Has property levy U-turn saved us all from a tax hike?

Houses While I support the idea of a mansion tax on high-end properties, I can't help thinking that we've all been spared the misery of a council tax hike on the back of a U-turn on the property levy.

A mansion tax on property over £2 million was an idea dreamed up by the Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable as a way to make those pesky property rich cough up some more cash.
And while the policy got a fair bit of airtime chancellor George Osborne has made it clear that he is not willing to pander to the 'politics of resentment' and make the wealthy pay their fair share.

I don't agree with Osborne, and I also don't agree with the argument that there are plenty of middle-of-the-road families with £2 million properties who couldn't afford a property tax – rubbish, if you own a £2 million house then you're well off.

However, I will concede that there may be a silver lining for all of us in the filing of the mansion plan in the 'not while a Tory government is in power' folder, and that is around the area of council tax.

You see, in order to levy such a tax extra council tax bands would have to have been invented and that could have led to a review of council tax banding. A review of the banding is a scary prospect because it hasn't been reviewed in nearly twenty years, not since 1993.

In the intervening two decades most people, despite the property crash, have homes that are worth more than they were in 1993, which could mean a review would bump us all into a higher council tax band and mean we pay more.

You could argue that if I want the rich to pay more then it should only be fair that I pay the right amount of council tax on my own home, and yes that's how it should work. But bumping up the council tax for everyone really would hit the pockets of normal, middle class families who don't happen to occupy £2 million properties.

So as much as I'm sorry to see the idea of a property tax scrapped, it could be a blessing for us all. Now let's just hope the Tories don't U-turn on their promise to freeze council tax for the next two years, and nobody mention a banding review.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
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