Angelina Jolie slams the Mansion tax

November 26, 2014 11:02 AM

Angelina Jolie has become the latest person to condemn Labour’s mansion tax proposals.

An annual levy on the expensive properties could “put me off” buying a home in London, she said, in an interview with Jon Snow. And this hardly comes as a surprise. There are echoes of Hollande-ism and people leaving France because of aggressive taxation across the English Channel.

There will probably be cries of mock pity for Jolie’s words, but this somewhat misses the point. Taxes like these suggest that success is dirty and grubby. That if you have worked hard for your rewards and already paid tax on them, then you will have to pay again for your achievements. This attitude saw droves flee Hollande, and it forgets that only with a successful economy can a government collect sufficient amounts of tax to pay for public services.

And as we know, cutting tax rates can often actually increase the total take.

But it sometimes seems that some want to raise taxes regardless of the impact on the public purse. Even if raising taxes would bring in less money, there are some who would do so on 'moral' grounds. Although I suspect that a lack of morals would be a harsh charge to level at Ms Jolie, who is a Special Envoy for the UN Commission on Human Rights, sexual violence in war campaigner and mother of six.

Angelina Jolie is, in her own words, “quite responsible with money” and so, quite rightly, would think twice before signing up to pay thousands of pounds more in tax. She has highlighted the problem of an arbitrary homes tax, on many houses which will by no means be a mansion. 

But probably the worst thing about the Mansion Tax is that it will, inevitably, creep down and hit taxpayers on lower incomes, in lower value homes. That's always the way with taxes introduced to "soak the rich". Look at Stamp Duty, for instance - millions of us up and down the country now pay the tax when they are looking to make that first step on the property ladder.

Oh, and Bill Oddie also dislikes the mansion tax.

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