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Labour proposes ‘fair’ mansion tax

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Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has said a Labour government would impose a ‘fair’ mansion tax to dig the UK out of its housing troubles.

Writing in The Evening Standard, the MP for Morley and Outwood said the tax would only apply on properties worth over £2m, with the limit rising each year in line with average rises in house prices to ensure that “more modest properties” are not brought into the scope of the tax.

“Overseas buyers who are snapping up property in the capital are not only pushing up prices but I believe are also failing to make a proper tax contribution in this country. This unfairness needs to be put right,” Balls wrote.

He also pledged to tackle the country’s housing shortage by getting at least 200,000 new homes built a year by the end of the next Parliament.

“Getting more homes built is essential if we’re to tackle the deep-seated cost-of-living crisis and secure a strong and balanced recovery that is built to last. So we will commit to a new generation of new towns and give real Treasury guarantees to get them off the ground,” he wrote.

Balls also promised to reform the Help to Buy scheme and work to produce a Help to Build scheme for small and medium-sized builders.