Monday, 3 November 2014

Don't let the Door Hit You on The Way Out

From the Independent

Comedian and TV presenter Griff Rhys Jones will “probably” move abroad and buy a “massive palace” if Labour wins the next general election, he has said.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Jones, 61, said Labour’s plans to introduce a “mansion tax” on the super-rich would hit him hard as he currently lives in a “gigantic” house in Fitzrovia, London.

He bought the property about 15 years ago when it was a “slum”, he said, and spent the next few years doing it up.

I'm sure Mark already has a classification for these people to go with the poor widows, something like the "restoration justifiers" (someone come up with another name), people who try to pretend that the reasons their homes rose in value is that they got the plasterers and decorators in.

Jones, famous for BBC comedy show Alas Smith and Jones in the 1980s and 1990s and for the Three Men in a Boat series with Dara Ó Briain and Rory McGrath more recently, said he might leave the UK if Ed Miliband led the Labour party to power.

“It would mean I’d be paying the most colossal tax, which is aimed at foreigners who have apparently come in and bought up all the property in London. That sounds about as fatuous an idea as that immigrants are stealing all the jobs,” he said.

Well, no, it's not aimed at that. It's aimed at people who have seen a rise in house prices as a result of a windfall.

“I’d probably live abroad because I could get some massive palace which I could restore.”

Good. Clear off, then. Would anyone miss Griff Rhys Jones at this point? What does he do nowadays? Stands in front of an autocue for that BBC restoration show. Plenty of people who can do the same job.


Macheath said...


Dinero said...

His got a point the MT would discourage renovating a dilapidated house.

The Stigler said...

I like it.

I don't know how MT is going to be done, but in an LVT situation, it's about land and similar properties, and improving the interior makes little difference to that valuation. I mean, I live in a house worth around £250K and if I changed all the carpets and replastered it all, it would cost me something like £10K. But on a £2m house in London of the same size it probably wouldn't be much higher than that (only slightly more expensive tradesmen).

Dinero said...

Someone on the cusp of 2Million not wanting to incur the charge and so letting the wind continue to blow through. Poor widow in a reck kind of thing.

The Stigler said...


If that's how they want to live, fine. We lose a few ten grands on a few £1.99m houses. I couldn't care less.

But it is why I'm only really a supporter of MT in that it's a step in the right direction. It's got all sorts of problems, like taxing massive country houses where the money is mostly in the bricks, not the land.

mombers said...

Does he mention any candidate countries to flee to, and if so, has he done his homework to see what the mansion taxes are there?

Mark Wadsworth said...

“I’d probably live abroad because I could get some massive palace which I could restore.”

There are plenty of 'massive palaces' in outlying parts of the UK which he could snap up for a couple of hundred grand if he so wishes.

For example in Wales, and he does claim to be 'Welsh' despite never having lived there.

Anonymous said...

The celebrity class aren't as hardy as they used to be. I can remember the likes of Michael Caine upping sticks when we were taxing at marginal rates close to 100%. Now all it seems to take is 5% on income tax and a few bob extra on a London mansion to set them off.

Mark Wadsworth said...

PC, not to worry!

TV celebs are hefted. They have to live near Television Centre, they get paid huge sums to be on telly here, but they wouldn't be able to command a penny on French or German or Italian telly.

Even if they live abroad, their UK source telly income is taxable here.

Not so with proper international rock stars or film stars, who can go wherever they like.

Bayard said...

"For example in Wales, and he does claim to be 'Welsh' despite never having lived there."

He does have a house which he paid over the odds to have done up in Pembrokeshire.
There are only 87 properties in the whole of Wales that would be affected by the MT. The treasury could allow Wales to be an MT-free zone and not notice.

Ben Jamin' said...

Anyone who fancies a laugh, read this