2 October 2014

mansion_taxI was interested to hear that another footballer has waded into political debate of late and, on this occasion, I’d have to agree with him. I’m referring to Sol Campbell’s comments on Labour’s mansion tax idea. I’m told he called them the “grim reaper of business entrepreneurs.”

Fortunately, Labour aren’t in power and I think this idea would lose them the support of basically everybody with a house over £2 million, which nowadays is going to be quite a sizeable percentage of the South, and also a big number of business owners and decision makers.

Labour might think that, proportionally, they may win the argument because the vast majority of people have houses under £2 million, yet if you look at the big influencers, I don’t think it’s that simple. People often look to these kinds of people and seek out their opinions on these kinds of issues. They are an influential layer of society. And what about the people who have a £2million pound home almost by accident, just by owning a nice house in a nice area for a long period of time?

Surely stamp duty already covers this area of taxation. Is it wise taxing something when no transaction has taken place? Personally, I think it will put a burden on people’s cash flow. It’s hard enough in the UK to save money anyway because we have quite a high rate of income tax – and national insurance tax as well for that matter. Also, it’s all in direct proportion; people with big houses who do have big salaries are already subject to heavy taxes.

This whole thing reminds me of the Window Tax, brought in by William Pitt, where some bright spark decided that you could tell somebody’s worth by how big their house was and how many windows they had. The super aristocracy started building these colossal houses with loads of windows to demonstrate how much money they had, whilst those who were less well-off started bricking up theirs! This is the same type of thing. It’s been tried and it’s out of date.

Surely, we need to look for innovative ways to push the economy and drive it higher so that the government gets more tax by default because everybody’s doing well, not by trying to take more and more of an ever decreasing circle.

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