General Election 2015: Lib Dems scale back on 'mansion tax' as party details plan to cut deficit in three years

The party would raise £27bn through higher taxes, a crackdown on tax dodgers, cuts in Whitehall and trimming welfare spending

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The Liberal Democrats scaled back their ambitions over the “mansion tax” as they detailed plans to clear the national deficit within three years.

The party would raise £27bn through higher taxes, a crackdown on tax dodgers, cuts in Whitehall and trimming welfare spending.

Road tax would rise by an average of £25 per vehicle, wealthy pensioners would lose winter fuel payments and free television licences and the married couples tax allowance would be scrapped.

However, the party now says it would raise £1bn from a new “high-value property tax” on homes worth more than £2m. The expected revenue is £700m less than originally forecast, following claims that its flagship policy could cost the party votes in key seats in suburban London.

Under revised proposals, the annual charge would be up to £2,000 for properties worth between £2m and £2.5m; up to £3,500 for properties worth between £2.5m and £3m; up to £5,000 for properties worth between £3m and £4m and up to £9,000 for properties worth more than £4m.

The Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, said: “It’s not fair a family home in Lewisham pays the same property tax as an oligarch in a vast mansion.”

The party backs a revision of vehicle excise duty to raise £850m by 2017-18, resulting in a £25 rise for the average car and more for  vehicles with high fuel consumption.

Overall, the Lib Dems said they would eliminate the deficit by raising taxes by £5bn, clawing back £7bn more from tackling tax evasion and avoidance, cutting public spending by £12bn and reducing welfare by £3bn.

The party would make only three new spending commitments: raising the income tax personal allowance to £12,500, protecting the NHS budget in real terms and reforming the “bedroom tax”. Mr Clegg said his party had provided far more detail about its economic plans than its rivals.


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