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Alarm sounds at Lib-Lab plans to tax Malvern Hills' homes with new house price tax

1st November 2006

Harriett Baldwin this week voiced her concern at joint moves by Labour's Gordon Brown and Liberal Democrats' Menzies Campbell to hit Malvern's homes with a new house price tax.

• New house price tax say LibDems: Liberal Democrats have recently endorsed new tax plans, backing a controversial new house price tax. It calls for taxing "unearned economic rent" to "stabilise the property market" by introducing the "satisfactory" Danish model of a "national 1 per cent property tax". This would be on top of plans for a new local income tax of between 3.75 to 4.5 per cent on both basic and higher rates of income tax.

• House tax backed by Labour: This house price tax already being introduced in the UK by Labour Ministers. From April 2007, Northern Ireland residents will hit with a house price tax of 0.63 per cent of their home's value every year (local taxes in the Province are lower than in mainland Britain). Gordon Brown's review of town hall finances is actively considering how to implement such a scheme across Britain. The Government has sheepishly admitted that middle classes will pay more under such a tax, with Council Tax inspectors "snooping" into local homes.

• Malvern Hills would be hit hard: Under a 1 per cent house price tax, the average property in Malvern Hills District Council would now pay a local tax bill of £2,144 a year, on top of a local income tax.

Harriett Baldwin commented, "I am concerned that both Gordon Brown and Menzies Campbell are actively planning to introduce a house price tax - and cynically tap into the rise in property values in recent years.

"Families and pensioners who have saved and improved their homes face the threat of soaring tax bills, without any improvements in their local services. Just because house prices have risen doesn't mean that local residents can afford even higher local taxes.

"Law-abiding, decent people are already struggling to meet the rising cost of mortgages, utility bills and local taxes. I doubt that these Lib-Lab plans for weighty tax bills will be welcome on Malvern Hills council taxpayers' doorsteps."

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