11 April 2011
It has been very interesting to read the comments on the potential for a 'mansion tax' as a replacement for the higher rate of income tax. Alice Thompson writing in The Times on 30 March very neatly summed up why it is the British feel so strongly about the ownership of their own home and will resist any attempts to tax them on its value.
Housing has been very good to the older generation in the UK. They have successfully accumulated a large capital asset by buying cheaply many years ago and carefully paying off their mortgage throughout their working life, in some cases the value will be considerable but the home may be occupied by those whose incomes in retirement have been eroded to a point where they are eating into savings. To then ask them to pay a percentage of their property value as a tax seems wholly unfair.
It seems that political attempts to be seen to be hard on the affluent bankers may yet again punish those who have worked hardest to accumulate wealth in their lifetime - that is the older generation.