Liberal Democrats will consider rebelling against the Government and voting with Labour in favour of a “mansion tax” if it is pushed to a vote in the House of Commons, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said today.
Ed Miliband announced last week that Labour would use an opposition debate in Parliament to push for a levy on homes worth more than £2m.
Today Mr Cable said that Lib Dems might back the move or abstain if Mr Miliband did not play “political games” on the issue, which he said was already a Lib Dem policy. “I’m glad they’ve seen sense,” he said. “I think the Labour Party are probably playing political games but nevertheless it’s welcome that they are endorsing it.”
Asked if the Lib Dems would accept Mr Miliband’s vote challenge, he said: “It depends entirely how they phrase it. If it is purely a statement of support for the principle of a mansion tax I’m sure my colleagues would want to support it.
“But very often in these opposition days they can’t resist the temptation to make party political point scoring and drag in other issues like the 10p rate and if that happens I am sure we will not. It is up to them to be statesmanlike and sensible.”
Mr Cable also dismissed suggestions that the party would bring holiday homes and buy-to-let landlords under the mansion tax or impose a wealth levy on possessions such as jewellery and paintings. The ideas were contained in working group paper planning for the party’s 2015 manifesto.