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Britain already has the world’s highest property tax. Why do we need a Mansion Tax?

16 February 2015

8:06 AM

16 February 2015

8:06 AM

To listen to the debate about Labour’s prospective Mansion Tax, you’d think that the UK didn’t have any wealth or property taxes. So your CoffeeHouse baristas looked up the figures, which are collected by the OECD. Our stamp duty, business rates and council tax give the UK the highest property tax in the world. This has been the case decades.

And it’s becoming more, em, progressive. Once stamp duty used to be charged only on the pricier properties. Osborne’s cunning decision to leave the £250,000 threshold untouched and the asset boom caused by low rates mean more people are being hauled into stamp duty (via fiscal drag). For the first time, someone buying the average UK house will be ensnared in the stamp duty trap. And for those (mainly in London) paying more than £925,000 for the house mean their stamp duty bill will rise even further as a result of Osborne’s recent reform.

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So let’s not pretend that people with expensive houses are somehow getting away with paying extra tax. They’re being stung more than their equivalents in any country on the planet.


pOn the day of the Budget announcement (18 March), join The Spectator’s Andrew Neil, Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth for a discussion on George Osborne’s last Budget before the general election. This event has been organised by The Spectator in association with Aberdeen Asset Management. For tickets and further information click here 

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