schemes. Britain seems to be heading back to the 1970s.

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