Council tax hike for homes worth £1m?
Filed under: News
Currently the top rate of tax is around £168 a month. Such a move could see around 840,000 homes affected.
Need to know: Savings
Predictably, most of those affected would live in London and the South of the country. The issue of raising taxes from unearned wealth such as property was debated at the Lib Dem Brighton annual conference. A Lib Dem spokesperson said a move was not party policy yet - but all options of taxing wealth rather than income are on the table, he said.
Such a plan would be vehemently opposed by a rash of Tory Cabinet ministers, worried that new top rate council tax bands could hit Conservative supporter heartlands. It could also mean comprehensive revaluations nationally - hugely expensive and politically divisive.
The Lib Dems are also pushing for a new £2m mansion tax - the more likely option of taxing wealth, longer term. Property owners would be charged 1% of the value above a £2million threshold, plus council tax.
Poll support?Previously the Conservatives backed away from Labour's plans to revaluate every property in England's council tax band. Yet it's still thought around 400,000 homes remain in the wrong band. The Lib Dems also want better-off pensioners to be stripped of universal benefits such as free bus passes, winter fuel payments and free TV licences.
Ways to tax the wealthy appear back on the agenda, with Labour leader David Miliband promising to reinstall the 50p tax rate for higher earners, should Labour - 10 points ahead in the polls currently - win the next election. The Lib Dems however, according to a recent Observer/Opinium poll, remain level-pegging with UKIP, at 10%.