Labour leader Ed Miliband has announced a plan to tax homes worth more than £2 million in the UK if his party is elected to government in 2016.
There are some who complain that the tax would disproportionately be levied against the wealthier South East of the country, and in London in particular.
These maps from property website Zoopla illustrate why this measure is likely to prove controversial.
There are 5,737 properties either currently for sale or recently sold in London that would fall under the Mansion Tax:
In the whole of Scotland there are 59 properties currently listed on the market that would be hit:
And in Wales there are only 18 properties between £2m-£15m.
In fact there are more properties listed in London’s Mayfair (151) that would be hit by the tax than in the whole of Scotland and Wales combined (77).
And in Manchester, where Miliband was giving his speech, the number of £2m+ homes is 4. (No wonder it achieved such rapturous applause.)
Of course, the fact that the tax will hit London worst is a feature, not a bug, given the concentration of wealth in the capital. As Business Insider reported, average house prices there hit £514,000 ($830,000) earlier this month compared to a UK average of £272,000.
Though there will undoubtedly be plenty of opposition, economists are generally agreed than wealth taxes are more efficient than incomes taxes. With the Conservatives currently holding a 25 percentage point lead in the polls on which party is “best on managing the economy”, according to Ipsos MORI, Miliband will be hoping this strategy will win over some of his critics.
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