Sunday, 21 June 2015

Burnham on the Mansion Tax

From the Telegraph

Andy Burnham, the frontrunner for the Labour leadership, has described Ed Miliband’s flagship mansion tax policy as “spiteful” and disclosed that his mother telephoned him to warn it was a vote-loser.

Describing the policy as “spiteful” and anti-aspirational, he said he knew it would lose votes when his mother Eileen phoned and told him it represented a return to the 1970s.

“It felt spiteful and went against the grain," he said. “We need to get back to communicating simple policies that will make a real difference to people.

“Labour looks like an elitist Westminster think-tank talking in language that people don’t understand. We lost our mooring.”

Jesus H Christ on a Bike. It was Labour's best policy, you idiot. In terms of public support, I refer to YouGov:

The poll reveals that 65% of people in Britain support introducing a mansion tax, while 22% are opposed and 13% are undecided. A plurality (49%) of Tory voters support the plan, while 41% are opposed and 10% aren’t sure. Labour and Lib Dem voters are strongly in support of the mansion tax, at 79% and 74% respectively.

So, even rather a lot of Tory voters, probably the less well-off end that are marginal voters support it. And most free-market economists of the Milton Friedman school support the broader tax, land value tax because the alternative is taxes on the productive economy. That's why land value tax is aspirational. We want people to not be taxed on their work, because that's what makes the world better. Taxing land values, created by the state, doesn't destroy productive wealth.

How many people in this country honestly have an aspiration for a £2m home? I'd love to own one of the big places on Rightmove in the beautiful Kennet Valley. If I made my millions, that's what I'd do. And you know, there are literally 3 over £2m. There's a load of lovely places costing £1.5m that I doubt I'll ever own. But let's say that the 9 bed place near Pewsey was my aspiration, does anyone think that I'd feel crushed at knowing that I'd have to pay £3K/annum to own a £2.3m home? I'd have had to have earnt £4m before taxes just to do so. another £3K/annum is like losing some spare change down the sofa at that level.

Under his leadership, Mr Burnham said, renters would be offered help to buy their home.

With what? We're going to take even more money out of the productive economy to hand to BTL landlords so that productive people can own a house? How is that a good thing, you dickhead?


Lola said...

I read that article as well, and I am still seething.

Look, I DO live in a 'mansion' - relatively - in that it is a high priced house in my area.

But, I'd much rather pay LVT than all the other crappy taxes that I currently pay that actually destroy my ability to create wealth.

Burnham (and his mum - which might explain things) are complete tossers.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Good summary, agreed to all of that.

And if you did make a fortune and wanted to buy one of these places "burdened" by the Mansion Tax, then the tax would come off the price so in reality, it costs you nothing. It's the current owner who stands to lose slightly. And as "aspiration" is code word for "making an effort" and there is no point rewarding past efforts, then all things being equal, the Mansion Tax is not a tax on "aspiration".

Rich Tee said...

Every comment Labour makes misses the mark. They are not as unpopular as they think they are, my Labour MP increased her majority even though she is a Londoner parachuted into a northern seat.

They still have a huge and loyal following in the media, complete with all the right connections in the media and public sector. My Labour MP is married to a Director of the Civil Service. If she ever became PM we would have a Prime Minister married to a Civil Service Director.

The welfare state continues to grow and there has been no real cuts to any of it.

As Peter Hitchens often says, it's all a charade, the real change is happening outside the political arena. It is socialism by stealh. They are playing a long game and they are winning it.

Lola said...

Ro. Yup. 'fabian Gradualism' is alive and well.

Bayard said...

It seems that the problem with Labour politicians is they think that "The Labour Party" is them, i.e. rich middle class, mainly Londoners, as exemplified by the likes of Blair and Miliband. This is nothing new; politicians have tended to live and think in a metropolitan bubble for centuries.

gavka said...

Particularly disappointing when you look at what he said back in 2010

Mark Wadsworth said...

G, exactly. That article will keep coming back to haunt him, the miserable sod.

Bayard said...

Now that he's likely to become leader, someone must have had a quiet word in his shell-like.

Robin Smith said...

It was their worst policy if they want to win an election.

Maybe you need to think a bit more carefully about this: If people do not want what you are proposing - even if its perfect in theory - but you keep insisting, then isnt that a rather neurotic approach - to keep going round and round and round and round when you know the answer is "NO!"?

Would it not be better to accept the "NO" and start investigating why people in general do not want some thing that in theory is better for them?

You are dealing with the mentally ill here - collectively. So they should be treated as if mentally ill too. If you do not you must also be regarded as mentally ill.