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Mansion Tax - Vince is Wrong

My previous post about why a mansion tax would not only be wrong but impractical, seems to have persuaded most of the government together with all sensibly-minded folk, but not, apparently, the unconvinced Vince. From the Guardian today:
Cable did not rule out new, higher council tax bands on multimillion-pound properties. "There are vast numbers of extraordinarily valuable properties now around the south of England netting very large gains for their owners – many of whom come from abroad, incidentally – and it's not taxed at all," he said. "Basically, you get people with multimillion-pound properties paying exactly the same council tax as somebody in a three-bedroom semi. So the system doesn't work."
What does he mean "netting very large gains for their owners"? Is he under a delusion that by sitting in an expensive property people are somehow making money from it? Quite apart from the obvious point that a bigger property costs more to run (maintenance, heating, lighting, gardening, cleaning etc), is he suggesting that someone living in a larger property in some way costs councils more, so they should pay more? Surely the opposite is true. Wealthier people need less council services than poorer ones, so actually cost their councils less. Doesn't this mean, taking his logic of fairness a step further, that they should therefore pay less for what they actually receive? It's a little like arguing that people who pay for the best education they can afford for their children should also pay more to help state-educated kids. Whereas the truth is that private education lightens the burden on the state by not requiring it to educate those children, whilst at the same time freeing up seats in overcrowded state classrooms. "Thank you private education parents" I (don't) hear Vince cry. Is this what he means by "So the system doesn't work."?

Of course wealthier people should pay for the less fortunate in our society. No-one would disagree with that. It's why percentages were invented. 10% of something big is proportionately and fairly bigger than 10% of something smaller. It's wrong to make people pay disproportionately more by using nonsensical and misleading statements related entirely to the size and location of their property, and especially without understanding a) whether they can personally afford to pay more (since they are already paying higher ownership costs than people who live in smaller places), and b) how they came to be wealthy (or not) in the first place. Go on Vince.. Give job-creators a good kicking. Let's see how hard you can kick them before they decide there's little point staying in the UK.

And so we come to the final Vince delusion "...and it's not taxed at all". This really made me see red. How was the bloody mansion purchased in the first place, Vince?  Their owners are not all lottery winners, African warlords and dodgy Ruskies. Most 'mansions' that aren't owned through inheritance by destitute 'church-mice' were bought with money on which tax had already been paid! The more that was paid, the more tax that person originally paid. Not taxed? Come on Vince. Why peddle this misleading nonsense?...

I know why, of course, because this is politics and popularity is everything. Why ruin a popular argument by using truth, logic and fairness?


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