Mr Redwood’s contribution to the debate on the Finance Bill, 1 July

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): The hon. Gentleman wishes to pay for a 10p rate from the proceeds of a mansion tax. Will he advise the House of Labour’s definition of a mansion? Could it, for example, include an one or two-bedroom flat in central London that was lived in by people of rather modest means?

The Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr Chris Leslie): I think the right hon. Gentleman is thinking of the bedroom tax, and we can come to that in a moment. I will come to the details of what a mansion tax would look like. We have looked carefully at the well-crafted and evidently well-thought-through proposal from the Liberal Democrats. They have proposed that properties worth £2 million or more should attract an annual charge, saying that that could net approximately £2 billion. That would allow an income tax band of around £1,000, which would give a tax cut of about £100 to those benefiting from the 10p band

Mr Redwood: I wish to make a procedural point. Does not the shadow Minister accept that when a Minister asks his officials for some information and they research it, and he then comes to the House to impart that information to us, that is publishing the information? I know that that will come as a shock to a Labour shadow Minister, because Labour Ministers always made sure that somebody else was told rather than Parliament, but I rather like the fact that the Minister researches this, takes us seriously and tells us the answer. Why cannot we now work from the published answer?

Mr Chris Leslie: Obviously I believe every word that the Exchequer Secretary utters, because it would be unparliamentary to do otherwise, Madam Deputy Speaker, but I am asking for just a little bit more from him. I just want to see the detail that the Treasury has produced on the mansion tax proposition. It would be entirely possible for him to put that in the public domain. I am sure that even Liberal Democrats would like to see it and would find it of interest, as would other hon. Members.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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