Thursday, 13 November 2014

Fun with the Mansion Tax

I know we've done these before, but it's always reassuring to see the Homeys make equal and opposite assumptions about the impact of the Mansion Tax and then present equal and opposite arguments against it (and by extension, against Land Value Tax).

Exhibit One

According to City AM, the Mansion Tax will drive wealthy foreigners away. And that's bad.

Labour’s proposed mansion tax on homes worth over £2m is just the latest assault on the super rich, who have become an easy target for politicians; the top 1 per cent of earners already pay 30 per cent of all income tax collected in the UK.

Should we care? It may not be a very fashionable case to make, but I believe we should worry about driving away this much-maligned community.

One hundred and four billionaires live in the UK, and London is now the global capital for the super rich. They spend an estimated £16bn here every year, which means that they contribute a whopping £3bn in VAT alone...

If you’re super rich and you were born abroad, you could just as easily return home if tax demands become too draconian.

Exhibit Two

According to Tory councillors in Camden, the Mansion Tax will result in more wealthy foreigners living in London. And that's bad as well.

LABOUR councillors were warned on Monday night that plans for a “mansion tax” on properties worth more than £2million would drive residents out of the borough, paving the way for the ‘super-rich’ to move in.

Tories challenged the ruling group to pass a Town Hall motion pledging to lobby against the policy being spearheaded by Ed Miliband and his shadow chancellor, Ed Balls...

"... The mansion tax is going to do what you guys [Labour councillors] will be appalled at. It’s going to bring in the very, very super-rich and drive out local residents.”

Which is all part of the Homey strategy - don't have a coherent message, just shout the first nonsense which comes into your head, making it more or less impossible to have a sensible discussion.

Once you've pointed out the obvious flaws in one argument, they cheerfully go on the other tack and completely contradict their first argument with their next nonsensical argument but without missing a beat.

See also: "We should replace Council Tax with Poll Tax" versus "We should replace Council Tax with Local Income Tax". Poll taxes and income tax are at two extremes of the spectrum (being autocratic hard right and socialist hard left respectively); Land Value Tax sits comfortably in the middle, having the advantages of both and the disadvantages of neither.


Lola said...

Your last para picks up on an earlier point of mine that both left and right hate LVT for precisely equal and opposite reasons. And because it is an in 'yer face tax', not at all possible to collect by stealth.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, yup. Because secretly, so-called left and right have the same agenda - to have high taxes and control as much of the economy as possible.

DP said...

Dear Mr Wadsworth

" ... they cheerfully go on the other tack and completely contradict their first argument with their next nonsensical argument but without missing a beat.

"We are at war with Eastasia, we have always been at war with Eastasia ... we are at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eurasia ..."

(Approximate quote from one sentence)
Nineteen Eightyfour George Orwell

It's nice to see that Mr Orwell's lessons have been taken on board so completely.

Pity they've taken them the wrong way.


Bayard said...

DP, as someone from UKIP once asked, “When will politicians realise that George Orwell’s 1984 was a warning, not an instruction manual?”

Mark Wadsworth said...

DP, yes. Home-Owner-Ism, like IngSoc relies on the ability to be able to believe two completely opposite things at the same time.

B, the saying pre-dates UKIP, I think.