Boris Johnson claims Labour is trying to 'mug' Londoners with 'vindictive' mansion tax

The London Mayor responded to Jim Murphy's pledge to tax UK mansions to pay for Scottish NHS

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Indy Politics

Boris Johnson has accused Labour of trying to “mug” people in London over plan to tax mansions there, which Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said would pay for NHS nurses in Scotland.

The Mayor of London said the policy to "mug" people in the South East was the result of a plan by Labour to "bribe" voters in Scotland who could be tempted to back the SNP.

The policy to fund 1,000 nurses was one of the first major announcements by Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, who said the "vast majority" of the money raised by the levy on homes worth more than £2 million would come from London and the South East but it was "fair that you share that tax across the country".

Mr Johnson told LBC: "Labour has made a cynical calculation that they are more vulnerable in Scotland to the SNP than they are, say, in the South East or they are in London.

"They have decided to punish the South East, or to be fiscally vindictive towards the south east of England, in order to try to bribe the Scots to vote Labour.

"It's no way to run a country."

He added that Labour wanted to "squeeze those Londoners until the pips squeak" and added: "That is a way to set up resentments and I don't think it is the right way forward.

"Londoners perfectly accept that we have a duty to the rest of the country, we already export huge quantities in taxation - about £19 billion a year."

Setting out his plan on Monday, Mr Murphy explained how Scotland's share of the mansion tax revenue would be spent and acknowledged that the bulk of the money would come from England.

He claimed it was “right and fair” that properties worth over £2 million are taxed in the UK.

“A small number are in Scotland, but the vast majority are in London and the South East. It is then fair that you share the tax across the country, and it just so happens that Scotland would get an enormous boost from that.”

He added: "So we will tax houses in London and the South East to pay for 1,000 new nurses in the Scottish NHS. It's a real win-win for Scotland."

Additional reporting by PA