Susan Kramer MP
Richmond's MPs have come to blows Lib Dem Susan Kramer spoke out against her party's plans to impose a new tax on those living in £1 million homes.
The proposal, spearheaded by Twickenham's Vince Cable at the Liberal Democrat conference in Bournemouth, would hit around 15 per cent of the borough's residents.
Dr Cable wants to slap a 0.5 per cent annual levy on homes worth more than £1 million to help boost the public pot.
The so called mansion tax would apply to the value of the property above £1 million, meaning owners of a home worth £1.5 million would pay £2,500 a year but the average is expected to be £4,000. Dr Cable said the tax would raise £1 billion.
Ms Kramer said the tax would affect a huge number of Londoners. “I am very concerned that there are ordinary families with modest incomes who will be penalised because house prices have risen to such high levels here,” she said.
“This is not party policy, it is one of a package of measures being considered to help tackle the huge deficit being created by the Labour government.”
Richmond Council leader Serge Lourie waded into the row, siding with Ms Kramer. “This is not party policy and I would argue very strongly that it should not become party policy,” he said.
“The proposals are based on public finances being in a mess – something needs to be done but this is not the answer. A lot of people in Richmond bought their homes years ago and have seen them shoot up in value – they are capital rich but income poor.
“When I did my usual walk around, door knocking this week, a lot of people raised the issue, saying they were concerned and many of those were people whose homes were not worth £1 million.”
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said he understood Ms Kramer's concerns but said the tax would help a lot of her other constituents.