And then we cried.
Before Dave became PM and formed the “Brokeback Coalition” with made-in-Brussels Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats had their annual conference first in the season before the grown-up parties spoke to the public at their respective get-togethers. At the Yellow Peril conference it was common for loony policies to be announced such as banning the sale of goldfish at village fairs and introducing a Mansion Tax.
I remember when Vince Cable announced he was going to invent a new tax on mansions and we laughed our socks off and enjoyed the light entertainment of another Liberal Democrat conference as we packed our bags for our own conference.
But laughing has turned to crying as the Mansion Tax is now being taken seriously by Chancellor George Osborne. It would see owners of properties valued over a certain amount, say £1 million, being clobbered with an additional tax for having the audacity of owning a home, which has only rocketed in value because of the ineptitude of the last Labour Government who deliberately allowed house building to stop to cause a house price boom and therefore mask their economic failure (the rest, as they say, is history).
I think Lord Tebbit puts it quite well in today’s Sun:
“I’ve got a bigger house than most people. That’s partly because I need it to house two carers to look after my wife.
“Should I be taxed then on the basis that I live in a mansion? I wouldn’t need such a big house if my wife wasn’t nearly murdered.”
I’m all for the rich paying their way but taxing them until the pips squeak is not the way to bring growth back to our stagnant economy. Cutting tax has been proven to do that, as Nigel Lawson showed, but that was when we had a proper Conservative government.