Labour members who own £1m homes should be charged a £1,000 party membership fee, MP suggests

John Mann says the move could help stem a coming financial crisis

The charge would likely hit Londoners the hardest
The charge would likely hit Londoners the hardest

All Labour party members with property worth over £1m should have to pay a membership fee of £1,000 a year to stay in the party, an MP has proposed.

John Mann, the MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire, said pressures on party funding from Government changes to trade union political funds would mean the charge was necessary.

He argued that a recent surge in membership was “middle class” in character and that asking the wealthy to pay to keep the party afloat was “entirely socialist in its approach”.

“Even the most optimistic of people anticipate that the Party’s income will be immediately decimated by the Tory Trade Union Bill,” Mr Mann wrote in a blog post.

“… the current short–term crisis can be averted - that of bankruptcy. The Party has lost most of its bigger private donors and depleted trade union political funds will not be capable of again bridging this gap.

“This is why it is time for a Labour wealth tax. Those members with properties valued at over a million pounds should be expected to pay a Labour wealth tax of £1,000 a year to be a Labour Party member. It will raise significant money and it is entirely Socialist in its approach.”

The MP said he would propose the move at Labour next conference in the autumn.

Labour MP John Mann

Labour has seen a dramatic increase in membership since its most recent leadership contest.

According to figures reported by the Guardian newspaper membership increased from 201,293 on the day before the general election to 388,407 on 10 January. Around 13,860 members have left the party during the same period.

Such a charge would likely fall disproportionately on London members where property prices are highest.

Labour’s new members – who are thought to overwhelmingly support party leader Jeremy Corbyn – are disproportionately from London but it is not clear whether they would be hit by such a charge.

People who live in London – especially the young – disproportionately rent their homes rather than own them.

In addition, research during the leadership election found that supporters with the highest incomes supported Blairite candidate Liz Kendall, while the lowest income supporters supported Mr Corbyn.

Only 26 per cent of Mr Corbyn’s supporters had an income over £40k while 44 per cent of Ms Kendall’s supporters did. The figures were 32 per cent for Yvette Cooper and 29 per cent for Andy Burnham respectively.

65 per cent of Ms Kendall’s supporters were also defined as “upper middle class” in terms of background, according to the YouGov figures, while 36 per cent of Mr Corbyn’s were. Yvette Cooper’s figure was 48 per cent and Andy Burnham’s 40 per cent.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in