Nick Clegg: Myleene Klass wrong on mansion tax

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg has said the pop star and TV presenter Myleene Klass was wrong to claim that a mansion tax would hit “the little grannies” who have lived in their houses for years.

The deputy prime minister defended his plan to introduce extra council tax bands, a variation of the mansion tax that the Liberal Democrats favour.

Klass discomforted Ed Miliband on ITV1’s The Agenda on Monday when she described Labour’s mansion tax plan as disturbing. She claimed that £2m – the threshold for higher rates – in London could only buy a garage.

Clegg said: “She is wrong. She also suggested that all you can buy in London with £2m is a garage – that is some garage. Let’s get rid of the emotion about claiming one person’s normal home is a mansion. Why don’t we treat higher-value properties in the same banded way with council tax bands as we treat lower-value properties? What is possibly fair about saying to a family that lives in a family home in Lewisham, they pay the same council tax as an oligarch that lives in a £30m house?”

He added: “Granny would not need to pay this up front. If they cannot pay if they are asset-rich or income-poor they do not need to pay it when other people do pay it, you can wrap it up with your estate. I would ask you what is fair about lower-value properties having to pay council tax in bands, but then when the property is worth more than £700,000 the council tax bands stop.

“It is irrational to say the council tax band applies up to a certain level and then it stops. All I am saying is treat people fairly in better-off homes. Do not go off after people in a punitive way. That is possibly what Myleene thought.”

Powered by article was written by Patrick Wintour, political editor, for The Guardian on Wednesday 19th November 2014 11.28 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010