Mansion tax plan is foiled by Eric Pickles who deletes data Mail Online

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Mansion tax plan is foiled by Pickles: Communities Secretary ‘deletes’ property data

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PUBLISHED:23:03 GMT, 11 March 2012 UPDATED:07:28 GMT, 12 March 2012

Schemes for a ‘,ghd;mansion tax’ have been torpedoed by Eric Pickles after he effectively deleted a database compiled by council tax spies containing details of millions of homes.

The move means that any levy on properties worth more than ?2million would now take years to introduce.

Liberal Democrat ministers have told their Conservative coalition partners that a mansion tax – or an equivalent tax on unearned wealth –,hogan; must be introduced before they agree to scrap the 50p top rate of income tax.

But it has emerged that the Communities Secretary has scrapped the database of property details that would have been used to calculate who would have to pay.

Officials say it would take three years to conduct a new nationwide survey of property values. A Lib Dem policy paper on the mansion tax explained that the party would use information from the Valuation Office Agency, the Government’s council tax inspectors,ghd hair straighteners, to implement the charge.

Inspectors at the VOA had logged details of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms of all 25million homes in England and Wales. Other information included whether homes had swimming pools, conservatories or sea views.

The data, which would be crucial for deciding who should pay a mansion tax,ghd, had been entered into a complex database – but Mr Pickles ruled out using it for a council tax revaluation until at least 2015.

A revaluation in Wales in 2005 saw four times as many households moving up a band as moving down, and Labour postponed plans for a revaluation in England that same year amid mounting anger over the potential for big tax rises hitting middle-class families whose homes had risen in value over the past 20 years.

Despite this,ray ban, inspectors carried on logging details of people’s properties, prompting accusations that they were preparing for a revaluation by stealth.

However, the most recent accounts from the VOA show that, following budget cuts, its database has been scrapped as maintaining the U.S. technology would be too costly.

Most Tory MPs argue that new property taxes would hit ordinary families and pensioners who have worked hard and paid their share.

It would, they warn, penalise those with large mortgages who are not otherwise capital-rich, as well as pensioners on modest incomes living in long-held family homes and professionals who live in large shared houses in London.

Some Tories fear that the Lib Dems are agitating for a mansion tax safe in the knowledge that the Conservatives will not agree to one – allowing them to paint their coalition partners as ‘;friends of the rich’,ghd; at a time of austerity.

Tory MP Peter Bone praised Mr Pickles’s decision,ralph lauren italia.

‘;This mansion tax would cost goodness know how many millions to get up and running,’ he said. ‘;People would suddenly find the houses they live in being valued at some enormous sum,outlet burberry, very often having lived there for years and years or perhaps having inherited the property.

‘,ghd sale;We know the Liberals don’t like anyone that has been successful but this really would be an unfair tax. It’,polo ralph lauren outlet;s good that the Government has got rid of the information that could have been used to calculate it – why should the State be keeping databases like this?’

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