Mansion levy will allow poorest to pay no income tax
Tensions in coalition as, weeks before the Budget, Lib Dems demand £16bn in tax rises for the rich
The Treasury is being asked to consider a £16bn package of tax rises on the wealthy to pay for the bulk of an income tax exemption for anyone on the minimum wage.
The proposal, to be formally adopted as Liberal Democrat policy within weeks, includes ending pension reliefs, shutting stamp-duty loopholes and imposing a mansion tax on properties worth £2m or more. In a dramatic escalation of tensions between the coalition parties, the measures target the wealthiest in order to fast-track the key Lib Dem manifesto pledge to raise the income tax threshold to £10,000. Conservatives are likely to be infuriated by the demands, just weeks ahead of the Budget.
The public appears split on the issue of tax. In a new IoS/ComRes poll, 37 per cent of people said George Osborne, the Chancellor, should make tax cuts a priority in the Budget, but 41 per cent said cuts should wait until the economy has recovered. More than half of Lib Dems (52 per cent) and 38 per cent of Tories back the idea of raising the 50p tax rate for those earning over £150,000 to 60p.
In the poll of voting intentions, the Conservatives are on 39 per cent, ahead of Labour on 38, the first Tory lead in a ComRes survey since October 2010. Almost half (49 per cent) believe the PM is out of touch, a third think he talks down to people and just 12 per cent say he is good on policy detail.
The Lib Dems are on 10 per cent, even after stepping up "differentiation" from their coalition partners.
From 1 April, the income-tax threshold will rise to £8,105. Mr Osborne is under pressure to use the Budget on 21 March to unveil an increase for 2013, perhaps as high as £9,000.
This week the Lib Dems will mount a major campaign to persuade Mr Osborne to agree to a sharp increase in the allowance. Simon Hughes, the party's deputy leader, has urged all members and activists to back an e-petition calling for the Government to go further and faster. David Laws returns to the political front line on BBC2's Newsnight, and Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, will use a party political broadcast on Wednesday to demand "faster tax cuts funded by increasing the amount paid by the richest".
At the Lib Dem spring conference in Gateshead next month, delegates are expected to adopt a hard-line policy on ultimately lifting all minimum-wage earners out of tax altogether, by raising the threshold to £11,860. To do so would cost £18bn, according to party estimates seen by The IoS.
A motion will call for a list of "immediate steps to ensure wealthy individuals and businesses pay their fair share", including imposing a 1 per cent annual levy on homes costing more than £2m, which could raise £1.7bn. A general anti-avoidance rule – expected in the Budget – could net the Treasury £1.4bn; limiting pension tax relief £7bn; a stamp-duty avoidance clampdown £750m; a global financial transaction tax £4.4bn; and targeting non-doms who have been in Britain for seven of the past 10 years would garner £1.3bn, giving a total take of about £16.5bn, according to Lib Dem figures.
Labour yesterday claimed benefit and tax changes in April will leave families with children £580 worse off, on average.
Also in the poll, 71 per cent of people oppose bonuses for public-sector workers who earn more than £40,000. It comes after The IoS revealed payouts this year had topped £100m for Whitehall mandarins.
And 71 per cent believe the Government should ignore the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and deport the Islamist cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan immediately.
ComRes interviewed 2,014 adults online on 15 and 16 February. Full tables at comres.co.uk
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
iJobs Money & Business
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens