Miliband will force commons vote on Mansion Tax to show “whose side” Lib Dems are on

16th February, 2013 12:01 am

Later today Ed Miliband will be in Eastleigh – and while he’s there he’ll confirm that Labour plans to force a vote on his proposed Mansion Tax. As one senior Labour source told me last night – that will force the Lib Dems to “show whose side they are on”. And since Vince Cable gave Miliband’s Mansion Tax announcement such a warm response, it certainly would be hard for the Business Secretary to oppose it now.

Labour want to see the Mansion Tax debated “as soon as possible” I but they haven’t ruled out forcing an amendment to the Finance Bill, which with Parliament’s current arithmetic could have very interesting results.

Here’s what Miliband is expected to say in Eastleigh:

“People here in Eastleigh know. Families across Britain know. If you have a job, you’re putting in the hours as never before.

“But you’re working longer and harder for less. You see the prices going up and up and up. Your weekly shop. What it costs to heat your home. Filling up your car.

“The squeezed middle has never been so squeezed. And if we carry on as we are it will be like that for years and years.

“No wonder the economy has flatlined for over two years, when no-one can afford to buy the things that British businesses try to sell. All this Government has to offer is tax cuts for the richest at the top, an unrelenting squeeze on the middle, and a race to the bottom.

“That is not how we will build a successful economy again. It’s time for a new approach. And that’s what the One Nation Labour Party under my leadership will offer. The by-election here in Eastleigh, like the General Election that will follow, will be a living standards election.

“Because the big questions being asked by families today is who is on their side? It isn’t the Tories and Liberal Democrats.

“Who cut taxes for millionaires while everyone else pays more.

“Who do nothing to stand up to the banks, the energy firms, the train operators and the payday lenders who rip people off.

“Who promised us high growth and a lower deficit but gave us only a high deficit and no growth.

“That’s why I said this week it’s time for a One Nation approach.

“A Labour budget next month wouldn’t be cutting taxes for millionaires. We would tackle the vested interests that hold you and business back.

“And this week I said we would restore the 10p tax rate, putting Labour where it should always have been: on the side of working people.

“I have said that should be funded by a tax on houses worth over £2 million. It’s about having fairer taxes. And laying the foundations for a successful economy – a recovery built by the many, not just a few at the top.

“The people of Eastleigh deserve an MP who understands that. Who is on their side. His name is John O’Farrell.

“Today I am announcing that we will force a vote in the House of Commons on the mansion tax in the coming weeks. We know the Conservatives oppose this measure, even though it would only affect a small number of houses worth over £2m. They wrote to their multi-millionaire donors solemnly promising they would not let anyone tax their mansions.

“And what about the Lib Dems? There could be a majority in the House of Commons when it votes on our proposal. But only if the Liberal Democrats vote with Labour. Now the Lib Dems say they are in favour of a mansion tax. Well, they once said they were in favour of abolishing tuition fees too.

“Here is a chance for Nick Clegg to prove he can keep at least one of his promises. Nick Clegg has already shown he doesn’t stand up to the Tories by voting for the millionaires’ tax cut. Behind closed door negotiations between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories didn’t change that.

“A tax cut that in just six weeks’ time will give 13,000 people earning over £1million an average tax cut of £100,000.

“It’s time for Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats to be honest with the people of Eastleigh and show whose side are they on.

“They must answer this question: will they vote with Labour in advance of the Budget to force David Cameron and George Osborne to act?

“Or will the Liberal Democrats do what they’ve done for two-and-a-half years: prop up a Tory Government that is squeezing the living standards of the middle harder and harder?

“The people of Eastleigh know that John O’Farrell, if elected on 28th February, will be part of the One Nation Labour team.

“They know he’ll represent change. They know he’ll fight the Government.

“They know he’ll support a mansion tax and the return of the 10p tax rate.

“They know that the choice they face on 28th February is between two candidates from the Government and a One Nation Labour candidate in John O’ Farrell who, if elected, will support real change.”

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  • aracataca

    Even Ed’s greatest naysayers surely have to accept that forcing a vote on this question constitutes a tactical master stroke. What will the Fibs do?

    • Not__A__Number

      I’m in total agreement, this was very well played. 🙂

  • JC

    If this is to force MPs to show which side they are on, I would hope that it is their constituents first and party second. The idea that MPs should automatically follow the party line should have gone out with Stalin. As for Labour always being right and everyone else being wrong, I’m sure most readers of this blog can see the problem.

    What is the purpose of a “Mansion Tax”? Is it to get an income out of owners of expensive houses who have already paid stamp duty for them? Is it to show the “Rich B******s” that we don’t want their type here in England? Would the money go locally or to central government coffers?

    • JoeDM

      How far does the ‘Mansion Tax’ go?

      “Families will be forced to pay tax on jewellery and other heirlooms under controversial new plans drawn up by the Liberal Democrats.

      Under the scheme, tax inspectors would get unprecedented new powers to go into homes and value rings, necklaces, paintings, furniture and other family treasures.

      Householders would be forced to pay a new ‘wealth’ levy on the assets – with the threat of fines for those who refused to let snoops value their possessions.

      A policy document seen by The Mail on Sunday spells out how the taxman ‘may have to visit homes to test values of jewellery, paintings, etc’.”

      See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279810/Now-want-tax-jewellery-New-wealth-tax-plan-target-ALL-assets–including-buy-let-homes.html#ixzz2L9cnSZVw

      Is this be the sort of tax that Labour would be proposing?

    • JoeDM

      How far does the ‘Mansion Tax’ go?

      “Families will be forced to pay tax on jewellery and other heirlooms under controversial new plans drawn up by the Liberal Democrats.

      Under the scheme, tax inspectors would get unprecedented new powers to go into homes and value rings, necklaces, paintings, furniture and other family treasures.

      Householders would be forced to pay a new ‘wealth’ levy on the assets – with the threat of fines for those who refused to let snoops value their possessions.

      A policy document seen by The Mail on Sunday spells out how the taxman ‘may have to visit homes to test values of jewellery, paintings, etc’.”

      See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279810/Now-want-tax-jewellery-New-wealth-tax-plan-target-ALL-assets–including-buy-let-homes.html#ixzz2L9cnSZVw

      Is this be the sort of tax that Labour would be proposing?

  • Monkey_Bach

    Well, now. Announcing a policy like this, immediately before the Eastleigh byelection and before Osborne’s next budget is a smart, fair, and socially just move on Labour’s part which should discomfort the government in all sorts of ways and be popular with the general public. It will be interesting to see who argues against introducing a Mansion Tax and what arguments they muster against it. Nice one. Eeek.

  • AlanGiles

    Typical of Labour 2012 – nick somebody else’s idea and then pretend it is your own, and try to make a game out of it. It doesn’t make him look clever – in fact, quite the opposite.
    So much recycled material – Balls was interviewed on THursday’s World t One (Radio 4) and in the course of a 3 minute interview managed to get “Hard-working families” in three times.
    The poverty of their imaginations proves that two Ed’s are not always better than one.

    • aracataca

      You’re against a Mansion Tax then are you?

      • AlanGiles

        No I am not against it, I am merely pointing out that Labour have merely taken a LibDem policy and are passing it off as if they had dreamt it up themselves.
        I am merely highlighting the paucity of ideas (notwithstanding Crudas) that pours from Labour these days. There was a photograph in yesterdays “Metro” of the two Ed’s watching apprentices in, I think, Watford. The photograph shows both of them in exactly the same pose each with one thumb aloft. A bit like the political equivalent of Ant and Dec (though you get the impression that Ant and Dec have a friendlier regard for each other than this pair).

        Labour needs some ideas of their own, not just use this one to play party political games with.

        • Monkey_Bach

          James Purnell won’t be back anyway. The little creep has just landed himself a nice little job with his former employer the BBC. Good news for politics. Bad news for public service broadcasting! Eeek.

          • AlanGiles

            Yes I thought I heard that mentioned quietly on BBC Radio early morning news yesterday, Something to do with digital output if I recall, I suppose it shows that every cloud has a silver lining, though I feel sorry for the BBC personell who will have to have dealings with the supercilious little man. I suppose he will have an expense account? 🙂

        • aracataca

          You’d be against any ideas we did come up with – you’ve opposed every single one thus far.

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        On the grounds of practicality, and it raising very little, being enormously expensive to administer, and to likely tie up the courts and HMRC for years in legal argument about valuations? Yes, I am.

        I imagine most other people would be against it on the principle of the nation’s tax authorities asserting a value, setting a tax charge, and then following with a demand for money “with menaces” if you do not pay. It is like highway robbery, without the highwayman romance.

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      It was a Lib Dem idea. I don’t know if they still like it.

      But there are about 1,000 reasons why it won’t work, in practice. This is the danger, for Labour, of proposing something that is palpably stupid. No one ever expected the Lib Dems to actually be in government, so it did not matter the nonsenses they came up with.

      But Labour, and Ed are desperately trying to pretend to be serious and proper politicians, so they should do some critical thinking, and when they do, they will drop this like a “hot potato”. Let the Lib Dems keep it.

    • Alexwilliamz

      I think the fact it was a libdem idea originally is all part of the plan as a bye election is in the offing. For too long lib dems have gained support as an anyone but the tories party, especially in the south. What ed is doing here is reenforcing the message that the choice is now coalition or labour, even if labour do not win a huge number of seats if the overall general vote for labour is higher, it gives the party a stronger mandate to govern and also a counter to the claim that there is a divided nation. Eastleigh is the start of that hence this piece of politics, which is smart but is as much about establishing the general position of the party.

      • AlanGiles

        Or, to put the most generous interpretation on it, perhaps Miliband is signalling that he might be prepared to enter into coalition with the LibDems in 2015 if he cannot secure a majority. By that time one assumes Nick Clegg will be ex-leader and if they chose Dr. Cable as new leader such a possibility would not seem so off the wall

  • This could put real pressure on the Coalition and really boost confidence for Ed. Good luck to him.

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