Extra council tax band more popular than mansion tax, poll finds

30 Mar 15

People would rather the government introduce a higher rate council tax band on the most expensive homes than a mansion tax, a survey by the HomeOwners Alliance has found.

The survey, which gathered popular opinion on the parties’ housing policy pledges, polled over 2,000 adults and found that seven in ten (70%) supported an additional top band of council tax on homes over £2m – proposed by the Liberal Democrats – compared to just one third who support a mansion tax – proposed by Labour.  

The survey also found that an increase to the inheritance tax threshold was more popular than a mansion tax, with 58% supporting it.

Paula Higgins, one of the co-founders of the HomeOwners Alliance, said homeowners were pragmatic about increasing taxes on higher value properties.

‘Homeowners are generally keen to be able to pass on their family homes to their children, which is why there is support for an increase in the inheritance tax threshold,’ Higgins said.

But with an acute shortage of housing, the priority for the public was to ensure that those who wanted to own the roof over their head were not at disadvantaged by foreign buyers and those who have second homes, Higgins said.

A policy put forward for Londoners by Major Boris Johnson to make developers market homes in the UK before marketing them overseas received support from 80% of the respondents.

The survey also found that the policy to end the Right to Buy scheme evenly divided the electorate.

One in three adults (36%) opposed Labours plot to end to the right of tenants to buy their council homes. Regions most opposed include areas with a larger density of social housing, such as London (44% oppose) and the North (37% oppose).

In addition, policies helping aspiring first-time buyers get on the housing ladder were popular, the survey found.

Some 65% of respondents said they would back an extension of the Help to Buy scheme to 2020, while 61% said they supported the Starter Home Initiative that offers discounted new homes to first-time buyers.

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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